3 states' trails 2011


Likes Dirt
So, the better half and I have been off to a few trails this year and I thought I'd put up a few words about them - particularly the ones not discussed endlessly in recently times (EG won't bore you with Kowen / Mont24 course..)

Mt Buller, Vic - Rode the Bike Buller festival, which was all good but the standout was of course Stonefly, as raved about in AMB. So many sweet berms. There's a lot more XC there than I realised (as long as you count the firetrails.) The bridges made from huge trees, over the creek on the way down to Mirimbah were pretty cool. I just wish they'd leave the DH trails open longer, because Abom is great fun (not that I've ridden it since the Hard Day At The Office.)

Cudlee / Fox Creek, SA - the XC trails near the carpark we started from are decent, and remind me of Canberra. It's probably a pine-forest thing. Getting further out to find some of the (IMBA-made?) was good fun, but it was a little tricky to locate them and there seemed to be a bit of boring fire-trail riding between them. We were escorted around the whole way by Seiko the local trail dog, who apparently spends her days hanging out with the MTBers. Cudlee Creek Caravan Park / Tavern is a sh!t hole. It's website makes it look way better than it really is.

Melrose SA - A great place for a ride and relaxation. I can't say that the trails looked anywhere as polished as when they featured in the magazine, and you have to get used to going up steep bits with fist-sized rocks around. I really liked Dodging Bullets, probably because it wasn't as steep as the rest. The ride out at the winery a few K south of town was a little confusing - a bit overgrown, hard to spot the trails .. but, not enough to get us lost. Great to see private landowners setting up trails, though. The people at the local bike shop, Over The Edge Sports are cool. It's surprising to see a shop like that in a small town. Also, the pub meals were cheap, huge and tasty. Their Caravan Park seemed like the best in the world after Cudlee Creek.

Linton, SA - Went here on the recommendation of one of the mechanics at OTE. 20 minutes ride from the city = nice. Small but perfectly formed (Hurrrr!) Not a lot of trails but the loop around the edge of the quarry was a good challenge, and the DH trails looked like they'd be fun too. A great track to visit for an hour or 2.

Eagle MTB Park, SA - bit longer to ride from the city, and a lot more trails. There were a few more trails there than were shown on the maps we downloaded. A good size, lots of variety, and the drinking water in tanks on site proved rather handy. Also, the pump track in the middle of the park was a cool distraction, and you could watch the guys hitting up the dirt jumps next to it .. Great spot, bring fresh legs!

Castlemaine, VIC - Got a map (taken from AMB, looks like) and directions to it from the friendly guys at the bike store on the main street. They said almost 40km of singletrack. We had a lot of trouble with the map - seemed like it didn't quite line up with trails. Also, singetrack left one compartment and never started straight over the firetrail - and the place isn't regularly enough ridden to have lots of tyre tracks to follow. So, it took us a couple of hours to do the first 10km. Then we got cranky and headed for home - and bumped into the last few km of the "loop" which turned out to be easy to follow.

Goulbourn, NSW - went to the track over the road from the cemetary, starting behind the bus shelter proved easy enough to find the start to. After a while it proved fairly hard to follow though - the "green arrows" weren't to be found. Still, found a few sections of XC and then headed down the DH trails we'd ridden past too.

Kangaroo Valley, NSW - McPhails Fire Track is an XC shuttle run which is quite a bit of fun after you get off the wide firetrails. There's plenty of altitude lost over the course of the run, with some real fast bits at the end. Quite a lot of trees appear to have fallen over the track lately, making it a bit of a CX-style challenge!

Coondoo Road, Nowra, NSW - had ridden an 8-hour series race here a couple of years ago and had a bit less trouble driving in last time! Fairly flat, soil is pretty sandy, but a fun loop especially towards the end.

Ulladulla, NSW - the LBS was closed when we went past so we couldn't get the good oil on local tracks.. Not sure that what we rode here was legal so won't go into detail, but there were plenty of trails and they were pretty sandy but otherwise weren't too bad. A bit tricky to navigate and seemed pretty popular with the local dirtbikers.

Tathra, NSW - Poo Ponds is a really awesome area. We started at the top, rode the hard downhill track, then up the easiest hard climb I've ever done - I think it was the fact that it kept pointing back down regularly! Then down the medium, and up, and down the easy, and up the easy/firetrail. Next, it was down to the trails starting behind the fire shed, which looked like they'd been made with the Enduro a few weeks earlier in mind. They wound their way around a fair distance - a good value ride. Will be back, for sure.

Mandeni Resort / Manna Park trails in Merimbula, NSW - the Manna Park trails cost a few $ to ride but are pretty nice and have a huge variety of terrrain in just a few K's. Add it to the Mandeni loop (they like their big log rides!) and it's a pleasant ride around. Bike stores and Manna Park themselves hand out trail maps, but once you get started it's all pretty straightforward with the exception of crossing the road.