If you want to Ride Kowen/Sparrow now is the time

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
A bit of a wait still I reckon going by what i've seen. Hopefully there'll be some build days coming up as I'd like to pitch in.
Looks like there was a last-minute build day on the weekend going by their FB page, so seems this project is back up and running.
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
Awesome, definitely need somewhere new to ride now that Stromlo is impossible on weekends.
Too crowded? Hopefully that is getting fed back to whoever is in charge of releasing the $$$.

I did 35km at Sparrow on Sunday and only came across two others on the trail, and that was only because they were riding the reverse direction.
 

droenn

Eats Squid
Yeah, too crowded at Stromlo - especially the main climb. It will thin out a bit once it gets cold though!

Good that it attracts so many people I guess - means they other places stay nice and quiet :)
 

dancaseyimages

Mountain bike pornographer
Too crowded? Hopefully that is getting fed back to whoever is in charge of releasing the $$$.

I did 35km at Sparrow on Sunday and only came across two others on the trail, and that was only because they were riding the reverse direction.
I really like Sparrow. Hows the logging looking?
 

Tubbsy

Party Pooper
Staff member
Yeah, too crowded at Stromlo - especially the main climb. It will thin out a bit once it gets cold though!
Yeah the climb is busy... but it's climbing. Ugh. I find if you don't take the main descent over Skyline and through Luge, and go out the back instead it's pretty quiet. I tend to go down Wedgetail then up to Magpie, around through Slickrock and then Brindabella right to the far corner and it's all pretty quiet.


I really like Sparrow. Hows the logging looking?
I did 35km (Western Loop joining Long Loop plus optional extensions), and none of it was through a logged section. Some of it is new trail through relatively young trees of 2m-4m, but largely all as it's been for years.

Kowen has been logged quite a bit. They've fixed up the trail through some the logged areas, but it's pretty exposed at the moment, with the new trees just a foot or so tall. Not ideal on a hot day, bring your sunscreen.
 

dancaseyimages

Mountain bike pornographer
Yeah, too crowded at Stromlo - especially the main climb. It will thin out a bit once it gets cold though!

Good that it attracts so many people I guess - means they other places stay nice and quiet :)
I find after 7pm on the weekdays is when Stromlo is pretty quiet.
 

droenn

Eats Squid
Finally checked this place out. I skipped the whole riding up from Cotter Bend thing, there is enough space to park a handful of cars at the gate, and I was one of only two cars there, other was guy walking his dogs who saw a couple of times.

The loop is around 6.6 kms with ~130m of elevation, but it takes longer than you expect. Its very tight and twisty the whole way and doesn’t break into flow sections much at all. It’s all pretty tame too, I think a hardtail is probably best choice here to make it a bit more interesting and for scrambling up the numerous short steep bits. Trail bike was of course fine, just didnt feel like I needed to be on one.

I went anti-clockwise, but you can do both. It’s a well built trail overall and a lot of work has gone into fixing drainages and a couple of bridges over the little gullys. There is certainly room to build more here, and good topology, I hope for some techy trails and flow sections cutting through the middle, with this loop as the main trunk linking everything up around the outside or something like that.

It was also bloody cold with the fog and forest combining to let no sun in. The fog cleared on my second lap and was much nicer getting patches of sun, but you are in the forest nearly the whole way. This bodes well for summer though, when other trails are too hot, this might be a nice place to get in a lap in the shade.

Overall its a nice pedally loop in a spot they can really build on. Its also a nice alternative on the weekends when Stromlo is too packed and Kowen is too far (because you had an imperial stout on Sat night and slept through Sunday alarm...).


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Scotty T

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I reckon clockwise is the way to ride it, we did it anti and definitely felt like we were riding down uphill specific bits and vice versa. Like the bit in your second pic, just annoying turning around that and the several others when coming down but it would be a good climb.
 
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