After having done some regular rides around Toolangi, Marysville, Mt Donna Buang I had an idea of combining a few great rides into one epic loop. My plan as always is to find as much gravel roads fire tracks as possible.Picking a start point like Healesville meant we could ride further out than our normal local gravel loops. Having put the word out to all our regulars via our shop rides we had over 20 people ready to take up the challange.
The ride loop details, 102km, 2200 of climbing, 80% gravel/dirt. Healesville- Track11-Monda Track-Black Spur-Fisher Creek Road-Achreon Way – Oshannassy Aquduc trail-DonRoad- Healesville.
The crew from FE Sports who supply the brand Wahoo in Australia had generously given us 15 of the Wahoo Roam bike computers. We preloaded the GPX file of the loop that I made on Strava and gave the head units out to the riders. These were fantastic as it directed us the whole way round the course, which when you are fatigued and tired it was great not to have to rely on our own navigation.
Our plan was to ride as a group for the first 33km which was challenging as we had a wide range of fitness levels, but the group all looked after each other. The first part of the ride was cold and misty, very low visibility once we got up and around Mt St Leonards, with the gravel road surface also very wet. This first segment saw 3 punctures and a broken chain so the going was slow and we were all feeling the effects of the cold. Once we refuel at the 33km mark thanks to my daughters who had driven out to the Black Spur and delivered food and water, but also surprised us all with cooking pan cakes, that was a hit! One of our riders succumbed to a mechanical [no brake pads left!] so got a lift back to Healesville with Elise and Adele.
Once we descended down some sketchy fire trail, which saw Phillippa take a tumble, we turned onto the Acheron Way, and self seeded into 3 groups. Myself and Gareth looked after the back group which include Kerry who at 76 years young is an absolute inspiration and such a strong rider.
Bryce looked after the middle group with Russel from FE Sports/Wahoo looking after the fast group. We were all swapping turns until we got to the O’shannassy Aquaduc which ended up being quite chanllaging as it had a lot of massive trees down across the track. This trail is fantastic and we look forward to when the MTB park is built out here.
The final climb up Don road was hard, legs cramping , bikes creaking but once we hit the junction of the Mt Donna Buang back road it was a super fast 8 km decent back to Healesville.
Thanks to all those who came along, Also a big thanks to the ride leaders who came along and to Russel from Wahoo who made sure we didn’t get lost! I’m sure like me you woke up Monday sore and tired but happy to ride in such an awesome place with great people. until next time…….