Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Green Mountain

The planets seemed to align for me today as I was able to participate in a ride that I have been trying to do for about two years now. It is not a particularly difficult ride nor is it technically challenging. What the climb up Duck Creek Road does offer though is breathtaking views of the Scenic Rim and O'Reilly's Guest House as a brunch destination. I have previously had the opportunity to briefly visit O'Reilly's and was amazed by the beautiful rainforest that visitors have to pass through to get to the guesthouse. I was hoping to have a closer encounter with the forest from the back of my mountain bike, rather than encased in the cocoon of a modern car.

Five of us set out from the western end of Duck Creek road in cool conditions under a thin high overcast. It was definitely a morning for armwarmers, but the hills looming in the near distance hinted that they might not be needed for long.
 Our first stop at one of the many lookouts showed why we were all sweating profusely despite the cool conditions. We had made a solid climb in just the first six kilometres or so.
During this climb we added to the numbers with Eric (or Groundhog) chasing us down due to his slightly mistimed arrival at the starting point! He certainly put the hurt on himself to catch us up and it was nice to finally put a face to a name that I seen many times on MTBDirt. In fact it was good to meet and get to know all of my fellow riders as I have seen them at a distance or read of most of them on the forum. Mountain bikers really are decent people. Especially the ones that like to challenge themselves a bit more than the "norm".

Anyway, onward and upward. The climbing continued, almost without let up for many more kilometres. The next stop was for a gate which was very kindly being held open for us by one of a band of four local MTBers who were on an epic ride. Canungra to O'Reilly's, down Duck Creek rd and then back! About one hundred kilometres and 2000m (6500ft) of climbing! Pleasantries were exchanged and as we left we decided that as a point of honour we should not let them catch us on their way back up! We upheld our honour, but only by about fifteen minutes. they are seriously quick lads!

Our next stop was at a cracker of an outlook. In the distance are Mt Lindsay and Mt Barney to name but a few.

After some more climbing we passed Luke O'Reilly's farm with more breathtaking views.

From here it wasn't far to the top of the mountain and breakfast. Six very hungry mountain bikers were about to help prop up the restaurants takings. Most went for a version of bacon and eggs. I decided to make a bit of a pig of myself with a double order of pancakes with a coffee to wash it down. Darb, displaying equally good taste went the pancake route as well. There must be something difficult in the make up of pancake batter as the others were all finished their breakfast before Darb and I even saw ours. Mine, without the requisite dob of ice cream, was mostly dispatched without much chat, although I have to admit it did beat me and I was forced to leave some behind.

Being soaked in sweat it became quite cool lounging around the restaurant, so several local newspapers sacrificed themselves as riders stuffed them into their jersey to help ward off the chill as we would be basically descending constantly for the next eighteen kilometres.

The ride down was an absolute hoot for obvious reasons! To my slight disappointment we whizzed past the massive old trees that lined the road. I would have loved to spend a bit more time exploring but I guess that gives me an excuse to return.

The roll down was mostly uneventful. There were a few minor "pucker" moments as I smashed into water bars like a sack of spuds on my hard tail, rather that gliding gracefully over them as I was picturing it in my mind!
After the main descent was over I foolishly commented on how there were no flat tyres for the run down despite the steep, rocky track. Not more than five minutes later the call went out "Flat tyre"! Calwyn (I think, sorry if I have that wrong) had scored a pinch flat on the rear of his now not-so-clean Yeti 575. He had it sorted very quickly while I quietly expounded the virtues of going tubeless. Don't you just hate those smug individuals that offer advice about their superior setup when you are struggling with your broken ride?

And that was the day done! We were back at the car in four hours all up. Thirty six kilometres and eleven hundred metres climbing were the stats for the morning. Thanks to all whose good company helped make the ride another great outing.


  1. Epic Flyboy! I've had my eye on that ride for a while.....while waiting for [insert injury/ailment] recovery. The DH sounds awesome, as does the climbing!
    Yum yum yum! Must do.
    Miff ;-)

  2. Dave, great blogs and as it turned out this was great prep for the Epic except we should have kept doing it every weekend!! It would be great to catch up for another ride sometime. Cheers Calwyn (Actually Calvin ;-))

  3. Sorry CalVin! I am pretty ordinary at remembering names, so I do apologise.
    Maybe if I did this ride both days every weekend I might have had a chance at being moderately average in the Epic!
    Look forward to catching up for a ride soon.


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