Tuen's Blog

Infrequent diary of a procrastinator

Mountain Biking on Lake Mountain

Written By: Tuen - Dec• 07•08

On Friday, I took the two older boys to Lake mountain, together with Tony and Al, for some mountain biking.  We had been to Lake mountain for skiing a couple of times, and I thought the ski paths might make good mountain biking trails.  Well, we weren’t disappointed, but the ride was much much tougher than we had anticipated.

We arrived about 10.30am and started our ride soon after.  The first part of the ride was quite smooth, along wide paths that were clearly demarcated on the map and that were normally used for skiing in winter.  The uphills were quite tough though, and we had to get off and push the bikes on quite a number of occasions.  We stopped for lunch at a ‘lookout’ point along a route called the panorama trail.  Lunch was mainly sandwiches prepared by our wives and we had a very nice time talking, remembering previous biking occasions and enjoying the surrounding pine and gum trees. There was one joke Tony recalled about Bruno on a ride back in Singapore that got us all rolling on the grass in laughter when we recalled that incident :) .

After lunch, we continued on the wide tracks and quite quickly reached the end of the ski trails whereby we had to decide how to proceed next.  This is where the adventure began.  We had a choice of either proceeding back along the trail we had come, or to proceed on a very rough looking single track that appeared overgrown with bush.  The sign in front of the track even noted that this trail was not patrolled.  I thought it was quite clear that we should turn back, but my boys seemed to think that we should proceed forward on the single track, and even Tony was convinced; so off we went.  

The beginning of the trail was slightly flooded and we had to push the bikes along, but soon after, the trail dried and opened up and for the next 10 minutes or so, we had a wonderful downhill single track ride that was truly exhilarating.  Unfortunately, the down-slope soon became very steep and because the ground was littered with rocks, branches and boulders, and because our bike brakes were not great (and for me, because of my weight) we couldn’t continue riding and had to walk the bikes down.  Of course, what helped us realise that we could no longer ride down was the number of falls and tumbles and minor injuries we had by then experienced.  

Soon there was more carrying of bikes than pushing, as we negotiated fallen trees and overgrown bush.  Both Tony and I also started getting worried as we were no longer sure that this trail led anywhere, and the thought of having to turn back was most depressing.  But thankfully, we soon came to the end of this trail and onto a much larger track.  At this end of the trail, we saw a sign that said that the trail was closed.  Well, you could have told us at the other end too!

The large track led to Upper Taggerty Road and was downhill for about 3 to 4 kilometres.  But because the track was totally strewn with rocks and boulders, it was very tiring on my arms and legs as I had no suspension on my old bike. And poor Al was suffering from cramps, so had to stop quite a bit.

Well, where there is a downhill, there must be an uphill, and the next part of the ride made up for the 3 to 4 kilometres of downhil earlier on.  We almost died on this last segment of the ride as we struggled to clear each uphill that didn’t seem to have any end.  We finally arrived at the main road half dead and about 2 hours later than I had anticipated.  By then, the wives had been trying to reach us on our mobiles, but there was very spotty network coverage up in the mountain.

Alls well that ends well, and we got home about 10.30pm, totally exhausted and with some bruises to show for the day.  All of us agreed that it had been most enjoyable, but hey, we won’t be doing it again anytime soon! 

A few photos can be found here.

Map of our ride here.  The route we took is marked in yellow.