Saturday 12 December 2015

Blue Mountains MTB: Woodford to Glenbrook on the Oaks Fire Trail

An adventure in the Blue Mountains: the very well-known Oaks Fire Trail. The weather was perfect for riding, not too hot.

But before the main event we took a quick spin on a cool little downhill course near Glenbrook, in Tunnel Gully Reserve. Someone has put an awful lot of work into building berms and bridges, it's pretty cool.

Yeah, I'm not riding across that one.
Then we put the bikes in the car, leaving one car in Glenbrook. You can normally do The Oaks without a car shuffle using the train, but they were doing trackwork, which is pretty common on the weekends apparently.

I hired a bike (Trek 29-er hard-tail) from Blue Mountain Bikes for $100. It was a pretty decent bike, although I really missed the rear suspension, dropper post, and cleats of my bike at home. It just has demo pedals, and I slipped off them a few times on some of the singletrack drop-offs. My only real complaint is that I paid for a puncture repair kit, but they gave me a 26-inch tube :(

The track starts very near the bike shop (we left the car there), you basically just cross over the highway.

The first 17km is fire trail, which alternates between climb and descend. Fun, but nothing challenging. Some nice views over the mountains through the trees.

After the gate at the end of the fire trail you start on the singletrack. It's really good. The first few km is fast and windy through fairly dense scrub on either side. Nothing particularly technical. The second half-ish is amazing with some more technical drop-offs and rock platforms. Many are marked with blue and black diamond options. Really fun singletrack.

You eventually pop out into a carpark and have the option of turning right to go up to a lookout. It's well worth the climb, there's a great view out over the Nepean river and the plains towards Sydney.

And this is the point one of our party realised they had a flat tyre and no tube. My tube would have come in handy at this point if it had been the right size...Anyway we patched it, and a ridiculously nice guy actually drove back to his house and came back with a 29-inch tube for us.

On the way down the bitumen I rode over a black snake. Eeek. It may have been dead already. Maybe.

It was a great day's ride, highly recommend.

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