The hills around South Gippsland are an area we have ridden before and while they might not be impressively high in altitude, they sure are picturesque. So with this in mind Gareth and I drew up a ride that took us over Mt Worth, out to Mirboo North for a play lunch stop and pretty much down to Leongatha before turning up back into the hills to ride a dirt road Ron and I scouted the previous week called Wild Dog Valley rd. Well there were no dogs, but it sure got wild.
We met up at the Ellinbank Primary School at about 7. Schools are a great place to start a ride as there’s always water available.
It didn’t take long for the climbing to begin in earnest with the climb up Mt. Worth coming up in the first few kays. It’s a nice climb and one highly recommended if you are ever in the area. Not too steep at a fairly consistent 5% and 7.5km’s long, so enough to get the legs warmed up. On reaching the summit you are greeted to the majestic sight of a local industry – logging. Beautiful native forests make way to felled trees and forestry machinery. It was actually pretty cool and eye opening thats for sure.
After passing six dead wombats (one of which scott bunny hopped) and a descent down a gravel road, the scenery opened out into farmland and rolling hillsides that categorise the region.
After a stop in at Mirboo North for food and water, we headed south and into what was going to be a characterising feature of the rest of the day – wind. It was incredibly gusty and made for pretty slow going at times. Despite the wind, we eventually made it to the start of the most difficult part of the day, Wild Dog Valley.
The first part of the climbing starts as soon as you turn onto Mt Eccles Rd from Wild Dog Valley rd. It’s a steep, bitch of a climb that soon sorted the men from the boys, with me being the boy. I was glad it was a road less travelled as I was forced to use up the whole road to reduce the hill’s severity. It was soon all over though, enabling us to stop to collect our thoughts whilst we all finished off the last of our water and for Ron to admire a dead lamb. At least the toughest bit was done…
…And then we climbed the next bit. Just as steep, longer and on gravel. This, coupled with the fact that the wind was stepping into the ‘this is fucked’ category made going tough. So tough in fact, that in one extremely strong gust that blew me off course by about a foot, I turned around to see Scott had nearly been blown off the road. This was definitely one of the toughest times I have spent on the saddle of a bike.
It was a tough one and I can’t wait to go back.
The return journey was rather uneventful, apart from a fallen tree or two. The ride was completed just in time, as no sooner had we said our respective goodbyes, the heavens opened up and it bucketed down.
Well that’s it for this post, but we have some pretty cool rides planned (more snow riding hopefully) and we are always open to suggestions, so feel free to suggest any rides that contain climbs/ gravel/ sweet photo opportunities/ dead animals.
Until next time. Pinchy