Sugarloaf: Special Rapha Edition!

Sunday was looking like being a great day for a ride in Melbourne, one of the best in what has been a cold winter. Gareth and I planned to do a loop around everyone’s favourite reservoir, Sugarloaf. Because of this fact and Gareth was so excited he went out and purchased a heap of new kit. So to celebrate his new understated yet epic gear, we present you with the Rapha edition.

I was awoken at the not overly early (for a cyclist) hour of 8am with a phone call letting me know to open the door. Bad start, probably due to the 7-8 whiskies consumed at a going away party the night before. We got slowly underway and eventually made it out to Warrandyte where we planned to start. Essentially our ride went something like this:


Riding up from Warrandyte we turned right at Pigeon Bank Rd and continued up to Menzies and finally onto Skyline. The pinches along here were short and sharp, but a whole lot of fun. Be warned though, if you want to do this ride large sections of it are gravel, albeit well maintained and vey rideable. The scenery is great too, with views on both sides overlooking the valley down to the Yarra on one side and everyone’s favourite reservoir, Sugarloaf, on the other.


Gareth even managed to urinate epically thanks to the new jersey.


It only tool about 10k’s for us to agree that it was our new favourite ride.


…until I suffered through a flat. This was a low point. Both in elevation and mood.

There must have been a community meeting at some stage to agree to have ample taps in front yards but have none connected to running water. We seriously tried three taps and none worked. With everyone’s favourite reservoir, Sugarloaf, just to our left it was cruel punishment for my forgetfulness indeed.



From the junction of Skyline Rd. and Eltham Rd. you can descend into Yarra Glen and then climb back up. It is apparently a good climb and Gareth seemed to enjoy it, but I decided to try and find water (fail) and take this photo:

Getting a bit stalker-ish on this one…

From here we turned around and headed down Ridge Rd. and stopped in at a bbq/ picnic area that had water. It said it was untreated rainwater and not for consumption, but at this stage we were willing to run the risk.

The ride back down Menzies Rd. was heaps of fun with some fast, smooth rolling descents, but we knew what was coming: Pigeon Bank Lane. We had come down it so we knew it would be hard, but not that hard. It was like hitting a wall, a 30% wall of bullshit steep road. I couldn’t do it, I had to walk it, even the mountain goat himself was in the up-til-then unused 29 tooth cog and was delivering mail to both sides of the street.

Menzies Rd. down is a whole lot of fun

It was so steep that it even looked steep in a photo

All up we only rode 50k’s, but climbed about 1300m. It is a ride that could be easily done in a few hours and would still be a good ride. I know we will be doing this one a few more times over the upcoming warmer months. Well, after I fit that compact crankset…


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