Curve Gravelnongs, Mt. Dandenong, VIC, Australia
A Grade - 65 km / 2000 vm | Hard and Long
B Grade - 44 km / 1400 vm | Hard but Not as Long
C Grade - 40 km / 1200 vm | Not as Hard & Not as Long
Surface: Singletrack, Gravel & Bike Path
What to Ride: Gravel Bike
Food & Drink Stop: The Trail Cafe, Mt. Evelyn
Recently Curve headed back out of Melbourne and explored the lovely, lush Dandenong Ranges for our Monthly Ride. Expect plenty of climbing on this ride; this is definitely no sprint down Beach Road. This ride IS one of the more challenging rides we have put on, with ample steep, pinchy trails to make your legs work. This IS NOT a beginner's ride by any stretch with even C Grade being a tough day out!
A and B Grade are the same up until Silvan Road; the riding on this first half is challenging starting from The Basin along Doongalla Forest Road before the well-known "wall tracks" - Zig Zag and Channel 10. This is as steep as the work gets, but you will be rewarded with a great view of Melbourne and beyond at Burke's Lookout on the Kyeema Track. The climbing then takes you higher to Sky High Lookout along Kyeema Track before heading down briefly on various trails to start the comparatively tame Olinda Creek Road climb, then more windy trails finally into Mt Evelyn.
The Trail Cafe has many food options, some pretty great scones with cream (Coyo for vegans) and jam. It's an excellent spot to refuel before the next haul.
Next up is the Aquaduct Trail and the first natural flat stretch you will encounter on this ride. But don't worry, it's short! After that, you will climb up again and launch into the Silvan Trail network. This heavy switchback trail climbs up and down, featuring the Twister Sister Trail, which is loads of fun.
After this, the A and B Grade splits. A Grade takes the entire Silvan Road climb, while B does its equivalent on a more rugged, steeper forest track. After here, B finishes the ride with the famous Basin Olinda Road descent back to The Basin. Most people need 4 hours to get through this loop with coffee stops.
A Grade continues onto Belgrave over a series of trails, a large fallen tree, gravel roads and some crazy steep back streets rivalling the day's first climb. Then Coles Track is the next long climb back up to Kallista, then onto One Tree Hill. Here you can enjoy a solid descent off One Tree Hill Road, onto Ferndale Road, then Old Coach Road and finally into The Basin. We suggest 6-7 hours for this loop with coffee stops.
The C Grade route is still challenging but a great way to introduce yourself to some of the climbs in the Dandenong ranges. You will begin with the stunning Basin Olinda Road, a well-graded gravel road with the legs firing in no time. Then you'll ride parts of the A and B route, including small stretches of singletrack and Olinda Creek Road onto Mt Evelyn.
Again like A and B, you will be treated to the Silvan trail network with the Twisted Sister singletrack climb. Then your last gravel climb up Silvan Road. The route finishes with forest tracks that drop you onto Old Coach Road and then into The Basin. We suggest 3-4 hours for this loop with coffee stops.
If you would like to challenge yourself to one of these routes, you can find the GPX files for all three options below. Each option features our recommended refuelling stop at The Trail Cafe in Mt. Evelyn so you will not run out of your coffee and snack supply needs!
A Grade - Hard And Long | 65 km / 2000 vm: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/40680776
B Grade - Hard But Not As Long | 44 km 1400 vm: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/40680793
C Grade - Not As Hard And Not As Long | 40 km / 1200 vm: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/40680959