The Curve Crew kicked off their first monthly ride of 2023 last weekend. This time we headed away from the big smoke and explored some of our favourite gravel in Kinglake National Park and its surrounds. This route packs plenty of climbing in, with riders knocking out over 1000 vm in the first 30 km.
The ride starts at the Hurstbridge train station. Train's run regularly here if you don't wish to drive out or ride. You can ride from the city using bike paths pretty much the whole way.
The ride starts with some quiet sealed back roads with a few steep pinches to prep the legs. Then it's onto Red Shirt Gully for the first of many lovely gravel roads. Keep an eye on the route closely through out this section or you may miss the singletrack climb.
The main climb for the day is over Everard Track, one of the many dirt climbs on offer to Kinglake. The climb is a little over 6 km, with a few rollers and water bars you should take car on. It's a forest hiking track so watch out for others walking through here. Once at the end you will cross the main road onto Cookson Hill Track. This track is short but has three very steep pinches, enough to earn you some food and drink once through and in the town of Kinglake.
There are plenty of resupply options here between the cafe, bakery, supermarket and servo. There are toilets and water taps in town too.
Next is the scenic long descent down Bowden Spur. Popular with cyclists in either direction, you get big views of Melbourne as you make your way down the gravel switchbacks. Take care through here as it can get well corrugated on the corners.
The last 10 km is a mix of gentle gravel and sealed roads through Cottles Bridge back towards Hurstbridge.
Hurstbridge has plenty of spots for coffee and food if looking for something before the trip home.
Riders completed this ride in anywhere from 3 - 5 hours.
Ride file can be found HERE!