Back from our Asia adventures, we spent a lovely Easter in Eagle Point with the whole family. With the overwhelming need to burn off some of our Asia ‘excess weight’, we also got a ride in at Mount Taylor and Colquhan (this time in the dry).
A few days of our normal unpack, wash and repack routine, and (more importantly) as the passion fruit flood from the garden had now dried up it was time for our next biking adventure. We packed up the bikes and headed to the Snowy Mountain region:
As it was the end of the summer most riding areas were pretty dry now, which did make Bright a bit rough in places, but no less fun. The area makes great use of the dirt road that heads up to the paraglide launch for shuttles, but there are also some really good, flowing climbing trails.
When we got to Bright we were lucky to bump into some old friends doing shuttles from the top so jumped in for a few laps. The start of the first lap (down Elevation) was a shake out of the cobwebs, and one of the more gnarly and rough trails that we rode in Bright. Definitely more of a DH trail than the smoother mountain style of trail elsewhere in the park. There were some rough, steep shoots with drop-offs through some tight trees. Fully awaken, we then joined the trails from the lower shuttle drop off point, which was a little bit more trail bike friendly, high paced and with more jumps. Highlight trails of the area include:
Down DJ – we did several laps of Down DJ over and over again as it was so fun, and the climb back up was easy and flowed well. Seriously fun flowing trail with lots of twists and turn berms.
Hero – as the name suggests, it is designed to make you feel good with lots of high-speed jumps, all with different sizes enabling great progression.
Corkscrew – good old-fashion high-speed flat corners through widely spaced trees.
Bright as an area really does have it all; a good shuttle road, well-built climbs, all styles and levels of trails from family-friendly rolling greens, progressing up to full committing double black DH. It was so fun we went back for another day.
After our afternoon/evening ride at Bright, we camped up and headed to Falls Creek the next morning.
Falls Creek is primarily a ski resort but it offers some great alpine riding and stunning views. Although there are only a few trails on offer what they have is worth a couple of days and multiple laps of riding.
We started our exploration of the area with the recommendation of climbing up Jumpstart, a well-built climb until we hit the main mountain road and then headed up to the top of one of the lifts. There are 3 trails from this 250meters of a climbing point; we first headed down the all mountain Thunderbolt trail.
The Thunderbolt trail is similar to the Top of the World trail in Whistler; rocky, lots of up and over features and a little awkward in spots; One of those that is a lot more fun the second time you ride it as you know which way the trail goes. We also rode the DH trail, which was fun for about 15 seconds and then just turned into a double track dirt road.
We finished the day with a blast down Flowtown; a trail that is worth the trip to Falls Creek alone. A 5km trail that descends over 453m with a few climbs in the middle. This high-speed flow track leaves you grinning ear to ear. Especially the last third which is perfectly balanced with rollers and berms that you don’t really need to brake or pedal for, just enjoy the high-speed rollercoaster. What makes it even more amazing is how easy it is to shuttle the trail as it’s built along the side of the road that goes up into Falls Creek resort.
That night we camped a few kilometres out of Falls Creek in the Alpine. At 1700meters it got a bit frosty overnight, but the campsite was so peaceful and in a beautiful alpine setting. The next morning, after a quick lap of The Generator (well worth the short detour when climbing up) we headed back up to the top and enjoyed the alpine flowy descent of High Voltage. The views were stunning at the top and the berms awesome for ripping around as you headed down. We again finished our morning ride with some laps of Flowtown, we just couldn’t resist…
Mount Beauty and another round of Bright
That afternoon we headed to Mount Beauty for a quick ride. After an hour of getting lost in the labyrinth of trails, and finding all the trails the same as the last one or overgrown – lots of old school, rough cut traditional xc trails, which all had been pretty damaged by water erosion and general usage erosion, we called it quits and decided to rest our legs for another ride at Bright instead the next day (mainly so we could get more laps in of DJ Down).
After a morning lapping Bright again and a quick dip in the river we headed to Thredbo for some lift access riding and to race the Rocky Trail Entertainment Superflow race.
Like Falls Creek there are only a few trails at Thredbo, but what they have over the 600 meters of descending is really fun. We didn’t get bored even after 5 or 6 laps of a trail (or that could just be the racer in us talking). We raced the Flow Trail, as the name suggests lots of flow and high speed, but there were also other elements and features to add some spice, and a couple of awesome Velcro-like, death grip brapppp berms. We also got some laps in of the DH track, until Shane decided that any more laps over the rock gardens would result in some blown up wheels.
The Rocky Trail Superflow format was the best 2 times combined from as many laps as you liked. The vibe for the race was a lot mellower than a lot of other races we have attended, and it was a lot more open to a wider range of abilities. It was more of a day out doing laps and chatting was everyone then hardcore in it to win it racing. After a day practising and getting back up to race pace and used to the speed, we rode our arms, back, basically whole bodies off for the race day and had a blast. Shane got 2nd in Pro and Kate won masters.
That’s all our biking in Oz now, time to head back to Eagle Point again, swap over to beach life and head north. Surfs Up!