I think I can, I think I can .....
Tue, Dec 27 2005 22:22
yesterday (boxing day) I woke feeling rather lazy, no doubt something to do with the previous days xmas celebrations and all that lovely crayfish and prawns and xmas cake [;)] So I deciced it might go for a bike ride. I had bought myslef a new bike for my birthday a couple of months ago but hadn't really had a chance to ride it much due to weather and work, in fact, only 3 x 40 km rides and 4 x 25 km rides. But i really wanted to at least try a 80 km ride up the ridge to Beech Forest. So I did [:)]
The ride, is the Old Beechy Rail Trail, which generally follows the track the old narrow guage train use to take. It's a gravel track that goes through some beautiful bushland and forest, and even goes over a waterfall as you near the ridge. The bit of the track I hadn't riden before was the Gellibrand to Beech Forest line. That part is about 20 km and climbs from about 250' to 1750' (or about 1500 feet climb). Most of it is a slight gradient only getting steep in a couple of places where the trail leaves the old train line. I found myself in mid gear range for most of it.. but the long duration of a slow hill climb really made me feel for the poor old little engine that use to do it .. I was already 20km in on my ride when I started that stretch long hill climb, and at times I kept myself going with a "I think I can " [;)]
One thing to remember as you climb that 1500 feet or so is you get to ride down it again [:D] So make sure you enjoy the view on the way up, cuase on the way down you'll be going too fast to !
Seriously, it's a great ride. Unfortunately for me it ends with another leg of about 20 km with about 1000 feet or so of hill climbing, but if you wanted an easy ride I would recommend a drive to Gellibrand and ride from there up to Beech Forest or Dinmont. Dinmont is only 14 k from Gellibrand and really that's the best part of the trail. The ride from there to Beech Forest is actually along gravel roads not the old train line. In anycase it's basically all up hill, so you can ride till you are feeling a bit tired in the legs then turn around and enjoy the downhill :)
oh, just be aware the trails are softish gravel, in places large road base, other places dirt. so you don't need serious mud tyres, but you definetly don't want to be on a road bike either.