What a marvellous tour of the Wide Bay trail networks. After waking up (a little late) to clear autumn skies we scoffed down breakfast and quickly threw the usual roadtrip necessities into the Bongo Brawny campervan i.e. bikes, helmet and…. well thats it really. The engine fired up (always a pleasant surprise) and then we wombled onto the highway and headed north. After traversing the incessant roadworks (wouldn’t that be a nice problem to have on mountain bike trails) we found ourselves pulling into Childers at 9:45am, an optimal time for the ‘second coffees’.
We found the rest of the group (Kerry, Toby, Max, Paul, Susie, Pete, Donna, John, Tanya, Sonja, Luke and Craig) and then we convoyed up to the Promiseland trailhead, which was only another 15min or so up the road past Apple Tree Creek and Cordalba where we met Terry, Rod, PeterC and Al. Note: Use the second entrance as it has the sheltered area with tables, tank water and toilet.
The Promisedland trails are difficult to describe to someone who has only ridden around the Sunshine Coast or areas close to the coast. They consist of a kind of small aggregate mixed with in sand and dust. If you haven’t got your flat corning technique down then you might find the bends a bit sketchy at first. The first loop taken was the most recently created one which is the same course the first round of the Wide Bay 3hr series will be using although we did it in the opposite direction. 18km over a good mix of rocky sections, flowy berms intermixed with doubles and rollovers, and traditional twisty single track. You could just ride that trail and be happy to go home and call the trip a success.
Once we clocked that course we had a quick catch up at the shelter and then set out to the ‘old’ trails towards the eastern side of the forest. Here we rode Barking Owl, Ironbark and Cow Bones to mention a few. After that we kinda split up so that we can either repeat favourites or do ones we may have missed or a in different direction. Before heading off we had a good chat with the BundabergMTB guys about what they’ve done with the place and how good it all was. Fantastic effort guys you should be proud and we hope it continues to benefit the area.
We headed off to the Hillcrest Van Park but dropped off into Childers again to pick up something for dinner and some drinkies. That night we settled down to eat, drink, and talk about all the things you’re not meant to like politics, religion, and unsanctioned trail building.
The morning sun popped up and the local bird life took it upon themselves to scream right next to our camping spots. We had to get to the Toogoom trailhead by around 8:30am to meet Mike. Luckily there is a nice cafe in Toogoom so I could delay the morning coffee routine for the 12 minutes it took to get there.
Sufficiently caffeinated we arrived at the trailhead ready to tackle the next bunch of single tracks that wiggle their way from a single point in the northern part of the Vernon State Forest. Local Mike showed us each track and we tried to make up our minds on which was our favourite with tracks 10 and 11 rating highly. Honestly I think they’re all good and it would take a long time riding them before you would lose interest.
After the north part of the forest was completed the group split with some of the adventurous of us crossing the Hervey Bay – Burrum Heads road into the southern side of the forest to explore the offerings there. Here there was a bit more climbing and a lot more loose rocks to contend with. After a few choice trails we called it a day. Thanks for building and maintaining a great set of trails Fraser Coast MTB – they’re certainly popular with us and we’ll keep coming back.
Once again I’m pleased and humbled that we have such a great group of people to do these kinds of things with and I look forward to the next trip which might be sooner than we expect.
President – Bush Rangers MTB Club Sunshine Coast