Stromlo Forest Park Canberra

Just got back home from a crazy day out at Stromlo Forest Park in Canberra.

In attendance was Jing (Trance), Zi (Blur LT), Crazy Dave (Anthem), Simon (Cell carbon hardtail) and myself (Reign).

I had little sleep last night, and was more than happy to bail but with a bit of pressure from Zi and Jing I considered my arm twisted and up I got.

We hit the M5 and stopped over at Pheasants Nest/Mobil for a bite of brekky ($25 for 2 sandwiches and a pie? What a rip!). I handed the keys over to Jing at this point and went to sleep for a couple of hours (thanks Jing!).

The carpark was full when we got there, the park featured all new signage and identity design since I was last here (Word cup). There was a big group of newbies playing around on logs in what looked like an introduction to mountain biking course of some sort (nice). And it wasn’t long before we were sitting at the base of the mountain checking out the trail options.

We ended up going for trail Loop 2

Rating – Intermediate
Time – 45 to 90 minutes

Loop 2 is one of the shorter loops climbing, traversing and taking you to access points to most of Stromlo Forest Park. The trail uses the main trunk trail network to climb gently to the top of Mt Stromlo, before a long, flowing descent back to the car park area. Riders are rewarded with expansive 360 degree views of the ACT from the summit and a descent that will leave you smiling for days. This trail requires a degree of fitness and skill level as there are a number of challenging climbs and obstacles.

As soon as we got going there was a funny log ride structure the boys were standing around. I had Grant’s saying “those who hesitate, masturbate” in my head and despite not being warmed up I did it and that pretty much set my confidence levels up for a good part of the ride. Helps I was riding flats too.

The trail had a lot of tight switchbacks making the climb up the mountain (all the way to the damn top) interesting (ie: less painful). Once we got to the top the view from the observatory was amazing. And from there the descent back down to the carpark was an enlightening experience (yes the climb was well worth it!). Fanging it through the massive green container into a massive series of berms put a smile on everyone’s face.

We had a bit to eat and set out to do Loop 6:

Rating – Intermediate/Advanced
Time – 60 to 90 minutes

Loop 6 is a demanding ride that takes you over the Northern trails, climbing steeply to Echidna Gap before plunging down to the Western side of Stromlo Forest Park. The superb Double Dissolution trail drops you out near the Western Car park before you make your way back along the northern trails to the start point. The trail takes in a wide variety of the terrain and is able to be linked with a variety of other trails. Make sure you have your climbing legs on and enough in the tank to enjoy the fun and moderately technical descent

The climb was a little less fun than the last loop we did, steeper, more relentless but never boring. Again we climbed up to the top of the mountain but the descent down was more along side the mountain than straight down offering more variation in terrain. There was a silly see-saw thing that I had a go on too (only because the boys egged me on!) I almost fucked it, but managed to somehow pull it off :)

I was spent at the end of this, Zi had a few bad cramps, Dave and Simon were done too but Jing and Clifton wanted more, Zi decided the same but he didn’t want to climb up again so the three were shuttled up to the top and did the downhill part of Loop 2 again, at this time the rain came too so I was glad I was all warm and cozy in the car lol.

All in all despite the farking cold weather I had heaps of fun. The signage was insanely clear and you were never ever lost. I did think that the trails we did felt very man made, in the end I couldn’t help but feel that you really just had to climb up to the top of Mt. Stromlo in order to have fun going down.


6.30AM, stinging eyes but ready to roll.


7am at Zi’s. Dave’s Stagea is soooo hot. I love it. Lots.


M5.


A cyclocross event was happening.


Far from the best cyclocross bike there but unforunately the only one I got a snap of.


Decisions decisions!


Main map.


More trails!


Jing and Clifton just checking out some of the double diamond stuff.


At the very top of Mt. Stromlo these were these remains of an old observatory building.


I thought I’d go inside it and take a snap of the Reign.


We thought we’d check out the observatory building whilst we were here.


These things looked like space pods! So sci-fi cool.


Black Diamond warnings.


Loop 6.


Great signage througout.


Great names too.

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