Cycle Melbourne, Mountain BIke Ride, The Pines Singletrack
A challenging singletrack race course through a pine forest, developed by the hard working volunteers from Rocky Riders MTB Club. This ride is technically challenging, however if your skills are limited you can still enjoy much of the course if you walk the difficult parts. This ride flows beautifully and it is a credit to those who developed the course. After one lap, you will hardly need directions. At the time of going to print, part of this ride has been impacted by logging, however some good sections remain intact.
Climbs are relatively short and you do most of them in the early part of the ride. This sets you up for some flowing downhill sections. The course is regularly maintained, however, you can expect some changes in the layout following storm damage or heavy use. Like most pine forest rides, there is plenty of shelter, making it ideal for summer riding. Track surface is hard and drains well in winter.
One of the best features of this course is the natural feel it has. Obstacles are rock outcrops or fallen trees, rather than constructed items. As you would expect, there are plenty of tight turns through narrow spaces between the trees and these are nicely balanced by faster flowing stretches.
Once you learn the course after your first ride you will want to return for more!
The course is situated in a pine plantation about three kilometres north east of Castlemaine.
By car: Castlemaine is a comfortable one and a half hour drive (120 kilometres) northwest of Melbourne via the Calder Freeway. (Melway X909 D6.) Take the Castlemaine turn off and when you reach town go to the car park in Forest Street, at the rear of the information centre.
By train: A fast and comfortable train service from Melbourne takes around an hour and a half from Southern Cross station. Bikes can be taken on the train but if travelling in a group you will need to confirm space is available by ringing V/Line on 136 196 or (03) 8608 5011.
To reach start of ride, depart Castlemaine taking the Pyrenees Highway east for around 1.4km; turn left on Murphy Street, then left onto Colles Road; continue to intersection of Colles and Clarks roads Castlemaine, opposite the gun club facility. Start point is the entrance fence-line.
Food and Drink
You can stock up for your ride at Castlemaine Township ~3km. Afterwards, a great cycle-friendly café is the Theatre Royal, next door to bike shop, in Hargraves Street.
Forest Creek Historic Gold Mine is close by. It is on the Pyrenees Highway a short distance from Colles Road, opposite Farran Street (well signed and easy to find). Many of our other rides pass through ruins from the gold era.
Allow plenty of time to explore the historic town of Castlemaine. The information centre contains a wealth of fascinating historical and tourist information.