Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Ivanhoe Explorer
This is a very pleasant jaunt that meanders beside the bends of the Yarra. Halfway through the ride you get to enjoy fun sections of non-technical singletrack and a beautiful stretch of scenic trail with several loops to explore. The mix of sealed bike path and singletrack makes this an ideal suburban ride for a family or anyone wanting an easy transition from bike paths. The ride meets the main Yarra bike path then re-traces the original route to the start/finish.
The first part of this ride is a little deceptive, going from a fairly rough bit of gravel track, which is subject to flooding, onto a concrete path. There is a small singletrack network on the left after the Horseshoe Billabong and another little bit on the other side of the
Eastern Freeway underpass but the real action doesn’t start until you’ve ridden five kilometres. Here you slip past a rusted-metal eel sculpture and behind the Veneto Club into a quiet stretch of singletrack beside the Yarra that only attracts the occasional dog walker. The river flows lazily on your left, the birds sing, life’s good. You pass the long-abandoned site of the Bulleen drive-in before emerging back in civilisation on Banksia Street. If the river is flowing not so lazily, you may have to detour slightly here to reach the main road.
Once you’ve crossed the bridge over the Yarra it’s back into the singletrack network on the other side of the river, with lots of shade and short stretches on the Main Yarra Trail to rest your legs. After the 8.2km mark there is a beautiful stretch of trail with several loops running off it. You meet the Main Yarra Trail then head back over the first section to the finish.
Watch for the information boards depicting the work of members of the ‘Heidelberg School’, who painted along this stretch of the river. In the wetter months this ride can get slippery and rutted and is best avoided, but in the warmer weather it is ideal to be beside the river.
The ride starts in suburban Ivanhoe, about eight kilometres from the CBD. Turn on to The Boulevard, Ivanhoe, from Heidelberg Road just down from Ivanhoe Cycles and the Darebin railway station. Proceed for just under one kilometre to Wilson Reserve car park downhill on the right (Melway 31 F10).
Train: Take the train to Darebin station and proceed as above to the start.
Food and Drink
There’s a café after 1.6km at the Ivanhoe Public Golf Course, another at the Freeway Public Golf Course after 3.8km and a restaurant at the Veneto Club (5.1km).
Turn this into a cultural experience by visiting the Heide Museum of Modern Art, off Manningham Road. (Melway 32 E4)
15.042 km / 9.347 mi
111 m / 364 ft
40 m / 130 ft