Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Beale Avenue Blast
This is a companion ride to Cadel’s Col (Ride 41), sharing the same ascent and descent near the Kinglake Ranges, and provides great endurance training or touring in superb country for any fit cyclist. The ride features constant non-technical climbing and descending including one challenging ascent up Bowden Spur as you travel from the Strathewen Valley to Kinglake. There’s magnificent scenery as you traverse the rolling farmlands, and also spectacular views from the spur.
Just after leaving the reservoir you greet the first of many short hills before turning onto dirt. Deep Creek Road begins with a steep descent then settles into rolling hills. Eagles Nest Road has views down to apple orchards before heading towards Mount Sugarloaf with its light green covering of post-fire regrowth.
There is a short section of narrow sealed road as you enter the Strathewen district that was devastated by the 2009 fires. You pass by the rebuilt primary school before rejoining Bowden Spur Road. The spur zigzags its way under powerlines. Part way up the climb you can see a deep gorge to the left, and on the right, sections of the Bowden Spur Downhill course.
In good weather, views from the top of the climb, towards Melbourne, are spectacular. In winter you can often be in low cloud and hear the powerlines crackling in the moist air. There is a magnificent avenue of tall gums as you enter Beale Avenue. Don’t be seduced by the gentle start of the descent, as it gets quite steep, and you can meet a vehicle at any time. There is another short jaunt on a narrow sealed road before hitting the dirt on Eagles Nest Road and returning the way you came.
Our ride starts at the beautiful Yan Yean Reservoir, about 35 kilometres north of Melbourne. From Melbourne, take the C727, Plenty Road, then access the reservoir from Reserve and Reservoir roads. Set your computer to zero at the top car park.
Food and Drink
Bring all you need and have a picnic or barbecue at the reservoir where there are plenty of picnic spots available, including wood-fired barbecues, and a playground.
Plenty of walks, picnic spots and spaces for recreation around the reservoir.
The start point for this ride is in the car park, off Reservoir Rd, that services the northern picnic area.
0.0 Head towards the southern picnic area along sealed road, which tracks the edge of the reservoir wall, and continue through the park.
1.3 You pass another car park and picnic area.
1.4 Turn right, and then a short distance later turn left at the gates to exit the park.
1.8 Turn left into Arthurs Creek Rd and watch for traffic. You may travel this uphill section on the road, or use the dirt/gravel on the left-hand side of the road.
3.9 At the intersection, turn left onto Ridge Rd (gravel).
8.3 In the distance ahead, you can see a scar down the mountain – this is Bowden Spur Rd, your climbing destination.
9.1 Turn right onto Deep Creek Rd. Take care on the descent then continue along the gravel road through rolling farmlands.
11.8 Keep going straight ahead past Running Creek Rd.
13.3 Turn left at Brennan’s Rd East. Climb for ~ 500m. Some fairly steep undulations over the next few kms.
15.7 Turn left into Eagles Nest Rd.
16.0 Continue straight ahead (Minchins Rd on your left).
16.2 Continue through undulating countryside. Glimpses of Bowden Spur ahead as you pass orchards on your right.
17.3 Keep going along Eagles Nest Rd (Harrys Rd on your left).
22.4 Y-intersection – turn right into Chadds Creek Rd (sealed road), passing houses on your left.
22.6 Turn left onto School Ridge Rd. You will pass the school on your left.
23.0 Sealed road ends. Continue on gravel, uphill, through regenerating eucalypts.
23.6 Keep going straight ahead (Gregory’s Ln on your left).
24.4 T-intersection – turn right onto Bowden Spur Rd.
25.0 Continue along Bowden Spur Rd (Rankines Rd to your right).
27.8 If you look closely you can see a gravel path to your right. This is part of the downhill course.
28.8 Near the top of climb, in the field to your left you’ll see a small toilet facility built specifically to cater for cyclists using the downhill course.
29.4 At the T-intersection, turn left onto WhittleseaKinglake Rd. Use the sealed road or the shared gravel pathway to its right.
30.0 Continue along Whittlesea-Kinglake Rd, past Extons Rd on your right.
31.3 Turn left into Beale Ave.
32.3 Keep going straight ahead (Rifle Ridge Rd on your right).
33.7 Take care for the next few km – it gets steep and fast, on dirt and gravel, and you could meet a car at any time.
36.9 Keep going (O’Deas Rd on your left). Cross the little bridge.
37.0 At the T-intersection turn left onto sealed road. You begin to retrace your steps to the finish, starting with Chadds Creek Rd.
38.7 Turn hard right onto Eagles Nest Rd.
43.7 Continue straight ahead (Harrys Rd on your right).
45.0 Keep going (Minchins Rd on your right).
45.5 Turn right into Brennans Rd East.
47.8 At the T-intersection, turn right onto Deep Creek Rd.
49.3 At the intersection with Running Creek Rd, keep going along Deep Creek Rd.
52.0 Turn left at the T-intersection onto Ridge Rd.
57.2 Turn right at the intersection, onto Arthurs Creek Rd (sealed).
59.3 Turn right onto Recreation Rd.
59.6 Turn right into Yan Yean Reservoir Park. After a short distance, turn left, following the roadway over a small bridge, through the park, passing a car park and picnic ground. (Yan Yean retaining wall to your right).
60.8 Y-intersection: follow road to left and continue through the park.