Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Black Range Spur
Y ou are bound to finish this with a smile! I like to plan rides that climb soon after the start, gain plenty of height then set you up for a grin inducing descent. This one does all that and more. A gentle middle ring climb through very beautiful native vegetation is followed by a block of pine plantation. Some of this has been recently logged, opening up great views. As you proceed, distant views from the Black Range spur are quite magnificent and all the more beautiful because of your climbing effort. The descent which follows is not technical, just a lot of fun.
There is plenty of shade throughout the ride but in cooler weather be sure to take a warm top because you climb quite high and a sudden weather change can lead to dangerous conditions. One of the really satisfying features of this ride is the sense of achievement you feel when you look back down the valley after turning onto SEC road and see where you have ridden from. This also gives you an idea of the descending to come. It is an ideal ride for people with little experience of bush riding because the navigation is simple and it gives a good introduction to the riding opportunities in the area.
Don’t be mislead by the names on the map. Some so called ‘roads’ on this ride give the feel of singletrack. On the descent you often have a thin layer of leaf litter, a bit of regrowth encroaching on the trail and a fast singletrack down the middle. Chute Road is a gentle downhill which begins by following contours around the Black Range ridge and it has a few undulations to begin with. Some caution is needed as you suddenly encounter a couple of areas with loose rock, which is quite a contrast to most of the trail surface. As you approach Pound Break the bush changes character and the remnant rainforest gives a real sense of isolation.
The riding here is a real grin inducer! It has one steep section, then the rest flows beautifully giving a fast descent on a good surface continuing all the way down to Billy Creek Track. It is easy to miss the Billy Creek turn because you are likely to be travelling quite fast. The final section on Billy Creek continues to descend all the way to the finish.
Melway map X910 S9. Take Maroondah Highway, through Healesville and Narbethong to Buxton, about 105km from Melbourne. Eight kilometres past Buxton, turn left onto Glendale Lane and drive 6.5 kilometres to Billy Creek Track passing Connelly Creek Road and Morris Track. At the Glendale Lane/Friday Creek sign, veer right. Billy Creek Track is 100 metres further on your right.
Food and Drink
No facilities at the start. This is a bush riding experience and you will need to be self reliant. The closest place for provisions is Buxton, where there is a café, milk bar, toilets. Local hotel for evening meals.
If you are a keen fly fisher there are some fine spots close by. If you like to hike and rock scramble, the Cathedral Ranges are a short distance north of Buxton. Good hiking opportunities, including a climb to the top of the range for spectacular views down the valley.
19.221 km / 11.943 mi
814 m / 2,670 ft
741 m / 2,430 ft
695 m / 2,279 ft