Cycle Melbourne, Mountain Bike Ride, Sandy Riders' Delight

This is a bit like the infamous Paris Roubaix road race but instead of cobbles you have sections of soft sandy track to test your strength and bike handling skills. Soon after the start you ride a rough loose surfaced track beside massive market gardens before a quiet country lane takes you to some singletrack and sandy fire track skirting Greens Bush in the national park. Plenty of kangaroos and wallabies before the loose sand challenge and a downhill run, then road side singletrack to return.

At the time of writing, the local council was planning to develop a MTB-friendly track beside the sandy sections of trail. The start is the same location for ride 74 (Greens Bush) and shares the same return route.

This is a much tougher challenge and packs a range of contrasting experiences as you travel through seldom visited parts of the Mornington Peninsula. Old Cape Schanck Road was once popular with off-road motor cyclists but they have now been excluded. The old road reserve is wide with areas of sand so the best option is to keep near the right hand fence. As more cyclists use the course a good singletrack will develop. To your right you will see large areas of recently developed market gardens and behind the hedge to your left is the vast exportoriented Lamattina vegetable growers’ property.

A couple of dirt roads take you on a gentle climb to the edge of Greens Bush and the vegetation changes rapidly as you enter one of the few remaining eucalypt forests on the peninsula. There’s a short section of singletrack before a dirt based fire access track takes you back to Rogers Road. Along the way you will see some very enticing walking tracks but please do not ride on them as they are closed to cyclists. Negotiations are well under way to gain greater access for cyclists and observing existing regulations will assist this process.

The end of Rogers Road marks the start of the sandy track challenge and it is tough going. There are tracks made by the roos and wallabies, and the bush is quite stunning with numerous grass trees and eucalypts. Over time a good singletrack can develop if we ride close to the right hand fence and further along on Limestone Road, close to the left hand fence where there is already some singletrack. From the end of Limestone Road, the ride shares the same route as ride 74 Greens Bush and you enjoy a largely downhill run home.

Access

This ride is located near Main Ridge, on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour and a half south east of Melbourne; Melway map 170 E9. From Melbourne, take the Nepean Highway, Eastlink and Mornington Peninsula freeway. Exit the freeway at Boneo Road then left at Browns Road and continue to Grasslands Road. Drive to end of Grasslands to where the formed road ends, adjacent to property number 45.

Food and Drink

Nothing available on the ride. Closest available is Rosebud shopping precinct, about 4km from the start.

Side Trip

Peninsula Hot Springs (Melway 252 A2) is perfect for a post ride soak and/or meal and massage. Plus – you can buy fresh vegetables direct from the grower a short distance from the start in Browns Road, near Boneo Road (Melway 170 A12).

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Head back along Grasslands Rd the way you arrived.
  • 1.4 Cross Browns Rd and turn right alongside the tall hedge.
  • 2.2 Cross the stile and turn left onto Old Cape Schanck Rd. Parts of this track are very sandy so keep to the right-hand side, near the fence line as you pass market gardens.
  • 4.0 Turn left at Limestone Rd.
  • 4.6 Turn right at Grasslands Rd.
  • 5.9 Keep going straight ahead, passing Curzon Rd on your left.
  • 7.0 At the end of Grasslands Rd, turn left onto Patterson Rd. Good sections of road side singletrack.
  • 8.4 Turn right onto Rogers Rd.
  • 9.5 At the end of Rogers Rd, cross horse stile and go straight ahead on the singletrack.
  • 10.4 Turn left at the Greens Bush sign.
  • 10.7 Keep going straight ahead, downhill, passing the long point sign on your right; then after 100m turn left onto the sandy fire track. Please observe the ‘no cycling’ signs which apply to all adjacent tracks.
  • 11.8 Veer left at the track junction.
  • 12.0 Exit the park and turn right onto Rogers Rd.
  • 13.1 Keep going on Rogers Rd, passing Patterson Rd on your left. There is some good singletrack on right hand side of road.
  • 14.2 Cross the stile and go straight ahead on the sandy track. Keep to the right-hand side near the fence line.
  • 15.5 Turn right onto Limestone Rd (market gardens and views of the bay). This is another sandy section. Keep to the left hand side of the road, beside the fence.
  • 16.7 Turn left at Hyslops Rd at the Browns Rd sign. Then cross the stile and keep going straight ahead.
  • 19.3 At the end of Hyslops Rd, turn left onto the road side singletrack beside Browns Rd; continue downhill.
  • 20.8 Turn left and continue beside Browns Rd.
  • 21.3 Turn right onto Grasslands Rd.
  • 22.6 Finish.
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    22.429 km / 13.937 mi

    Total Distance

    418 m / 1,372 ft

    Total Ascent

    402 m / 1,318 ft

    Total Descent

    178 m / 583 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Advanced (Black)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: High
    MTB Segment: flow
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 22.5
    Elevation Gain: 245
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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