Sassafras - Ride One

Cycle Melbourne, Road Ride, Sassafras - Rides One & Two

This is a popular training ride for many serious road cyclists. If you’re on your mountain bike though, there’s no reason you couldn’t tackle this and then have the bonus of a downhill run on a rough gravel road that loops through Sassafras and Olinda then leads you right back to the start. Make your way to the roundabout at the junction of Forest Road and Mountain Highway. There are a few shops there and toilets close by if you need a break before heading off.

Once you start, the ride is uphill all the way and will really test your fitness. Don’t worry if you need to pull off the road at some point and catch your breath, just pretend you’ve stopped to enjoy the scenery; the views back towards the city are magnificent. The vegetation along the way is typical of this part of the Dandenongs and offers plenty of respite on a warm day. Be aware though that this is a bushfire prone area, and in the summer months, it’s worth considering other ride options on high fire risk days and definitely stay away during days of total fire bans.

There are plenty of options for road bikes and mountain bikes in this area so this ride could be part of a bigger day out. With a little planning, you could easily spend the day in the Dandenong Ranges, and finding a nice spot for lunch or a late breakfast shouldn’t be a great challenge. Just look for the biggest collection of riderless bikes to find the most popular eating spots. You’ll notice many walking trails cross the roads in various parts. Take note that they are just that, walking trails, and mountain bikes are forbidden from designated walking trails. Don’t despair though, Parks Victoria have allocated plenty of trails as shared paths and cyclists are required to stick to these.

On weekends particularly, Ride One is extremely popular and care should be taken on the descent back down as you share the road with other cyclists, motorists and motorcyclists and people’s ability to corner varies considerably. Ensure your bike is in excellent mechanical shape before tackling this ride and ensure you hold your line on both the ascent and descent. If you are a roadie looking for more kilometres you can easily link this ride with Ride 46 around Silvan Reservoir for a good day in the hills.


By train go to Bayswater station, then ride up Mountain Highway to the start, or ride up Forest Road from Boronia station.

Food and Drink

There are shops at the start and at the top of the climb along Mount Dandenong Tourist Road where you can get refreshments.

Trail map

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7.098 km / 4.411 mi

Total Distance

305 m / 1,001 ft

Total Ascent

6 m / 20 ft

Total Descent

487 m / 1,596 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Kid friendly
Rail Trail
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
Fitness Level: High
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Mobile Coverage: Limited
Estimated Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 405
First Aid
Bike hire
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle / uber
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