Fox Creek rides
My last couple of rides have been out around Fox Creek. The first ride involved a gentle pedal up the Linear Park and the Gorge from our place, and then a long climb up Fox Creek to the top of Croft Road.
I'd hate to miss this on the way down!
From Croft Road I took Mawson Road around to Blockers Road.
The weather forecast was for no rain, but there was a constant light spit across the top of the hills; the sort of thing which means you have to keep wiping your glasses dry even though your clothes don't get wet! It was cold, and had the feel of "winter around the corner."
Blockers Road is a long plunge down from the range, mostly gravel, where you lose more than 200 metres and then have to claw most of it back up Pound Road, all this in 6km. Blockers is not the sort of road where you let the bike have its head. The gravel is often a bit slushy, the road is narrow, and the corners are tight. It's a careful ride, with the grade exceeding -10% in places. I came home down Norton Summit Road with a great view of the city.
My second ride took the same route up the Gorge as far as Castambul and then turned right up the Mawson Trail. I've ridden down here, and recall there were a couple of places where I had a foot on the ground because it was too guttered and slushy to ride safely on touring tyres. Riding up is another matter altogether.
Things begin gently enough on Bachelor Road and then get 18% serious. You know that when a scrappy track in the hills is replaced by a stretch of bitumen, you're in trouble!
I think the bitumen was put in to assist trucks using the road during the time the Kangaroo Creek Dam was being upgraded. Once past the bitumen, this part of the track is all gravel and slush with no hope of traction for a touring bike. That dark red on the climb profile below is all the 12%+ slope. I had a question about which road to take near the bottom of the climb and put the cue "Which Way?" into the GPS… in the event it was obvious that the only way was up!
The views from up here are stunning, with multiple vantage points to observe Kangaroo Creek Dam from an unusual perspective.
There is also the occasional view out to the coast.
The climb is about 6km, and I reckon I spent towards 2 of those walking, sometimes with trouble keeping my foothold!
Stand up here to keep your front wheel on the ground, and traction disappears. But keeping traction means a front wheel off the ground with a chance of tipping yourself over the edge. It would not be pretty. The slope off to the left of this photo would be a challenge in hiking boots, let alone trying to retrieve a bike wearing cleats! I walked.
Coming home from the top is a blast. It's an easy ride along Croft Road past the Mountain Bike Park and then a fast downhill on Fox Creek Road and the Gorge. A good day both times. (April 4, 2023)