Saturday, 25 May 2013

Tahune MTB Marathon (exploration)

If you haven't heard of it, the Tahune MTB Marathon was a brilliant mountain bike race that ran for several years starting and finishing at the Tahune Airwalk, where (unlike the Frickin' Convict 100) you get to ride across the 'bridge' that is the centerpoint of their advertising no matter which event (50km/100km) you entered.

Sorry, had to get that convict thing off my chest.

Tahune MTB Course ... 
Unfortunately the race was last run back in 2010, and many of the best sections have been lost to encroaching bush ...
Track, Oh track ... where art thou track ...
and overuse by 4wd's ...

Track, oh track, please get me of this track ...
Now, I usually get down this way at least once a year and ride the 50km course, often throwing in an extra side trip to Reuben Falls and Glovers Bluff, but I have never, and I mean never, ridden the second half of the course in it's entirety.

Which is why, when prompted by Kim's suggestion that "we go riding somewhere, and I don't care where" I decided that this weekend could be the weekend that we'd finally ride that other 50km loop ...

To help you get your bearings ... the white loop is the full Tahune MTB route (ridden in a counter clockwise direction from
the Tahune Airwalk).  The red line is the usual route I ride when following the 50km course.  The blue line
(for reference) is the current Tasmanian Trail route and the big white loop in the middle is the loop we planned to ride today.
Regular readers will be pleased to hear that for once we didn't stop at Banjos and have a horrid breakfast, but that's about as far as the good news on this trip goes.  Once we had our bikes unpacked, we made it exactly 1km from the car (we parked near the Southwood Bridge) before we lost the track when it was meant to turn off the road onto some actual trail ...


If you zoom in on the image above, you can see me searching around trying to find the trailhead, and trust me there was no track there to be followed unless you wanted to go bush bashing big time.

We therefore skipped this short little bit and headed down Edwards Link then Edwards Spur 3 and then (I think) Edwards Road and finally Edwards Spur 1 ...  We followed this beautiful little overgrown coupe road down the hill and around plantation getting excited about being about to hit some single track ...


and instead we just found ourselves at the end of a track with a wall of bush in front of us in all directions ...
Searching for the track ...
Unperturbed, we had a good search around for the track as you can see below ...


But it was all to no avail.  We were in for a big bush bash (for who knew how long or how far) or a back-track.

We opted to backtrack, and to be honest that was pretty much our day, even though we cycled another 25-30kms from our turn around point to complete a 40km circuit.  It was just that the riding was all on roads ...



So there's still sections out there that need exploring in my book ...

Blue line was out actual route ...
But another day, another day.

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