Tuesday, 4 March 2014

#HowHardCanIMakeMyRideHome (S57 & Radfords Track)

So this is a fairly typical example of how things happen in my life ...

Firstly I get an innocuous email from Chris Hardinge letting me know about his Aficianado T-Shirt range and after buying one, I realise that his list of local legendary trails includes a trail called the S57 which I've never ridden ...



I therefore put it out there that I intend to ride it.

Around the same time, I catch up with Peter Mellows from Wild Bike Tours who mentions (in an unrelated conversation and before I put up my blog post about my intentions) that he was thinking of taking a client down the S57 on one of his Mount Wellington rides, but he came cross some no entry signs, so he didn't.

Doubt sets in and I postpone the ride, but it's sitting there calling me ...

S57 ... oh so tempting ...
A week later, it's Monday morning, I'm not particularly motivated to get to work early ... so I decide to ride in the long way and check out the S57 ...

After a slog over the top of Tolmans Hill, and a few wrong turns, I finally get to the start of the S57 track ... and find out that, as I'd been warned, there is a very obvious sign at the trail head indicated that it is private property and we shouldn't ride there ...


I therefore continue on down the road onto some other tracks and eventually roll into work late (9:20am), feeling a tiny bit disappointed that I haven't ridden the S57 but overall pretty chuffed due to a whole lot of other trails I did get to ride this morning and really enjoy ...





That day I see a post on the Hobart MTB Rides facebook page about a ride up Radfords Track ...


Which reminds me that Radfords Track is on my "to do list' following notification the other week that the new chicanes have been installed ...


And so I think to myself  "instead of just riding up waterworks and over Tolmans to get home ... why don't I chuck in an extra leg and go and check out Radfords track as well?"

This sounded like a great idea (sitting in my nice air conditioned office gazing out at Mt Wellington) and I congratulated myself on my genius fully and unconditionally.

The idea just got better when I remembered that there was also that other little bit of track I had noticed months and months ago on one of Jason Unwin's rides which cut up from Huon Road to Bracken Lane and which I could check out on my way up to Radfords ... now where was that ... ah yep, here it is ....


I had a quick look on ListMap to just remind myself where that piece of track was  and when doing so noticed another whole new track running around Tolmans which I couldn't recall checking out before ... (Footnote - because I got distracted by this track, I forgot to check out the Unwin section and so I completely missed it on both the way up and the way down though I did find another new track on the way down)

Track highlighted in yellow ...
As I was to discover, I had actually been on this track before but had wiped it from my memory because it is so not very fun ... doubly so when you do an endo on the first section over a stupid little branch because you're not paying attention ...



But I wasn't to know of any of the problems that were to come when sitting and thinking about these things in my office.   Nope, I was just getting excited about an idea ... How Hard Can I Make My Ride Home (and still get back before dark)?

... to find out, I threw in a few extra back trails I knew up at Mt Nelson ...


... and figured I had a pretty good route to go check out.

Come 5pm, I clocked off and set off home ... the hard way ...

St Davids Park .. the ride begins (not seeming so hard)
Proof I made it to the Springs 
Checking out the new chicanes on Radfords ...
They can seem tight, but plenty of room for experienced cyclists
(who are the most likely to tackle Radfords)
There are quite a lot of them though ...
Checking out new trails (ie. lost and on the wrong path).
Last glimpses of Hobart before the sun sets (Above waterworks)
Someone put a sign out here just for me ...
(or maybe it's a headstone?)
... three hours, 25kms and 1000 metres of climbing later I stumbled through my front door, bruised, bloody and a bit dehydrated but pretty darn happy with my ride home.

I'll never do that section around Tolmans again (if for no other reason than it dropped me out on private property, though the caretaker was pretty cool about it when he saw all the blood coming down my leg) but the concept of #HowHardCanIMakeMyRideHome ... that's a winner.

Furthermore, if you've ever wondered how I decide when and where to ride ... now you know how my mind stitches stupid, random ideas together into something that I think sounds like fun.

If you've ever wondered why Kim gets so frustrated with my ability to decide where I'm going to ride, well now you get that as well ...

As to my idea of #HowHardCanIMakeMyRideHome ... any takers?

Talking of, looks like I have a new ride to add to the to do list already ...

3 comments:

  1. As much as I'm sure you love a challenge, that "ride" will haunt be for years to come. I've been looking at Constance Road (into Cygnet) as a better route, but it depends on the gate status of that road, and some LIST research. The first part of the track (from the cross-roads before Trestle Mountain) is amazing, though.

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  2. Whoops I mean Grey Mountain

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    1. I remember when I used to ride my motorbike through there in my misspent youth ... There used to be two ways down to Cygnet but they were both shut down by private landowners many years ago.

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