For many years Lifecycle has been doing a ride up to O'Reillys Rainforest retreat high in the Green Mountains section of the Lamington National Park. It is a beautiful ride including the 30km ascent of the mountain up a narrow winding road to an elevation of close to 1000m!
The word snuck out that long time Lifecycle rider and former international road cyclist Warren Jennings was leading a ride up to the resort by an alternative route including a steep rutted 4-wheel drive track called Duck Creek Road our interest was immediate! The only problem was the lack of a CX bike which seemed necessary for such a journey. Not a problem says Wokka....I have got a selection of 25 and 28mm tyres which will go somewhat to converting a carbon fibre road bike into a suitable machine! No baking out now so a quick cassette change to a 12-27 and away we went!
It was a select group including Wokka, Snake (Ian Goodwin), Shem, Darren, Brian and yours truly Blair Stockwell. We met at Canungra for a 7.30am departure and headed out on a beautiful morning on the road towards Beaudesert.
Almost immediately we turned left and soon hit dirt roads which was a bit of a wakeup but at least it meant no cars! And like the rest of the day the views were stunning!
Our next obstacle came when the road ran out and we hit a farm gate! No worries said Wokka....he had already got permission to ride through on farm tracks that made last weeks Paris-Roubaix roads look like a highway. This section was probably the hardest of the day with lots of ruts especially on the downhill parts but it was still challenging and certainly very different!
Back onto the road but deep in the country by now so traffic was light and stress was low. Before long we came to the farm owned by the parents of well known local female cyclist Kym Shirley so a quick stop to say hello to John and Annette. What a beautiful spot and the big bonus was the plates of pikelets made by Annette for us! Certainly nice to get refueled before we hit the big climb!
Not long after that we turned up Duck Creek Road which we all knew was the road to the top of the mountain. For a start the road was nice and straight and perfectly sealed with the only obstacles being the cattle roaming about.
Next thing we started hitting the dirt again and it soon reared upwards. It soon became very steep and we split into ones and twos regrouping at the gates which we came on every so often. The road was steep at the start but traction was good although very rough on the odd downhill section we struck!
After a while we moved from eucalypt vegetation to rainforest and the track leveled out a little! The tough part was the rocky surface which stressed the arms and shoulders as we wrestled with the handlebars! Eventually we hit the top and saw the sign for Luke O'Reillys farm....a chance to look back at where we had come from!
As we hit the sealed road we turned right and headed for bthe O'Reillys resort area. A quick hamburger and coke and off we went down to Canungra! Probably the worst part of the ride dodging upcoming cars on the narrow winding mountain road. After a fun descent and a nice rolling run back into Canungra we all finished with big smiles and looking forward to the next off road adventure! We will do it again before too long so keep and ear out for the next time....it will be the most fun 95km you will ever do!