It was 5am Australia Day morning and 23 degrees, the skies were overcast and there were some dark clouds with the odd light shower of cooling rain. A perfect morning for our first Daisy Hill ride for the year.
I jumped out of the Colorado, it had been quite a few weeks since my last ride with PK at Daisy Hill Conservation Park and that didn’t end pretty! Last time we were here I bounced off a tree and hurtled into the forest landing on my side with a crushing blow and a stake in my right arm, the result, a trip to the emergency ward, after breakfast of course, and 8 stitches.
It was time to face my demons and get back on the GIANT horse that threw me!
After recent rains the trails had been washed clean. Daisy drains well so despite the heavy rains it was still solid under wheel and perfect for an early morning pedal.
As we made our way from the Duck Pond on Underwood Road up along 2nd Cummin to the Five-Ways it was nice to see a few Wallabies to welcome us back. It is so peaceful and their are not too many other bikes on the trails yet although I am sure it will be a busy day.
From the Five-ways it was a nice run down the Tunnel of Love, I was in the lead so this was my chance to pick the right line through the Rock Garden and make PK proud. My line was to the left as this seemed to be the shortest and most well worn path.
The Tunnel of Love continues down and through the fence line to become the Koala Trail, a nice flowing trail that you can really pick up some speed before again reaching the Stringy Bark fire trail link road.
Turning off the main trail we then headed up Ripley’s, an awesome single track climb through the open wooded forest. Daisy Hill is a special place and the forest can change from one side of the hill to the other providing plenty of variety and different riding conditions.
At the end of Ripley’s, we decided to take a right hand turn and head up the short Gilligan’s trail, only 450m but a link we hadn’t ridden before so we thought we’d take a look. Linking again with the fire trail we headed back to the Five-Ways via the SpeedLink which is always a quick down hill run to the creek. The ride through the valley looks like a scene out of Jurassic Park, with the large ferns and the thick undergrowth.
Although the run down is free flowing and a short cut back to the Five-ways there is still a bit of climb back up. After about 12k’s of riding under the belt this climb can be quite challenging.
It was nice to reach the top and the cooling breeze at the Five-Ways was a welcome relief. After a short breather it was then down Possum Box, stopping briefly to visit the scene of the accident to see if I could find the culprit spear that caused all the damage to my right forearm last time I passed.
With Possum Box cleared without incident it was then just the short ride out through Mad Max and Choc Buddah back to the awaiting Colorado’s at the Duck Pond.
It had been a great first ride of the year on the Daisy Trails for Australia Day and after loading up the bikes it was time for the usual breakfast stop at the Rochedale Deli Cafe, a favourite among many of the riders after a active morning on the trails.