Tuggeranong Pines is tucked away down the very south of Canberra, just off the Monaro Highway, next to the Paintball fields.
The Pines have an abundance of trails more suited to your enduro and downhill riders and are a great place to enhance your skills and have some serious fun.
This place is awesome to get some cool footage of friends and the rock garden down the downhill track is probably the gnarliest I have seen in Canberra.
This spot definitely isn’t for your beginners and I would suggest all riders checkout there lines before heading down, to ensure all trails and jumps are clear.
Access up to the top of the trails is via the fire roads, and parking is just off the Monaro Highway. Same entry for the paintball fields.
Bruce Ridge is a huge nature reserve approximately 5 kilometers northwest of the Canberra City Centre. Located in the large bushland between the O’Connor and Gungahlin Drive Extension.
There have been trails in there since the 80’s. They weren’t necessarily legal but were the perfect spot for some good cross country, all mountain style single track.
Just so happened that in 2011, Friends of Bruce Ridge (FoBR) formed. They worked in consultation with the government to ensure sustainable trails were built to ensure all the natural conservation objectives were met.
And on the 31st of October 2015 Bruce Ridge Trails was formerly opened. Over a 100 signposts were installed along with trail head maps and signs.
This place is perfect for fast flowy single track riding. There are loads of trails all over the reserve and lots of different lines and loops to ride. Just keep an eye out for wildlife. And with all trails bi-directional, downhillers must stop and give way to those coming uphill.
When you're exhausted and ready for a break, it's a short roll down to O’Connor shops where you can pop into the Duxton for a beer and a pizza.
Trail maps can be found at https://bruceridge.org/maps-and-trails/
Parking can be found at Canberra Stadium Carpark, Masterman Street, when an event is not on, or Dryandra Street where there is a dirt carpark where you can pull up.
For more information checkout https://bruceridge.org
Majura Pines Mountain Bike Trails are some of the oldest in Canberra. I remember racing out there back in the late 90’s for the ACT Schoolboys championships. This place is seriously awesome.
Due to the construction of the new Majura Parkway a lot of the old trails are now gone, however thanks to the Majura Pines Trail Alliance new trails have been built.
Built in amongst the pine forest on the side of Mount Majura, there are trails for all levels. There are nice steep technical climbs and nice flowing cross country trails to get the heart racing. Riding up Barry is I think probably one of the hardest climbs in Canberra. But damn it’s rewarding. Then there is the choice of taking Larry back down or shooting down Rock Lobster. Either trail is awesome. At the moment I really like Rock Lobster. It's fast, flowy and technical in sections. Just be careful coming into the rock garden. It creeps up on you fast.
If it’s you're first time out there I’d suggest checking out the trail up Winery Hill. At the top it has a beautiful view of the Winery and if the sunlight is just right, it's the perfect spot to take a few photos.
Some trails are bi-directional but some aren’t, just make sure to follow the posted signs.
Majura Pines also has loads of beginner trails amongst the trees at the bottom of the mountain, and are perfect to get a good feel for the trails before heading higher up the mountain.
Checkout the trail map at http://majurapines.org/maps/Majura_Pines_trails.pdf
For more information on Majura Pines Mountain Bike Trails Checkout the Majura Pines Trail Alliance website.
Located, in the Weston Creek area, Mount Stromlo has some of the best mountain bike trails in Canberra. There are trails all over the mountain, meaning lots of variety and lots of fun.
My usual run is up blue gums through to ABC switchbacks all the way to the top of western wedge tail and then down skyline following the trails back to the trailhead.
The climb up to the top takes approximately 30 minutes depending on fitness level, and the run back down will take about 10-15 again depending on fitness level. Be sure to take lots of photos up top. The views of the brindabellas is just incredible.
One of my favorite trails to ride out there right now is pork barrel and double dissolution. They’re fast and technical and that's what I love.
All the trails are posted making it super easy to navigate and all suggested loops are mapped out and shown down at the trailhead to make things easy.
However there are trails for all levels out at Stromlo. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced rider there are loads of trails to ride.
Whether you're a local or travelling from interstate its always worth checking out the Stromlo Forest Park website in case of races or even for information regarding trails repairs after heavy storms.
For more information checkout http://www.stromloforestpark.com.au
For Stromlo Forrest Park trail maps http://www.stromloforestpark.com.au/images/maps/SFP_MTBLOOPS_01.pdf
What to pack if you're planning to Hike and Snowboard in the Backcountry for the day…
A friend of mine recently asked myself and some friends of ours to come out into the Australian backcountry for the day. Straight away I was pumped. I had spent some time in the backcountry in other parts of the world but I had never been out past the resorts here in Australia and was keen to see some new sites. First thing that was asked is what do we need to take, what should we carry? Mind you I'm only talking a day trip. Not overnight. And based on spending 7 or 8 hours out in the mountains.
After a few emails back and forth here's the list that my friend put together. Bare in mind my friend has a lot of experience in the backcountry and has a good knowledge of the terrain and landscape, however I feel this list would be a great starting point for most day trip scenarios. I'll break it down into categories.
Clothing (Starting from the bottom layer)
That’s pretty much it. That’s what we had for the day. It was amazing out there. We hit the Southern Ramshead in Kosciuszko National Park. Check out my Instagram for a couple of photos and vids of the day.
Also before you head out make sure to check out all the latest local weather forecasts and avalanche reports. Play it safe.
Anything you think we have missed feel free to hit us up and let me know in the comments section below.
Having been asked by a few friends now what they should look for in a mountain bike, it made me think. Where does one start? How much should they spend? What is going to be the best bang for buck? And what if it's just not for them?
I guess it really comes down to three things initially. What style of riding do they want to do? How serious are they? And what their budget is?
Honestly, you could go a few ways. However, let’s say this individual has only ever really ridden around the streets and lakes and never really done much off road. They want to ride some cross country single track, fire trails and has a budget of about 2k. I know that sounds like a lot, and honestly it will come down to how often you plan on riding it. If you are serious, spending less than that, will have you looking to upgrade in 6 months.
My opinion? Start with a 29er, front suspension hardtail mountain bike. So what is it?
A front suspension hardtail mountain bike is a bike that has suspension up front helping absorb impacts from the front wheel. A hardtail is exactly that, meaning it has no rear suspension to absorb impacts from the rear wheel. 29er is wheel size, 29 inches being the diameter.
Why a 29er front suspension hardtail?
29er’s are a great all rounder, they are well balanced, stable, you get the advantage of a greater rolling speed, and bigger wheels roll over obstacles easier. The front suspension will help make for a smoother ride and absorb some of those impacts. And all in all, this is for someone who is a beginner wanting to get out on the mountain to have some fun.
The last thing you want is to buy a bike, that feels like it's hard to climb so you are forever hating life. You want a bike that is fun to ride up and fun to take back down.
A hardtail is great to learn on. It helps you learn how to corner and absorb certain obstacles naturally. Don't get me wrong, I’m talking cross country trails not technical downhill style trails.
All manufacturers have size guides to reference and these are a great starting point. However, nothing beats getting on one to see how it really feels.
Unfortunately there is no one-bike-fits all. Different bikes are required for different styles. However, if you’re just starting out and want something to get out there and have some fun; a 29er hardtail with a little bit of front suspension is definitely the way to go.
Getting back on the bike.
It's been years since I have been on a bike and riding consistently. Back in the day I would ride my pushbikes twenty-four seven, to the point where I was riding in my lunch breaks in my free periods, before school, after school, before work and after work. I loved it.
But over time the injuries started to mount up and I knew it was time to change things up a little. I started focusing more on snowboarding, and weight lifting.
As time passed I missed that feeling. So a few of my friends and I decided it was time to get back on the bikes and get back to the mountains.
The first few rides were hard, really hard. I’ve always stayed fit but once you're on that bike and you're on that trail there's no turning back. It’s easy to forget how much your legs burn, how much lactic acid builds up. But at the same time you love it.
Those first few rides I had no choice but to stop every few hundred meters. It was agony. I was constantly reaching for my water bottle, trying to catch my breath and slow my heart rate. It was hard to believe how much cardiovascular fitness I had lost. You don’t even think twice when you’re younger, you just do it. But I knew I had to start somewhere.
No matter what, you know you need to persevere, you know you need to push through it. It makes the reward all the more satisfying.
Then you get to the top. You feel this sense of achievement. Taking in the views and your surroundings, while breathing in the fresh air. It's a feeling of peace, a place where nothing else matters and all your worries are left behind. After finally catching your breath, you know it's time for real fun to begin… the descent.
Riding the trail down is where you can just let go and where all your senses take over. It's like total freedom. Being able to just flow over your obstacles and ride hard and fast. There’s nothing like it.
And this is the feeling that I live for...