For a while now, my friend Warren had been trying to get me out to try ride the Goat Track, a mostly flat-packed dirt road that connects Mt Glorious Road and Mt Nebo Road out in the north west of Brisbane. This road had recently reopened after a few years out of action, a consequence of a number of storms a few years back which rendered the track unnavigable by either car or bike (or, so I’m told).
We’d been talking about it for a while and I had read a few other local cycling bloggers and enthusiasts chat about it, but, being a fairly green cyclist, I’d never ridden out this side of town, so was happy to have Warren navigate for me.
Despite living about a kilometre from Lifecycle, the nominated meet up point, I was last to arrive. We set off at 6:30am on New Years eve and despite being an official ‘work day’ for most people in Brisbane there was very little car traffic about. Everyone must have been at the coast.
In our crew was Warren, Ben (a usual cycling buddy) and Moira, who has occasionally come along. A few other pals of Warren were there but they were doing a slightly different thing so they went on ahead.
Warren, Ben and I were all on our roadish bikes (I say that because I was riding my CX bike with road wheels attached as usual), while Moira brought along her heavish looking touring machine. I can’t say I was envious of her riding that thing up the inclines!
We took it pretty easy all things considered, riding out to Settlement Road at The Gap, through Samford with a brief stop off for water, before heading towards the Goat Track.
I can tell you this – it was scorching hot. Really, really hot.
And to make matters worse, the day before I had taken off the second bottle holder on my bike because I’d lost one of the screws, and stupidly not put on a replacement. And – turns out – I really needed a lot more water today as I felt I was perspiring faster than I could replace the fluids. This fluid issue was compounded by the several pints of beer I had at the pub the night before – stupid move, Murray!
Anyway, the climb up the Goat Track is gentle enough at first, almost misleadingly so. Recent rain hadn’t done the track any favours, and there was divets and holes in the road that you had to place close attention to as you climbed, lest you jam in your front wheel and take a tumble. Perhaps stupidly I was lured in by the easy early gradient and went a bit ahead of the others only to have them catch me a bit later when the heat got the better of me.
At what I thought was near the top, I stopped momentarily to take the following photo looking back down towards the Samford valley. The views were pretty darn nice around here and I recommend riding this track just for some of the pleasant vistas on offer.
Getting back on the bike was suddenly tough. I felt really dehydrated and tired and woozy.
I had a bit of a walk, jumped back on for a few hundred metres, then had to dismount and walk the final bit to the top. Ben, Warren and Moira steamed on past me and ahead but they were gracious enough to wait at the top while I caught up. I felt a bit disheartened though because it really wasn’t that super difficult but I guess I’ll just have to return to defeat the Goat Track again….but possibly on a cooler day.
We then stopped off for a dose of black medicine and a bit of carrot cake at one of the stores near the top of the mountain.
I’d never descended from Mt Nebo before and it was interesting enough, though not super easy as I expected, with plenty of pinchy little climbs made worse by the ~35 degree heat. I’m often not super confident on descents but I managed this fine enough.
We rolled back into town around 10:30/ 11 am and I was pretty exhausted by the end – I suspect mostly due to dehydration and the heat. Total distance was about 70k.
Fun to get out and do something a lot different to what I usually find myself doing – the ad nauseum river loops I’d been doing to make a 2014 distance goal had been driving me nutty – and I’ll be looking to do a lot more bigger and more interesting rides in 2015.