For a very long time I've wanted to get out to Flinders Peak. From afar, I would see it each day when riding to work. Local area maps revealed very little about the area, the trails within or the history...until recently. Ipswich and Boonah Shire councils have worked together open up and promote the are and its trails - most importantly the Ipswich-Boonah Trail.
I had an Audax offroad night ride at Peaks Crossing, so this was the perfect timing I needed to stage a bikepacking overnighter in the area. Seeing as I was supposed to be in NZ for the Kiwi Brevet and had a bit of form to spare, it was only fitting that I make it a door to door micro-adventure. So, loaded up the Fargo, set course and got truckin'!
From Daisy Hill, headed out via Greenbank, Springfield, then to Yamanto via the Centenary hway. Dropped into the Maccas drivethrough for some dinner. The Centenary hway stretch was bliss - smooth hotmix, wide shoulder and gentle rollers.
Afternoon view of the peaks in the distance from the Centenary hwy.
Dinner en route - chicken wrap and choc thickshake
The audax night ride was 35k (mostly) offroad loop, under a full moon. A variety of bikes, from my ti Fargo, to hybrids, mtbs and even a few road bikes with 23s on. With paperwork and a quick briefing done, it was off into the night. We went along one trail that was bottomless blacksoil goop, sodden from the previous weeks rain, I found a C line through the grass beside the trail - story goes the road bikes didn't fare so well, one rider was running Speedplays and lost a LOT of time digging mud out of his cleats...
After the ride we shared stories and chatted about each others bikes. One rider was a recent (and many time rider) of PBP, he had some interesting stories about the bikes and riders of this years PBP. I headed off to make camp, somewhere around midnight I crawled into the Contrail. The mozzies were horrendous, big greys, every 10 seconds or so during setup I'd go off on a Peter Garret dance to shake them off - glad I decided on a screened tarp instead of the bivvy.
A quick brekky and onto the trail - a lot of vertical and a bit of walking. Be interesting to see what the trail is like with fresh legs, I need to rethink my shoes with hike-a-bike sections in mind, feet got cut up a bit with the walking and pushing up the steeper 30%+ sections, some reminded me of Filbert, Lombard and Divisadero streets in San Francisco.
To add to the terrain, you constantly need to scan the trail ahead for these guys - Golden Orb spider. They spin a thick, super sticky yellow web with a Kevlar-like silk, can grow with a leg span as big as your hand and cause a pucker moment when you hit the web on a descent. You do the Garret dance as you strip off helmet, pack etc and wonder where the spider is...
I remember years ago when the Chuck Norris quotes were popular, I recall one quote as going "Chuck Norris has no chin, underneath his beard is another fist". The terrain was a bit like that on this trail, you'd ascend a bit then turn a corner, and find another climb and another climb after that - just like that fist. There'd be a short steep descent into a ravine, then you walk out of it to another climb.
Pretty soon I came to the saddle of Mt Blaine, with views directly out to Flinders Peak and beyond. The descent to Flinders plum was 35%+, rocky but in good condition.
Down near Sandy creek the trail disappeared into the long grass, was really glad for the gaiters and sock protectors from Moxie Gear. They have a 5mm closed cell shin guard around the front of the gaiter, with just lycra on the back panels. Great for trail brush, but not confident with them for reptile protection...
Reached Flinders Plum, to find the trail had been temporarily closed . I was planning to navigate past the base of Flinders Peak, then exit to the south east and return via Undullah, Jimboomba and Logan Village, but this track closure forced me to return on the same road route via Springfield and Greenbank. Ah well, next time a bit furthur.