Length: Approx 30km Terrain: mainly downhill with an uphill section to join the trail
Surface: Looser, packed gravel with significant leaf litter
As some of you may be aware, our wonderful business takes us away from Brisbane to enable people across the country to trial electric tricycles. This usually requires a quick dash from Brisbane to place A or B and a quick dash home. But sometimes, it is important to stop and smell the roses.
Recently, we enjoyed a mammoth trip through QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC and TAS. Along with multiple trials in each location we stopped, we also had fun riding through some beautiful countryside.
We planned to break our work trip with a bike tour in Tasmania. Many of our customers ask us about riding and rail trails are becoming more popular with our new and returning bike riders. While in Tassie, most of the riding was on roads but our introductory day was spent riding on the North East Rail Trail near Scottsdale and another Lilydale.
Now I am for fair weather riding but when in Rome… needless to say, the rain started as we pushed up the gravel hill onto the top of the hill to start the trail. Although downhill nearly the full route, we experienced a steady drizzle all the way. Our dusty bikes from our VIC rail trail certainly got a wash!
Much quieter than our first experience of southern rail trails but this one was oh so beautiful! I don’t think I have ever seen such large and so many tree ferns in my life. The rain enhanced their beauty with the drops glinting as our bikes passed them by.
This rail trail wasn’t as flat our the one from Lilydale to Warburton in Victoria several days earlier. The route was short and quite varied, surrounded by forest for the main part and with a damper and rougher surface than the other. But easily manageable on our Kalkhoff trekking ebikes which were perfect for the task.
When riding in conditions like these, your tyres are something always worth considering. We had 2.2-inch tyres on the Kalkhoff with a mixed-use tread and we were thankful of the added width and traction offered by the Schwalbe quality. Although we didn’t fill with tube sealant on this trip, I would recommend particularly in the gravelly environments of the BVRT. For security of traction with the mud and slippery surface and dried fern leaf litter, we do strongly recommend the widest Schwalbe tyres your bike will fit and of course due care and attention when cornering!
This route was also almost deserted. Not sure if this was because of the weather but we only encountered one dog walker and one serious couple who were attempting to ride up and back to beat a world record by the way they acted. Didn’t bother us, we pottered along at a steady 20km an hour, taking the muddier sections in our stride but still ending up wearing some of the beautiful Tasmanian countryside on our backs! Well, those who rode mountain bikes did. For us, with our mudguards on the Kalkhoffs, we almost looked clean by the end (if you didn’t check our legs too closely! Note: don’t wear white cycling socks if its raining and the track could be muddy!)
Remember, we have some glorious rail trails on our doorstep, with the Brisbane Valley Rail Trial (BVRT), the Kilkivan to Kingaroy Rail Trail (KKRT), the South Burnett Rail Trail (SBRT) and the just opened Northern Rivers Rail Trail (NRRT). Want to know more, ask one of the team as most of us have ridden some or all of the local routes.
Make sure you ask us how you can make your chosen bike better suited to rail trails, including a safety check before you go, fitting of rugged tread tyres, tube sealant, waterproof panniers from Basil or Ortleib, rear vision mirrors and some recommendations for wipes for the post-ride coffee stop!
Andrea and Richard