Rego opens : 8:30am
Start time : 9:00am
Start location : Hurstbridge train station
Finish location : Hurstbridge train station
Distance : ~100km (50km option)
Map: MGG #9 - Scooter's Century
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From Hurstbridge train station, we'll head up to Panton Hill and then hit the dirt, making a bee line for Butterman's Track all the way up to Skyline Road. Then it's down into the Yarra Valley, cross Steels Creek, Dixons Creek and then a good solid climb up out of the valley on Old Dixons Creek Road. This is a nice sustained climb on well-made dirt road surrounded by bush and with some great views thrown in. Gotta be on the top 10 list of dirt road climbs in the area.
At the top of Old Dixons Creek Road it's a short roll up to Toolangi Tavern for the first checkpoint of the day. Good food, good beer, I always wish I could stay longer at that place but there's always more riding to be done.
From Toolangi, it's a gentle roll down to the bottom of Gordons Bridge Road where we'll do the same climb/descent we did in MGG #7. Gordons Bridge Road up, followed by Steels Creek Road down. Can't be beat - ask anyone who did it last time.
This time, though, we'll skip Yarra Glen and shoot straight back up to Kinglake. This is another sustained climb that will test your legs. I'd tip this as being the crux of the ride for most people. There's no shame in walking folks.
When you get to the top it's a quick refuel stop at Kinglake and then it's (more or less) all downhill back to Hurstbridge starting with the Bald Spur Road express elevator. Hang on tight! Bonus points if you stop and pat the goats!
This is a solid ride. For those on limited time budgets you can cut the ride in half and close the loop from Steels Creek Road, skipping Old Dixons Creek Road, Toolangi, Gordons Bridge Road etc. That still leaves you with 50km of great dirt road riding with some decent climbs and fast descents except you'll get back to Hurstbridge a lot quicker.
I'd suggest 2 bidons minimum, preferrably 3 bidons or a bladder, specially if it's hot.