Last Sunday Dan and I decided to head out to Ravensbourne and ride a few of the forestry trails. After meeting up at Highfields we drove out and parked at the entrance to the National Park. It was decided we’d do a loop through the Lockyer Forest area via Seventeen Mile Road, Wallers Road to the Esk-Gatton Road and back via Vinegar Hill and Seventeen Mile again.

When we stopped near the Esk road, Dan commented how much he’d enjoyed the rocky downhill sections, complete with 4WD coming in opposite direction. I remember going through a couple of particularly nasty “Woops” and thought that I really should have warned him about those as he’d never before been on these tracks. I needn’t have worried though as he just seemed to blast through without incident. We took turns leading so as to share the dust and arrived back at the vehicles after the 70 and odd kilometre round trip.

After a bit of a rest and gassing the bikes we headed into the Deongwar State forest. There’s a trail there that basically tracks beside the road (but in about 70 metres) for some way and we followed this to its end. I got on the gas a bit early over one of the woops and ended up head first in the scrub without doing any real damage to myself or my new bike. At one point we came upon a hill that was just a bit too daunting for me to attempt and, though I’m sure Dan would have got to the top fairly easily, he joined me in taking a longer way around. On the way back along this track I again went arse-up after coming around a corner way too fast only to find the track took a sharp turn to the right. Unaware that I was unhurt, Dan stopped in a big hurry and dropped his KTM on the deck to come to my aid. (Surely he’ll have learnt by now not to go riding with "rookie" trail riders)

We had decided to explore a few of the side tracks on the way back and, after the first couple had become dead ends, ended up on a downhill track that got increasingly narrower as the lantana got thicker. We eventually were forced to stop (not unlike that scene of Bogart in the African Queen) and with very little room to move I performed a twenty-six point turn to get my bike pointed in the right direction again. I believe it was about this time I thought about investing in a set of Barkbusters. Once we'd emerged from the jungle, I took the lead and promptly got us completely lost. After it was pointed out to me that we were getting down a bit on fuel (thanks mainly to my being the cause of our bikes spending so much time on their sides) we had a quick debate on direction, tossed a mental coin and rode off yet again. The Gods must have taken pity on us as we eventually found the way out of the maze and rode back to the car park.

Despite all this, or perhaps because of it, a bloody good day was had by all.

Thanks Dan!

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