June Social Ride - Ballarat

The June social ride will be held on Sunday 18 June and will be hosted by the Ballarat MTB Club.  The ride will take in some of the the new Black Hill XC trails that are being developed in a $320K project incorporating cross country, downhill, skills area and pump tracks.  There will be an opportunity to tackle a downhill run if anyone's feeling confident.   Then we will head out along the Goldfields Track to Nerrina for plenty more awesome singletrack in the Canadian Forest.

You can expect 3-4 hours of riding so a good level of fitness and technical ability is required.  As usual, come equipped with bike spares, food and water.  MTBA membership is required;  optional day licenses are available on the day ($10/$7).

We will be departing from the Theatre Royal in a convoy down to Ballarat at 7:30am sharp (arrive at 7:15am to coordinate car pooling).  Alternatively you can meet at 8:30am at the Museum of Australian Democracy Eureka (MADE) car park, 102 Stawell St South, Ballarat (enter the carpark, go down about 100 metres and park alongside the Eureka pool fence).  The ride will finish back at MADE for coffee/food at the cafe. 

Harcourt Mountain Bike Park

World-leading mountain bike trail design company Dirt Art has been awarded the contract for the final design and construction of the Harcourt Mountain Bike Park.  Construction is scheduled to commence in July with an end date prior to Christmas 2017, subject to weather and planning approvals.

Included in the contract is the development of a website for the mountain bike park and a mobile app, which will utilise professional video and still imagery.

Dirt Art is committed to working with the local community and are currently advertising for around 6 local people to be employed during construction.  There is discussion occurring with DELWP and Mount Alexander Shire on potential business opportunities arising from the project.  A skills based committee of  management will be established shortly with expressions of interest to be advertised in local papers.

Following recent community engagement sessions and feedback received, the Project Managers at DELWP have been working with Dirt Art, Dja Dja Wurrung and the Environmental teams to refine the preliminary design.  A particular interest has been access to a small area on the northern knoll to take in the commanding views while ensuring the cultural and environmental values are not harmed. Some trails have also been adjusted to provide greater privacy to local residents.  The current endorsed trail design is included below.

Harcourt Mtb A3 240517

Interwinter Series Round 1 Results

Rocky Riders were out in force at Round 1 of the Interwinter Series on Sunday at the RACV Resort in Creswick.  The weather was fairly mild (for Creswick), the course has benefitted from some interesting reshaping, and there were some strong finishes - including Andy Bos and Matt Shears (9th and 12th respectively in Masters 3/4), Col Norris and Andre Farley (4th and 7th in Masters 5+), Archie Richardson and Al Brasher (6th and 7th in Under 17s).

Full results are available at the Interwinter Series site.

Thanks to the Ballarat and Sebastopol Cycling Club for organising another memorable Interwinter event ... and to Paul Spagnol for capturing some great images, some of which you can see on our Facebook page.

The Duael 6 Hour Pairs Enduro

Flat Hill Dirt Crits & Rush Cycling Events have set up again to bring you this great event. Basically put; it's a 5-6 hour mountain bike singletrack pairs enduro - nothing fancy, you do one lap on one lap off, no double laps for those fit boys and girls, it’s all about team work.   As for the course, you can expect dirt, rocks, ruts, switchbacks, corners and more corners, drop off, ups downs, trees and all the nature the gold fields of Victoria can throw at you and your buddy in buckets.

Action starts at 10am Saturday 13 May

Event information and entry details

Cloverleaf Preview Ride

The Castlemaine Cloverleaf is making its way onto the bucket lists of lots of mountain bikers because of its variety, technical challenges and all round enjoyment all in a compact area within easy reach of the centre of Castlemaine.  Once again we will be using the Cloverleaf as the venue for Round Two of the 2017 Interwinter Series on Sunday 4 June.

For those wanting to reacquaint themselves with the layout, and for newcomers keen to explore the  twists and turns of this circuit, we will be running a special preview ride of the course on Sunday 28 May.  Join us at 9am at the corner of Daws Road and Daltons Road for a Cloverleaf cruise ... before the intense Interwinter action continues the following week

Interwinter Series Round 2 - Cloverleaf

The event will once again be featuring the near-legendary Cloverleaf composition (with a few mods) in the Walmer State Forest.

Date: Sunday 4 June with racing from 10am.

Format: XCO with a Musical Twist.

Predominantly singletrack, with some short sections of open trail and fire road, this course is a series of five different loops with a return to the event village at the completion of each loop.

The event village will feature registration area and feed zones, along with local food and beverage vendors including Rocket Roast Coffee (bicycle powered), Pizza de Wheels and hot dogs - plus braziers to warm up before and after the event.

There will be a Kids 20 minute race for U12s commencing at 9am (registration closes at 8:30am).  Kids entry is free but they will need to register, fill out an entry form with parental permission, have MTBA membership or buy a $10 participation permit on the day.

Entry via Entryzone

May Social Ride - Muckleford

The May social ride (Sunday 21 May) will take in some of the developing trail network in the Muckleford Forest, in the triangle between Muckleford, Newstead and Maldon.  A loose collection of singletrack has existed in this part of the forest for many years, but has been little utilised.  The majority of the trails are flowing and less technical in nature, although some newer trails have exploited local geological features (think rock walls).

We are planning a ride of around 30 km that should take around 2.5 hours.   Depending on numbers it may be possible to split into two groups to offer a faster-paced and a more social-paced journey.  Riders with beginner to intermediate skills are welcome but must have a reasonable level of fitness and all riders must be self-sufficient with food, water and spares. MTBA membership is required. Day permits available for non-members $10.

The ride will commence at the historic Red White and Blue poppet head on Bells Lane Track.  Head west on the Muckleford School Road, past Jeralee Boarding Kennels and continue on Bells Lane Track to the intersection with Red White and Blue Track.  There is plenty of parking.

The ride will commence at 9:30am.  Carpool: 9:00am meet at Theatre Royal.  If you need a lift, email us at to make sure there is space.

Non Technical Rolling Ride

This ride (Sunday 14 May) is designed to provide scope for new mountain bike riders to develop their confidence, skills and fitness without requiring high level technical abilities.

The first part will take in 20kms (thus giving people who had enough after 20k to return to Castlemaine); the rest will do another 10kms, so the total for the day will be 30kms, approximately a 3 hour ride. We shall leave the Botanic Gardens at 9am, go up Daws Road,  and then head southwards to take in some of the flowing/winding  Green Loop, then along the Castlemaine-Maldon Trail to do the Ladies Lounge loop,  then back along the Castlemaine-Maldon Trail to Daws Road (the 20kms), Those wishing to can return to Castlemaine at this point, while others can choose to do a further 10kms, taking in some of the classic Clover Leaf circuit (total 30kms). The last 10kms will be a bit more hilly and thus a wee bit harder. Overall nothing very technical, primarily a ride to build up fitness. 

The route is not very hilly, and includes some nice down hill track, almost rock free, but probably best done on a mountain bike. The pace will be leisurely, around 10 kms an hour, but will require fitness. Suitable for those used to riding 20 to 30kms on solid surfaces. 

All riders must be self-sufficient with food, water and spares. MTBA membership is required. Day permits available for non-members $10.

Castlemaine to Maldon Walking/Cycling Trail

The much heralded Castlemaine to Maldon Walking and Cycling Trail was officially opened by Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards on Saturday 18 March.  The 17.7 kilometre trail can be ridden in either direction (or both) between Castlemaine and Maldon stations, and passes through a number of historic points including the Muckleford station, running in parallel to the heritage Victorian Goldfields Railway for much of the journey.  There are also a number of areas of singletrack mountain bike and other forest trails accessible from the Trail.

###pwebsite for news about their cycling/rail packages.

The new Cycling Trail will feature in our social ride calendar in July this year, followed by the Race the Train event in November.