Dirt Crits - Total Fire Ban

Thursday 21 November has been declared a day of Total Fire Ban for the whole state of Victoria ... on such days we are required to suspend our Dirt Crits event. So no Dirt Crits this week. Let's hope this is not a common occurrence this summer.

Read more about the fire ban ratings.

Rider Profile - Mandy Chilcott

Name – Mandy Chilcott

Profession - Fitness Instructor

When did you start riding? I started riding road bikes back in the early 90's while living in Cairns. I played netball with Cindy Grant, wife of Pete Grant from the Bike Vault. Pete owned a bike shop in Cairns and was running a triathlon club; he encouraged me to give triathlons a go; my love of cycling started then. My first road bike was an Apollo, I still have it hanging in the shed!
I also had an old mountain bike back then, but never did any 'mountain biking'; it was my commuter bike.

Who/what inspired you to get into mountain biking? We moved to Barkers Creek in 2011; a couple of years after that Carrie Edney started up a Facebook page 'Castlemaine Women Cycling'. It was the introduction to Carrie and her coaching skills that inspired and encouraged me to give mountain biking a go. Carrie was great at getting groups of girls together and showing us the trails around Castlemaine. Carrie was very generous with her time and enjoyed coaching us to mountain bike ride.

Uphill or Downhill? Definitely uphill, had too many stacks on the downhill.

Most epic day on a bike? Cycle touring the East Gippsland Rail Trail with the 2 boys on our back seats. It was a race against the clock to ride the 42km from Orbost to Nowa Nowa Pub in time for Christmas Day lunch. Sandy conditions, inclined gradient with our 2 boys and luggage was an epic effort.

I'm currently riding … Carrie Edney's old Giant Anthem

Favourite trails (other than Castlemaine) - Victorian Rail Trails- cycle touring with the kids.

If I wasn't mountain biking I'd be ... Road riding. Or in the garden.

One day I'll ride ... In NZ; have a trip planned to Rotorua this December with a few other Castlemaine families.

When I head out for a ride I never leave without ... Telling someone where I’m going or filling my water bottle.

My race highlight? Haven’t done many race events, but beating the steam train to Maldon in ‘Race the Train’ is always fun!

What is in your backpack? Don’t carry one - my phone, dried fruit and nuts fit in my seat bag.

Rider Profile - Quincy Robertson

Name – Quincy Robertson

Profession - I'm a kid. I don't have a job.

Uphill or Downhill? Uphill because I can't do big jumps or drop offs without crashing yet.

Most epic day on a bike? 2 hour ride with dad in the Pineys.

I'm currently riding … Giant 20 inch and my old BMX

Favourite trails (other than Castlemaine) - Harcourt. I really like Harcourt

If I wasn't mountain biking I'd be ... Just at home probably

One day I'll ride ... Track 6 at Harcourt.

When I head out for a ride I never leave without ... my bike and helmet.

My race highlight? The best bit about Dirt Crits was making friends. I came first once!

What is in your backpack? I don't take my back pack always. Its too heavy if I put water in it!

November Social Ride - The Pineys

The final Social Ride for 2019 will be held on Sunday 17 November with an exploration of the rejigged Pineys trails. Much of the Pine plantation was harvested in 2017 with the loss of some trails. However the local "trail fairies" have been beavering away to reconstruct some trails and create some new challenges.

Please note that the Pineys trails are among the most technical in the Castlemaine region, featuring lots of steep climbs and descents, plenty of tree roots, technical components and some significant rock features. A 20km ride in the Pineys is equivalent to at least 30km around the Baco trails. As such this social ride will be geared to riders with good technical skills. We will however offer two groups to cater for faster and slower pace riders.

We will assemble at 9:30am at the Theatre Royal to ride out to Colles Road and warm up the legs before tackling the Pineys trails.

You will need to be a technically competent rider with good fitness level; the riding distance will be around 20km with a duration of 2.5 to 3 hours. As with all Rocky Riders' trips, you need to bring your own food, water, spare parts and have a bike in good repair. An MTBA Day Licence can be purchased on the day at a cost of $10/$7 if riders wish.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Castlemaine Rocky Riders will be held on Saturday 26 October commencing at 4pm. The meeting will be held at the Forest Creek Gold Mine, Duke Street, Castlemaine. With the support of Parks Victoria, this is the site of the Rocky Riders storage shed.

Along with the formal business of the AGM, including the election of office bearers, there will be an opportunity for members, families and friends of the Rocky Riders to enjoy a relaxed and sociable afternoon/evening. Drinks and nibbles will be supplied by the club with soft drinks for children. Mark the date in your diary, bring the family, and join us at our defacto HQ for a general catch up. BYO chair and glassware (if required) ... plus any ideas and input you have for the club's activities and plans for 2020.

If you are interested in joining the Committee please think about nominating for one of the Committee positions; if you are unable to attend the AGM and would like to cast your vote please complete a proxy appointment. Any queries regarding the AGM please contact the Secretary via

October Social Ride - Fryers Ranges

This month's club social ride on Sunday 20 October will be a cross country epic starting in Malmsbury and navigating backwoods trails through the Fryers Ranges to Castlemaine. We use the word navigating in the loosest possible way of course - but there will be farm tracks, jeep tracks, some fire road to tie everything together and a fair chunk of single track to finish the ride. In all, about 45 kilometres of steep climbs, sharp descents and everything in between - about 4-5 hours riding.

There is a train leaving Castlemaine for Malmsbury at 8.21am but bike space will be limited. Alternatively, drivers and car-poolers should aim to get to the start of the ride at Malmsbury station at 8.30. Usual self sufficiency terms apply (food, water, spare parts etc.).

You will need to be a technically competent rider with good fitness level, and possessed with a fair dose of confidence and endurance. An MTBA Day Licence can be purchased on the day at a cost of $10/$7 if riders wish.

Car Free Carnivale Maldon - Rolling Ride

Sunday 22 September is World Car Free Day and to celebrate Maldon is hosting a Car Free Carnivale in the main street from 12 noon to 3pm. The heritage shopping and café strip will be transformed into a car-free thoroughfare of ideas for sustainable living. Innovative exhibitors, children’s activities and live performances will be on offer, as will plenty of local food, with Maldon’s cafes and hotels all open on the day.

The Maldon Climate Action Network is encouraging people to walk, cycle, bus or train to Maldon for the day. So why not join the Rocky Riders for a spring time rolling ride along the Castlemaine to Maldon rail trail to join in the festivities. We will depart the Camp Reserve in Forest Street at 11am, for a relaxed ride out to Maldon along the rail trail - also a good chance to preview this trail in the lead up to the Race the Train event in November. The trail is well formed, and not technical, making it suitable for families. Afterwards there will be an opportunity to ride back to Castlemaine (mostly downhill) or catch the steam train for the return trip.

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

September Social Ride - Baco Trails

Our September social ride will be held in the afternoon of Saturday 14 September (note a Saturday not Sunday). This ride will explore the best bits of our much loved Baco Trail network (also the venue for our Dirt Crits series in 2019/20). The ride length will be around 20 kms plus so come prepared for around 2.5 hours in the saddle. Depending on numbers and experience of riders we may be able to break the group into two to cater for a slower paced group.

Riders with intermediate skills are welcome but you 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 meeting point will be at the Botanic Gardens, Walker Street, Castlemaine (opposite Das Kaffehaus) with the ride commencing at 1pm. An opportunity will exist for some post-ride refreshments at the Taproom. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for any weather or other updates.

Rider Profile - Lincoln Fitzgerald

Name - Lincoln Fitzgerald

Profession - Public Servant

Uphill or Downhill? Uphill if it is cold, downhill if it is hot.

Most epic day on a bike? The Full Enchilada - Utah (with a great crew of Rocky Riders)

I'm currently riding ... Giant Trance Advance X0

Favourite trails (other than Castlemaine) - Bright, because it is a full package with great riding and plenty to do with my family on and off the bike.

If I wasn't mountain biking I'd be ... boating, camping, hiking and fishing.

One day I'll ride ... Whistler and the French Alps.

When I head out for a ride I never leave without ... my phone.

My race highlight? Hard to say there is a highlight. They all hurt too much…retrospectively I would say the first race where I learned the difference between riding socially and riding at maximum heart rate!

What is in your backpack? I don’t carry one. I don’t ride that far.

Rider Profile - Simone Fraser

Name - Simone Fraser

Profession - Speech Pathologist

Uphill or Downhill? A slow uphill slog with a switchback or two, nothing too technical

Most epic day on a bike? It was epic in effort and planning. A stunning wintery ride along the Goldfields Track from Castlemaine to Daylesford, my first night away from a small child, spent with a fabulous group of Rocky Rider chicks, wining and dining post ride of course!

I'm currently riding ... A well loved but not well cleaned Liv Giant Intrigue

Favourite trails (other than Castlemaine) - Tathra & Bright

If I wasn't mountain biking I'd be ... dancing, (attempting some break dance moves actually)

One day I'll ride ... in another country

When I head out for a ride I never leave without ... my buddies, who keep me healthy in body and mind, they teach me new tricks and make me smile and whoop merrily through the bush!

My race highlight? The 12 hr Bright enduro with Linc in 2012; we rode a lap each then went for beer and tapas! Now that’s racing!

What is in your backpack? Pump, spares, tyre lever, trusty multi tool, some dirty outer layer clothing, and there always seems to be a stale lolly or two!