News | Social rides

World MTB Ride Day

Sunday 9 Dec 2018 has been designated inaugural World MTB Ride Day! This idea has been floated by Mic and Michelle Longhurst, hosts of the popular We Ride Mountain Bikes page on Facebook. This group connects MTBers in 100 countries around the world. They are encouraging riders to celebrate and spread the love of mountain biking by posting photos to the page of you and your old and new ride buddies riding on that day, with the hashtag #WorldMTBRideDay.

To join in the celebrations we will host a special World MTB Ride Day at the Baco trails in the Walmer State Forest. The Baco trails offer a great variety of singletrack with plenty of typical Rocky Riders terrain. This will be a social ride for all levels to cater for maximum participation.

Meet at the Castlemaine Botanic Gardens (opposite The Mill complex in Walker Street) at 9am for a social-paced ride of 15-20 kms.

Social Ride - 18 November

This months club social ride on Sunday 18 November 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 35 hilly kilometres or about 4 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. All welcome, usual self sufficiency terms apply (food, water, spare parts etc.), with the amendment that anyone puncturing and without a spare tube will be thrown down the nearest mineshaft.

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

Social Ride - 21 October

The October Social Ride will be held on Sunday 21st 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 this year 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 higher intermediate and/or advanced riders. We will however offer two groups to cater for faster and slower pace riders.

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.

Meet at Theatre Royal at 9am.

Social Ride - 16 September

The September social ride will explore the Poverty Gully region, including some of the historic water races. This area provides a sample of classic Castlemaine singletrack, along with some superb relics of the gold rush era. Luke Stevens knows these trails intimately and will lead the group.

Expect a ride of 20 plus kms over some varied terrain, with a duration of around two and a half hours.

Ride will depart from the Theatre Royal at 9am.

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 (adults) or $7 (juniors) if riders wish, or you can sign a waiver to ride at your own risk.

Rolling Ride 14 October

The club’s next rolling (easy) ride is on Sunday, 14 October. We will be leaving the Castlemaine Theatre Royal at 9am. Bring your own food, water, spare parts, and have a bike in good repair. Riding will be at a slow pace so everyone can keep together. We will be back by noon, will ride around 20km.

No big hills or rocks. Rolling rides are about having fun in the bush.

Rolling Ride 12 August

The club’s next rolling (easy) ride is on Sunday, 12 August. We will be leaving the Castlemaine Theatre Royal at 9am. Bring your own food, water, spare parts, and have a bike in good repair. Riding will be at a slow pace so everyone can keep together. We will be back by noon, will ride around 20km.

No big hills or rocks. Rolling rides are about having fun in the bush.

Social Ride Sun 24 June - Muckleford

The June social ride will be held on Sunday 24 June and will feature a return visit to the magical Muckleford Forest. 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 and goldfields features.

We are planning a ride of around 25 km that should take around 2.5 hours. We will likely split into two groups to offer both 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; or a waiver can be signed.

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 The Mill in Walker Street. If you need a lift, email us at info@rockyriders.com to make sure there is space.

Rolling Ride Sunday 10 June

The club’s second rolling (easy) ride is on this Sunday, 10 June. We will be leaving the Castlemaine Theatre Royal at 9am. Bring your own food, water, spare parts, and have a bike in good repair. Riding will be at a slow pace so everyone can keep together. We will be back by noon, will ride around 20km.

No big hills or rocks. Rolling rides are about having fun in the bush.

Social Ride Sunday 20 May

The May social ride will be held on Sunday 20 May with a visit to the developing trail network in Gisborne ... and a social catch up with the dedicated team of local enthusiasts who are maintaining this trail network.

The ride will take in some pretty special singletrack en route to Hobbs Road and some interesting trails adjacent to the landfill site.  As the picture demonstrates some of the "rubbish" did not quite make it all the way to the tip!

A ride of around 30 km in length catering to intermediate and advanced riders.

The Gisborne and Surrounds MTB club will host a barbecue following the ride.

Meet in Gisborne at 10am at the John Aitken Reserve (on the left as you enter town, opposite the Coles shopping centre);  car pool from the Theatre Royal at 9:15am.

As usual riders need to be self sufficient with spares and refreshments.  Day licences available at $10.

Social Ride Sunday 15 April

The April Social Ride will showcase the most recent and awesome addition to our riding options in central Victoria with a tour of the trails at La Larr Ba Gauwa Park.

We’ll roll out as a group from the Goldfields Track café in Harcourt Central at 9am sharp (get in early if you want a pre ride cuppa) along the off road path to the La Larr Ba Gauwa main trail shelter.  Depending on numbers, we will likely split from here into two groups, with one tackling the northern trails (berms and more berms), and the other the southern blue trails (rock features and more rock features) before returning to the shelter, and heading to the other side of the park for those keen for more. 

Expect up to 3 hours of riding (20 – 30 km), with intermediate to advanced skills and fitness required.  A reminder there is no drinking water at the park, so bring enough food, water and spares to see you through. 

Optional Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA) day licences will be available for purchase on the day ($10).   

Rolling Ride Sunday 8 April

The first rolling (easy) ride for 2018 is on this Sunday, 8 April.  We will be leaving the Theatre Royal at 9am. Bring your own food, water, spare parts, and have a bike in good repair.  Riding will be at a slow pace so everyone can keep together.  We will be back by noon, after a ride of around 20km.  No big hills or rocks.  Rolling rides are about having fun in the Bush.

Rocky Riders members will be available to offer support/advice/assistance as required.

Social Ride Calendar 2018

We have just finalised our calendar of social rides for the year ahead, including a series of gentle, rolling rides for newcomers.   We will be encompassing many of the great trails around Castlemaine, and venturing to other parts of central Victoria in conjunction with our partner mountain biking clubs.

Copies of the calendar will also be available at our local bike shops.

Social Ride Sunday 18 March

The March Social Ride will be held on Sunday 18th and will venture into the somewhat uncharted territory of Mount Macedon.  There is some pretty scenic singletrack on the slopes of Mount Macedon but they are mostly unmarked and largely the preserve of a few adventurous locals.  For this social ride we will be joining up with members of the Wombat MTB Club who will be able to guide us to and through the best trails. But be warned ... the ride will depart from Woodend so there will be some climbing at the outset to get up the mountain ... around 7 to 8 kms of ascending (mostly on fire trails) with an elevation gain of around 350 metres.  From there you can expect to explore around 18-20 kms of singletrack deep in the forest.

We will car pool from outside the Woollen Mills in Walker Street, Castlemaine;  assemble for a coffee at Das Kaffeehaus at 8am and for departure at 8:10am sharp.  If you want to go direct to Woodend please meet the Wombat crew across the road from Il Caffe/bike shop in High Street, on the grass near the railway line.  The ride will depart from Woodend at 9am.

You will need a mountain bike and to be quite fit, especially to manage the climb at the start.  The main ride will be of 2.5 to 3 hours in duration.  If numbers permit we can split the group into two sections for faster and slower paces. 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.

February Social Ride - Sunday 18

The February Social Ride will be held on Sunday 18th and will explore the twists and turns of the highly regarded Cloverleaf layout in the Walmer State Forest.  These trails have hosted rounds of the Intwerwinter series and continue to attract riders from far and wide.  The Cloverleaf trails are within easy reach of the centre of Castlemaine and provide a smorgasbord of the trail features that make riding in our location so special;  this includes rock gardens, the infamous Gully Run and pinch climbs - in other words something for everyone.

The ride will depart from outside the Woollen Mills in Walker Street, Castlemaine;  assemble for a coffee at Das Kaffeehaus at 9am and for departure at 9:15am sharp.  

You will need a mountain bike and to be reasonably fit as the riding distance for the main ride will be around 30km with a duration of 2.5 to 3 hours.  There will be plenty of stops to allow riders to regroup, so all abilities will be catered for.  If numbers permit we can split the group into two sections for faster and slower paces.  

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.

January Social Ride - Creswick

In January we are teaming up with the Wombat MTB Club to conduct a social ride in Creswick.  Following the funding of the Harcourt MTB park, Creswick has also received funding for the construction of a very extensive network of trails in the forests around the township.  

Our January ride will provide an opportunity to explore around 30 kms of the great natural trails of Creswick before the new trail network in Victoria is constructed, with the benefit of an expert local guide.  The Wombat Club will also provide post ride food & drinks.

The ride will be held on Sunday 21 January, commencing at 9am from the RACV Resort, 1500 Midland Highway, Creswick.

November Social Ride - Goldfields Track

November's Social Ride on Sunday 26th will be a cruise along the Goldfields Track from the letter boxes at Dry Diggings (Sawpit Gully Road). The trail is in excellent condition and the bush will be at its best.  

The plan is that riders can travel the complete distance to Castlemaine (approx 40km) or opt out at the Vaughan Springs lunch stop (approx 21 km). 

Although the ride is not particularly challenging technically, you will need a reasonable level of fitness to manage some fairly steep climbs.  We will assemble at the Theatre Royal for carpooling and a departure at 8.30 am. 

To help with transport logistics please email info@rockyriders.com indicating your preferred termination point  by November 20th so we can get things organised. There may be a moderate charge if we have to hire a vehicle.  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.

October Social Ride - Pineys

The October Social Ride will be held on Sunday 22nd with an exploration of the rejigged Pineys trails.  Much of the Pine plantation has been harvested over the past year with the loss of some trails.  However the local "trail fairies" have been beavering away in the past few months on reconstructing some trails and adding a number of new sections. 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 higher intermediate and/or advanced riders.  

We will assemble at 9am at the Theatre Royal to ride out to Colles Road and warm up the legs before tackling the Pineys trails.  Shoot us an email to info@rockyriders.com if you have any queries.

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.

September Social Ride - Plenty Gorge

The September Social Ride will be held on Sunday 17th with a trip down to Melbourne to sample the singletrack goodness available at Plenty Gorge.  The Plenty Gorge MTB Club conduct regular social rides on the 3rd Sunday of the month, offering a range of lengths and difficulties to suit all levels of riders.  

At least 25km of sweet singletrack is to be found in these parts.  With trails varying from open fire roads to technical rock gardens, expect around 500m of climbing on short pinches for a 20km loop.  The network of trails can be confusing - hence the benefit of teaming up with the Plenty MTB club to have a local guide.  Parking, toilets and water are all available at the trail head at Yellow Gum Park, Goldsworthy Lane, Plenty.  

The ride will commence at 10am so please aim to arrive 10 minutes beforehand.  The Rocky Riders will meet at 8am at the Theatre Royal to car pool for the trip down to Plenty Gorge.  Shoot us an email to info@rockyriders.com if you have any queries or want to offer car and/or roof space.

You will need a mountain bike and to be reasonably fit as the riding distance for the main ride will be around 25km with a duration of 2.5 to 3 hours.  A shorter ride of around one and a half hours will be available as an option.  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.

August Social Ride

Sunday 20 August - a tour of some of the long-standing Walmer trails that are still a perennial favourite with mountain bikers from around the region.  

The ride will ramble through some of the Cloverleaf trails, and more.  Meet at Das Kaffeehaus at 9am for a coffee, we'll be leaving at 9:30 from out front in Walker St. 

Usual deets: must carry own food, water, spares, etc.  We will ride for approx 3hrs across intermediate level terrain with plenty of stops.  Your bike must be in good working order, it is not fair on the group to be stopping repeatedly for unnecessary repairs.  MTBA insurance available on the day (but not mandatory) for $10/$7. 

Non-Technical Rolling Ride Sunday 3 September

The ride will depart Castlemaine Theatre Royal at 9am. We shall ride out along the Castlemaine to Maldon Rail Trail and then take on about 15kms of easy riding single trail.  Not hilly or rocky; best described as twisty and fun.  You will need a mountain bike and to be reasonably fit as the riding distance will be around 20km.  As with all Rocky Riders' trips, you need to bring your own food, water, spare parts and have a bike in good repair.  There will be some experienced riders, so for those just beginning mountain bike riding you should be able to pick up some tips.  We will certainly be back in Castlemaine before noon.

July Social Ride - Muckleford

The July Social Ride will be held on Sunday, 16 July, 2017, and is designed as another of our non technical rolling rides.  The ride will centre on the Castlemaine-Maldon Bike Trail with a little bit of singletrack on the side.

The ride will depart from the Castlemaine Theatre Royal at 9am sharp.  For those wanting coffee beforehand, the Theatre Royal opens at 8am.  For those coming by car, it may be best to park in Forest Street, near the front gates of the Camp Reserve.  The Castlemaine-Maldon Bike Trail commences on the opposite side of the road, near the Creek.  Feel free to wait there if you like as those coming from the Theatre Royal will be along shortly after 9. 

The ride will turn around once Muckleford Creek is reached (just past the Muckleford Railway station) and return to Castlemaine before noon.  A number of the more experienced Rocky Riders will be participating, so for those just beginning mountain bike riding you should be able to pick up some helpful tips. 

If any are keen and able, an extended guided ride can continue from Muckleford Creek to Maldon and return to Castlemaine via the Muckleford Forest. This will make a 60km ride and riders should be back in Castlemaine between 1 & 2pm.

You will need a mountain bike and to be reasonably fit as the riding distance for the main ride will be 25km. As with all Rocky Riders' trips, you need to bring your own food, water, spare parts and have a bike in good repair.  

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. 

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

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 info@rockyriders.com 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.

Social ride Ararat

Eight Rocky Riders ventured down the Pyrenees Highway to Ararat on Sunday 25 September to meet up with a similar sized group of Ararat Dirt Riders for an introduction to the developing network of singletrack on One Tree Hill.  A small group from the Ararat club have been steadily constructing this network over the past three years and are hopeful of having the trails formally recognised by Parks Victoria within the near future.  

Social ride on the trails of Ararat

Recent heavy rainfall in the area had impacted some of the trails with a few sections closed off for repair work.  Our hosts from Ararat still managed to provide a 25km grand tour of the trail network featuring a range of gully descents, switchbacks, mullock heaps and well constructed berms, with a few technical features thrown in for good measure.  

Over the course of the morning we experienced the delights of Sidewinder, Kangaroo Gully, Boulder Dash, Switcheroo, Brushtails, and Duck and Weave ... to mention just a few.  A venture to the northern end of the park also provided a series of mud challenges for those wanting to practice their cyclo-cross skills.

The opportunity to experience a whole network of new trails, along with the very warm welcome provided by the Ararat Dirt Riders, made for a very pleasant social ride.  The face-to-face contact with the Ararat club should provide opportunities for future collaboration ... and you can expect to see their members out on our tracks anytime soon.