I have a somewhat rocky relationship with dirt roads (rocky, get it?)....
I had been slowly tinkering away on a '99 Giant ATX980 dual suspension MTB i found at the tip last year, so quickly threw it together for this ride. This meant i had only 4 usable gears on the back (which became 4 and three quarters as the new cable settled in) but the suspension and brakes were working very well.
The plan was to ride from my parent's farm at Kin Kin up to Wolvi, then through Goomboorian towards Rainbow Beach to come down the Cooloola Way. It only took a couple of k for me to realise that plan was tremendously ambitious, as i had forgotten how excruciatingly slow mountain bikes are on the road. At 25-27kmh on the flat 120+kms was going to take a hell of a long time, so i decided to instead go out and back on the Cooloola Way, despite my aversion to backtracking.
There was some early morning fog around as i rode through Wolvi.
"I-i-i-tssss g-gun-na b-b-be a lo-o-o-ng d-d-d-day-y" i said to myself, and then i realised the shaking enabled me to belt out a beautiful rendition of "Amazing Grace" and i had a good laugh.
The laughing stopped shortly after though, as only 900m after turning onto Cooloola Way i was presented with a fork in the road. I didn't remember this from the last time i was up there (admittedly, 4 years ago). The only signage was one the declared "Right to Harry's Hut Rd". I knew Harry's Hut was off the main road, so left it was!
The mate who put me on to the Strava segment had said the road was smooth enough for him to sit on 80-100kmh in his car. Either his car has some incredible suspension or i'm on the wrong road...
Not long after this the road got really good, signs every few kilometres attested to it's use for logging trucks so it was well graded and as wide as the national highway. The only fly in the ointment was the use of fairly large gravel which would presumably pack down well under a 40 tonne logging truck. Even with my mount being 16 years old and fairly low end, it was some way short of 40 tonne, so i got spat around a bit.
This was a good decision, as we were able to make a day of it, popping in to Tin Can Bay for breakfast-
Before heading round to Rainbow Beach to take in the view of Wide Bay-
And then finally heading back on the Cooloola Way, which as my mate had said was in very good condition (though still a bit rough for the semi slicks i'd fitted).
So in all, 71 quite challenging kilometres, and now that i know exactly where i need to go i will be fitting some more aggressive tyres to the ATX and heading back there post haste.