Updated: Jan 30
You can see my YouTube of this ride here
I was leaving Australia in four days time, and with not being able to take Stumpy back to the UK with me, I wanted one last ride. So decided to cycle from Lavington to Wodonga, which in itself is quite a pleasant ride, on many cycle-ways and through parks, and really not too far. Alas, Hunchback Hill Mountain Bike Park is completely the other side of Wodonga. Crossing Wodonga is when I started flagging! In total it was just over 22kms to the bike park, not a big deal on a road bike, but on a mountain bike a little more difficult!
The ambient temperature was around 30 deg C, with bright sunshine, and little shade on the ride. It was either cover-up and sweat or peel-off and burn! I did a bit of both, alternating top on, top off….vest top underneath of course!
I stopped off for photo opportunities on the way, in all it took me around two and a half hours to get there.
Once you get onto Felltimber Road in Wodonga, you discover it is very long! It’s quite a pretty ride with a few hilly scenes. Hunchback Hill Mountain Bike Park entrance is quite understated, it’s just a gate, by the side of it a larger gate with a trail map. That’s it. Location-wise riding from Wodonga out of town down Felltimber Road, where the tarmac road goes sharply left uphill, the layby for the park is on your right.
Anyway, it was a hot sunny day, on arrival I sat and rested for a while and had a sarnie and a drink, then started the pushup on a Blue, I thought it must be the blue, like there was only one! Not the blue I wanted, as it turns out, I was hoping to find the Quartz trail, pushup then ride down, and perhaps do it twice. But I got completely lost. The trail signs aren’t much help if you’re as dippy as me, they just show Blue, Black or Green and a direction, no trail names at all. So you can come across two signs together, both Blue, pointing in different directions, which was no use to me!
I will invest in a decent GPS device for my bike, for next time I'm in Australia.
It’s a fab trail if you like pedalling; rugged, technical in places with many switchbacks on the way up, I pushed most of it. It took me around an hour, then I spent a further hour trying to find the Quartz Trail.
In the end I gave up, I was hot, sweaty and dusty and just wanted to get a decent descent. I’d found a Blue sign pointing down, which after 20 metres turned into a Black Trail, weird huh!
Anyway I took that one, and because it was a black I was going quite tentatively as I thought I’d get caught out by some hideous drop. But nothing, except where the Black splits and there’s an option to do a gap jump or chicken it, which obviously I chickened!!
I’m not sure I stayed on the black all the way down, it seemed too easy to be black. But it was a really enjoyable trail, except for around three time where some pedalling uphill was required, if you wasn’t carrying a load of speed, like me.
I took this trail until it hit the small jump line in the skills area. The skills area has a couple of jump lines with berms and also a small but fun pump track. So I had a little play, then a cool down. I phoned my daughter at around four o’clock, to see if she would pick me up when she finished work, which she was fine with and would be there around 5pm. Giving me an hour to climb as far as I could up the hill and take another run down.
I kind of did the same trail again, except I was intrigued by all the slick rock that’s around, and started from a steep and large piece, then went onto the bottom half of what I think was the black.
The terrain is fantastic, being the start of Autumn, with having had very little rain the trail was dry and dusty. It's a lot slipperier than you think on very very dry trails, it can catch you out. The landscape is very rugged, with rocks, trees, fallen trees and rock slabs on the trails, that are very narrow singletrack. Quite fabulous!
It’s actually, if you like pedalling a really nice place to ride. It was a little too pedally for me, but perhaps that's because I didn’t find the right trail, still I had a fab last ride of Stumpy with no dramas, getting lost is standard!
I was so glad I got a lift home, I have Morten’s Neuroma in both my feet, but particularly bad in my left foot, so anything after twenty minutes pedalling and it’s really painful, I don’t think I’d have got home!
Definitely worth a visit, perhaps with someone who knows the trails.
Facilities: Trail map, Trails, Pump track,kills and Jump area
There was no water or toilet facilities that I saw.
No costs to ride, that I saw anyway!
Riding from Wodonga, out of town down Felltimber Road, where the tarmac road goes sharply left uphill, the layby for the mountain bike park is on your right.