Aidan Kempster has been raising the profile of the proposal to create a Great Forest National Park through riding the trails and roads of the Central Highlands. He has been sharing his trips and insights on his website Riding for the Great Forest. He has also started to lead day rides, which are open to all people who are keen to do some MTB riding in these precious and threatened forests.

The next ride is on this Saturday (November 11) near Starlings Gap, which is near Warburton.

Aidan describes the route as:

‘A free, self-supported day of cycling in the Yarra Ranges. Ride at your own risk and byo everything. That includes spare tubes, lunch and rain jacket. We are riding on unsealed public roads though I don’t expect much traffic.
You are responsible for your own safety and well-being. The idea is to ride as a group and take it reasonably easy, stop regularly and have fun. Try not to push yourself too hard too early and don’t ride anything that makes you feel uncomfortable’.

The route is a figure-8 style comprising two ~25km loops with ~2x600m gain, centered on Starlings Gap.
The first loop is all good gravel and bypasses the Ada Tree. Yes, there will be time to go for a walk and see it. A hybrid bike should be sufficient for this section.
The second loop contains rougher patches and some chunky gravel. it warrants a mountain bike.

Full details (and rsvp page) is available here.