VAPOUR TRAIL

STROMLO FOR­EST PARK

Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested - WORDS AND PHOTOS: NICK WAYGOOD

Can­berra’s cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture has im­proved tremen­dously over the past few years, with up­grades tak­ing place at Stromlo For­est Park and Ma­jura Pines. Stromlo sits cen­tral in Can­berra – a per­fect mid­dle ground for travel dis­tance and trail va­ri­ety. It’s an easy es­cape from the bustling city into na­ture. Makin Trax Aus­tralia have gone to town in build­ing an ex­ten­sion of the orig­i­nal Vapour Trail that was con­structed a few years ago, in­tro­duc­ing large table­tops and berms on the moun­tain from top to bot­tom. Take a de­tour off the high­way dur­ing your trav­els for a few hours of max­i­mum air time and easy shut­tle runs on a truly unique trail. Popular and easy shut­tle spots are the bot­tom of Mount Stromlo Road, which re­quires a brief fire-trail ride from the end of the down­hill trail, or the Fire Me­mo­rial carpark, which is a small path ride from the bot­tom carpark.

GET­TING THERE

Can­berra roads are eas­ily nav­i­gated from the main high­ways that come through – set a route for Dave McInnes Road to get to the bot­tom carpark, or drive to the top on Mount Stromlo Road for awesome views ei­ther side, and of course the trail head found at the very top.

TECH­NI­CAL NA­TURE

Stromlo’s Vapour Trail was made to help rid­ers im­prove on their jump­ing abil­ity. The table­tops get larger as the trail pro­gresses, but they are gen­er­ally for­giv­ing and will let you go if you don’t quite make the gap. There are A, B, and C line choices, each of dif­fer­ing sizes to help de­velop your skills. The top of the trail fea­tures a small rock gar­den to warm you up, be­fore launch­ing you out into the huge berms.

YOU’LL NEED

Pro­tec­tion gear such as knee pads, gloves, or a full-face is a al­ways a good idea, but en­sure to bring snacks and wa­ter to keep you go­ing through­out the day. There are sta­tions for wa­ter re­fills and bar­be­ques avail­able at the top and bot­tom of the hill.

DIS­TANCES

The Vapour Trail is about two kilo­me­tres long, but there are also other top sec­tion op­tions such as ‘Up The Anti’ and ‘World Cup’ to mix your day of de­scent up.

LO­CAL KNOWL­EDGE

To get the most of your day, week­end, or week, spend a good day rid­ing the de­scents of Stromlo be­fore vis­it­ing Ma­jura Pines. Stromlo is gen­er­ally hard­packed year round, while Ma­jura Pines main­tains a form of hero-dirt dur­ing most months of the year. There are also an extensive amount of cross-coun­try trails at Stromlo, so bring both bikes and make it a huge week­end of bike-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

BEST TIME OF YEAR

The best time for rid­ing the Vapour Trail is the spring and sum­mer months. Au­tumn and win­ter can be good too, how­ever cold and strong winds are usu­ally blow­ing down from the Brind­abella moun­tain ranges.

WHILE IN THE AREA

Can­berra has plenty of other adrenaline­fu­elling ac­tiv­i­ties aside from the bustling moun­tain bik­ing scene. Pay a visit to Pow­erkart Race­way for quick elec­tric gokarts on a tight cir­cuit, or Paint­ball Sports ACT for proper fun paint­balling.

LO­CAL BIKE SHOPS

Onya Bike Wo­den is a great op­tion for overnight ser­vic­ing and some spare parts, or Pushys Fysh­wick for a moun­tain­ous stock of spare parts. onyabike­can­berra.com.au pushys.com.au/pushys-store-lo­ca­tions

LO­CAL CLUB CON­TACTS

Can­berra Off-Road Cy­clists (CORC) http://corc.asn.au

REG­U­LAR EVENTS

Weekly shut­tles held by Dy­namic Mo­ti­va­tion CORC Club races held mul­ti­ple times a year. Check their web­site for more de­tails.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.