Australian Mountain Bike
STROMLO FOREST PARK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Weekly shuttles held by Dynamic Motivation CORC Club races held multiple times a year. Check their website for more details.