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Bump 'n' Grind V2.0.2 The Lostock 120

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By jaseh - Posted on 09 July 2012

What a weekend!
A bit of background, I was asked to plan a ride in the lower parts of the Barrington Tops at the Paterson 24hr. The initial idea was to start and finish at Lake St Claire just north of Singleton. After a couple of recon rides/drives it was decided that it wasn't suitable and Lostock Dam was chosen as our start/end point. A few options were mapped out, 45, 90, 100 and 120km routes were ridden, driven and drawn with the queen of the lot, the 120km, having 4500m of climbing.
Waking up Saturday morning with a sore throat was not the ideal start. I was thinking of pulling out but my better half convinced me to go and see how I was feeling Sunday morning before the ride. So I left home Saturday afternoon to meet up with the rest of the crew at the Beattie Hotel in Gresford, some I had never met, others I hadn't seen for a few years. A few introductions and beers later we were ready to head out to our start point and set up camp for the night.
Getting to lostock just on dusk we met up with the other seven riders and set about setting up camp, getting a fire going and having a few more beers and dinner. A great night was had, with lots of laughs and stories told. We were all in bed around 10pm for a 6am start.
Waking up at 5am it was cold but not as cold as it could've been. Everyone was up that was doing the 90, 100 or 120km rides with the girls doing the 45km ride heading out at a later time. There was one exception, Gaz. Where was he? 6am rolled round and out pops Gaz. didn't ask what happened as it was irrelevant, it wasn't a race so it didn't matter. Ended up heading off at about 6.40am straight into a 12km climb up Boonabilla rd! With over an hour of climbing in our legs and some great photo opportunities with the sunrise we got to the top, only to head down Masseys creek rd and loose all that elevation in 5km. I was on the front on the descent, which was an absolute hoot, I got to ride with a wallaby hopping along just a couple of metres in front of me for about 300m then had some kangaroos to ride with. One of them almost taking me out. Once at the bottom it was dirt rd through beautiful farmland and then onto Allyn river Rd for a little bit of tar before crossing Salisbury Gap for our second big climb. Cresting the climb gave us a great view of the valley and we could see the road winding through it, we were going to lose all that elevation again with another screaming descent. It was then a left turn onto Salisbury Rd for a gentle climb up the valley until we hit Williams Tops Rd for another massive climb. We regrouped at the intersection of Lagoon Pinch Forest Rd as five of us had got away on Salisbury Gap. We waited around for the rest for about 5 minutes then decided we would descend back down to the Allyn River to wait at the junction where the 90km ride split from the 100 and 120 and make decisions on where to go from there. It wasn't long before the rest of the crew turned up. They had all decided on heading down Allyn River Rd for the 90km ride. Five of us decided to tackle the ascent of Mt Allyn.
Now this has been something I have wanted to do ever since driving up it last year in a 4wd. I knew it was going to be tough as it took an hour to drive up. It was tougher than expected with grades of up to 35% and a total elevation difference of 760m over 11.6km, the actual gain with a couple of downhill sections was 1129m and we topped out at 1150m. The start of the climb was steep but smooth so all was well as we got to the turnoff to Shellbrook forest Rd and 600m elevation. The road got a bit rougher with lots of tennis ball sized rocks used to surface the road and then I saw the 800m sign, it was here things started getting bad. The trail kicked up, real bad, Strava tells me 65% but I don't think it was quite that steep, I was in a world of hurt, my vision blurring and felt like if I shut my eyes or stopped moving I would pass out. I was in trouble. It was in this state that I caught Greg, who had set off up the climb a few minutes earlier than the rest of us. I asked how he was going but don't really remember if I stayed with him or not or if we really talked but I just kept going. Then, my worst nightmare, a descent. You may thnk I'm mad but this was hell, lost elevation after all that work really did my head in. It was great for a rest and to get the HR down but it just meant more climbing to me. I was broken when I hit the bottom and started climbing back up those lost metres. I got off and walked.
The Memory from here to the turn off to the lookout are a bit hazy, I know I got passed by 2 cars and walked a bit more. I was also hoping the rest of the guys in front would run into me on their way down. I remember getting to the turnoff and seeing a sign "Mt Allyn Lookout 1.5km" I got excited, cheering in my mind that I was almost there. Turning the corner the grade kicked again, 15-20%. Bugger! I walked again and got back on the bike just before the last corner as I didn't want the others to see me walking. Then, there it was, the top. I saw Craig, Matt and AK all checking out the views waiting patiently for me and Greg to arrive who turned up a couple of minutes later. I had done it,broken but happy to have made the climb.
I was a broken man, I decided that I wasn't able to complete the 120km's so we pulled out the map to find the best way out, not the quickest but the one with the most descending. I suggested Shellbrook Forest Rd but it was an unknown quantity. We decided to descend all the way back down to the Allyn river and follow the 90km course back to lostock. We could then descend with the river all the way to Masseys Creek Rd with one big 5km climb out.
The descent was reasonable uneventful except for a pinch flat for Greg. It was fast, rough, fun and cold. It took us 20 minutes to descend what took me 1hr 30m to climb. We regrouped at the bottom for a nice, uneventful roll along the Allyn river Rd back to Masseys Cr Rd. Craig and AK were off the front with Matt and I not far behind and Greg a bit further back after being bailed up by a farmer on a motorbike that was pretty interested in what we were doing. It stayed this way all the way back to Lostock with Matt and I walking back up Masseys Cr Rd together with Greg a few hundred metres behind. The grades were steep, I remember looking at my GPS on a section that seemed flat but it was telling me it was 10%. Reaching the top we had a bite to eat and put our wind vests and warmers back on for the 12km of descending back to the dam.
The descent was sweet with only one hick up when I spotted an Echidna and wanted a photo. Pulling on the anchors I didn't realise that Matt had just got back on my wheel. Knowing we had the finish in sight, although we had not completed the whole loop we still racked up 120km and 3700m of climbing for the day. As we turned into the dam entrance for the little pinch to the top there was a challenge laid down from me to Matt for a sprint to the top. We sprinted, albeit in out lowest gear! Cresting the top we knew we had turned our last pedal stroke for the roll down to camp.

jaseh's picture
Lenny_GTA's picture

Looked like an awesome ride. You'll have to drag me around some of it in the future.

Some of the photos popping up are insane.

jaseh's picture

Amazing place to ride a bike. I'm lucky that this and more is only about an hour away. Much better than riding laps on a groomed track.

Lenny_GTA's picture

Groomed trails have their place, I think variety is the key.

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