Mt Irvine to Colo Madness

This 93km ride was taken on by sadly solo 3Fidi rider Ash on Easter Saturday. In the hope of having some company next year I’m going to blog about its beauty and its effortless descents, and try to keep quiet about the uninterrupted 30km climb back to Bilpin.

I set off from the family farm at Mt Irvine at about 0740 in the morning, and headed down the 10km descent that ends with the ride’s first scenic checkpoint: Bowen’s Creek.


Then it was on up the hill to Bilpin via some pretty dodgy firetrail. Hmm, which line do I take?

Next stop was Ramone’s Service station in Bilpin to fill up with water for the 60km leg to upper colo and back. Very important, since I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get water in colo. Only problem was, the second bottle cage mount on the Rush is under the down tube. Somewhere on the long, fast descent down Comleroy Rd I lost the bottle that was down under there. D’oh! Got to Upper Colo with about a third of a bottle left, and kept on rolling ’til I got to the Colo River.

Continued on a bit in the hope of finding a shop or campground. Nada, so turned back to Upper Colo, and stopped at this extremely cute 19th Century church for my lunch.

The day was heating up and still no sign of water. Was 150ml going to be enough to get me up the long hill back to Bilpin?!! But wait, what’s that on the other side of the church?

And lo, the Lord provided. It was an Easter miracle!! I drank as much as I could, then filled my bottle up from the world’s smallest rainwater tank and headed on up the surprisingly steep switchbacks back towards Mountain Lagoon – 10km at an average 5% gradient. And lo, another miracle, I found my second bottle on the way, lying in the middle of the road and un-squashed by a 4wd. My cup runneth over.

The 93km return trip took 4.5 hours riding time, average speed of 20.7 kph. Check out the route and other data on  Strava:

So, who wants to come ride this with me next time?

3 thoughts on “Mt Irvine to Colo Madness”

  1. Yep, turned early and had a scenic detour up Hanlon’s Rd. Agreed it needs something extra to make it 100km. I like it though that the only tarmac is between Bilpin and Mountain Lagoon. Maybe a couple of reps of the Danes Way climb at the end?

  2. then go on to Newnes. Make it 350km next year.

  3. Good effort, looks like you had a slight error riding up Hanlons Rd.
    May consider this next year, as long as you go all the way to Colo… make it 100km!

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