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Canberra Rd Trip Mt Stromlow

Stuart M's picture

By Stuart M - Posted on 01 May 2007

Friday, 8 June, 2007 - 14:30
3 hours
Come Rain or Shine: 
I'll be there, no matter what the weather.
Ride Database Entry: 
Stromlo Forest Park
Meeting Point: 

First time there so lets meet at the designated spot on the ride gallery and take it from there


The first ride in what shall be a very long weekend in the saddle. First time at Stromlow and unfortunately I believe only the XC track will be open but lets go and explore.

Don't forget Friday is not a public holiday so you will probably need to take the day off if you want to join us.

If we have any Canberra / local "lurkers" that would like to play tour guide barbie then please let us know.

All welcome.

Who's in?
No confirmations as yet.
What Happened?

Were you there and have a story to tell?

Ride Gallery
Paul's picture

Guys, a group of us rode Sparrow Hill on Saturday and Mt Stromlo on Sunday so I thought I would give you my thoughts.

Sparrow Hill - the terrain is identical to last years Scott 24, that is 25+ k's of single rack in pine forest without a difficult climb in sight. They have had a little rain so there was no dust and the track was firm.

Our catch cry was "no brakes" as we tried to rail the bermed corners without slowing down. This is doable and once the skill of leaning the bike over is mastered it's so much fun.

I left Sparrow Hill thinking it doesn't get any better than this so lets dump Mt Stromlo and do Sparrow Hill again.

Mt Stromlo - Although it looks a long way to the top, the trail just winds up the mountain in minor inclines meaning you never have to go to granny, but once you get to the top you are in fast flowing bermed switchback heaven. Just because you can ride at greater speeds on a fast flowing track ("No Brakes"), Mt Stromlo became my all time favorite. Now all they need is a quad chair.

At Mt Stomlo we rode the XC track (the downhill was closed) and even the double diammond parts were not as difficult as Red Hill/Oxford Falls. Same for Sparrow Hill, what they call technical is a few rocks on the track or a roll over.

The surrounding rocks are the sharp and jagged, so run high tyre pressure and drop the travel on your front forks to tighten the headset angle to make cornering the switchbacks easier.

Weather is changable and winter is approaching so dress in layers. Sparrow Hill is in a pine forest which doesn't get must sun so its cold but protected from the wind and Mt Stromlo has no protection from the icy winds, but in the sun it is warm. Layers are the answer if you feel the cold. Saying that I rode in a short sleeve shirt for most of the way and it was only when we stopped that the chill set in.

We had a group of 7 riders of which 6 were reasonably fit and one was not so fit, so while we were hitting the trails at good speed we had to wait at every junction. Initially it was only a few seconds but after 20k's it was a few minutes at each junction. While this was good for recovery, it was cold and we started to cool down. Depending on the number of riders I would suggest going in groups not bigger than 6 (so everyone can have a turn in the lead)and divide the group based on speed/fitness.

In summary, if I could get another leave pass I would go again tomorrow, the thought of moving to Canberra was also considered. It's definitely the best riding I've ever done, so go along you will love it.

Bruce's picture

Great review Paul, the next three weeks cant go quick enough.
Hey Shaun, bet those hands are going to heel nice a quick after reading this review Smiling

Little-Ditty's picture

Found some other info about Mt Stromlo if anyone was interested...

Website for our local Canberra colleagues... Canberra Off-Road Cyclists:

The Mt Stromlo trails (which look pretty good, at least on a map):


Stuart M's picture
jedijunglesnow's picture

Hey guys, just a thought, you've planned a whole day at Sparrow Hill and only 3 hours at Stromlo??

To be honest Sparrow Hill is cool, but Stromlo kicks it's butt!! I find at Sparrow Hill 2 hours is enough to take it all in.

Yeah the downhill at Stromlo may be closed, but there is still the old downhill track to ride which is great fun (particularly if your like Red Hill type rock gardens) and the amount of awesome singletrack on offer is ridiculous.

You may want to reconsider? Maybe hit Majura Pines ( they rock) on Friday instead, 3 hours is plenty of time to have a blast there, and it's location makes it an easy first ride stop over for a Canberra mission.

You will want to do Stromlo properly...

Caro's picture

Just getting a little bit excited Smiling

Or should I say: I can't wait!!

evan's picture

Hi all,

If anyone wants to leave @ 3:30pm with Gary(Gazza)to head down to Canberraor meet up with him, give him a call. His number is in his profile.


Gilbo's picture

everyone. unfortunately i am unable to make it. looking forward to seeing the pics and maybe some vids of the trails out west. a weather warning - i was in canberra yesterday and it was *&#! COLD!!


Carlgroover's picture

I was wondering with the appalling weather (for mtb) Sydney is getting, did you take the punt on Canberra's weather being ok, at least the forecast was better down there. Hopefully the trail Gods are looking kindly upon you if you are all down there.

Rob's picture

According to our weather page it's not been raining in Canberra (well - a small sprinkle at Sparrow Hill). I heard it was windy, but that's all.

I was considering a trip to Wingello on Monday, but notice they've had some rain in the last few hours. If it clears though, should be OK by then.

lorrie's picture


I just got back from Canberra and I am shatterred. There has been almost no rain (as of 4pm on Sat) and the trails are almost dry. It's quite windy so a good jacket is needed. We did Stromlo on Friday and that was great for a man-made course lots of switchbacks both up and down the mountain, there was some cambered corners as well. We did Sparrow hill today and it rocked!! lots of twisty singletrack. Lots of smiles were had all round!

Well done CORC!


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