Recently I had the absolute pleasure of being a guinea pig for new island business Mountain Biking Flinders Island. We completed the Ride Strz track, which follows the southern coast of Flinders, in the shadow of Mt Strzelecki. (Top tip: the mountain is pronounced “Strezlecki”. The name is of Polish origin 🙂
Each bike has been sponsored by a local business or identity. I ended up with Derek the Wombat‘s bike, which made me remember all the times he chewed my shoes and nipped my fingers while I helped raise him! Actually, I think that my bike sponsors Derek: $5 from each ride is donated towards Kate Mooney’s wombats 🙂
I’ve never done any mountain biking before. Actually, I’ve barely ridden a bike since I got my first car in 4th year uni. 4 years of cycling to uni and work made me rather keen to not sit on a bicycle again. Thankfully, Amanda & Claire have chosen a fantastic trail to reinspire jaded legs.
The track starts at Big River, south of Trousers Point, and winds along the coast to Badger Corner and Unavale Vineyard. Along the way there are views galore towards Cape Barren Island and a flock of smaller islands in Franklin Sound. Admittedly I spent a lot of time watching the track for tree roots & rocks, rather than staring out to sea, but Amanda gave us plenty of stops to take a breath & admire the view.
There were lots of opportunities to test our basic mtb skills. We had downhills full of tree roots & rocks to focus on, and sudden sandy patches to stop the unwary. The creek crossings were an absolute highlight for all of us, and I was very glad I’d worn my elderly sneakers. Next time I’ll bring my bathers too, as we got quite warm cycling past stunning beaches! Ah well, my wet feet helped keep me cool this time 🙂
The final 5km along Badger Corner Rd was probably the hardest for all of us as we were no longer focused on potential obstacles, but had time to realise how much our legs (& bums!) were burning 😄
We could smell our lunch at Unavale though, and yummo! Totally worth the final push. I didn’t get any pics of lunch as we vacuumed it all up too quickly. The quiche, salad & bread were all freshly island-made, and totally hit the spot, especially with a little sweet berry slice to finish.
I can’t wait to book a ride with my teenage girls over summer; it’s a perfect family day out! If you’re on the island over summer make sure you add this to your list 🙂
To Amanda & Claire: thanks heaps, and best wishes for your first season!