Set the alarm for 5.
Slam down three eggs, toast and a double espresso.
Pack car and hit the road!
If you are going to drive to the ride, in my mind it has to be special and the Epic Trail at Mt Buller is definitely special. Four horsemen squeezed into the FYXO mobile and we hit the road at 6am.
The first time I rode the Epic Trail I had it in my mind that it was be akin to the Portes Du Soleil in Morzine which involves chairlift up and bombing down all day with minimal effort required to get from trail to trail. Wrong. Here’s the strava file for the ride so you can gauge for yourself.
At 9am we caught the first shuttle to the top of the mountain and began what would be a stop / start day of mechanical drama. Twisted chains, and a few flats got us off to a bumpy start, but otherwise no blood was spilled.
Can’t say the same for the unlucky rider who came unstuck on the Epic Trail and required an Air Ambulance to aid him – aided by none other than bike nut / Air Paramedic Ben who you might recognise from his beautiful bicycle.
The Epic Trail is no easy ride. There is a lot of climbing on fireroad and singletrack. With this prior knowledge in mind I packed an extra muesli bar and bidon. There are no food options enroute, and limited ability to refill your water supplies.
The Stonefly climb will let you know exactly where your fitness and skills are at but rewards you with an amazing blast back to the hut at Howqua Gap. We tacked this on to the already ardous Epic Circuit because it’s awesome fun – and we’d come a long way to ride our bikes.
The scenery is Australian High Country at it’s best. The flowers are in bloom with dashes of purple, orange, white and yellow splashed amongst the white snow gums and lush ferns.
Highlights were the weather which was absolutely perfect, and the EPIC descent which is a dirt roller coaster of dips, hips and berms all the way back to Mirimbah.
Of course the mountain has much to offer road riders, which equally breathtaking views after exhausting climbs to the top.
No matter your wheel size or tread, get your friends together and make a trip.