Great ride with Julien late in the day, taking in arguably the best section of singletrack on the Mt Franklin to Castlemaine section of the Great Dividing Trail.

We headed off from Guildford back up towards Mt Franklin on minor dirt roads and fire trails before reaching the intersection of Porcupine Ridge Rd and the Great Dividing Trail. From there it was single track bliss on the GDT all the way down to Vaughan Springs, before cruising back into Guildford.

Considering the recent floods the section of the GDT we rode was in good shape. Hardly any water at all – really just a few puddles – and apart from creek crossings which had been scoured out, very little erosion damage to the trail itself. The main obstacles were fallen trees. Tall new growth beside the trail also made it a good idea to wear clear glasses, which I didn’t and took a nasty branch slap right across the eyes, ouch!

Ibis Mojo HD, GDT Trail, Porcupine Ridge
Ibis Mojo HD, GDT Trail, Porcupine Ridge

I hadn’t ridden on the GDT since June 2009 (on the KH29 Mountain Unicycle) and was bummed to see that a large section of bush had been razed by a controlled burn that had gotten away.

Loved riding the Mojo HD though. It motors up rocky sections like a crazed goat, carves twisty trails, and descends like a demon. It’s insane how supple, smooth and balanced the ride is, encouraging you to go as fast as you dare while dramatically reducing fatigue. Really happy with it, definitely a bike to grow into.

The 1×10 (33 tooth chainring/11-36 cassette) drivetrain is working out well. The spread of ratios, the 33:36 low gear, all good so far — it’s really just like having only the middle chainring up front which covers most fun riding even when you’re running 3×10, but with the benefits of riding and mechanicial simplicity, plus no risk of a dropped chain. If the 1×10 drivetrain lacks anywhere it’s at the high end e.g. when you come across prolonged fire road descents and really want to haul along, not surprising as there’s no big chain ring there. I don’t think I’ll go any larger than the 33 tooth on the front, as around Central Vic there are lots of steep and/or technical climbs where the lower gears come in handy, and hardly any prolonged descents where a big chainring is needed.

Some sunny weather forecast over the next week, look forward to squeezing in another ride on the GDT sooner than later!

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