Three sunny and cool Winter days equaled an idyllic Queens Birthday long weekend in Central Victoria so when the chance came up to ride the Mt Franklin to Vaughan Springs section of the Great Dividing Trail (now called the Goldfields Track Victoria) I jumped on it, even though I last rode it a week ago and was still feeling pretty well beat up from a recent crash.
Leaving the letter boxes beside the Midland Highway the trail starts off with a fast open roll down the red clay of Saw Pit Gully Road, passing through bush and farmland on the eastern side of Mt Franklin. Gradually the road narrows to a track, then the trail turns off into single track. There’s a climb or two before descending down to the intersection of the GDT and Porcupine Ridge Road. From Porcupine Ridge Road to Vaughan Springs it’s grippy, flowy single track broken up by several climbs. Generally any time the trail leaves the gully and climbs it becomes increasingly rocky, so that’s something to look out for — there’s no escaping rocks in Central Victoria! A couple of gully crossings have steep drop in’s (you can opt to use the stairs) but all up the trail is 95-100% able to be ridden.
There are a few descents along the way that can be ridden at warp speed, and some loose marble sections are probably easier ridden that way. I guess the thing to remember especially when riding alone is that not many people use the trail i.e. it could take a long while for before help of any sort arrives if you have an off.
One recent change with the revamp of the Great Dividing Trail are revised sections where cyclists and walkers are separated. Generally walkers stay on the original trail and cyclists are routed away elsewhere. On the Mt Franklin to Vaughan Springs section this happens only once, just as you begin the descent into Vaughan.
The Mojo HD is running along smoothly. I finally got around to adding a little air to the rear shock to take into account the extra weight I’m carrying in the backpack these days. Good move! Still enjoying the 1×10 drivetrain too. You definitely motor up the short climbs along the GDT — no granny gear, no option to crawl up. The Crossmark 2.25 on the rear is pretty well worn these days, not much grip left though I guess the smooth center ridge makes it roll even better! Got some new tires on order, to be revealed 🙂