Melrose has no shortage of sweet hand made single track but for locals and visitors alike it’s always fun to have somewhere new/different to ride. Rich and Al from Over the Edge have long been working on a plan to add a new gravity/flow run to Bartagunyah trails, a 2000+ acre rolling property on the edge of town which Al’s family own and is already home to the Whiskey Trail. Pretty cool when you think about – a huge property chock full of great MTB terrain owned by folk into biking and located just on the edge of town!
My visit to Melrose happened to coincide with the week that Tony ‘Dozer Flow’ Boone from IMBA USA was in town with his machine to start work on stage one of that very same new gravity/flow trail. Tony who describes himself as a ‘professional dirtbag’ has been building trails all over the world for many years, so as a fledgling trail builder it was a great opportunity to witness the transformation of pinkies into jumps, rollers and berms.
The new trail has been dubbed Eurovision, regrettably not as a tribute to ABBA (!) but after a sheep nicknamed Euro. The views from Euro’s trailhead at Scared Rabbit Lookout are just plain cool – to the south west are the waters of Spencer Gulf, to the east a huge expanse of rural plains backing into rolling hills and to the north Mt Remarkable which forms the backdrop to the entire trail. Views like this mean mega opportunities for MTB photography and video in the future not to mention. The views also mean elevation to spare i.e. big dumb MTB grins as the trails point downhill and gravity works her magic. Stage one of Eurovision looks set to deliver with dozer flow flavored downhill rollers, jumps and berms that finally end in a climb to the nearest saddle before descending again to the Bartagunyah homestead.
So who’s the trail for? Anyone and everyone really as you can choose to roll or fly at your own speed. Best bike for the job? One that you enjoy climbing and descending on as you’ll need to ride out and up to the highest point in the property before descending Euro. I reckon any modern Trail/AM bike would do the trick nicely. There is a private, one way and seriously 4WD track up to Scared Rabbit Lookout so there is a possibility of shuttles for events but day to day you’ll need to work first (climb) for your reward later (descend) – old school MTB stuff, nice!
Work on stage one of Euro was still in progress when I left town. With Tony long gone the locals were hard at work transforming the dozer’s rough brush strokes into sweet flowing trail. I’m already looking forward to heading back to Melrose and giving it a whirl. 🙂