After a chance meeting at The Bike Vault on Saturday Chris and I headed over to the Central Highlands to ride the Mt Franklin to Vaughan Springs section of the Great Dividing Trail.

With its combination of flowing bush single track and loss of elevation it’s the most popular and maybe the most fun section of the entire GDT. I’ve ridden it on both mountain unicycles and mountain bikes but it’d been a while since I entered the trail from Sawpit Gully Road so was looking forward to refreshing the memory.

After the wet and muddy conditions at the Wombat Track at Woodend I was expecting the GDT to at least be a little damp, but the track was in prime condition — not a puddle to be seen, fast with a good amount of grip. There’s even a new wooden bridge over one of the gullies – massively overbuilt so hopefully it won’t get washed away in future floods.

The theory is it’s all downhill as you drop off the Central Highlands from Mt Franklin to Vaughan Springs but there are several short climbs along the way that leave you feeling like you earned the flowing single track descents. We cruised along most of the way, getting on the gas now and then to make the most of the single track. Good fun.

Mt Franklin to Vaughan Springs, Great Dividing Trail
Mt Franklin to Vaughan Springs, Great Dividing Trail

Heading home in the van later in the afternoon there were four black cows walking across the lower flanks of Mt Franklin and I thought yeah, I would rate the ride four cows 🙂

Ride Rating: Four Cows
Ride Rating: Four Cows

5 Responses

  1. Hiya, a Garmin 405 GPS watch. It’s been a handy gadget overall, been using it since mid 2008 I guess. It’s not always super accurate, but the performance seems to have improved with updates along the way. The convenience of being able to wear a watch that looks after that stuff has been great.

  2. OK cool. Thanks for that. Been trying to decide between an iPhone or a Garmin Edge 800… didn’t think of a watch solution! Hehe another thing to research. Work will suffer today. 😉

  3. I think the 405 was the first Garmin watch that wasn’t in back to the future super hero sizing, like the 305!

    I like how the watch is robust and convenient, though with my wrists it wasn’t comfortable until I ditched the hard plastic straps and changed over to the fabric straps.

    The Edge does look like a cool unit. For me it would probably be overkill as all I’m really interested in using the GPS to map where I’ve ridden. Out on the trail I only use it as a clock, and sometimes to keep track of total distance.

  4. Yeah I agree. I only want it for tracking where I’ve ridden… not a wizbang personal training device, which is what the 800 seems for.

    Sick of forgetting rides I’ve done. I still wake up in the middle of the night and go “Ah I’ve ridden such and such back in 93!”. Have that problem with climbing as well! 🙂

    Hence why I’m torn between a dedicated GPS or an iPhone. Mind you I will need to move back over to Telstra NextG for best coverage. Which might mean using a iPhone4 as a GPS/Timer/Camera/Video/Emergency device might be the best option, and the strength of smart phones. Thinking cap still on. 😉

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