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Mountain Bike Blog



Riding forgotten trails


Nursery Rhymes, Oxford Falls - First "ride" edit
soundtrack : Lullaby - The Cure (I finally got the Cure in there)

This morning I went riding on trails I'd totally forgotten about.  Trails that my mate @smathy used to frequent back in the day, back when Oxford Falls had some of the best and most challenging trails around .. these days .. NOT!  Almost all the single tracks have been shut down, even some outside the National Park.  I'm told it was a strong message from the NPWS as too many MTBers and MXers were riding across the Aboriginal engravings. 

Seriously .. riding across the engravings?  Who are these morons!
The guys I see out on the trails every weekend in no way reflect this level of stupidity.  Maybe in the last decade these sub-humans have moved on .. or maybe grown up.

But I digress..

There is a long fire trail called the Slippery Dip running from the corner near Lizard Rock right out over Deep Creek in Narrabeen.  It's an out-and-back dirt, rocky and sometimes sandy track with plenty of climbs and descents, some kick arse water bars and a BLOODY STEEP HILL that's barely walkable.  The Slippery Dip used to be the main artery for trails like the XC Track, Chicken Run, Little Moab and Deep Creek but now the only legal single track is Nursery Rhymes.  You don't hear many people talk about riding Nursery Rhymes and I worked out why.  It's bloody hard!

The trail features some seriously rough technical sections where the skills of a "trials" rider would be a HUGE advantage as would the balls of a seasoned downhill pro.  I had a couple of goes at the first technical and was happy to get down it.  A narrow rock crevice, a stump to avoid, a set of carved rock steps and drop that tempted you to run offline and slip off the rock .. which is exactly what I did .. the time I made it.  The other time I narrowly avoided going OTB by grabbing onto a tree but was left swearing at my phone which decided to give me a status update just as I needed to focus.

It doesn't look that hard .. well I guess it wasn't.  I got down it smoothly 2nd go.

The next technical had me laughing.  "As if I'm going to try that!"  I was on my own, on a tight schedule and well lets be honest I'm not going to try things like this without body armour and a full face helmet.

3 big steps with a turn at the bottom, I just laughed at the prospect. 
The photo doesn't do it justice.

The last step and turn

From then on it just got ridiculous.  With each rocky section I got off the bike and walked to the base of it .. before getting on and then off again after deciding to start on a flatter section.

Definitely rideable but it wasn't going to happen today.

When eventually I did arrive at a stretch where I could ride I was greeted by the water which had been seeping down the hill from the downpours the previous week.  The otherwise very challenging rutted trail with infinite steps to climb had become a quagmire, way too tricky for my skill level.

What was more depressing was the "Nobby Nic" tyre track I had been following most of the way was still a perfect imprint, like it was laid by a machine.

The Nursery Rhymes trail involved far too much walking for me today, so no trail video just a ride edit, but I will DEFINITELY be back in the summer when the trail has dried out and seen some more traffic. 

I have some unfinished business up there!

The other calamity
as the day warmed up the humidity fogged up the GoPro lens
so all the footage I got on the Slippery Dip looked like this


View from the end of Nursery Rhymes / Powerlines.
Ridge along the top left is Red Hill
The white dots near the top right are the satellite dishes at the bottom of Morgan Rd (Oxford Falls Downhill)


Trail Centres and Trails featured in this blog



This website is brought to you by MTB weekend warrior Aaron Markie.
There are plenty of great websites out there with a wealth of information about Mountain Bike Trails,
however in my experience its hard to get a good mix of info, maps, photos and videos of trails I've never ridden.
The idea of this website is to tie those 4 elements together and give you a more detailed look at the MTB Trails I ride.
If you have anything to add then let me know.