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Mountain Bike Blog

 

 

#ThursdaysTrail - Red Hill - Main Trail Home Descent

 7/2/2013

The Video:

The Why:

Red Hill is the trail where I cut my teeth as a mountain biker and the Main Trail Home Descent still rates as one of my favourite sections of trail. The mix of technical options, variety of lines and clear visibility mean its an awesome trail for developing and practicing technical skills - safely.

I've learnt so much riding this section of trail due to the sheer volume and variety of technical features. It's where I go to get my mojo back if I'm feeling off my game.

Who For:

It can be ridden as a beginner or enjoyed as an experienced rider. It's an excellent place to learn technical descending skills because its not steep. Its also a great place to let rip without fear of death.

About the Trail Centre:

The trails at Red Hill have been carved out by walkers, mountain bikers and motocross riders over many decades which means they are largely organic rather than planned and improved by design. Aerial photos taken during the 40's (http://lite.maps.nsw.gov.au/) show trails through the bush that are still in use today. If you flick back through the Google Earth archives you will also find old trails from the early noughties that still exist but are now somewhat over grown. There are also new trails that post date the last Google Earth photo.

Red Hill doesn't really do "flow" what it excels at is technical features due the abundance of natural sandstone. I haven't come across a trail centre that has so many natural technical features - if you know of one let me know ... ASAP!.

#ThursdaysTrail:

This trail section takes advantage of Red Hill's fantastic natural features, it can be ridden both ways and many MTBers climb this with the skill of a mountain goat. I however prefer to go downhill.

Starting from the top of 3 Ways is a very uneven and cracked rock plateau, there are a few lines worth scoping or alternatively you can ride around the first section by taking a little detour to the right at the first step up. The plateau comes to an end with a steep roll down a very large rock face. From top to bottom it's probably around 8 feet, maybe more. You can do it in stages if need be but it's very "ride-able". I first rode it on my 1" suspension bike, in the wet.

From there its a short flat ride across the top of 100m Hill before descending down a short rocky piece of single track which is all part of Figure 8. For beginners its daunting but for the experienced its a chance to get your suspension working for you. The rocky section ends abruptly at some rock steps with a sandy landing and a sharp turn. If you don't make the turn you will plough into a steel railing.

Following on are some sections of bedrock usually covered with loose rocks inconveniently distributed by motorbikes. If you made it to the dirt section across the top of the Rock Slide then take a breath and get ready.

Rock Slide, the final section of my #ThursdaysTrail, is the most challenging. It's not overly steep but its full of interesting obstacles. If you want to take the easy route (visible in the #ThursdaysTrail video) the line swings from side to side down the trail. There are loose rocks, big loose rocks, holes, ruts, water, pedal grabbing narrow sections and a few small steps. Alternatively you can cannonball-it pretty much straight down the middle (like in the video), which is typically the hardest line.

I've found it a great trail to build my confidence on technical descents - you could say its a beginners downhill trail.

Also worth looking at:

  • At the very top just prior to the start of the #ThursdaysTrail video there are alternate ways down from the rock plateau. For more info see Red Hill - Three Ways. On the map blue is the easiest way down and the hardest way is shown in yellow.
  • Check out the alternative ways down at Red Hill - Figure 8. The Aqua line on the map (also indicated on the #ThursdaysTrail video as Alternate) has some 1 foot high roll offs, or take the b-line options (yellow) if you want to avoid the rocks. 
  • At the top of the Rock Slide are some alternate options (shown on the #ThursdaysTrail video) including a BIG rock roll in (I haven't been game enough to ride, but here is Mitch doing it - language warning).
 

Trail Centres and Trails featured in this blog

 

Comments:

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.