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Blue Gums, Bobby Pin Climb, Emu Run & ABC Switchbacks (Loops 2, 4) (2.12km)
Stromlo Forest ParkLast Update: 25/10/2013
Some trail names are made up, if there is a different name please let us know.
Difficulty - Easy - Intermediate - A & B Lines
Slope - Moderate - Undulating
Space - Open - Tight
Surface - Dirt - Eternal Puddles - Loose rocks on dirt - Rock - Rutted - Wood
Trail type - Single track
Blue Gums, Bobby Pin Cimb, Emu Run and ABC Switchbacks conspire to form the biggest vertical climb on the main route up the Mt Stromlo. For the most part the gradient is comfortable but there is a 123m climb and 41m descent over 2.1km. The trail is quite exposed so in the heat and or wind it can be a fair slog as seen on the video.
The rocks are hungry, the first time we rode this climb #1Son had two flats on the same climb. It's definitely worth considering overinflating your tyres on your first time up the hill.
Blue Gums is linked via a short fire trail climb from the top of the Cockatoo Switchbacks. The single track darts right from the fire trail with a small dip and climb before winding down through a narrow tree run. The trail opens out beyond the intersection of the Cardiac Arrest trail (a very technical climb, we've not yet attempted) and gently winds it's way up to the Bobby Pin Climb.
It's easy to see how Bobby Pin Climb got it's name. Some tight, steep and sometimes loose switchbacks are linked by stretches of curvy traverses. This trail is on the climb from start to finish and by the time you get to the top your legs and lungs will be burning. The trail ends at the intersection of the fire trail and the start of Emu Run.
Emu Run is fun mix of short climbs and descents with plenty of rocks on the trail. For those on their first lap at this point managing to stay on the pedals is a great test of your physical and mental strength. It's arguably the most interesting and fun section of the climb. At it's end Emu Run meets up with the fire trail and onto ABC Switchbacks
I assume ABC Switchbacks got its name because the trail flops quickly back on itself a number of times, a bit like the ABC Logo (Australia). Who knows if that is accurate but its a good theory. Apart from the tight steep switchbacks there are a number of rocky climbs that require momentum and grip to conquer. Many of the corners have A and B lines with varying difficulty of vert and technical features. For an average punters like us it was a challenging climb, lean XC types flew past at breakneck speed.
ABC Switchbacks ends at the fire trail and the start of the City View trail.
On the day this video was shot it was blowing a gale, probably to the point of it being a bit dangerous. It certainly added to the challenge of such a long, winding and technical ascent.