I am lucky in that I live very close to Mount Glorious. Look, it may or may not have been a factor when buying a house (don’t tell my Mrs OnTheBackWheel). Now, I suppose having lived and ridden the roads there for the past few years I’ve gained a bit of local knowledge on the roads, so I might as well share it.
Mount Glorious is located approximately 40 minutes west of Brisbane. The ride has a good mixture of sweeping turns and technical sections and overall it is an excellent ride whether you want to go for a cruise or battle your mates up and down.
The ride on Mount Glorious can be separated into two halves (or more) depending on how you’re feeling. One of the most common ways is to start at Samford Village, travel west on Mount Glorious Road, climb the mountain and stop at one of the community cafes before heading back the way you came. My personal favorite is to climb the mountain and continue on to the back side of the mountain (where you can have some real fun). Depending on your riding pace and conditions this can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours return. I recommend riding there during the week as it can get very busy during the weekends. There are always caged warriors heading up and limited places to pass.
The climb up the hill starts out with sweeping turns. These quickly tighten making the road reasonably technical featuring switch backs, hairpin turns and varying degrees in road quality. While you are consistently climbing up hill, mixed in are inclines and undulations that provide good variation. In several sections you can really up the ante and test out your cornering skills.
On the back side of the mountain you can really pick up the pace and have some fun. Initially there is a forest section where you have to be careful, especially after rain. The road surface is bloody terrible and when you combine this with leaf litter and dirt, it’s best to cruise through this part. I’ve had some memorable (aka terrifying) moments when entering a corner and finding mud and leaves all over the road. The feeling of the rear tyre sliding all over the place, with a drop off to one side and a rock wall on the other, good times.
When you get past the forest section, things get fun. The road quality improves noticeably. The road heads downhill with a mixture of s-bends, long sharp turns and fast corners. When you’re pushing hard you can really test out those shiny new knee sliders. The road opens up into sweeping corners through farm land (be wary of the odd cow) before hitting a t-intersection giving you the option of going right to Esk/Somerset Dam or left to Wivenhoe. From here you can press on and make a day ride out of things or turn back and do it all again in reverse. You’ll often find this is a good place to stop and talk shit with other riders.
At the top of the mountain there are several main cafés, Elm Haus, Maiala and Mount Glorious Restaurant. Elm Haus has a forest atmosphere, Mount Glorious Restaurant one of the best views you will see and Maiala is great for looking at bikes. All of these offer adequate tea and coffee and are a good place to talk war stories. I’ve never been blown away by the food, but the talk is that recently they have picked up their game. They are all pro bikes so don’t be shy. Maiala even has motorcycle magazines to read while you wait, fancy. Do everyone a favour though and make sure you don’t go hammering through town, there’s always a couple of gooses and I know for a fact the locals don’t like it.
Over the whole of Mount Glorious the road quality ranges from top notch to pretty shit. Poor areas feature bumps mid corner, worn bitumen that has been patched and coarse bitumen. The great areas have smooth, delicious tarmac where you can wear off those chicken strips.
All in all, Mount Glorious is damn good fun. You can ride there like a demon, cruise up and have a relaxing coffee with friends or simply ride through on the way to bigger adventures. Hit me up if your going for a ride there!
Keep it OnTheBackWheel people.