GETTING THEREIf coming from anywhere but the East Coast, then you'll probably come via Scottsdale and then Derby.
Once you reach Derby, continue 12.4kms on the main highway towards the east coast, At around 12kms, you'll come into Moorina and see the golf course. Just keep an eye out for Frome Road on your left, and then drive up this gravel road about 500 metres until you get to the small bridge over the Weld River. There's plenty of parking on either side of the bridge and if you park here you've got somewhere to wash down your bike at the end of the ride.
If heading from the East Coast, then head to Weldborough and reset your trip meter. Continue 9.3kms past the Weldborough Pub and turn off to the right onto Frome Rode and drive down to the bridge.
FACILITIESThere are no facilities at the start of this ride. Derby has a few cafes and a pub and Weldborough has a pub which is a very popular spot (for me at least) for an overnight stay offering camping (with hot showers) for $7.50 per person per night, decent meals and plenty of nice ciders to try. Nearest spots for more significant supplies are Branxholm or Scottsdale.
ROUTE OPTIONSThese notes describe a circuit up Frome Road and back down the RC track which makes for an awesome stand alone ride. However there are a myriad of other options.
For a start, organising a car shuffle up Frome Road will save you a 7km / 450 metre ascent ... but it's a long way to bring two cars just to save yourself a bit of work.
You could also start this ride from Weldborough pub, following the same route out as the Blue Tier Descent (ie. along Emu Flat Rd) but turning left where indicated in the track notes to get onto Frome Road (The RC trailhead is 2.2kms from where you turn left) or you could follow the highway route up to the top of the Blue Tier Descent and then do the Descent and continue on down the RC Track.
If you do this then at the bottom of the RC Track you have the option of riding back up Frome Road (so essentially doing the ride in reverse) or heading up the highway back to Weldborough (which is a nice enough ride and probably the easiest way back up to the top). There is also the option of bypassing the bottom bit of the highway and climbing an old trail which just runs above it.
You could also choose to extend the ride by following the river track that is part of the Rattlers Hill Ride around to Banks Road and then cycle back up Mutual Road to the Paris Dam Road and then back to Weldborough (or several variants thereof).
WARNINGSThe track has a couple of steep, rutted, descents (particularly near the start) which can get very cut up by motorcyclists in which case only more advanced riders will be able to ride down. Be a bit conservative at least the first time you ride it.
This is an infrequently ridden route, and it’s not uncommon to find yourself jumping multiple branches and trees on the way down. You’re also unlikely to meet anyone else out on these trails, and there’s virtually no mobile coverage (Telstra) in the area so let someone know where you are going and when you are getting out.
ROUTE DESCRIPTIONNavigationally this track is a cinch … just so long as you hit the trail head.
From your car, just continue along Frome Road, you’ll soon pass a recently harvest forest coupe on your right, so keep your eyes out for the road which comes in at the top of this coupe on your right (approx 1km from bridge). This is where you will come out on your way back down.
Continue on up the road, which starts to steepen. At 1.9kms from the start you will come to a Y junction where you want to take the right (upper) fork which is signed to the dam. Continuing along, the road will eventually flatten out , and even head downhill for a bit, before you’ll come out next to an old house (4.2kms) on your right and soon after the dam no the left. There’s a small detour down to the dam 4.5kms from that start if you want to check it out (not because you want a break).
Enjoy the brief respite alongside the dam, because after that the road steepens, first a short climb, an equally short flat section and then the last and longest climb for the day (just tell yourself you’re almost there).
The road flattens out and almost begins to run downhill just as you get to the RC track trailhead (6.8kms) which heads off into the bush on your right. There’s no signage just a very obvious single trail heading off into the bush off a corner.
Once on the track, you can’t really go wrong. 7.7kms from the start there is (hopefully) a caution sign and it is this next section which can be a bit tricky depending on the state of the track, but it soon flattens out again and then other than a couple of tracks that head off to your left (it is obvious which way everyone goes) you basically just follow your nose as the track sidles its way across and down the hill.
Eventually, you will come to what looks like a track junction with the left fork taped off and an arrow pointing you to go right (13.0kms), head round here and you’ll know you're going the right way if soon thereafter you hit the bottom of a very steep little hill. Good luck with it … I know when I’m beat and always push up this one.
At the top of the hill you will emerge into the top of the forest coupe you cycled past in the beginning of the ride (13.5kms). This section of track may change, but the trail heads out straight into the coupe so just follow the most obvious track as it winds down into the coupe and drops out onto a more obvious, but rough, in-coupe road. Turn right onto this and follow it back out to Frome Road (14.2kms), then just turn left and coast the final section back to your car (15.3kms) … or turn right (I dare you) and do it all again.