The BPS Hunt 600
Words & Photos by Max Hobson @bikepackshop
The two finalised routes consisted of 650kms with just over 11000m of vertical climbing and 300kms with 6500m of vert. This is a lot by anyone’s standards.
We had a decent turnout with 35 riders arriving and keen for the trip ahead! Not only was I excited to ride some new gravel, but I was also using this as an opportunity to train for the next year’s Hunt 1000 in March.
Starting the BPS Hunt 600
The 4:30am alarm ticked off on Thursday morning, it was go time! I packed my stomach full of food and hopped on my bike. We rocked up at The Gap 7/11 with another rider, Tom Storey, endurance rider and all round nice guy. Off we go! The ride started off with the Mt Nebo hill climb, with a quick turn left down Dundas/ Goodes road. This is where the first hard climb came in. Luckily we had a water resupply point at the top.
We continued our ride along Range Road where the climbing got harder and harder, making its way up towards The Gantry. At this point Josh and I had passed a few riders and were powering on towards Woodford. Rolling off of the dirt after Range Road felt like heaven. It was the only flat sealed road we had ridden for the past 9 hrs. It was a nice roll into Woodford where we raided the local Woolies and Bottle’o.
After some salami & olive sandwiches and a few Black Hops we continued our journey past the D’aguilar NP towards Belthorpe NP. It was around 6.00pm and the sun was already setting and to make matters even worse the road had started to incline at about 10-15%. We had already mentally switched off, and I was lugging around a 4kg bag of groceries. We made quick work of finding a campsite and decided to sleep on top of a bank just next to the road. It was a good little spot, although it was absolutely infested with mozzies.
After a few hours of chit chat and dinner, we decided to hit the hay. Until… a big bright beam of light started wandering its way up the road, it was a rider. It was Brendan. Brendan luckily had brought mozzie spray so we doused ourselves from head to toe and finally got to bed.
Day Two on the BPS Hunt 600
After a solid 3 hours of sleep, we woke up and headed off towards Jimna. The sun started to make its mark at about 9.00am, it was hot, humid and I was still lugging around this cumbersome bag of groceries. Josh, Brendan and I pushed on towards Jimna where we had a lovely bacon and egg roll made by a local at the Jimna history center.
From Jimna we had a sigh of relief as the route started to descend into farmland. Monsildale road offers a great section of smooth easy riding gravel. Not long after we took a right hand turn towards Linville, this next 20km had two dozen or so Creek crossings with super sandy entry and exit points. It was a constant stop-start battle. Our bikes were covered in sand, loud and squeaky. The dirt road finally became sealed as we rode the rest of the way to Linville.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Linville is about 3/4 of the way along the BVRT (Brisbane Valley Rail Trail). The next 42km we rode along the BVRT, a gradual incline all the way to Yarraman. We stopped for a quick beer (or two?) haha. We got back on the road feeling a bit dizzy as we neglected the fact that we hadn’t had any food. It was 6.00pm, but we weren’t too keen on stopping there for the night so we dug deep and made our way 60-70km west to Kumbia. Nothing much happened over those few hours riding, except that we found a lost rider, Tom Storey, just past south Nanango. We picked up Tom and rode our wrecked bodies to the Kumbia caravan park.
After a huge 215km/4000vm day we made good use of the hot showers in Kumbia. Kumbia was a great spot to set up camp. Mozzie free. We all had an awesome 6ish hour sleep. And woke up semi refreshed and eager to hit the Bunya Mountains on the 3rd day.
Day Three & Four on the BPS Hunt 600
The Bunya Mountains climb wasn’t as bad as we had expected, it was steep. But definitely rideable. The drop in temperature towards the top was also very nice. After a filling lunch at the cafe we dropped down the fun and windy descent and into the next 5ish hours of road riding. Not much happened on day 3, it was hot and sweaty. We finally made it to our first bit of dirt for the day after passing through Esk and riding along the BVRT to Lowood.
We rolled straight into the Lowood Hotel. A big 400g rump & cider sat in front of me as we had a yarn about our big 210km day. I must also give a big shout out to Tom for buying us a room in the Hotel for the night. What a legend!
We woke up after a decent sleep and tackled another hilly and extremely hot day, finishing up at Ascent Cycles in Wilston.
A big congrats to all the riders who attempted or finished the ride. This was no easy feat. The BPS Hunt 600 course is a beautiful monster.
As hard as it was, we all still had an awesome time and were able to share some low lows and high highs.
Stay tuned for the next events that @bikepackshop will be hosting in the future.
Meet Josh Amberger
I had the privilege of riding with Josh Amberger, a pro Ironman triathlete new to bike packing. Not only does Josh have a big engine in the legs, but he’s also a great bloke to talk to.
Josh, being a new bike packer had to get a full suite of bike bags, so we decked him out with a full set of our Oveja Negra bags. How sweet does the set up look! Not only was Josh super stoked on the functionality of Oveja Negras bags, but he was also super stoked with the design and colour variety the bags came in.
Head to the Bikepackshop to take a closer look at the Oveja Negra range.