A day of lasts
Sunday was a day of lasts. It was probably the last notable ride on The Black Magic, which is being retired after six years and countless thousands of kilometres. For the occasion, I decided to ride the old Garden of Eden ride in reverse, not realising that there would be another "last" here as well. It all started uneventfully enough, with a pleasant climb out of Bilambil on Glengarrie Road to the top of the ridge. Near the summit some local redneck had a heap of dogs that have now apparently been trained to attack virtually anyone on sight. The simple act of lifting the bike into the air and making it clear I could bring it down on any head that got too close took care of that problem.
Another issue soon arose, however. It became clear on the latter stages of the climb that the "road" wasn't being "maintained" any longer, as the lantana in the area was now severely overgrown. Things didn't get any easier when I discovered that the road has now been gated off. Apparently someone has bought a heap of land and closed the road completely at the summit. As the gate was open, and there was nobody around, and no habitations on the land yet anyway, I decided to go through regardless. It soon became apparent that the remains of Glengarrie "road" have completely disappeared, and diverted into another track down the mountain.
At this point I really had no option but to follow the track and hope it linked up with the ridge further to the west. Instead, it simply continued down the mountain. Some tyre tracks indicated that it was occasionally used, and therefore must go somewhere, but after climbing another fence and continuing a very steep descent, I began to wonder whether it would link up with the place I wanted to go. I got my answer after climbing a third gate and coming to the end of the track. It had now linked up with Urliup Road, at the bottom of the valley, and almost right back at sea level.
By this stage I realised that there was never going to be another chance to ride the old Garden of Eden, so I simply rode to the top of Urliup road through the rainforest, before turning around to ride home. Along the way I found a hidden campsite just off the road. Probably wouldn't be a bad place for an overnighter but for the swarms of mosquitoes that call the place home, and the fact that it isn't really all that far away. In the end, I wasn't really sure what to make of the day. It was an interesting adventure, but the loss of another great ride, on top of the continued closure of Springbrook road after the landslide is more than a little annoying.