About the ride.

Day 1

Follow the ride through the eyes of Tony Nastasi - one of the pioneers of our inaugural Rural n Remote Mountain Bike Adventure.


Mareeba - Almaden

Thinking about the ride to Forsayth, I would have to say it was fun and a challenge. There were times when it was easy and times when it was technical. The weather couldn't have been better. The first day was the tester with a mixture of rail trails and dirt roads. The highlight of the morning was Laura Garner's family farm for morning tea; great homemade cakes and fresh fruit with the dragonfruit the best I have ever tasted. We got into Dimbulah for a great lunch and lots of shaded trees with everyone looking for a coffee shop that was shut. And then just to test our resolve, a 60k section on the highway. The first day ended at the Almaden pub where we all had a nice cold drink and some chips that were delivered in the last century but the beer was so good served by a pleasant young lady. That night we were treated like royalty - the food we were given was first class and I ate enough food for about four people . 135km.


Day 2


Almaden to Barwidgi

We were fed a nice breakfast with lots of fruit. My espresso coffee was a hit with everyone pretending to be my friend just to get some freshly brewed coffee. And then off we went riding at a nice steady pace to get the legs going. Once we warmed up, we started picking up speed with lots of corrugations, creek crossings and bull dust to keep us on our toes - 69.9km to be exact. We stopped every 10k's so the pack would not be too far apart and we would all arrive at the camp site at around the same time. Once we arrived at the camp site, prepared by Owen the station owner (he had even put together a pile of fire wood for us), for a guy who said he really didn't like people, he sure had a bit to say once given the chair and for good measure his son Josh and his wife joined us for dinner. Owen's wife had prepared their dinner, but we convinced him the pasta cooked by an Aussie would be ok. Not sure if it was the right call but, I called the place Lake View Resort but it was more like a cattle yard with lots of cow dung and not much shade to speak of but we never had a dull moment. We had showers and toilets delivered from Mareeba to the camp site and I wondered why as the showers caught on fire and all hope of a warm shower went with the fire. At least we had toilets. All part of the experience. Most of us had a swim in the dam and I think we came out dirtier than when we went in. It was a very eventful night and it didn't take long to find out I was pretty much the only one with a job, with almost everyone there retired. Not happy Sam!
As it turned out, this was one of the best afternoons and nights on the ride.

Day 3

Barwidgi to Mt Surprise

The next morning the volunteers were at it again chopping food, boiling water and looking after us. So off we go, day three great riding, a mixture of dirt and bitumen, lunch was at Springfield Station with lots of shade and cool breezes. The hope of pizza promised for dinner at Mount Surprise turned out to be actually miming town surprise and I got a history lesson to boot. In to Mt Surprise we ride, yippee more cold beer. While we were having a cold drink, a message arrived that if we wanted pizza we would have to convince someone from Cairns to deliver them as it turned out the bush telegraph had broken down. We were not worried, we had cold beer. We got the new message - pasta for dinner. Are we really in the bush of Italy? So off we go to dinner and actually the spaghetti was not bad. 72.3 km.


Day 4

Mt Surprise to Einasleigh

Next morning I woke up feeling great - I couldn't wait to get going. I was starting to drive everyone insane with my boom speaker in my back pocket. Off we go day four. We get to the short cut - the road is not the beautiful highway I had promised. But lunch was at a great spot, beside a lagoon on Jardine Station with this massive bull watching us eat.  A message came from above that we had to let the oldest guy on the ride beat me in to Einasleigh. I never argue with the word when it comes from above. I let him get a head start then I started yelling that I was chasing him. Unfortunately for Lothar, he missed the turn to the only building for miles and the second oldest rider - a spring chicken at 70 years old, beat him in with myself yelling I was coming a close third. Before we could settle down, a strange cross dressing person - the famous Aunty Jack - made a brief appearance on a fat bike. Again cold beer and a pub you have to go to at least once in your life where the word service is a distant memory. Some of the riders went for a swim in the gorge. We were promised fish and chips and that's what we got but not before I ate two hot pies cooked to perfection by the publican. He told me if the pies weren't out to me in 8 minutes I had to remind him he had put them in the microwave - all part of the experience. The owner of the pub had a convertible Corvette what the hell! He let us use it to go for a spin, lots of fun had by all. The fish and chips were a treat. 77km.


Day 5

Einasleigh to Forsayth

As usual I woke up full of beans - my speaker had been recharged and I had the Black Eyed Peas on full noise - everyone was bopping and we were keen to hit the road. We were told there were some 10 degree hills - turns out there were a load of them. We were all starting to feel the effects of the ride. Ditmar and I were working hard trying to beat each other up the hill when I heard a rider come - Dean on his @#@@ electric assist bike. My heart sank as he pedalled by both of us. He thought it was funny but it's only funny when I am the one having a laugh. It's ok Dean, I forgive you. We stopped for lunch this time we got wraps - something we were all looking forward to. We had decided at a vote the night before that if we didn't get wraps we were going to stage a mutiny we were sick of bread. By the way I wasn't the instigator, believe it or not. Lunch was great and the fact tha we were getting close to the end gave everyone a new lease on life. We had been climbing all day and now it was time to reap the rewards. It was a fantastic downhill all the way home. Joel pushed me all the way in. We had a regroup just before Forsyth - again I was made to go to the back to ride in with Pete McNally who through the whole ride had stayed back to look after the slower riders - well done, Peter.  There are many stories from this ride and if you can't shut me up about it, it's because I want you to take up the challenge and have the time of your life. Day five done 68km ride done - a little tear coming on .


Returning on the Savannahlander

This is an optional extra and a great way to return to Cairns and see some different countryside.

Once registered for the ride you will be given a special link to register for the return rail trip, if you wish.