Ride High Country: Beechworth

Watch the video below! 


This is a town that oozes charm and history, a mix of quaint and quirky, with wide streets, shady verandahs, smiling old ducks at the bakery. It welcomes you, like a favourite wooden jumper, a comfy, relaxed fit. It’s a feeling we’ve always had here, a genuine warmth, and it’s not just the pastie we’re eating, fresh from Beechworth Bakery pie oven.

DSC09902
Big granite outcrops are a standout feature of the Beechworth trails.

untitled-09991

DSC01344The local crew, the legendary Beechworth Chain Gang, extend the same vibe. Out of towners are always welcome to join the Wednesday night social ride, localism isn’t their bag. Even the location of the trails makes life simple; the Beechworth Mountain Bike Park is only a few minutes ride from the centre of town, and it’s all mapped and signposted for visiting riders to enjoy.

DSC09999
You can roll out to the trail head from town, it’s just a few minutes’ pedal.
DSC00111
The new Don’t Be a Hero Trail brings a new flavour to Beechworth trails.

It’s a total noodle bowl of singletrack in the Bike Park, a smallish space, heaped with trails, all of it loads of fun. The trail builders have worked with terrain brilliantly, using the rocky granite outcrops to create rhythm and challenge, and the surface is fast and perfectly drifty at the same time. New trails are springing up too, including the cheekily named ‘Don’t Be a Hero Trail’ – a funny nod to the Hero Trail in Bright, as well as a good-natured dig at the trail builder who broke themselves on the trail not long after finishing its construction!

DSC00405

DSC00090
Dust, sun and a good crew. Spot on!
DSC01009
The landscape surrounding Beechworth is Australiana overdrive. This is bush ranger country!

untitled-09948

Away from the bike park, there are plenty of less publicised trails too, which might require some local knowledge to unearth. The best place to acquire said knowledge? At the brewery of course! Bridge Rd Brewers lies right at the heart of town, and not only do they produce superb beer and cater for hungry riders, but head brewer Ben Kraus froths harder than a shaken pilsner for mountain biking.

DSC01298
All brewed in Beechworth, Bridge Rd is a must see, even if you’re not a drinker. It’s got a great vibe.

DSC01318

DSC01327

Yackandandah’s new trails are just down the road too, and the locals have a dream to see these two great networks linked up with trails through the great swathes of forest between the towns. It’s a vision we’d love to see realised one day; both of these towns really grab us, and the thought of being able to ride on the dirt between the two is too good!

DSC00022
Negotiating with some rocks in the bike park.

Beechworth really is a must-do on any road trip through this region, whether you’ve got bikes or not. We guarantee you’ll be charmed, and you’ll keep coming back, just like we do. For more information about riding in Beechworth, or across the whole region, head to ridehighcountry.com.au. 

DSC00336
The Woolshed DH is one of the less official trails in the area. Seek it out!

DSC00106 DSC00179

DSC01041
It’s not all beer – cold brew Nitro Coffee will get tired legs hammering once again!
DSC00045
Chasing mates through dusty berms.

DSC01118

DSC00298 DSC09918

Beechworth Prison is where Ned Kelly was held after being nabbed at Glenrowan.
Beechworth Prison is where Ned Kelly was held after being nabbed at Glenrowan.
"You're under arrest for wearing two paris of sunnies."
“You’re under arrest for wearing two pairs of sunnies.”
The new Kelly helmet with MIPS technology, made in Beechworth.
The new Kelly helmet with MIPS technology, made in Beechworth.
The Woolshed Cabins are run by passionate club member Chris Doe - highly recommended.
The Woolshed Cabins are run by passionate club member Chris Doe – highly recommended.

DSC00225

Must Ride: Beechworth, the Dream Town

We’ve spent plenty of time here before over the years filming and shooting videos for Flow themed around tourism, trails, road trips and beer. But this time a family holiday brought one half of Flow (the better half) to the iconic town of Beechworth for a few days of quality time, but not without a bike of course. Beechworth’s well-preserved township and rich Australian history give it the feeling of stepping back in time, around six hours from Sydney and three from Melbourne is more than enough to give the feeling of a proper getaway and also keeps the trails safe from the hordes of skidding tyres.

_LOW4702
That iconic main drag, looks like a movie set from a gold rush film. Is that Ned Kelly driving a Hilux down there!?
_LOW4647
We chose the new Pivot Switchblade set up with 27.5+ tyres to join us on the trails of Beechworth, a VERY good decision indeed! This bike loves slippery surfaces and technical terrain.
_LOW4944
Perfectly signed and marked, just rock up and shred! There’s even street signs in town pointing you in the direction of the MTB park. A real mountain bike town!
_LOW4945
Go on, just ride.

With a population of less than 3000 people it’s a surprise the town has amazing purpose-built mountain bike trails within a quick ride from the main drag, and plenty of adventure riding beyond that. The Beechworth MTB Park and Flame Trees have two trails in the Dirty Dozen, North East Victoria’s best trails handpicked by locals.

Check out the full dozen here – www.thedirtydozen.com.au.

_LOW5149
Yeeeeaaaaa!
_LOW5073
Thread through the chunks of granite and play with the varying surfaces under your tyres.
_LOW4664
When in town…
_LOW4712
Picture-perfect township.
_LOW5160
New school freeriding, find a boulder and ride up and down it, there’s a lot to explore around the place.
_LOW4987
Wade Simmonds!?
_LOW4656
Tanswell’s. The centre of town, good place for some live music, pub grub, cheap accomodation and meeting some cheery locals. Bridge Road Brewery is just out the back too, no need to go far…
IMG_3388
Out of town exploring some local trails and ‘fire roads’ in the surrounding hills.

_LOW4847

_LOW4667
Big cheers to Derek and Chris for good yarns, local welcome and letting us tag along for a ride. Legends.

When we think of Beechworth we immediately think of sweet trails and er, beer! The local brewery Bridge Road Brewers is one of the finest craft brewers in the country, exporting all around the country its great quality brew. Aficionados know what we’re talking about, this place is beer tasting heaven and we feel even warmer and fuzzier with a hoppy pint in our hands knowing that the brewery is also heavily involved in the mountain bike scene, supporting development, events, and the local club the Beechworth Chain Gang.

You’d be mad not to try the tasting sample plank with 11 distinct beers brewed a few strides away from the bar. The pizza is seriously delicious too, take our word for it. And the pretzels. And the open fire…
_LOW4685

IMG_3419
Exploring the fire trails in the National Park, right up to Barry’s Falls.
IMG_3436
Derek Visser, local legend. One of the locals keeping the trails running sweet for us city folk to have the best possible time.

_LOW5010

_LOW4961
Squamish, Canada? No.
_LOW5026
The trails in the mountain bike park are sublime, we relish in the open and flowing nature of the trails through the sparse forest littered with grippy granite boulders and drifty soil. Heavenly stuff!
_LOW4720
Beechworth is right on the Mountains to Murray Rail Trail, calm gradients of endless flowing cycle path. A nice way to roll about the place and see the beautiful and austere Victorian countryside at a slower pace.

_LOW4882

_LOW5068
Open corners! Flow to the max.

_LOW4883

_LOW4717

_LOW4662


Want To Ride Beechworth?

For more on what this place is all about head to our most recent Flow Nation trip to the region here: Flow Nation, Beechworth.

Trail locations of the two main trails in town: Beechworth MTB Park and Flame Trees.

Here’s a throwback to Flow’s first visit to the region.

Flow Nation Beechworth video.

 

The Dirty Dozen video from all five destinations in the region. Mt Buller, Mt Beauty, Bright, Beechworth and Falls Creek. Road trip!

Cheers!

Must Ride: The Dirty Dozen – Beechworth

Beechworth was stop number two for us on our week long Dirty Dozen road trip, exploring the 12 handpicked trails across the north-east of Victoria. This town might lack the towering hills of some of the other Dirty Dozen destinations, but it proves emphatically that it’s what you do with the terrain you’ve got which really counts. You’ll find two of the Dirty Dozen trails in Beechworth, but don’t surprised if you find yourself staying for a while – there’s so much to love about this place.

 


Flame Trees

Flame Trees is a cool, mellow cross-country loop which is accessible by a short pedal down the Murray to Mountains rail trail straight from town. The trail never deviates far from the rail trail, but snakes alongside it, ducking into cuttings and gullies and milking the rolling terrain to keep a good flow.

_LOW0433
Australiana.

The trail is surrounded by some really iconic, Aussie-as farmland and it’s a particularly stunning ride in the afternoon when the setting sun bathes the whole scene in golden country light.

IMG_9591
Flame Trees follows the rail trail, weaving about alongside it. You can pedal back to town in just a few minutes along the tarmac too.

Flame Trees is a pretty quick loop, about an hour at most, so it’s a good way to start things off in Beechworth before heading off to the more technical Beechworth Mountain Bike Park.

IMG_9590

_LOW0016
Beechworth is a really cool town, with beautifully preserved buildings.

IMG_9592 _LOW0441_LOW0018

 


Beechworth MTB Park

Occupying a compact area just on the edge of town, this mountain bike crams an amazing amount of fun, challenging trail into a small space. We really love this mountain bike park, it’s incredibly unique, and there are stacks of different loops available.

_LOW0014
It’s only a couple of minutes pedal from the main street to the mountain bike park.

The trail builders have embraced the rocky, granite strewn terrain, incorporating all kinds of rock outcrops into the trail, rather than scooting around them as we see too often. There are trails for just about any level of rider in the park and they’re all mapped and signposted as well, so you can plan out your loop according to the challenge you’re looking for.

_LOW0485
Ned Kelly was tried and held here once upon a time.

It’s not all rock gardens though, and the singletrack has a really fun, fast surface, which gives you some of the most satisfyingly controlled drifts that you’ll find anywhere. You could very easily spend a couple of days here, sessioning different sections, working out new loops and discovering new ways to ride the rocks, or you could head to Bridge Rd Brewers or the amazing bakery for a refuel. Either way, we’re sure you’ll love this town as much as we do.

_LOW0509

For more information on the riding in Beechworth and the Dirty Dozen trails, head to http://thedirtydozen.com.au

_LOW0534
Plenty rocky!
_LOW0566
These trails are full of cool, unexpected line options.

_LOW0495 _LOW0519 _LOW0557

_LOW0595
Don’t leave town without visiting the Bridge Road Brewers! They’re mountain bike nuts too.

Must-Ride: Bikes and Brews Tour, Part 1

You know those perfect moments on the trail, when the light is amazing, the riding is mellow and you’re just in 100% cruise mode?

[SV_VIMEO id=”55498432″]

Just a few weeks ago, Flow headed to Beechworth, Mt Beauty and Bright in north-east Victoria. We were there for the Bikes and Brews tour; three days of amazing riding, delicious breweries and good times.

Along the way, we shot some video to capture what the region is all about. Here’s a little taster from a particularly golden afternoon in Beechworth.

We’ll have the full video up soon and you can read all about the Bikes and Brews tour in issue #2 of Flow, out 9 January 2013.