This ride is now fondly remembered as the Banished Bishop Ride, due to the Cathedral Ranges State Park being closed as a result of recent landslides. Not to be disappointed, a substitute route around the closed tracks was quickly devised.

The group of Madcats met at the bakery in Yarra Glen and set off in light drizzle. This weather was distinctly different to the previous day that peaked at 38 degrees and had initiated a date change for the ride.

The group entered Paul’s Range with excitement and nervous anticipation as they soon found the once dry level 2 tracks had become slick and challenging in spots. The difficulty level had increased dramatically and required some members to pull out some their wet weather skills.

In true Madcat form, the group worked together to overcome the obstacles to reach the Toolangi exit. Craig had a minor drop on a hill, which resulted in some very sore ribs the following day.

 Brave effort to soldier on to lunch mate. Also, a special mention to Gail who bravely rode outside her comfort zone and the capability of her bike.

As we worked our way over the Toolangi Ranges, the weather started to improve with clear skies appearing on our arrival at Buxton.

Brief fuel stop for the mini bikes, I mean smaller capacity bikes and we were off to lunch a the Rubicon Hotel in Thornton.

The booking at the hotel worked out well with our large group of 14 riders provided with a perfect area in the bistro and the great meals were served promptly. A big thank you to Dwayne the duty manager.

About 4 x riders decided to call it a day after lunch and headed home. These riders missed out on some of the great tracks Murrindindi has to offer in the afternoon. The tracks were in great condition and were now an absolute treat to ride as a group. The grins under the helmets were apparent and when the group was asked if they were up to ‘challenge track’ it was a unanimous show of hands and chorus of “yeah, why not”.

We hit ‘challenge track’ and it wasn’t long before we were all up the top of the big hill climb high fiving each other and telling stories of our battles with the environment and mother nature. Great effort by all involved.

We headed back to Toolangi where we parked up and said our good byes, before we all hit the tar and rode home to our loved ones. Special thanks to Dean for riding sweep and spending his day in the dust from the group.

Text : John

Photos: Jonathan, Rob, Chris , Daniel