|Trail||The Shop Ride|
|Grade (if available)||Moderate (optional Difficult variation)|
|Start||Cog Bike Cafe|
|Finish||Cog Bike Cafe|
|Distance||18.5 km (or 14.6 km)|
|Ascent||745 m (or 454m)|
|Descent||745 m (or 454 m)|
|Max Elevation||405 m|
|Features||Cruisey rail trail section, moderate hill climb, optional challenging and technical single track, native bushland|
|Facilities||Toilets: located in Warburton township and at Wesburn Football Oval|
Car parking: Warburton township
|Notes||Best completed in summer and shoulder seasons; single track section muddy, slippery and difficult going in winter|
The Shop Ride is a social ride first plotted by Doug from Cog Bike Café. It takes riders on an 18.5km loop around Warburton and it offers a little something for everyone, whether you are pushing for fast splits and high cadence or out for a few hours of moderate activity with enough vertical gain to raise your pulse.
For the most part, the ride is within the abilities of an intermediate cyclist, with the majority being on a mixture of flat, open rail trail, sealed road and easy singletrack. The real action kicks in if you take on the more advanced section of singletrack that is Hey Hey My My – Mind Crusher.
This demanding loop started life as a clandestine trail that has since been certified by DEWLP so it has a little bit of a rough and ready feel to it. Branching off from the Old Warburton Rd you get a good leg burn on the 2.5km of challengingly-cambered switchbacks and 220m of ascent before sinking your clenched teeth into the 1.4km descent with enough obstacles to keep you on your toes. The technical singletrack is not to be underestimated but it is super fun if you’ve got strong legs, sharp reflexes and solid skills.
Even if you give Hey Hey My My – Mind Crusher a wide berth there’s still the climb up Old Warburton Rd to test your lung capacity and the benched, gently-descending singletrack that takes you through pretty bush on the descent is very pleasant. At the end you’re back in town where you can reward yourself with coffee and cake.
- The best spot to begin The Shop Ride Loop is from end of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail at the Cog Bike Café. The main loop can be ridden in either direction but we advise counter-clockwise so head west along the Rail Trail towards Millgrove.
- Cross the Warburton Hwy at the lights and continue along the Rail Trail for a further 1.7km before turning left (east) into Station Rd.
- Ride along Station Street until you reach Warburton Rd, take care as you turn right, crossing the highway at the Wesburn village. Unless you’re racing, you could do worse than take your last chance here to stop for a coffee.
- Follow Warburton Hwy for 300m until you turn left on a trail that leads into the bush. Pick up the trail that skirts the backside of Wesburn Park. Track the football oval until you pass the changing rooms (toilets located here) before turning left into Old Warburton Road.
- Follow Old Warburton Rd for 400m when you will reach a turn off to the right – Crushers Track. (If you’re not going to do the technical mountain biking section of the ride, skip to point 9 and continue along Old Warburton Hwy).
- If your legs and lungs are up to the full MTB challenge take Crushers Track, shortly thereafter a track to your left is marked with a Hey Hey My My sign. This is your in point for the loop.
- You can’t get lost on this track just huff and puff and pedal up the 2.5km, 220m ascent.
- At the top of the climb, turn back right onto Mind Crusher – the 1.6km descent before you spill back out on Crushers Track and then turn right into Old Warburton Rd.
- Heading up Old Warburton Road, settle in for a 168m, 2.3km climb.
- 600m past the Mt Bridge Rd turn off you pick up a track veering off above the road to your right. This benched trail skirts directly above the Old Warburton Rd for a few hundred metres before heading into the forest. It cuts through the bush for 2.5km before punting back out onto Old Warburton Rd. Take care for other trail users and downed trees on this section and when exiting onto Old Warburton Rd.
- 350m farther down Old Warburton Rd, make a left turn into Clarke Av.
- Take Clarke Av down the hill – it will turn in to more of a trail than a road before once again becoming a residential street – until you reach the intersection with La La Ave, turn left here and follow La La Ave until you come to a T-intersection – Park Rd – turn left here then turn right onto Highfield Rd.
- Follow Highfield Rd as it bends around for about 500m before a short stretch of singletrack on the right drops you down onto the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail at the skate park. Then cruise 100m back to where you started at Cog Cafe.
For an easier, non-technical ride follow the Ride It guide but instead of heading right off Old Warburton Rd to do the Hey Hey My My – Mind Crusher loop, continue straight on. Hey Hey My My – Mind Crusher is a challenging ride both on the uphill and downhill sections with sharp curves, difficult camber and unavoidable obstacles, removing it leaves you with a 14.6km, more moderate ride, albeit on less singletrack.