Just before 2am on Saturday, Bundaberg mountain biker Mandy Cook set off from Kilkivan on an attempt to set the first Women's South Burnett-Brisbane Valley Rail Trail "double" record.
With Mike Zande (current holder of the Men's "double" record) alongside, 2 punctures and a broken chain in the first few kilometres saw them return to Kilkivan after repairs to make a fresh start.
The morning saw temperatures as low as 0 degrees, and while the mercury rose during the day, so did a South-Easterly headwind. The two riders soldiered on through the day and into the evening, finally reaching the end of the BVRT at Wulkuraka station near Ipswich at 10:20pm.
Mandy's time for the huge 306km ride was 19hr23m31s, after what Mike said was "a very determined ride", and supporter Stephen Chapman described Mandy's effort as "nothing short of amazing".
On Saturday May 30th, not one but two riders took advantage of mild winter weather to smash records on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.
Gold Coast rider Michael Driesenaar took a shuttle with local business Out There Cycling to the northern trailhead at Yarraman, and aimed his Specialized Diverge gravel bike for Wulkuraka, 161kms away. In spite of a tough headwind and some recently repaired sections of the trail still bedding in, Michael reached Wulkuraka in 6hr8m26s, slashing an incredible 1hr16m from the previous record, set by Hervey Bay rider Mike Zande in July 2019. Zande congratulated Driesenaar on his new record, and said he was surprised how long it had taken for it to be broken.
More than an hour before Michael left Yarraman, Brisbane rider Joris van der Tang set off from Esk, heading first to Wulkuraka, then all the way north to Yarraman before returning to Esk to complete an "end to end by 2". Joris covered the 323kms in 11hr55m11s, the first sub 12 hour E2Ex2, and more than an hour and a half faster than the previous record, set by Brisbane rider Russell Worthington in October 2019.
Driesenaar said he believes the one way record can be lowered significantly with more favourable wind and trail conditions, and van der Tang says the Yarraman-Wulkuraka record is "on my to do list".
On March 8th, Bairnsdale rider Phil Lutz set off on his Kinesis 4S, aiming for the other end of the East Gippsland Rail Trail, nearly 100kms away in Orbost.
Phil said the trail was "a bit sticky and slow in a lot of sections because of all the rain" and the narrow tyres on his road-oriented bike made some parts "a little scary!" His task was made easier by mild weather conditions, and he reached Orbost in 3hr34m54s, more than an hour ahead of the previous record of 4hr40m44s set by Matt Bateson in January 2015.
Phil now holds both one way records for the trail, having set the Orbost-Bairnsdale record at 5hr3m29s in September 2018.
Phil said he was "just chuffed to have made it in a decent time, without crashing!" and hasn't ruled out making an attempt on the Bairnsdale-Orbost-Bairnsdale record currently held by Matt Bateson.
2019 has undoubtedly been the year of the rail trail, with 18 records established or broken on the Brisbane Valley and South Burnett trails.
On Friday morning Brisbane rider Joris van der Tang (shown winning the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association E2EX2 challenge in October) set off from Wulkuraka, and arrived at Yarraman just 5hr36m10s later, shattering the previous solo record (set by Nick Ashby in July) by over an hour and 20 minutes!
Joris' effort also broke the fastest race time by nearly an hour, and made him the first person to "beat the train" on the completed rail trail (the trains normally took around 6 hours to make the same journey). Congratulations!
A mere 19 days after Mandy Cook set the very first womens end to end and back record on the South Burnett Rail Trail, it has been lowered by Brisbane rider Philadelphia Holmes.
Setting off from Kingaroy early on Friday morning on her Malvern Star Oppy S2 touring bike, Phila made quick progress in spite of mud and fallen trees from storms the night before. She broke the Kingaroy-Murgon record by 7m10s, the Murgon-Kilkivan record by 10m29s, and the Kingaroy-Kilkivan record by 18m1s.
After the turnaround, a warm day did little to hamper her speed, with the Kilkivan-Murgon record falling by 9m53s, and 22m7s carved off the Kilkivan-Kingaroy record.
When she returned to O'Neill Square in Kingaroy, the stopwatch read 9hr18m54s, exactly 41 minutes faster than the previous record. Phila jokingly said she would have "one schooner for every magpie that swooped me, I don't think I can drink that much though!"
Only a week after Mandy Cook became the first woman to complete an end to end return on the South Burnett Rail Trail, Brisbane rider Russell Worthington set off from Esk at 6pm on Saturday October 5th aiming to break the 14hr36m Brisbane Valley Rail Trail end to end return record, set in November 2018 by Cameron Wickbold, Bruce Flesser, and Wayne Thompson.
After stopping 20km south of Esk to remove a trip-wire which had been strung across the trail (since reported to local police), Russell reached Wulkuraka near Ipswich at 8:30pm and turned north to ride the 100 miles to the other end of the trail at Yarraman.
With mild temperatures and good trail conditions Yarraman was reached around 3:30am on Sunday, less than 10 minutes outside the one way record. The final stretch back to Esk was mostly uneventful except for a magpie attack just outside town which Russell described as "all part of the challenge!"
Russell's total time for the 323km ride was 13hr31m26s, more than one hour and five minutes faster than the previous record. While happy with his effort he expects the record to be under threat at next weekend's annual BVRT E2Ex2 Challenge Ride, organised by the BVRT Users Association Inc.
Early on Sunday morning, Bundaberg mountain biker Mandy Cook set off from Kingaroy on an attempt to make the first ever Women's end to end return of the South Burnett Rail Trail.
With still air and mild temperatures Mandy flew through the outbound leg, smashing the Kingaroy-Kilkivan record (held by Alison Zahra since May this year) by more than 2 hours, and taking the Kingaroy-Murgon and Murgon-Kilkivan intermediate records.
After the turnaround conditions were difficult with headwinds and temperatures rising to just over 30 degrees, however Mandy kept up a strong pace, breaking the Kilkivan-Murgon record by over 46 minutes, and the Kilkivan-Kingaroy record (also previously held by Alison Zahra) by an incredible 2hr32m21s!
Mandy's time for the 176km end to end return was 9 hours 59 minutes 54 seconds. In a sign of the increasing popularity of the SBRT, most of the records broken by Mandy were set in May this year, and the longest standing record (from Kilkivan-Murgon) had only been held by Theresa Welch since March 2018.
In the early hours of Thursday morning well known Hervey Bay mountain biker Mike Zande set off from Kilkivan on an attempt to break Jason Black's South Burnett-Brisbane Valley Rail Trail "double" record and become only the second person to complete the 307km journey to Wulkuraka near Ipswich in a single day.
Along the way he broke Andrew Handyside's Kilkivan-Kingaroy record (set in December 2017) by 4 minutes and 3 seconds, and with "great trail conditions" Zande said "on paper I thought I could go under 14 hours (to Wulkuraka)". After struggling between Yimbun Tunnel and Mt Hallen, he finally rolled into Wulkuraka station at 7:45pm, making a new record of 13 hours 53 minutes, nearly 3 hours faster than the previous record set in May last year.
Zande was congratulated on his achievement by previous record holder Jason Black.
Just after 5am on Tuesday June 18, South-East Queensland mountain biker Dan Graham set off from Wulkuraka, near Ipswich, to attempt the more than 300km ride along the Brisbane Valley and South Burnett Rail Trails to Kilkivan.
While the region was experiencing cool temperatures (just above freezing in Kingaroy), Dan was well prepared and jokingly said he was "cold, but only Qld-cold". While the newly-signposted connecting route between the two trails was "quite rough, and decently hilly", Dan said the trail conditions were generally good, and he had no issues until Wide Bay Creek, where the lack of a crossing meant he had to ride the last 6kms into Kilkivan with wet feet.
Dan originally planned to stay at the Kilkivan Hotel and ride back to Wulkuraka the following day, but said that he felt it would have been difficult to repeat the 300km course without more rest, and instead his wife picked him up from Kilkivan on Wednesday.
Dan's time for the 307km journey was 16hr45m25s, over an hour faster than the previous record set by Mike Zande on October 2nd last year. Mike said he had encouraged Dan to make the attempt and was "genuinely happy to hand over the record".
Dan described the trails as "a really good community recreation resource" and said that as nutrition had been an issue in the latter part of his ride, "I expect a better time is still to come by someone".
The new record comes just ten days after Jason Black became the first person to ride the two trails from Kilkivan to Wulkuraka and back in a marathon 38 hours, and 3 weeks after Mike Zande broke four records along the South Burnett Rail Trail.
Well known Hervey Bay mountain biker Mike Zande on Saturday broke 3 intermediate records on his way to shattering the record for riding the South Burnett Rail Trail from Kilkivan-Kingaroy and back.
Zande, the first person to complete the 311km "double" of the Brisbane Valley and South Burnett Rail Trails from Wulkuraka to Kilkivan, said his ride on Saturday was intended as training for a future attempt on the southbound SBRT-BVRT "double".
With favourable trail conditions and mild weather, Zande said he "surprised and smashed myself" by breaking the Kilkivan-Murgon, Murgon-Kilkivan, Kingaroy-Kilkivan, and Kilkivan-Kingaroy-Kilkivan records, the latter by an incredible 55m34s, with a time of 7hr55m46s.
Previous record holder Lachlan Davis congratulated Zande on his "awesome effort", and said he would attempt to reclaim the records in June.