Michael Hanslip Coaching

If you want to go faster, you have to pedal harder

Cooma MTB tracks

One day, on my way back from a fun day on the lifts at Thredbo, I stopped in the middle of Cooma to use the toilet and saw a decent-sized map pointing out some tracks not far up the road at the southern edge of Cooma. Deciding I had to come back to try them out, it was only a few weekends before the opportunity presented itself. Really, it takes about 40 minutes to get to Sparrow Hill and I have gone through periods of riding there every weekend. It takes about an hour to get to Cooma, so why shouldn't these trails be considered?
There is a small parking lot at the base of the trails and not much else by way of facilities. The dirt road looks like it runs all the way up, making shuttles an option for the gravitationally challenged. There are a couple of climbing trails too, for the non-shuttling types.
I plotted out a three-lap adventure using
Trailforks but we've never used the Garmin for following a course offroad before and it wasn't behaving as expected (if you stop at a trail junction it is supposed to identify the options facing you - and that is without any programming). Sometimes we would ride up a trail only to be told to turn around and go back. After a while this gets old and you just keep riding... I think in the end we did two laps plus a little extra bit rather than the three full laps planned.
The hill is really a good one for trails. It has both decent elevation gain and a variety of slopes from mild to steeper. That means the trails can range from quite easy to quite difficult. The soil is typical dry and dusty Australian dirt. On the climbing side of things the main climb track is a pretty normal XC climbing track without any hard or technical challenges, but some long and flowy lines that are fun to ride. The descending trails are generally on the easier end of the spectrum, feature a lot of jumps, were a lot of fun and didn't need a lot of travel to make them work (I was on my hardtail). I did see some guys shuttling on DH bikes, but they appeared to be riding the same descent as me so either they were seriously over-biked or bent on going super fast. I enjoyed my couple of hours there enough to want to go back and try again.
If this cold and wet winter weather yields to milder and drier days, I'd go back right away. Next time I think I will take the trail bike as much for the gearing choices as for the rear suspension.