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Mar

19 2014

Mount Donna Buang is one of Victoria’s most popular climbs but what most people seem to forget is that there are two paths to the summit. Whilst the eastern ascent offers some hard-hitting gradients, the less transited gravel climb on the western slopes will provide much more of an adventure – and this is after all, the reason that we ride. ‘Dirty Don’ takes you on a series of quiet and narrow roads, through magical forests, arduous climbs and seemingly endless descents – aka the quintessential cycling adventure.  

 "Magical forests, arduous climbs and seemingly endless descents"

Donna Buang

  

Starting from Healesville in the heart of the Yarra Valley, the road begins to rise almost immediately as you begin the long and picturesque ascent to the Donna Buang summit (21km at 5%). Save some energy on the climb to Panton Gap because as soon as you reach the top of this steep little foothill (5km at 7%), the tarmac turns to dirt and the real climb begins. Don’t be too intimidated by the gravel – it’s in great condition and if you take the right line you’ll hardly notice the difference. The condition of the road can obviously deteriorate in wet conditions but for most of the year it’s suitable for riding. 

  

  

  

After finally getting over the last steep one kilometre pinch to the summit, you can enjoy some freewheeling at last on the long and winding 16 kilometre descent into Warburton – home to one of the best cafes in the Yarra Valley, the Warburton Pantry.

  

  

  

  

  

  

The Black Spur

The round trip back to Healesville takes you on some of Victoria's most picturesque stretches of road, Acheron Way and the famous Black Spur descent. Enclosed by gigantic mountain ash trees and thick forest ferns, you’ll feel like you’re in a different world as you ride through the furthest outskirts of Melbourne. Whilst the traffic is almost non-existent on Acheron Way, the Black Spur descent can get quite busy, ruining an otherwise perfect descent. Although most cars won’t try to overtake you on the descent, we recommend staying single file during this section. 

 "Enclosed by gigantic mountain ash trees and thick forest ferns, you’ll feel like you’re in a different world"

  

  

DIRTY DON

Start
Healesville
Category
Road
Distance
104 km
Max Elevation
1253 m
Elevation Gain
2484 m

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