Silo Art Monto – Ride Planning

The Silo Art Monto ride was my first overnight solo adventure touring experience.  Since putting off-road tyres on my BMW R1200GS I’d now done two days off-road training and the BMW Safari.  After doing several day rides on the dirt I was ready for something more challenging.

On Meetup, I’d seen an overnight road ride to Monto over a weekend which looked interesting.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make that ride.  So why not do a solo ride to Monto to see the Three Moon Silo Art?  Better still, go via as many dirt roads as possible!

Ride planning is something I enjoy almost as much as the ride itself.  I drew inspiration from roads travelled on the GS Safari and Rusty’s Blackbutt Loop. From Blackbutt I’d head to the Bunya Mountains as it’s always cooler at altitude. Then some dirt roads I found on BaseCamp to bypass Kingaroy.  Mundabera-Durong Road would take me bewteen it’s namesaked towns (in reverse order).  Not much option but to take the Burnett Highway from Mundabbera to Cynthia.  Backroads via Glenleigh would get me to Mulgildie.  From there I’d re-join the Burnette Highway for the rest of the way to Monto.  Three Moon Silo Art was on the way some 6km south of Monto.

My preference is to try and find different roads for the return journey.  Unfortunately the first 12km to Mulgidie would be backtracking on the Burnett Highway.  From there a route more to the east took my fancy.   I’d go via Mount Perry, Gin Gin, Biggenden, Ban Ban Springs, Kilkivan and Gympie.  After that it would be Kandanga, Kennilworth, Woodford, Dayboro and Samford.  Not as much dirt on the way back but some good roads nonetheless.

Silo Art Monto Overnight Ride – Final Planned Routes

Silo Art Monto Outbound – Brisbane to Monto

Thursday – 4 November, 2021

With a ride of 560km on the outbound leg of Silo Art Monto ride, I made an early start.  By 6:30am I was riding past the yet to open Mount Glorious Café, content with my progress.

Shorty after 8:00am I made my first navigation error of the ride.  I failed to make a left turn onto McRae Road at Anduramba.  Instead I kept riding on Stock Route Road followed by Blackbutt Range Road.  It was like I was riding through a cattle property on private land.  The road became a track, there was cattle everywhere and soon I faced a closed gate.  Luckily it wasn’t locked and I was able to find my way to Pierces Creek Rd.

Here I made a more costly navigation error.  Faced with a choice of left or right I made a the wrong choice.  A right turn would get me back on the planned route. In my confused state I turned left.  Soon after I realised I was on the road to Crows Nest – the opposite direction to the planned route.

Never mind.  I knew how to get to the Bunya Mountains from there.  It ended up being about double the distance of my planned route from the incorrect left turn earlier.  All I lost was time and my early start would compensate for my bad call.

I was back on my planned route by the time I reached Maidenwell.   Riding over the Bunya Mountains is always a pleasure and today was no exception.  Coming down the northern side I made my way through Kumbia, still on my planned route.

But not for much longer.  A road that was on my planned route was not there in reality.  What to do?  Zoom out on my GPS to find the shortest way back to the planned route?  Use Google Maps on my mobile to do the same?  Both valid options neither of which occurred to me at the time.

Instead, using road signs, I went through Kingaroy then shy of Tingoora headed west to Duaringa.  It got me back on course but more lost time.  My detour was about twice as long as the planned route.  The advantage of my early start was now lost and if anything I was behind schedule.

From there I managed to stay on the planned route all the way to Monto. Approaching the Three Moon Silo Art was the highlight of the day.  There was still time to stop for photos.  Having a purpose, such as this spectacular artwork, makes riding a more fun for me.

Three Moon Silo Art Monto

Around 4:00pm I arrived at the Three Moons Motel in Monto.

Three Moons Motel Monto

I checked in, showered and walked to the Albert Monto Hotel for a beer or two.  This gave me the opportunity to download my GoPro video files taken during the ride.  I stayed for dinner in the bistro and then went back to the motel.

It had been a long day.  8 hours of riding time all up and almost 2 and a half hours of stopped time – some of it spent making two bad navigation calls.  This resulted in 96km more riding distance than planned.  Check out the impact of these poor decisions on the Planned Vs Actual Route Map (below).  To view the highlights of the day have a look at the video (below).  If you’re short of time take a look at the Relive video (below).

Day one of this Silo Art Monto Overnight Ride was over.  I was looking forward to the return ride to Brisbane in the morning.

Silo Art Monto Inbound – Monto to Brisbane

Friday – 5 November, 2021

Another pre 6:00am start gave me the opportunity to stop at the Three Moons Silo Art again.  It was a sunny morning with clear blue skies.  Perfect motorcycle riding weather for the 590km planned for today.  At Mulgildie I stayed on the Burnett Highway heading south for the turnoff to Mount Perry.  On arrival at Monto Mount Perry Road, a Road Closed barrier changed my plans for the inbound route.

This forced me further south to Kerwee Road where I was able to go east towards Mount Perry.  This was a nice road through Dalgangal State Forest and Nour Nour National Park.  At the intersection with Monto Mount Perry Road I continued on to Mount Perry back on the planned route.

My breakfast at the Mount Perry General Store was good and a welcome surprise.

Breakfast at Mount Perry General Store

The detour around the closed road was twice the distance of the planned route.  At least I hadn’t made a navigation error!  Over breakfast I decided to take a shortest way to Biggenden by skipping Gin Gin and Booyal.  This proved to be a good call.

While refuelling at Biggenden I decided on another departure from the planned route.  I’d go the shortest way to Gympie.  Maryborough Biggenden Road and Brooweena Woolooga Road was the revised route. Around 10:00am I made it to Woolooga and stopped at Woolooga Trader for a coffee.

Coffee break at Woolooga Trader

I intended to make my way back to Brisbane per the original planned route.  On passing through Gympie, Mary Valley Road got me to Kandanga and then Kennilworth. One of the best roads in the region IMHO.  Especially the 12km after Brooloo up and over the range, and beyond the Lookout.

After Kennilworth, the twisties on Maleny Kenilworth Road aren’t too shabby either.  They’re only 3km between the Bellbird Creek and the Little Yabba Creek bridge.  Pity the speed limit is only 60Kph.

From there to Connondale is a tad underwhelming.  I chose to bypass Maleny by taking Aherns Road and Postmans track to Maleny Stanley River Road.  This is another worthy road.  A glorious combination of sweeping bends coupled with some tight corners.  Then past Woodford and D’aguilar where I refuelled at the Puma.

It was 12:20 when I got to Mount Mee so I stopped at Birches Restaurant for lunch.  A little more upmarket than usual for me when riding but it was a welcome break and a good meal.

lunch at birches restaurant mount mee

more photos of birches restaurant

Forty minutes later I was back on the bike heading for Dayboro.  Almost back to Brisbane and sad that my Silo Art Monto overnight ride was almost over. I made one more change to the planned inbound route.  I’d get back to central Bris Vegas on Gympie Road instead Samford Road.  So I went through Petrie, Bald Hills and onto Gympie Road at Carseldine.  I made it home around 3:30pm.

Thanks to my shortcuts the distance covered was 538km, some 50km less than my planned route.  I’d been going for 9 hours and 50 minutes of which 2 hours and 25 minutes were stationary.

Actual versus planned routes are below.  Also below is the video of my inbound ride and Relive Video.

It was a great solo, backroads, dirt roads, motorcycle adventure tour.  My navigation improved heaps from the first day.  That may have been because I was making changes to the planned route on the go.  It may also have been because there were fewer dirt roads on the second day on the planned route.  I learned the dirt roads shown in BaseCamp aren’t always there.  Next time I’ll be double checking them on Google Maps before locking in the route.

I later learned that it’s best to follow tracks on my GPS rather than routes.  Next time I’ll try both.  Routes for the spoken directions and Tracks in case I go astray following the directions.  Use all the resources at your disposal when deciding which way to turn when unsure.  The extra time you take may end up saving you from a poor decision.  You always learn something from travel and motorcycle adventure touring is no exception.

Until my next post, ride safe.

Click the button below to download revised gpx files for the Silo Art Moto Overnight Ride.  Fingers cross all roads in the revised files are actually there with no locked gates.

By downloading these files you accept responsibility for your safety at all times.  You also agree to follow all road rules and motorcycle standards applicable. The providers of these files are not liable for any injury, damage, loss or claim that may arise.  You also agree to waive any legal rights or claims against the website owner.   These routes are not sponsored or endorsed by any person, entity or organsation.