The last couple of weeks didn't go as planned. It started well with a couple of decent rides on the Yarra trails and even a bit of asphalt time to stretch the legs. It was pretty hot on a few days getting well over 35 degrees but I still managed to plug away and get some K's in. The fever tales bit? Well I caught a cold that seemed inane enough but soon turned into a throat infection and general phlegm fest. I missed some really cool rides with some really cool people and have only got back on the bike in the last few days. Oh well, enough of the downer stuff.
The highlight of my trip has definitely been the ride with two local guys, Hayden and John, out at a secret spot that not even many locals know about. This place was technical! The loop is only 12 k's and at first we talked about doing two laps for the day and seeing how we went. After two hours and only one lap the decision was made to head back to the cafe and have a coffee. There aren't any massive climbs out there, but everywhere you go the trail is tight and twisty requiring some serious concentration to make sure you track OK and don't bin it on one of the many off camber corners or log rollovers. John was smashing it on his rigid single speed and Hayden was very gracious in waiting for me as I wheezed up to them with apologies for holding them up.
The trails ran through lush forests with an underbrush of ferns. The dirt was that tacky, brown loam you dream about that made railing corners second nature. Bliss. You had better practice your bunny hopping skills though as the number of log rollovers was astounding. That and the number of real bunnies that darted across the trail kept me on my toes even if the trail did have a rare moment of ease. Just like magic as I crested a little climb Hayden and John are stopped mid trail smiling at me. I looked out towards where they were pointing and was rewarded with a view accross vinyards and farming land. It was hard to remember I was in a fairly settled area as I climbed up from the gully we had just dropped into but there it was. Smoke rising from the chimneys and all.
The final run down to the cars followed a fence line and was fast and open. I got that special stoke of making it through the ride even though I was feeling pretty average and being rewarded with the bug in teeth smile of bolting down a new trail and letting it all hang out. And the topper was yet to come!
Coffee at the Cog. What a cool place. Awesome banana muffins, great coffee and bike bling for days. I was in heaven. Hayden, John and I sat there for ages shooting the breeze and talking about bikes. We were joined by a couple of locals at various times and all in all I was reminded of just how relaxed and giving most of the people I have met while mountain biking are. hayden and John took some time out from their day to take a complete stranger out to some sweet trails. I only hope I get the chance to repay the favour if the boys get up here at some stage. Cheers fellas!