Monday, June 13, 2011

Long weekends

When an opportunity arises, you should grab it. On Friday I normally have to play Daddy Daycare and collect the boys from school and don't get me wrong, I love doing it. Friday past though Alison managed an early finish and I was able to convince Nick to come out for a late afternoon jaunt. He said he was going out on the single speed and I thought, hang it, why not! I also thought it might mean the ride would be a bit more casual. I was pretty well as wrong as I could be.
Nick has a Friday loop. It is a really cool mix of the single track around Bunya with a few good fire road climbs to test the legs. We pushed along at a nice pace and while I was slowing Nick up a bit he didn't mind too much. at least I climbed all the hills and only walked "The Steps". They really are just steps. You can't ride them. We had a very entertaining ride and shot the breeze which helped keep my mind off the fact that my legs were screaming. It was a nice scream though and not a "get off the bike now" scream. What a top way to start a long weekend.
Saturday dawned rainy and grey. The forecast had predicted it would be but I had held out hope they would be wrong. The boys had a soccer match each in the morning which stops me riding early and then swimming lessons take us through until lunch time. By then the rain had started and riding in the afternoon was really not much of an option. I hate the cold, and I hate being cold and wet even more. The trails were most likely sodden and my wheels would only make that worse. By late afternoon though I was getting very restless. From time to time I have resorted to drastic measures when this is the case. I go for a trail run. Yep, me running. I stick mainly to the fire roads and some of the ridge line single track and as the weather scares of the mountain bikers it is perfect. Some people ride or run with music devices, but when I run I very purposefully don't. I figure if I am running on MTB trails the least I can do is wear bright clothes and pay attention in case a rider does come along. Running, well it smashes me. How someone does a marathon I don't know. Man my legs were stinging by the end of it. It's only 6km in a very moderate time of 30 minutes but wow, what a workout.
Friday's single speed ride showed it was time for a new rear tyre. I had a new Ignitor sitting at home for just the purpose and a quiet beer on Saturday evening saw the job done and ready for the next day. Again Sunday morning was pretty ordinary and my plans for a big ride up into the hills was looking more than a little shaky. It stopped raining at around 2pm and that was my cue to get busy! I bundled the single speed in the car, chucked the riding gear on and set off for Gap Creek. I wasn't keen on trashing my nice clean bikes and the single speed suits the task with no pivots to clean, no gears or cables to clog and a 5 minute clean after the ride. Oh yeah. Gap creek was deserted. I had the trails to my self and with that in mind I rolled around in a state of near bliss. I was almost disappointed when I finally did come across some other riders. 
Up and over Dirt Girls and Pony Express, on through to Skink, the painful fire road climb up Magic and down Rocket Frog. Phew, time for a muesli bar before the next bit. There is a little bit of transit single trail to the bottom of Dingo and then up. I love this trail as it is an arse kicker. I'm yet to tame it on the single speed with a couple of little log roll overs that when wet are just damn hard. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor and with a race next weekend I wasn't out to prove a point. I got off and walked a couple of the trail features. Going down was an exercise in traction control and 2 wheel drifting. The lack off suspension on my bike made for more than a few butt clenching moments with the best being the split second I was able to see me rear tyre in my peripheral vision. Yeah, I hadn't turned my head.
It was nice to get warm back in the car. I was reasonably well soaked through and the thought of a hot cup of tea and a warm shower appealed greatly. Big smile on my face though and a very satisfied feeling to have snuck in a ride.
Then there was today. A late start because I could, a coffee to get going and the family off for an outing. I was off the hook with a whole world of trails to go ride. I didn't head far from home, I don't need to. Down to the end of the street and into Ironbark for a few hills to warm up. To my great surprise and delight I came across the new trail head for Sunset. I've written about this trail before. It had been closed due to erosion but the trail fairies have cut a new entry and cleaned up the really bad bits to improve drainage and it's good as new. In fact better than new. My undying respect and thanks to the trail fairies. You rock.
Over to Bunya for some single track. There is a short tarmac traverse to the top of "Track 8". I barreled around for another hour until I ran into Antz. He was out for a final run before the weekends 8 hour race in the single speed category. In the SS category he is running second with strong results in all the races. As we talked he told me he hadn't been able to find a link into Ironbark from Bunya. As I was heading home by this time I offered to take him over and show him the roads. We had a good chat along the way and as is often the case we both mentioned that it was about time that there were a few more rides for us. I look forward to it as Antz is a strong rider that can only make me go harder to keep up. If him and Nick come out for a ride it will be really on. We said goodbye at the turnoff back to Bunya with the promise of catching up next week. I was off home for some left over macaroni cheese and a big drink of water. I felt great.
So there it is. Now I just get a couple of commutes before the 8 hour race next Sunday. I really couldn't be happier with my weekend. I couldn't be happier with the years racing so far.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the directions. You'll have to show me Sunset, as I don't know it, or at least not by that name.