Over Camp Mountain the short way. What a misleading statement. It's 1.2km (or there abouts) at between 17 and 23% gradient. Add the fact that we have had the wettest summer since 1974, including floods that devastated a huge part of the city, and the erosion that has caused huge ruts to form and head sized boulders to litter the trail and it gets quite tricky to clear the climb without getting off. I zoned out, turned the pedals and listened to my MP3 player. Grind, grind grind. am always glad to reach the top of this climb. It is never a given that I'll make it without stopping. There was a bit of tarmac from there over to the next climb.
Scrub Road. One of my favourite trails as it starts with a descent into a quiet gully lined with huge trees and rainforest vegetation. Today was more exciting though as again the rain had taken a toll and the bottom of the descent was gone. It turned into a massive landslide followed by rut that was large enough to eat a bike and rider if you lost concentration. I managed to get through it and start the climb out to South Boundary Road and what had been planned to be my half way point. My MP3 and the Scrub Road climb had other ideas though.
|Lucky I missed this one.|
Sometimes it just clicks. A beautiful area, a song that starts at the perfect time, and the head space to hear it and know it is a sign. Radiohead, "Everything in it's Right Place". I was in my right place. On my bike, climbing a hill in a most beautiful place with my thoughts and my breathing for company. When I say the song started at the right time I mean it was in the perfect millisecond to make it's presence felt. I had felt OK until then but not "inspired". Here I was though out in the bush pushing my body to make the climbs, rail the descents and just be me. I was smiling on the inside so hard I reckon you could see the light from space. It got Zen from there.
Plugging up the hill, reggae blaring and past the half way point. No stops and then down South Boundary to Gap Creek. It all just rolled along. There was a brief chat to 3 guys heading in the same direction which was a chance to cool off a bit and just be sociable. Heck, if you can't enjoy what you're doing whats the point? I raced through some single track in Gap Creek and stopped just long enough to eat a bar and fill up a bottle. Now the only decision was which way home? I could go via the road for the shortest most direct route but that just seemed to go against the flow for the day. It was hot, but I had plenty of water and was feeling pretty strong. Nah, up the hill it is and over Centre Road. There is a great waterhole at he bottom of the descent down Centre. I have even heard that there may be platypus living in the creek.
|Cantre Road waterhole|
It's always a wake up call for the first 300m of the climb as it hits 25% and is loose as a goose. No problem, I have the groove on. It's funny what you think about as the pedals turn and my mind wanders. I had a few thoughts of a coffee on the way home, then it was the movie I watched last night and finally it was the surprise as the gate loomed at the end of the climb.
Two climbs to go and neither of them particularly taxing. The batteries had run flat on my MP3 but it didn't matter. I had heaps of tunes to sing and all the company I needed. I just kept pedaling, and smiling! By the time I had made it down the hill for the last time it was hot. Nearing midday the temperature has supposedly hit 33 degrees and my water was low. Once I hit home I just sat under the hose on a chair and let it cool me down. Man. it was good.
I lived in my own head for 5 hours and loved it. My legs are dead, I feel cooked and god it's the best feeling ever.