Category Archives: Trails

Riding Update Jan 2017: It’s a biggie

So, it appears I haven’t blogged here for nearly a year. Doesn’t time fly? I guess it’s about time I posted an update.

When last I blogged, I was still trying to find my feet again after some time off the bike. I had officially declared I was quitting road riding, and was working with a psychologist to try and mitigate some of the worst effects and try to get back on the Mountain Bike at least.

It worked, partly. I rode one MTB race (retired) and did a few Zwift races, but there wasn’t enough momentum. I was still not where I wanted to be, though I was in a better place than I had been when I declared my retirement

As things turned out, mid-year I was offered a new job – and this proved to be the turning point I needed. This particular job offered remote working options, and so a plan began to form. A cunning plan. A plan so cunning, you could pin a tail on it and call it Mr Fox.

In October, it all came together, and I left Sydney altogether, and moved into the glorious Ovens Valley, NE Victoria.

Yes, I now live at the foot of Mount Buffalo, right in the middle of 7 Peaks country. Specifically in Porepunkah, a dormitory village for the neighbouring town of Bright, the famed cycling and tourist mecca.

Since I got settled in, I’ve been riding more often, in more scenic surroundings, with safer roads and nary an argument. I’ve had the grand total of one moderately close pass from a driver but – get this – it didn’t bother me in the least.

I haven’t hit the mountain roads in earnest yet (notwithstanding one ill-prepared, spur of the moment assault on Buffalo), but I’ve been riding the MTB on some amazing trails and doing a lot of flat-to-rolling road. I’ve been up and down the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail enough that I know every bump and ripple between here and Gapsted. I’ve thrown my hardtail down the one-of-a-kind Hero Trail, encountered snakes, magpies, kangaroos and wombats and generally had a great time of it. I’m slowly dropping the weight back off, and transitioning (again) from couch-potato-who-used-to-ride-bikes-a-few-years-back to masters racer and MTB explorer.

You might say I’m back.

Not being much of an early bird, I haven’t yet managed to get out for the famous 6am Bright bunchies, but it’s a new year and the mornings are clear, so that’s going to happen soon. I’ve met a few of the locals, I’m getting familiar with Mystic MTB Park and I’m planning lots of rides on the long local mountain trails, some sensible, some on the adventurous side.

And the blog? Well, I might blog a few local routes, and maybe get some picks at the upcoming Audax Alpine Classic, but I’ve also got a new project in the works, which I’ll announce here soon.

Lastly, for those readers who I know in person – I know some of you exist. Yes, I have spare rooms. Come on down!

 

I’m hoping Yellomundee survives the bushfires OK

Yellomundee, in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, is my MTB club’s track. It’s currently closed due to the fires raging in the Springwood area, partly because of fire danger and partly because the heavy helicopter traffic in the area is likely to cause falling branches and downwash. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’ll survive the fires without too much damage, because a little later in the summer, I’m hoping to race in this

I don’t rate my chances of victory too highly – Yellomundee might be my club’s track but I don’t ride there all that much – but I think the series will be a great set of races. There’s a lower profile than the Chocolate Foot and Rocky Trail events I’ve been racing so far this year, so there should be an even more casual feel – though I don’t doubt there’ll be some guns smashing out hot laps too.

Hope to see you there…

Race season must wait another two weeks

My racing intentions for this year seemed clear back in October 2012. My plan was to race the entire Real Insurance XCM series (slated at the time to be seven 100km+ events), and fill gaps in the calendar with a few other races – some shorter XC, some enduro/all-mountain and perhaps some timed endurance.And another crack at Kanangra.

Oh, how that all fell apart. The XCM Series itself is now a non-starter, though the individual events remain. I’m racing Capital Punishment on March 16th, but am not confirmed for any other of the former XCMs. I am, however, confirmed for Round one of the Shimano MTB GP, which is what I’ve been stressing about for the last few weeks.

I get obsessive in race leadups. Continue Reading →