Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm Back Baby!!!

Well, where has this year gone? Every time I look another month has flown by. This past month has felt like a total loss as far as my cycling pusuits go with much flying, numerous finishing touches being put on the house renovations and lots of "Dad, can you do this?/get me that?/he did this!" to be dealt with. It becomes a bit overwhelming at times and without my "chill time" I am sure I don't cope as well as I know I can.

July wasn't a total loss riding wise, but it was a total loss training wise. Bugger all training/chilling rides but I did manage to enter the Avanti 6 Hour race at Canungra as a solo. Thanks to Dean0 for making me commit to something this year! Despite my visions of total pain and failure I approached this race with an attitude of "I just want to ride and have fun". I actually finished the 6 hours (well 5h:50m) and had a ball on the track! I did the first two laps non stop, then stopped at our trackside shelter each lap for a new bottle and calorie top-up. This strategy worked well for me and my legs were good for the entire race. My arms, however, let me down with my triceps cramping badly on the last lap while hitting the rocky descents. Some core strength work is obviously required on my middle aged squidgy centre bit! If I had done one more lap I would have been 9th place still. Eight was far enough in front even if I did another lap, so I don't feel so bad about bailing out at 5 hours 50 minutes. Still, I will take the top ten placing with no training! Woo Hoo!!

But mainly chillin' and enjoying! (thanks to Micheal Phipps for the photos)

 All up, a top day out with some good company, lots of laughs (like Dean0's test ride of his single speed where he snapped the chain after 5 metres! So much for the back up bike!!)

Fast forward to.....

Today being wednesday would have seen us heading out to Daisy Hill at 6am for the regular morning ride on any normal day. Not today however! With me being on holidays, Graeme being self employed and well Jody doing something dodgy we hatched a cunning plan to head out to Mt Joyce MTB park instead.
Both Graeme and Jody have been twice before but this didn't stop some pre ride planning in the car park.

As you can see from the water in the background, it was a typical perfect winter's day here in south east Queensland. We decided to head straight up the hill via the "Tunnel Vision" trail. Now apparently there is a bit of climbing here at Mt Joyce and the choice is between the main fire road or the kinder, more scenic single track. Well, I can do fire road any day, so the single track it was!

We worked our way up to the top of the hill with a few stops to take in the view(and to let my post illness legs recover).

 A short stop at the top to look at the trail maps and we lowered our seats and headed down "Bovine Groove".

 I proved not to be "in the Groove" on "Bovine Groove" though. No skin lost or unplanned bush trips but I did feel decidedly uncoordinated after bugger all riding lately. We curtailed the downhill at "Caught Short" and climbed up Tunnel Vision again. This time at the top we headed across a fun link to "Black Rock", a single black diamond trail on the southern ridge of the park. Straight off, it was looking like an interesting trail, with Graeme getting some air in the first few metres of trail. So much in fact, I missed his mellon!

So, take two.....

Apparently when he picked up his new Giant Reign he asked the bike shop guy "What can I do on it?" to which the reply was "Anything!" So Graeme does. ;) Nice.

Black Rock proved to be a fun, techy trail that I look forward to hitting up more over the years. It was then on to the "Secret Valley Loop" and a bit of a lunch break in an open park area near the lake. Was this too much time off the bike for Jody? You be the judge....

Can you blame him though? We were quickly back on the bikes and climbing back up the hill for some more downhill goodness though.

I think we hit "Sergeant's" black diamond downhill for this last run, but I missed the sign as my eyes were glued to the drops! Rocky,sandy,loose off camber corners....and lots of 'em!! Crikey, please sir, may I have some more?!? I rolled out the bottom onto the park near the lake sweating profusely from the downhill! There was only one big "OMG, I am cactus" moment though and I had basically survived my first Mt Joyce visit. We trundled out via the Shoreline Track towards the car, dusty, but satisfied with our efforts.

Mt Joyce shows huge potential as a MTB destination here in south east Queensland. Some more trails, some rain to wash away all the dust and loose topsoil, or some grippy tyres is all that is needed to make this area into a regular ride destination.
Oh, and some climbing legs. Yes, pack your climbing legs if you want to "Escape".

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