The alarm went off at 6:30am, not exactly early, but early enough when you have been trapped in an ale house for a few hours by marauding thunderstorms. I jumped in the car to drive out to Majura Pines. I had a niggling feeling that I could ride out to the trails from the Canberra suburbs, but without local knowledge I considered that this would be an exercise in frustration, but more on this later.
I had the trails to myself this morning with no other cars in the parking area. The need to take it easy was at the front of my mind as Majura is a pine forest with exposed roots everywhere and combined with the rain would no doubt suit a Kiwi more than a dust chewing Aussie like me.
Majura can prove to be a frustrating navigation exercise too. This is my third visit to the trails, so while no expert, I feel I have a bit of an idea of how to find my way around. This knowing where I am in the forest thing is all well and good, but how the hell do you link up a flowing series of trails in here?! There are trails everywhere.
If you have been to Majura Pines you will know how funny this sign is.
Suffice to say that I went around in ever diminishing circles until I thought "screw this". It was time to climb up over the range and check out some of the cool trails in the Mt Ainsley parklandsthat I had stumbled upon the first time I had visited a couple of years ago. They provide more of a destination ride, rather than the corkscrewing trails of a mountain bike park, that I personally find satisfying.
I found my way up and over with no problem, but finding the elusive single track was proving somewhat more difficult. Finding the most massive Eastern Grey Kangaroos I have ever seen, however, was not a challenge at all! They were 2 metres tall and packed with solid muscle and seemed to take almost no interest in the red faced mountain biker that was puffing toward them until I was just a few metres away. Being a country lad, I have seen my fair share of roos, but these we impressive purely because of their massive size and ripped physique.
I finally found some single track and decided to follow it down to the suburbs so that I have a record of where to access this area and link into Majura. It turned out to be a quiet street in Hackett, but I am sure you could link in at many other points with some more time to explore.
As you can see from my stats, it was not a huge ride kilometres-wise, but as I have mentioned before, when you are riding unfamiliar trails the "unknown" definitely adds to the physical demands of the ride. I felt like this was enough for this morning as I wanted a fair bit left in the tank for my reprise of Mt Stromlo this afternoon! Ahhh......it sucks to be me. Yes, I do know how lucky I am and to stay in the zone I was trying to mentally block out all of the jets blasting out of Fairburn Airport as they tried(successfully) to miss Mt Majura. But I did take one photo, just to show how close the airport is to the trails.
Anyway, another successful outing was had with no spills and plenty of fun. I just have to work on my jumping skills as there is a gap jump that I really want to do next time I return.
Now for some brunch and a bit of shuteye. This really is my kind of holiday!