Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Letting The Inner Child Free

My newfound enthusiasm for getting on my mountain bike has transcended the crappy weather we have had for the last few weeks here in Brisbane.

On Sunday I got out for a soggy road ride around the Redlands area, kicking a few steep hill demons in the process. Yesterday I jumped on the mountain bike for a wet fire road ride. The Bayview MTBing area is a very weather proof set of trails, being quite rocky for the most part, so quite immune to rainy weather.

Heading out into steady rain isn't something I have done in quite a while. It can be unpleasant if cold and is quite hard on the equipment when mixed with mud. But, to hell with it. I need to get some miles in my legs and it would be interesting to see how the Bayview trails handled the moderate rainfall we have been getting.

The way down was a bitumen road run, sticking to the quiet roads to avoid idiots in cars. It can be very challenging for them to actually drive while you are texting and those pesky cyclists just jump out at you! Still, I was warm and having fun and they didn't get me.

Hitting the dirt it was easy going despite the rain as the fire roads down here are quite well formed with a recent re sheet with crushed rock. This makes for zero mud off road riding. Good for both the drive train and the conscience. It also makes for some bloody good fun flying down hills and tearing through huge puddles like an eight year old.


The area is so green with all of the rain at the moment. You might think I have pumped up the saturation in some of these Go Pro pics, but they are straight off the camera. The Go Pro isn't really known for it's colour or low light qualities but it is the only waterproof camera I have.



Moving up and over the hill into a bit of single track the heavens opened and the rain really pelted down. I was amazed at the water running along the trail. There was absolutely no drainage with sections 60-70-80 metres long funnelling the water along the trail until it finally found a low point to exit. If it wasn't for the rocky terrain these trails would have been erosion nightmares years ago.

As it is, some simple drainage would help futureproof the trail for years to come. I had planned on wearing my new shoes but as it turned out I was glad I didn't. Using my heel I dug several drainage points on some of the worst sections of the "Vegemite" and "Chicken Run" trails.

It is very simply done and the trail will benefit from it massively. I am not trying to be some type of "trail care hero" but I find it hard to ride a trail these days without a critical eye on it's condition. Some of the fixes required are so easy and take no time at all. If only more people would just have a go. These are "our" trails, despite what the powers that be would have us think. Government is there to serve the people, not the other way around after all...........end rant.

Heading out onto the road again it was a quick pedal to the Mount Cotton shops where a meat pie had my name on it.

Burning my lip on the filling I contemplated my next move. My plan was to chug up over the Eastern Escarpment then on toward home. The access to the EE was in doubt as the Rainforest Gardens was for sale last time I rode through. I wasn't sure if the way would be open (I sound like a Hobbit there...) and it is a large back track if it was closed.

So, the easy way home it would be. At least I managed another 30km and reminded myself of some of the good AND bad things about riding in the rain. All good training for a potential ride in changeable Victoria.

Cheers and thanks for reading.


  1. Great photos....I have a road bike I never use but am seriously thinking of selling it and getting a mountain bike. I dont enjoy riding on the road.

    1. Mate, just do it! You guys have the best trails in the world over there.
      Come advice. You will feel like you are going to die for the first few months but once your fitness starts to improve you will have a ball. Safer than the road too.

  2. Looks like miserable conditions to ride in to me, but each to their own i guess.

    1. But it isn't cold. The temperature was about 23C(73F) and I was warm from the riding so it was bloody good fun.

  3. Playing in the puddles looks like fun, but the rest looks like work, I mean exercise.

    To save your shoes you might want to try and carry a folding camp shovel tied to the bike, but then you'd be tempted to do trail maintenance and less riding, and that would be even less fun.

    Thanks for the pictures.

    I am glad it was a warm rain. Or were you warm because of the exercise?

  4. You hide the exercise in the fun, see. I am not very bright so haven't worked that out yet. Shhh....don't tell me...!


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