Perfect weather greeted 7 determined mountain bikers early Sunday morning for an epic tour of the Blue Mountains. The planned ride taking in the Oaks, Ingar and Andersons trail would clock up an impressive 100km, the perfect hit out before the upcoming Dirtworks in a few weeks time.
Ben and Mike led the group up the initial climb, though it wasnt long before our first of 5 punctures of the day announced it's arrival with a predictable pssssshhhhhhh. Turns out Simon had decided to test out a new tyre design with ventilated sidewalls. A quick repair and Ben continued to lead the charge with Steve and Mark in hot pursuit. Pete was having a quiet day still wincing from the gravel inflicted damage from a recent road ride and Greg was left to huff and puff his way up the hill.
Greg and Mark turned back at Woodford to leave the other 5 to forge ahead. The next stage winds down toward's Murphy's Glen which brought back memories of Sunday School picnic's I attended as a child growing up in the area. I cant think of anything funny to say about that, which might be a good thing, but I am sure if you are still reading you will put some suggestions to me at this Friday's Fatbuster.
The road steepened as the made our way down the creek, and while the descent was a heap of fun, it was difficult to ignore the nagging voice at the back of my head whispering "haa haa you gotta climb this sucker on the way back!"
Crossing the creek in the picturesque gully it was time for the hardest climb of the day that never really levelled off until Wentworth Falls, but by that point we knew we had the worst behind us. Now Anderson's is a must see trail as a mountain biker and having never ridden it, I thoroughly enjoyed the gradual descent of double track, the smooth sweeping corners that culminate in a brake burner of a descent back down to the creek. It is usually around this distance into a 100km epic that you discover whether you are going to make it or not, or more precisley if you have eaten enough.
The climb out didnt seem too bad and what would have been a full day's ride as a 12 year old on a BMX was a simple transition back to the head of the Oaks trail. A good break here for some much needed food and drink to get us home. Steve greedily gulped down a Red Bull and a Cadel's trail mix while the rest of us look on enviously, but he paid for this cruel gesture later with a puncture.
Hell's Corner is a nasty tight left hand off camber corner that appears out of nowhere, and has seen many a would be rider cartwheel off into the bush, but once that obstacle is negotiated it's full steam ahead on the hard baked clay trail.
The final section of single track is the best of the ride and after passing a few slower riders, the five barrelled down the trail with Mike pushin gthe pace as quickly as he dared. At the half way point we paused as Steve came up with the quote of the day"I was glued to your ass and couldnt see what was coming but it was unreal!" This was followed by an brief moment of silence as we all contemplated the meaning of his words and agreed the best course of action would be to fix his slowly deflating tyre.
In the end it was the call of the cafe with coffee and the best chips that money could buy that got us back to civilisation. A great ride was had by all.
Keep ridingMike I