I knew I’d brought my iPod along for a reason but when I threw the music on after I’d killed my bike this morning, it was rather ironic that the song playing was Ride my bike until I get home by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. Good on ya fellas. Great song but all I could do was skate along to your beat…
I had been a bit worried about joining the group this morning considering my average fitness at the moment but I dragged myself out of bed early for the second morning in a row. I met the group at the Smiths Gully store for a 7:30 roll-out and cruised away from the shop with ten others; a pretty big bunch for a mountain bike ride.
Brad Davies and Jesse Carlsson were the ride leaders and when I dived into the first single track second wheel behind Brad, I immediately reflected on the fact that I had never intended to be exactly there! Nine gun riders on my wheel and not even warmed up. I was meant to be down the back. Luckily I felt pretty comfortable and slipped into a pretty good zone from the outset (unlike at the secret trails last weekend).
We cruised the beautiful single down to Long Gully Road as a fantastic flowing start to the day and then climbed back up to Rob Roy to complete the first 6k. I’d even held my own on the couple of K’s of climbing so by this time I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to a solid hit-out.
It was not to be.
About 3 more k down the Rob Roy loop I grabbed a fair sized stick in the back derailer and that was the end of my day despite thorough efforts to fix it. In a cruel twist, it happened in virtually the exact same spot that Brad had his identical mishap a few weeks ago.
I love how every cycling group has their own ‘team’ mechanic. With the 6am-ers it’s usually me but whenever I’m riding in another group, it’s always interesting to see someone put their hand up straight away to help you get up and running. Marlin did his best for me but it was never going to work. I held things up for a good fifteen minutes (feeling very bad about it) but once again I was reminded of the extreme helpfulness of the MTB community.
From the outset I felt welcome with these guys. I’m disappointed I experienced so little of Her Majesty’s Massacre but will look forward to the next massacre day. No doubt Brad will be harping on next public holiday about the thousands of metres of climbing, the solid fitness required, high level skills and lots of gun riders. No wonder I was a little nervous when I went in at second wheel?
So to finish off the day and get a few more k in, I headed off to the 1:20 with my 11 year old Jack. Here he is putting himself in the box about 2 k from the top. Good boy!
It was his second 1:20 in as many weeks and I’m very proud. Proud enough to shout an iced chocolate and a rocky road at the top. Nice work mate.