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jethro's picture

Mountain biking at Wamuran

Yesterday we did the McConnell road circuit again. Josh, Mick and I headed out into the bush for this ride together. Josh had a new bike he was keen to test, a Mongoose. It performed well for him, but he is very light weighting only 60 Kgs. The only thing I was worried about was if the gearing would be low enough. It was so good in fact he rode up all the hills that Mick and I walked up!image

The circuit starts at the drive able end of McConnell Road where you park your cars. Heading down into the bush you get a series of up and downs that are fast and fun and a good warm up. Turning right you then start to climb the ridge Here you find a forestry road and a small hill that has 2 very technical steep descents. Rutted and with loose gravel they make for a fun diversion. Josh performed particularly well leaving a nice rash on his bum when he decided to wrap himself around a tree after losing it. From there the long climb up the ridge is lung burning, calf burning time. I alternated between bottom gear and spinning as fast as I can while sitting well forward on the saddle to keep the front wheel down, and standing up and climbing in a bigger gear. About half way up I gave up and walked. Michael had also quit. Josh was on and off for the first steep bit but once hitting a slightly more gentle gradient he managed to ride to the top which finishes with a very short sharp steep climb. There we had a rest and bemoaned hills in general. However its all in good fun because the point of the climb is the downhill. And what a down hill!. The scene of a crash a few years back where I was awarded the mountain bike club trophy for crash of the year, This down hill has it all. Fast loose gravel to start with, then some fast rough packed dirt, followed by some steep technical sections with one and sometimes two wheels locked as you negotiate ruts, rocks, drop offs, tree roots and jumps. Mick almost lost it right in front of me as we took the conservative line down past one big steep section. Josh went straight over it and managed to stay on even through the rough bumps at the bottom. I took the wrong way through the bottom section and had to hit a drop off at speed to clear it forcing me onto a berm that had front and rear wheels threatening to go different ways, but releasing the brakes and just letting the bike go kept me on board. From there some fast downhill sections with some ruts and bumps that the front forks have no problem handling and a couple of good jumps at the bottom see you come flying back to the cars.

An awesome ride and only the second time Michael has done this one though Josh and I have ridden it many times.

jethro's picture

Mountain biking in glass house mountains

Sunday afternoon I went mountain biking. This had been planned for 2 weeks with 3 other mates – however they all piked on me – one at the last minute the girl! No matter I went by myself. I went to reconnoitre an old cycling haunt that I hadn’t been to for about 3 or 4 years to see if the tracks were still all rideable. The area I went to was the glasshouse mountains lookout. See the map imagebelow.

The track starts at the top pf the hill where there is a lookout. Going along a dirt road there are plenty of little tracks on the side of the road to ride on for a bit more fun. Finding the right down hill was tricky. There were several and I went down 2 wrong ones before finding the right one. From there I zigzagged through the bottom of the valley and then up onto the next ridge, Going down into the next valley again was fun and very technical. Lots of opportunities for air but I was very careful not to get too much as the other side of the bumps was always unpredictable. Motor bikes have been chewing these tracks up though they are not allowed in the state forest.. From here it was a long hard slog back to the top of the hill and the road from where it was just a hard fast ride back to the starting point.

The boys missed out!

jethro's picture

Another Tour is over, Cadel still one spot short

Le Tour de France is over for 2008. Last night I watched the last 145 riders head into the Champs-elysees for the last stage and the sprint at the end. Cadel finished in the bunch, along with Carlos Sastre who had retained the yellow jersey after a disappointing time trial by Evans and a blistering effort by Sastre sealed the result for him. Cadel finished in second place just 1 minute and 5 seconds behind the leader.

tour_de_france_logo Michael and I were cheering him on from the comfort of our home theatre, but the big screen and surround sound couldn't disguise the fact that the time splits were not small enough for Cadel to win. Sastre rode out of his skin to produce probably the best time trial of his life. He deserves the win.

Another reason Cadel probably didn’t win and Sastre did was the difference between the two teams. The Silence Lotto team worked very hard for Evans, but they were underpowered and not able to help enough when he needed it. I think Popvych’s performance was very disappointing. On the pother hand the CSC team was amazing. they were the best team on the tour by over an hour of combined riding, in the mountains and on the stages they needed to they had a coordinated steam train going up the front assisting Sastre and also Frank Schleck who had the yellow jersey himself for a number of stages.

jethro's picture

Weekend Wrap up

I love having weekends off. I decided not to work this weekend and it was a great time.

I am going back to Thursday, because I took Thursday night off as well. After work I went to the park in the late afternoon / early evening with the kids. I dug a big sandcastle with the shovel including a tunnel through the castle wall. The kids had lots of fun playing this – and the games they thought up were amazing.

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Friday night I also took off and we watched a movie together before I watched the tour De France with a mate.