I woke to solid rain at home and considered staying in bed, but I am so glad I made the effort to drag myself down to Mt Stromlo. The weather in Canberra was perfect. The trail at Mt Stromlo is so much fun. It was a lot rockier than I remember it from last time, possible due to a lot of use for the 24hr champs, but it just made it more interesting. I have had a great three days riding, three trails in three days and I can’t think of a better way to end the tour than flowing through Skyline and then dropping down throw The Luge…..so much fun.
“Pain is temporary, quitting is forever” – Lance Armstrong
Perfect, just perfect.
Today was the second leg of my Tour De Easter and it was my first ride of the MTB trail at Mt Annan.
Let me say first up that it is great to see a new MTB facility provided in this area and it is a great resource that will give more people a taste of this great sport.
Now that I have got that out of the way I have to say that I was disappointed or a little let down with this trail. It may just be the fact that I rode this trail the day after Awaba but for mine it was just uninspiring and a little….well…boring. The strength of this trail, it accessiblility to the “non MTB” public may also be its weakness. The trail was very dusty and worn with quite a few sections blown out. There is also too many sections of single trail through paddock for it to really get interesting.
Now before I REALLY sound like a MTB snob, let me be clear I am NOT a great rider, neither in fitness or technical skill and whilst I found this trail boring or unchallenging, there were a few sections where due to my lack of skill and trail knowledge I did come unstuck a few times and have to put a foot down. One thing that really annoyed me about this trail is in the “blue” section which is clearly marked as more challenging and harder than the green section, for almost EVERY technical obstacle that has been installed, the volume of “general public” riders have blown a B line past or around the obstacle. Now I know that it doesnt stop me from riding the “A line” anyway, but for some reason it really annoyed me. I guess as this trail is built/maintained by the trust and not volunteers, it shouldnt matter but it seems to me to go against the principles of MTB and “dumbs down” the track.
If it brings more people to the sport it is a great thing, but I dont think I’ll travel to Mt Annan regularly.
I drove up to ride Awaba MTB park for the first time. It was raining heavily for most of the drive up there and I was second guessing the wisdom in driving up there. About 30 mins out from Awaba the rain stopped and I was pleasantly surprised at how good the track condition was. If they had received any rain it could only have been a sprinkle that settled the dust. The track was in fantastic condition with only a few corners with soft edges that rewarded tight accurate riding and punished slack lines.
I think I completed the whole of the first loop with a massive grin on my face. Fantastic track with almost continuous smooth flowing singletrack. A fantastic riding experience. I cant wait to get back up there.
So I am going to take the opportunity to get some serious riding in. I want to ride a couple of tracks I havent ridden before and revisit one that I have been promising to treat myself again. So my plan is…….
Fri – Mt Stromlo – Canberra
Sat – Mt Annan
Sun – Yellomundee
Mon – Awaba
I havent ridden Mt Annan or Awaba before and I have only been to Stromlo once. I am looking forward to getting some track k’s in my legs and learning some tech stuff from experience.
The recent WSMTB club round at Yellomundee and reading many reports of the recent Mont24hr race really have me motivated to improve my XC performances. Now that I have succeeded in dropping the weight (18kg) I really want to improve my aerobic (anaerobic?) capacity and so I am going to replace much of my long slow burn training with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), or more aptly in my case Supposed High Intensity Interval Training (SHIIT). I plan to mix my SHIIT up between intervals of approximately 1min, down to using shorter higher intesity intervals such as the Tabata Protocol.
I know that by putting myself through SHIIT it will cause me significant pain, but hopefully with the corresponding gain. Time will tell.
Inspired by the efforts of many riders at this years Mont24 in Canberra, I have decided to get serious this winter and enter some endurance events.
Considering I have only been riding MTB for little over a year and at the moment I am struggling to beak an hour in D grade at WSMTB, I think it is best if I start in a 4hr event and probably in a pair. I am targeting the Rocky Trail MTB GP series, the next race of which is at Awaba 16 July. If I handle that then I might look at some of the longer events.