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Fatties Wednesdays. 6amers Sundays.
Craig Vandervalk rode: It's not Stonefly but...
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- 16 miles
- 03:50 time
- 4.2 pace
- 2787 calories
It's not Stonefly but it gets pretty close. A couple of local chaps have built the most amazing network of trails north east of Melbourne - better even than Wombat in many ways. Smiths Gully has its moments but this is truly something else. Readie (Diesel) led the troop which included Boris, Horny, Mad Mike, Autobus, 29er-Cam, Luke Hanley and myself (Angles). We were straight into the singletrack climbing - steep and technical which also meant a bit of waiting for Horny on his virgin Mountain Bike ride on Gus' Cotic Soul. To be fair he's a quick learner and was keen for some climbing - of which he was richly rewarded. We were soon onto narrow switchback heaven with plenty of hairpins that were rewarding either up or down. It was the gift that just kept on giving and there was a lot of varied terrain. At some point I let a little air out of my tyres but not too much as there were plenty of small loose rocks and also rock-gardens to contend with that required a little extra pressure. I started out slower than the frontrunners so I could gauge where my fitness and form were at as well as see how rusty my skills were. However the thrill of these trails soon overcame me and I started railing more and more of the trails and really testing out my fitness and skills. I even caught up to readie a couple of times! Later in the day I had an off which knocked the stuffing out of me and I took it easier for a bit. Some of the others opted out when an opportunity presented so the rest of us started to retrace some of the better trails again. Towards the end I was starting to get quite tired and was making a few little mistakes. I drank the last of my water and perked up a bit but then I had a second off (at the same spot) and really backed off after that. There were still plenty of trails to be done however but as we approached the 4 hour mark it was time to call it a day. I had assumed it would be a mini epic but you just can't ride easy on these trails, and in fact they demand to be attacked and ridden hard, but eventually all that effort can take its toll. It was truly more epic than I had imagined both the quality of the trails and the way we rode them.
Afterwards we all ducked into Cog Cafe on the way home for some much needed caffeine and assorted tucker. I really have not ridden at this intensity for a fair while but I'm so glad I joined the 6amer-plus crew on these inspirational trails today. Hopefully I convert my renewed passion into some serious training leading into the Surfcoast 12 hour.