Bike Buller MTB Festival, March 9th, 10th & 11th 2012

17 March 2012

 

I have honestly lost count, is this the 3rd year running or the 4th?

Either way, I have done every Bike Buller from inception and would not miss it for anything.

In fact we did miss the wedding of some great friends of ours, but they invited us with short notice anyway.

 

Back in 2009 (ok, it was 4 years ago that the first Bike Buller event was held) we, MTBSkills, brought a bunch of our then Race Development Squad up to stay on the mountain on the Victorian Labour day Long weekend. We had never ridden at Buller before but knew what the mountain was like from skiing and other visits to places like Craig's Hut.

We were prepared for hills but had no idea of what potential for fun times was in store.

Corn Hill trails existed with the sensational Misty Twist enjoyed in its infancy. The Medusa Switchback climb did not exist and it was hike a bike up the horrible rocky steep 4wd track.

Our schedule for the long weekend was to ride Klingsporn, Delatite River trail, Corn Hill tracks, Epic ride to Craigs Hut and back on steep rocky 4wd tracks & some of the “easier” downhill tracks for 3 days straight.

We were hooked, as were our guests. The very next weekend we were back for Bike Buller.

 

Since 2009 things have only moved onwards and upwards with the event, the trails and the support that Mt Buller is getting as far as summer tourism and cycling, mountain biking in particular.

 

Its been a bit of a “what comes first, the chicken or the egg” syndrome.

Back in 2009, you would be lucky to get a coffee at Cattlemans, mtb specific trails were a little disjointed, there wasnt a great deal of summer promotion by the lodges but good hard working Carol at Foodworks was always open for food and goodies – phew.

 

So whilst I dont fully know of the history, investment and passion from people such as Rapid Ascent, RMB (resort management) and those movers and shakers who work for RMB, World Trail (Glen Jacobs) and those that have and still do work for them, local stalwarts like Carol at Foodworks, Stuart & Rachel Wadsworth at Mirimbah Store & the likes of Shannon Rademaker from All Terrain Cycles, have progressed Mt Buller to the forefront of Alpine Summer Fun.

I am sure there are more involved, sorry for missing you out!

Anyways, its just awesome to come back and race this event year after year and the pure joy you see in the eyes of Glen Jacobs, Ben Annear & John Jacoby when people are racing down Copper Head makes me feel like a proud mum.

 

In the past 2 years Norm and I have spent a lot more time at Buller so its sort of become our sister trail network. Living in Forrest, Victoria, we already have 60km of marked single track, but Buller is magic and riding it even when most would prefer to be in front of a fire is even more special. We have been privvy to riding in rain, hail, wind, sunshine & snow and its all magic.

A day that sits at the top of my mind, I was riding down Misty Twist, the clouds had set in on Corn Hill, vision was only 5 or so meters ahead, it was almost warm, I had no gloves on, my hands were warmer this way, and then it snowed. Flakes gently dropping from the sky, as I wound my way down a beautiful trail amongst twisted snow gums. I cherish such memories.

 

Ahhh...reflections....memories...good times...great friends...sweet trails...good food...all because we ride mountain bikes...how lucky are we?

 

Four years down the track, Bike Buller, Labour day long weekend, March 2012.

Picture blue bird skies, sunshine gleaming and then becoming dappled like an autumn glow as the trail takes you deeper into the snow gums. Black tacky “hero dirt” on every single trail thats been shaped to ride with all your passion. Epic journeys that link together a solid days riding. Big climbs rewarded with unbelievably fun descents that are over way too soon.

Challenging but achievealbe, epic but manageable in a days riding, fast but not death defying...this is Buller...and a whole bunch of mountain bikers experiened just this for 3 days of racing.

 

Day 1.

Saturday 9th March – 50 or 30km Marathon

Todays ride included the magic Stonefly punctuated by cross country ski trails, 4wd tracks, dirt roads and a chair lift ride. A solid day of climbing, unbelieveable views on top of Mt Stirling finishing up with a rewarding chair lift ride.

On a personal level, I rode this race well, improved my time, rode fast, rode hard, stayed accountable 99% of each moment but just could not match it with Myriam, Mel & Amity.

I enjoyed my ride, enjoyed my climbing, but most of all I can honestly say that riding the Stonefly descent today was possibly the BEST I have ever ridden this trail.

Coming in 4th, I secured a 3rd in GC for the overall event.

 

We included an unofficial leg of the event, the climb to Mt Buller Summit, a group of us who were staying at Gliss Lodge made the trek to catch the sunset by 7:45pm. We were not disappointed. My energy reserves were totally rejuvenated and I slept pretty good.

 

 

Day 2.

Sunday 10th March – Brake Burner.

A race concept that has a smile all over it, so much so that Normie “R” Douglas put his hand up to race this one, smacking out 8 laps and a very good Super D time to finish off. Needless to say, his ability to speak or even move about with any purpose was not very good, he was stuffed.

The concept, ride a pedally downhill orientated course for 20 mins, catch a chair lift back up for 10-15 mins which spells relaxing recovery, then do it again as many times as you can before your cut off time, then proceed to smack out a fast Super D run, down the Deletite River trail with steep descents, fast fireroad, log bridge crossings and a couple of nasty pinches thrown in the hurt you when you're having too much fun.

As a GC overall decision, I only completed 4 of the Brake Burner laps and rode the Super D course fresh and with little traffic posting a very fast time.

I also found out that Myriam really hurt herself yesterday and required 10 stiches in her knee, so no racing and now it was Mel Ansett in 1st and me in 2nd overall.

A day of socialising on the chair lift, in the line, and down at the Food and Wine festival at Mirimbah. More sunshine, more good friends...ahhh...do we even need to go home yet?

 

Day 3.

Monday 11th March, 25km XC race.

The best of Corn Hill including the new climb back up past Poo Hill and back to the village, what a blessing instead of trying to ride the granny ring climb that often requires sections of walking anyway.

A mass start, sore legs, tired body, but I was willing to hurt somewhat and found that I had good early climbing legs. I rode the climb up to the entrance of Copperhead in the big chain ring (I only had a 2 x 10 though). Copperhead was done very nicely, smooth and no issues, with the climb back out hurting me after my first efforts. I lost Amity and Mel after the Corn Hill rd, but at this stage less than a minute behind. I rode the first part of Corn hill like a beginner and then felt no power up Silk Lane, finally coming good on Misty Twist. (who wouldnt!) Smashed out a smooth and fast aggressive Corn Hill descent, dropping the boys behind me. The final climb back to the village was exactly what the trail network needed, a rideable link trail!

I came in 3rd overall, improved my energy and effort in the 2 half of the race and secured a 2nd in GC for the event.

 

It seems that the past few months have been about coming in 2nd, I am missing the mark...just.

None the less I had a blast.

 

Thanks to the crew who stayed with us at Gliss, thanks to Andrew Railton for his lodge management love.

Giant – what a great event to sponsor, hope you do it again in 2013.

Go my Anthem and my XTR hardware.

 

As I write this I am off to Brisbane to teach some women some MTBSkills with Rowan for the weekend, our Qld MTBSkills rep.

Then next weekend we have a full house and will be back at Mt Buller for our Womens MTBSkills Weekend retreat.

 

Thank you Mt Buller for Good times on my bike.
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