Holiday Riding

A brief overview of the past few weeks:

Christmas Eve
A sensational day - sun shining, water glistening, turquoise in colour and just the slightest of winds as I rode my way to Geelong on the roadie from Forrest via the Great Ocean Rd.  All by myself, it took me just on 5hrs to do the 140km ride.  For the first time I also listened to my Ipod the entire way - wow what a difference!  Time went so quickly.

Boxing Day
I had planned to catch up with a few riding buddies and they did not disappoint.  Initially we were just going to do Red Carpet repeats, but after chatting with Jeff Fox the other day we decided to explore some of the motorbike trails and  4wd tracks over in Newcombes Spur, Haydens Tk and Thompsons.  A real exploring day and not a cracking pace either.  Unfortunately Liz had a crash and broke her helmet too.  She was slightly dazed and made it home safely.  Managed 40km on the MTB today over 4 hrs.

27th December
Based on yesterdays findings,  we went over some old ground on the trail near Newcombes Spur and then progressed to some cool trails that led to Goat Tk then up Cowley Tk for a never ending climb to Mt Sabine-Benwerrin Rd.  A quick left then right and up to the summit of Mt Cowley-670mt ASL.  Our destination - Lorne.  So all you gravity driven junkies, get your bootie and bike down to either Garvey or Sharps Tk which run off the top of Mt Cowley.  We chose Sharps Tk which delivered a very substantial and rewarding 10km 4wd track descent.  A few flat spots and minor rises were all handled in the big dog.  Mr.Dave Ollie recieved "puncture" pennants due to his skinny light weight tyres and the fist sized bluestone rocks lining the road.  Foxie and Ollie both had a few "how's your fathers" along the way with some sketchy corners that nearly took them over the ridge!  Kate our 2nd youngest rider, came away saying that was the best downhill she has EVER done.  Calum "smash'em" Middleton was on the pace the entire day and never missed a beat. Norm taped it all! 
Forrest Mountain Bike Trails - What's all the fuss? - Smaller from Norm Douglas on Vimeo.

So the morning was just great, got into Lorne, sun was shining, ate lunch with great company.  Liz had to stay at home as she was really ill from the crash the day before.  Our ride consisted of: Norm, Me, Jeff, Dave, Emma, Kate, Calum, Stewie, Michael"CADENCE MAN"(seriously this guy was revving at 150rpm up bloody hills!), Tory, Renata - was there anyone else I missed?


The inevitable had to happen and of course we had to ride up what we had just come down!  We went the easiest way known to get back up over the hill of Lorne and went up Garvey Tk. Suspected to be a slightly longer, more gradual climb on a ridge line opposite Sharps Tk(our descent), it proved to be very gentle in the early piece.
Then there came a time where good old Garvey handed out some "hurt" and made some of us nearly cry. Norm??? Stewie???
Renata could be heard at the false top of the climb,"a few more nasty pinches in that would have been good"...and so she got her hearts desire as we rounded the corner, lost a tonne of altitude in 2 seconds and progressed up another big mother of a climb.  This time, I mentioned to Calum, "cop a look at that!" as we began our journey up a never ending steep as bro climb up into the heavens.  The end was nowhere in sight and I could feel the mood of poor Norm as Emma, Calum and I climbed the entire way. 
Norm told us when he got to the top that he and Stewie were riding along, looked up and saw what was on offer and unclipped, dismounted bikes in sychronized fashion and whilst Jeff was 50mts in front, watched him proceed to do exactly the same.

That was the worst of the climbing and we made it back to Forrest via the easiest route possible - jumped straight into the quarry water hole and cooled off.

The total trip was 70km or so, a great day!  A real fun epic ride. Not for the feint hearted! 

28th December
Easy peasey...a fun road ride to Beech Forrest via Turtons Tk.  70km of climbing and descending on a windy cold day.  But easy in comparision to the other days.  Joined by Dave, Skinny Pete, Foxie, Emma, Calum and me.  After this ride it was time to rest for a bit!  If my memory serves me right, we headed out on a MTB ride in the afternoon too.  Oh I am tired just recollecting these memories!  How on earth did I survive?

29th December
Easy ride around Yaugher trails for 20km. Took Stella and David out for a social exploration at their pace, which was really nice.  David recovering from injury and Stella building confidence!  Nice ride.

30th, 31st, 1st & 2nd Dec/Jan
Back on the straight and narrow...proper purposeful training.
Rollers, hills sprints, time trials, and recovery!  Phew.

3rd Jan
Rode into Geelong to watch the Bay Crits.  Left Forrest at 7:15am and got to Lorne at 9:40pm.  Mick Varker and Doug Whiteford afforded me a lift home via their rear wheels.  72km of hard work to Lorne, 70km of E1 workload sitting behind these two lovely gents. Thanks so much!!!!  My favourite 140km ride turned into almost a recovery ride.  Arrived in Geelong and watched Calum do really well in the Long Course Crit around Eastern Gardens.

4th Jan
Amys ride.  Really did not want to do this as it would bring my week up to nearly 500km of riding.  Not what I really need.  However did the ride and got knocked off my bike by a "not very nice man"and I shall leave it at that.  Lucky to walk away unscathed except for my sore tailbone and bum.  Still hurts today as I write this.  A beautiful day none the less and watched the crits.  Bad luck Calum, I know you like the longer stuff, and really tough tight circuit to do anything on with 100 riders.