More December...more busy...more rides.

Ok so after Boxing day, the hard work began with a "hard core" MTB Epic to Lorne and back.  I knew this would be the hardest and longest day.  Only 72km but a heck of a lot of climbing and some decent hike a bike sections early on.










Above is a profile of the day. The low middle section is arriving at Lorne, then of course we had to climb back out. 
lets talk about that climb.  Starts out ok, but due to the nature of sitting down for lunch after a massive descent, the legs DO NOT wish to play for at least 30 minutes into the ride.  The climb is reasonable for the first 3kms then it steps up in a very steep and nasty fashion.  Note the steepness in the graph.  Its a granny climb for ages, and the sweat was dripping off my elbows and unable to wear sunglasses.  Then you think you have no more to do, but around the corner there is more nastiness, shorter but steeper.  Oh and then there is one last bit where you cannot see the top of the road for the angle of it and the tree coverage.  FUN!  

mt_cowley_rest_stop.jpgA well deserved rest stop needed at Mt Cowley fire tower.  


On this ride, many things occured.
On the 10km descent into Lorne, I literally lost my front brake. The pin in my brake pads must have come loose and I went to touch my brakes and my rear wheel skidded and my front lever just had nothing and went straight to my handlebars.  So the 10km descent was a game of survival, controlling my speed enough so I did not have to brake or if I did, it was just little dabs of the rear. 
Thinking I had it all under control, a kangaroo decides to hop in front of us. I prayed that he would stay clear and not make any stupid moves as I could not stop quickly. Today I never realised how much you do need your front brake down steep inclines too, otherwise your rear wheel skids - all the time!

...Tom found the one bit of mud all day!tom_and_the_mud.jpg






Eventually, and some time later I might add, we got back to Forrest.  What a killer start to 5 days solid riding in a row. 

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