MTB madness

My beast in Bayview forest

It was my sister who found the Brisbane South MTB Club online this week and who suggested we take a ride with them this morning to see whether they’re a good match for us as we prepare for the Adventure Race Australia on 20 May. Neither of us has much MTB experience and this will be a big part of the race (up to 35km of it). I’m also training for the Tre-X off-road triathlon series next summer. So rather that try to teach ourselves we’ve looked at our options: MTB training courses, joining a club or winging it. While MTB training courses are probably great for learning skills in an intensive way, just going once or twice probably won’t help us with confidence and the cost of classes is relatively high. We looked at the BSMC website and saw they have beginners’ rides every weekend.

My sister, her 6 year old son and I loaded our bikes in her car this morning and took off to Daisy Hill Forest Park for the club’s one hour beginners’ ride. My sister and I were the only beginner adults with the rest being kids aged between about 8 and 15. There were three experienced adult riders with them and they never made me feel silly for being such a beginner (the kids could have ridden laps around me skills-wise). We rode for an hour along some simple technical single track trails and the ride leader gave me some fantastic basic tips, such as when to stand on the pedals and when to sit, and how to take corners.

After our hour ride, I went home to my sister’s house, which is on the other side of the Bayview bushland reserve from my home. The running club I am with often run through the trails in Bayview so I decided that I would map the trails for them so that everyone can enjoy their trail running without worrying about getting lost.

Enjoying my ride

So after a short rest at my sister’s house I got on my beaten up old mountain bike and headed off into the Bayview bushland reserve to start my mapping project. Over the course of the next hour I rode the tough fire trails around the outer edges of the reserve. The hills in Bayview are serious and I had to walk up and down two that were particularly steep. I tried to apply some of the skills I learned at the BSMC ride this morning. By the time I got home I was exhausted – unsurprisingly given that it was 33’C outside and because I’d been out riding my MTB for 2 hours. It was a good exhausted though.

This afternoon I’m off to a 2 hour Parkour training session in the city. But first some lunch and a short rest.

Total: 2 MTB sessions:

  1. 6km in an hour (skills focus – so lots of stop and start)
  2. 9.7km in an hour (lots of hills)
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