Hooked on the MTB

Smooth flowing single track

With smooth flowing single track like this to enjoy, it’s little wonder that I’m currently getting hooked on my MTB rides.

It’s a glorious morning and I am in two minds whether to have a good road cycle hit out or to continue mapping Bayview Conservation Park on my MTB. I have an Olympic Distance triathlon race on Sunday morning at Kingscliff so know that I really should have a road session but my heart demands to hit the bush. As is often the case, I listen to my heart.

I start by riding the fire trails down to the bridge where I left off with mapping on Sunday afternoon. While I’m down there I find a new single track that I’ve not ridden before. It’s only a few hundred metres long but still delightful. I ride up to the top of the hill and turn right down towards the Carbrook side of the bush.

I know there is a network of trails on the far side of the bush that I’ve not explored since I was a teenager. On my last visit down there (almost 20 years ago) my sister and I were riding horses when we stumbled upon a drug camp. Men came out of the camp pointing rifles at us and threatening to shoot us if we ever went down near that part of the bush again. Needless to say, we stayed well away from those trails. It wasn’t until late last year when I was running with the BRW club that I went back down those trails. I knew the drug camp was gone because I’d seen it in the news about 10 years ago but still – it was disconcerting to know that I’d been chased by men with guns.

Bush sunrise

The only drama this morning is the sun rising through the trees casting a stunning golden light. I enjoy the sight for a few moments before continuing on my way. I ride a few fire trails and single track for almost an hour before I realise that I really need to go home and get ready for work. I make notes of every major creek crossing and intersection, measuring the distances between each for reference later. These distances will be helpful when measuring trail running training routes.

Plenty of creeks

We’ve had some heavy rain the past few weeks (it is February after-all) and the creeks are all flowing. There’s really one creek system in the bushland, Serpentine Creek. It has many tributaries and they all lead into the Logan River swamps, which spread for about half a kilometre on this northern side of the river. The only problem with all this water is the mosquitoes. But they don’t bother me too much if I keep moving.

My Garmin Edge 800 getting a workout

I’m using a Garmin Edge 800 to map the bushland. It has all the usual features of speed, distance, calories etc with the added bonus of a map screen. This means I can see which trails I have covered and can get a sense of whether tracks will double back on each other or link up. It helps me identify the most logical order in which to map all the trails and tracks here in the bush. I won the GPS in a lucky draw at my first race of the season and, while I never thought I’d say this, I’d be lost without it.

Total distance: 20km @ 13.9kph average moving speed (10kph actual average including stopping to take notes and photographs)

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