With the Rogue 24 Hour Adventuregaine just one week away, I really hit my MTB stride this weekend with three very different rides. My goal after the iAdventure Sprint Adventure Race in March was to improve my MTB skills and, with the new bike giving me new confidence, this weekend I really tested my improvements.
It started Saturday morning when I hit the trails in Bayview for an easy solo adventure. I had just bought a magazine with 128 MTB skills listed in it so decided to try some simple things out. My focus for the ride was to get back in the saddle when riding downhill, lift myself up over small jumps instead of braking before them, to push out with the outside foot while cornering and to shift my weight forward when climbing.
It doesn’t sound like much but these are things I’ve never actually thought about before. I’ve always just been an MTB plodder who takes a tentative approach, rather than being aggressive.
I enjoyed my little 23.3km ride through the fire trails and single tracks of Bayview. I stopped often to take photos and enjoy the serenity, barely working up a sweat but not worrying about it either.
On Sunday morning team Whoops Witch Way had our weekly MTB ride. My sister bought a new mountain bike this past week and Sunday morning was her first ride on the new beast. It’s similar to mine but one model down (also a Merida Big Nine 29er).
We had a grand time riding the single tracks up at the top end of Bayview where there were plenty of rocky hills to challenge us. We rode 16.3 glorious kilometres and got the bikes nice and muddy.
An hour after finishing my ride with my sister, I was out at Daisy Hill Forest Park to ride with D from Scouts. He’s the leader and he invited me to join him out riding. D usually rides with a bunch of guys who sound like they ride hard. I was to discover that D, as the slowest of that group, is super fit and fast by my standards.
D took me along trails I’ve never ridden before and pushed me faster than I usually ride. I didn’t want to be left behind so pushed myself the whole 23km single track route.
D took the time to give me some tips for riding downhill and popping my bike over obstacles I previously walked over. Now all I need to do is to practice practice practice until I feel more confident riding at speed.
All-in-all a fantastic weekend of riding. I still found time for an afternoon nap on Saturday and to spend the rest of Sunday visiting friends so it wasn’t all training.
- Saturday solo ride – 23.3km MTB
- Sunday team Whoops Witch Way ride – 16.3km MTB
- Sunday ride with D – 23.0km MTB