I took a day off and went over to Mt Joyce for a day of Mountain Biking. Ok so there was 4 hours of driving and only 2 of riding but that was an excellent 2 hours!
Situated at the beautiful Wyaralong dam the Mt Joyce MTB tracks are a world class facility with graded trails from beginner to Extreme Downhill.
An easy roll down and up the bottom of the dam leads to the trail head on the western side of the dam wall where there is a map.
I took the advice of some other riders and rode up the fire trail. Ok I said rode, but there was a lot of walking involved as it is stupidly steep in places – more like a stair master than a fire trail.
This is a view from the steepest part looking back over the dam – you can just see the track below the handlebars.
Once at the top of the fire trail you get to this map.
I chose to ride Big Bertha, then Tuna Chunks dropping into Bovine Groove.
Big Bertha is a lot of tight bermed switchbacks with massive drops down the side of a cliff – that was a lot of fun!. Tuna Chunks was a bit more easy – there’s a bit of a video here – very wobbly as i did it with my phone while riding one handed though occasionally needing the front brakes!
This is a very fun descent – its not too hard and there was only one spot I had to dab. Its mostly gentle rolling and nice berms. pretty cruisy really. I finished up at the Tunnel vision pipe back onto the fire trail about half way down where I dropped into a nice down hill called escape that drops down to the lake side and secret valley. Once again lots of bermed corners and a gentle rolling ride. It finishes with a big banked wooden bermed wall – but i saw it too late and didn’t have enough speed up to ride it.
From Secret Valley where i saw this sign i decided to ride up the Grass Tree Trail and then do the Black Rock Downhill and finish with Pork Chops. Those trails are more visible on the lower scale map above.
Grass tree trail was steep but only in patches – i managed to ride a fair bit of it. there were lots of grass trees or black boys as they are known here.
I did take a rest part way up and look back over the track.
These three photos attempt to show the steepness of the last section. Here the Downhill Track is running alongside the fireroad so you can get some idea of what to expect. It is a black diamond track so advanced riders only should be attempting this.
At the top there are two signs. the first identifies a rim track that circles around to the other spur i rode up first. effectively the Mt Joyce summit is above us her and the two trail heads are on the spurs of parallel ridges with a big valley in between. the ridgeline track circles around between the two spurs. a trip for another day!
Today i was only interested in the downhill so black rock got hammered – i loved this downhill. There were only two sections I stopped and checked before just nailing it down them – next time I’ll know the ideal line to take.
After Black Rock I dropped left onto Pork chops and then right out into the secret valley and back to the picnic area there.
From there I rode the shoreline and back out to the dam wall and back to the car. Small video here of the shoreline heading to grasstree and then heading back to the dam.
The eastern side of the dam is a lovely spot with viewing platforms and picnic areas and a large carpark.
A nice day’s ride and only about a 4 on Neils tough-o-meter – but a 8.5 on the downhill fun factor!
Here is my Garmin data.
Like most people I have lots of little stressors, things to think about and do, tasks and responsibilities. Nothing exciting there.
So its really nice when i can escape the morass of dealing with life and go and experience moments of full immersion in the outdoors. Today was one of those days. I was conscious of completely ignoring email, phone calls, clients, finances, staff and other things. I was completely in the moment, struggling with the pain in my legs, exulting in the adrenalin, revelling in the speed, the control and the fun of pelting downhill flat out, the detail of the tyre tracks on the ground in front of me, even the bluish green shine to large pieces of animal dung.
Today I joined a ride that was supposed to be a 68km round trio from Beerburrum to Woodford and back through the Glasshouse mountains. I didn’t make it back because i suffered some mild heat issues, and some major cramping. Didn’t stop me riding the first half though. and I loved every minute of not being in my home office.
Right now I’m loving being in the office with the aircon running and a cold drink at hand!
Here are some pics i got with the mobile while on the ride.
And a little video of the steepest uphill climb.
And finally here is the map and data from Strava.
So I am in San Antonio. I want to go riding with Gordon. Reggie freakin Regan gave Gordon an old mountain bike but he had only ever ridden it on the road. I had a quick look. Its a decent bike. i pumped up the tyres and checked the brakes. Gordon jumped on for a test ride but the front gears were not working. My wife Judith had given me a list of bike shops here in SA before I left. She is good like that. So I opened them up in a browser and Gordon recognised one shop cyclelogic as being 2 miles away. We go there and the shop was crammed with bikes. Interestingly for me they were Marin dealers. My first bike was a Marin Pine Mountain. Here is a dodgy mobile phone pic of the new 29’er. Anyway we had a great chat, they fixed the gears on the spot and told us where to ride. Local knowledge is always best. We organised to come back to get a small Issue with my brakes fixed after the ride.
Gordon got lost while we were riding but that is just par for the course with him. It took 30 minutes for me and 4 other riders to find him. I’m getting used to it. If I was Jeanene I would have had him fitted with a GPS tracker under his skin by now.
After a great ride we headed back to the shop. I had noticed that they had a fish sign on the business card and a crown of thorns hanging above the counter. I said “hey we are Christians too” and asked about the crown of thorns.
Allen told us a story in the most humble way about how he had helped a blind girl who wanted to ride by getting her and her mother fixed up with a tandem bike and how they had hand made this crown and given it to him. They were so touched by the way he had helped when no other shop would.
While he was telling the story we were both fascinated and my gut feeling was that this guy was living out his High Calling in his shop. In fact he said what he does is help people and that his work place just looked like a bike shop. After telling him a bit about why we were here and www.thehighcalling.org website he recognised the radio broadcasts and said he listened to them each morning.
Allen is a real neat bloke. His shop is great. i can heartily recommend him.
Watching cycling in Australia is very much like riding. The time difference to the rest of the world forces us to adopt a lifestyle of late nights and bleary eyed mornings as us dedicated fans adapt to the rigours of the major events leading up to the pinnacle grand event, the Tour de France. The lead up events are all good training. So far I am not doing too well, but I’m starting to get my legs in as I build up for July.
Warning – mixed metaphors coming – substitution of riding and watching will happen randomly in the following post.
The Giro d’Italia was a poor event for me. After sleeping in at the hotel on the first day i missed the time trial and was booted from the event before it even started. I rode bits of it courtesy of the highlights packages for the minor days and thanks to my media centre i was able to ride the extended longer weekend stages in most cases in one go. Riding after the actual race day though meant a lot of the ambience and excitement wasn’t there. No live twitter feed to cheer me on and no sag wagon to support. No race directors forcing me to stay on course meant a few short cuts occurred and in some cases allowed parts of the stages to be ridden over two days. Towards the end I did put in a marathon three days ride in one early morning and caught up to he field to ride the final two days with the actual race.
This meant I couldn’t compete in the Tour of California which runs at the same time. I did however ride it solo later on. Once again skipping many kilometres but making sure I completed the main mountain stages and time trial.
All this was getting me in good stead for the big event by getting miles into my lounge chair. The tour curtain raiser is the Criterium du Dauphine. I’m ashamed to say I missed the first five stages. With no real excuse either. Just missed them. Stage six was started well but unfortunately i was dropped by the bunch when Wiggens launched off the front of the peloton to drive across to Cadel Evans group. My fault – missing those first 5 stages meant i had no staying power. The race was over when I awoke and I had to back up to where I had left off. Unfortunately this happened three more times in the next 25 kms before I finished the race.
I have two more stages left this weekend to get my legs in. My biorhythms are changing slowly. Come July I hope to be in great form and able to stay with the bunch all the way through. Surely those rest days wont come soon enough. But the excitement, the dedication of all the other fans cheering at their TV screens all around Australia in the dead of the night as our heroes do battle for ultimate glory culminating in the finish on the Champs Elysees three weeks later is just incomparable to any thing else.
This time last year i had no idea that in just a few short weeks i would actually be in France living an absolute dream thanks to HTC. This year unless a miracle happens again I’ll be doing it from my armchair along with all my mates from #sbstdf and #sagwagon.
See you in the peloton.