Worst. Preparation. Ever.
I was asked if I wanted to go for a ride at this spot that I hadn’t hear of before. However, I was asked at about midnight, and would have to meet at about 6:45 am that morning. I replied no, but then went to bed and did a bit of reading on the area. Some of the stories on the riding sounded great. A lot of climbing, but some great tracks that are well looked after. I’d already decided to get in a road ride on the Sunday morning. When I woke, it was sunny and a nice day, and I felt that with a new mountain bike sitting inside, I couldn’t just waste the day on a road ride. While I felt bad turning up to Smiths Gully having said I wouldn’t go with a mate, I didn’t feel like going somewhere I’d already been – i.e. You Yangs.
When I got to Smiths Gully, the guys I’d been going to go with were at the store having a coffee – by the sound of it they were pretty much blown away by how much climbing there was, and how it was hard work. A few people said I was a bit nuts to go out on my own, but I didn’t have much choice. I had a rough map that I’d printed out, and I spoke with a couple of locals who were very helpful with giving me tips for how to get to the main body of tracks.
I had a great time. I rode about 10k on my own, and then hooked up with a couple of other blokes who took me to a couple of spots I didn’t know about. I got a bit of a pasting – and realised how unfit I was, but they were nice enough to wait for me at the top of climbs, and it was good to have someone to ride with in an unfamiliar area.
You can just make out the city buildings in the shot below
Definitely somewhere I’ll be returning.
I took the new bike out for a quick ride along the Yarra this evening – I was feeling bad that it had been sitting there without use for 2 days…
Unfortunately, I should probably have given it another day. With Melbourne having between 40 and 110ml of rain over the weekend, it hadn’t quite dried up completely, and hence the bike is now filthy.
It performed well though – amazing the feeling of being on a bike with dual suspension instead of a hardtail. And 29″ wheels seem to make a big difference – just rolling over things that on the old Scott Aspect I’d be avoiding or trying to jump the bike over…
A bit like the difference between this: