Friday, June 09, 2006

Dusted off the old MTB for a night ride on the singletrack circuit around the forests near Redesdale in central Victoria last week. The course is used for one of the 24 hour races in December. My trusty old 24-speed Trek is hardtail from the pre-suspension era when dinosaurs roamed a cooling earth, kindly referred to as a 'boneshaker' by one of my fellow riders. But it does the odd MTB orienteering event just fine, and with a 'she'll be right' we set off into the sunset. Hey, I am the bloke who came a gritty last in the 1986 Australian national mountain bike championships. How hard can it be?

Well, didn't I learn a lesson? They invented suspension and disk brakes for a very good reason. As my riding companions disappeared into the darkness, I damn near shook the fillings out of my teeth and the plates and pins from the Bad Arm. I probably would have been ok in the day, and while shoulder-charging trees in the dark is lots of fun, the pain is cumulative. I set out with high hopes of completing two 15km laps, but slunk back to the car with my tail between my legs after 7km. Hey, but it was a hard 7km. My computer must have broken or something, because it recorded my average speed as 11km/h. It took a six pack to recover from the hurt and shame.

A flash new mountain bike has been added to the bottom of my very long wishlist.

2483km so far this year.

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