Fast section of track during the day.
Since January I have not ridden nearly as far as I would like. This is due simply to sore knees. These have been a problem for a while and so I went to see a specialist about them. The upshot is- I have very little cartilage left and the knees are bone on bone.. Now for some this might come as bad news, but I was delighted to see that the wear on the bones is nice and even. This is because of the years on the bike. The doctor wants me to continue riding as it will ensure that I will not need a replacement knee for a few years!
Sandy sections to be tackled at night
So, with boyish enthusiasm, I chose three very different rides this week. The first being a ride into Wheeny Creek. This 30k night ride is a mix of tar and dirt roads, with a steep decent and return out of the camping grounds. I chose the mountain bike as it is most suitable. I would be riding with fast peak hour traffic and would need the suspension to cope with the occasional escape from idiot drivers, before riding the quiet dirt section into the National Park.
Wheeny creek is beautiful and peaceful. Birds such as rock warblers, lyre birds, pacific duck as well as bell minors and superb wrens can be found here. Upon my return I met some endurance horse riders who were surprised that I could catch up and ride past them. The only difficulty on this ride is the speed down hill can sometimes "overtake" the headlights beam, making for last minute choices re potholes difficult. I was grateful for the larger tyres and suspension on more than one occasion
The Cannondale Prophet at night
The second ride was more technical and again at night, on some of the rougher fire trails in the Blue Mountains National Park. Whilst only a short distance (10K) it is a mix of rock ledges, deep sand, and wash outs. In the evening the "line" chosen to tackle these is far different to the line I would choose in daylight, and sometimes mistakes are made. Spinning faster in the lower gears makes out for a different workout too. In fact with a lot of climbing and balancing the entire body gets a workout.
Night time in the Australian bush without the moon is eerie. The thump of wallaby as well as the screech of the occasional owl makes it so. Sometimes an icy wind would blow and the gum trees would sound like the ocean. You can hear the wind coming from quite a distance away, and it was cold. Sadly the battery on my light failed prematurely, and I had to ride back with the "brown light". This creates a new problem. Without enough light to highlight the edges of the track it was very easy to get off course! Still, a lot of fun and I only just got home before the battery was completely flat!
Brown out! Only a small pool of light in front of the tyre
The final ride of the week was my usual 50km along Comleroy road. A great training ride on the road bike, again a different workout to the mountain bike. Much bigger gears, no suspension mean the power to the wheels is instant and creates a real concentrated workout on the legs, heart and lungs. This ride was pleasant and uneventful. Returning to Kurrajong via Putty road. Where I live the area and its surrounds are beautiful. The smell of fresh cut grass, horses and cattle as well as Wattle trees in bloom makes it heady!!
Saying "G'day" to the locals!
The knees? Well they are still there! I hope to be able to ride 4 times a week and get back to the distances I was doing last year... we shall see! BTW to my English friends- I am off the beer and ales......
Part of a health and fitness program is a good "cool down" after a ride....Ha ah!