Monday, February 4, 2013

“Every great Mtb Journey begins with the first pedal stoke…..”

And so the morning began as the posse of dishevelled dirty rats made tracks straight for the state forest, but not before warming the legs up Mt Biondello. The Zulu in predictable form led the rats up the first sector as the group followed, gathering in formation like the carriages on a train. As the lead diesel crested the first pinch climb, the King in all too familiar fashion broke ranks and shot to the front only to be reeled back in shortly after. For a bluff to stick, it needs to be more convincing. Once again it was the Zulu, Riddler and Tim-O-Matic cresting the summit first. I have heard the Zulu mention that a 225g can of Baked Beans on a couple of slices of wholemeal toast is all the fuel he needs before a big session. I guess the teaspoon of concrete that a few of us take before a ride is only sufficient to provide the grit and determination to keep our pedals grinding up these mountains, howbeit at a more sedate pace.
After a brief stop to regather under Police Creek Bridge on Kirkwood, the Trail Boss (a Walton’s family member) was given the nod to lead the rats out on a new section of trail. It wasn’t long before the thighs were burning again on a monster of a climb. It was steep and technical, but with the recent rain there was enough traction for those with enough stamina (or baked beans, or concrete) to successfully conquer it. The pain and exhaustion was evident on the countenance of Mr Avanti, The Bull and Big Fish.
It was the Pied Piper who led the rats to their next big challenge along the ridgeline. It was an open, steep, loose and unforgiving downhill that allowed for little error. We don’t yet have a name for this hill as they are usually bestowed after the first dirty rat who has the misfortune to come unstuck on these descents. Let it be known that most of the hills in the state forest have been named already. Yoda (old, bald and Wise) vainly tried to harness the force of persuasion in convincing the rats to take another route as fear glistened in his eyes. The old Jedi was however ignored as the Zulu and the King took to the trail and plummeted down the hill and out of sight.
A few more single track trails and a couple of more climbs saw the group thread their way back to civilisation. There is a motto I have heard of in the US marines and that is ‘they leave no man behind’. This however is not the case with the dirty rats and I’ve witnessed the King and the Zulu have a quiet word with a few who have underestimated the difficulty of the 5:00am ride. As the Bull was suffering a slow leak with his tubeless tires and time running out, a decision was made to cut him loose and head straight for the coffee shop. Thankfully the Trail Boss was more longsuffering than the rest of the rats and stayed behind to ensure the Bull got out safely.

.For those in M1 land who have a moderate to high level of fitness I highly recommend the 5:00am Mtb ride if you are after something more challenging and enjoy great company.
The Pied Piper.