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Lakes and Mountains

Today we stayed close to home, exploring some familiar but enjoyable local trails.

Eric and Darb rode with me to the end of my street…

…and then to some fun trails beside the North Pine River.

I’m fortunate to live in an area with so much open recreational space.

As we rolled past the golf course, Eric reached down, scooped up a small white ball, and waved it in the air at the guy who had mis-hit it.

“Your ball is over here!” he yelled.

 

A few minutes later we pedaled into the car park at Bullocky Rest to meet up with Calum and Russel.

The water was mirror-smooth in the cool humid morning air…

We ambled along the pleasant shoreline for a while.

It was a perfect day for riding – no sun to worry about, and low temperatures to keep us comfortable.

Eventually the gravel tracks led us away from the water, and up towards the hills near Clear Mountain.

With steep hills and rough terrain, Clear Mountain is a challenging place to ride. We lifted our bikes over the step-through at “Mango Tree Break”, grit our teeth, and clicked down a few gears.

Some of these tracks are rarely used.  Tree branches swatted us as we rolled past.

We bounced through several rocky  creek crossings and out the other side.

 

Then disaster struck.

Darb’s frame broke.  We think if he had ridden any further the entire back of the bike would have come off.

“It’s a good thing you stopped when you did, or you’d be riding a unicycle” I said, trying to cheer him up.

He was disappointed.  No one likes a broken frame – especially a top of the range titanium one like this.

We agreed to meet later at Calum’s place.  Darb could walk there from here.  We’d keep riding and catch up with him.

 

We rode to the top of the next steep hill, and waited at the top to catch our breath.

A couple of other mountain bikers caught up with us, and asked if we knew the bloke who was pushing the bike with the huge fat tyres.

Fat Bikes always generate a lot of interest.

There are very few flat places in this part of the world.  When we weren’t grinding our gears up the next hill, we were skidding down some steep descents…

This isn’t the place to “chill out” or stop concentrating….

…but it is a lot of fun!

After an hour in the forest I started to tire, and found it hard to keep up.

Thankfully my riding buddies waited for me at the top of each hill.

After a few sharp pinch climbs we emerged from the forest at the bottom of Old School Road.

Calum’s place was close.

After we arrived, he changed into his swimming gear, then led us for a quick tour of his place on his bike wearing nothing but some togs and sandals.

The water was beautiful – just slightly cool, but perfect after a big morning on the bike.

Jake looked on suspiciously.  Who were these strange humans in his dam?

Russel said a few entertaining things which I won’t repeat.

What happens on the ride stays on the ride 🙂

This was a short ride.  We rode 35 kilometres in just over four hours including breaks.

During that time we climbed 700 metres in elevation, and I burned about 1,800 kcal.

The lakeside portion of this ride is easy and pleasant, I’d rate that part about 5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

But Clear Mountain is more challenging.  The route we took rates 8 out of 10.

Thanks Calum for your hospitality.

Thanks also to Darb, Russel and Eric for a fun morning on the bikes.

Sometimes we take our home trails for granted.  It’s good to be reminded of how good they are.

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