One Bike Trail Too Many

Yesterday the Trainer and I had one hill too many and couldn’t bear the idea of our usual Sunday stair training for Everest Base Camp on such a beautiful sunny winter day. Cross training on the bike and the destination of Petty’s Orchard including apple pie sounded a better option.

We started out from the cable suspension bridge at Templestowe. As we rode through Westerfolds Park I thought about why I loved cycling so much. You can meander on a bike, glide, speed, race and coast on bikes. You can sing, chat, explore and be adventurous on tracks off the main trail. The Trainer had said he wanted to do one steep hill off the main track and then rejoin the trail to the orchard.

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He also wanted to “forage around ” his words, a MTB (Mountain Trail Bike) trail we had tackled on one other occasion but found it too challenging. This time we tried in reverse, going down hill. The Trainer reasoned this would be easier for us.

Cursing under my breath, concentrating on staying on the 30 centimetre wide windy track, avoiding ruts, roots, trees and saplings growing right alongside the track while trying to maintain to the right speed between stationary and slow while going down hill was beyond my skills. I started going off the trail, put the brakes on, apparently I must have used the front brakes because I flew off the bike, over the handlebars. Hands came out to break the fall, the visor broke off my helmet, saving my nose and my lips kissed the ground.

The Trainer rushed back and picked me up, dusted me off, cleaned my face, checked my injuries, fixed my helmet and twisted handle bars and then suggested we continue back on the same track! Barely able to hold one of the handlebars we rejoined the main trail ,rode slowly to the orchard and returned slowly back to the car.

I love my bike but some MTB trails will be strictly off limits from now on. Danger man can go it alone.

Bicycle Love

You Call this Boot Camp?

Working in a school in Melbourne we are on the end of term holidays. So the Trainer has decided it is a good time to make it Boot Camp for Base Camp. When it involves my bike well I love it and the warm autumn weather has made it a delight.

Boot Camp Day 4

For me, riding my bicycle for exercise isn’t exercise. The hills are hard sometimes but even without hills it is great for general fitness. Riding after so many years was a great first step back to fitness, to build up my fitness level from practically zero. Especially when I first bought my bicycle. I was mainly accompanying my husband and daughters on their many training runs for an organised run event. So I didn’t have to go fast. Being out in the fresh air, seeing kangaroos, rabbits and all the bird life as well as all the trees and different micro landscapes was beautiful. Soul food for me.

So when the Trainer suggested a ride along the river towards the city even though I knew I found it reasonably challenging the first and only time we had tried it, I agreed it was a good idea for such a lovely day. There was one of those slow steady and sneaky inclines for quite some distance along this part of the Main Yarra Trail. These inclines are sneaky because they are over a longer distance so until you are riding them you don’t realise the extent of the elevation. We walked at a few points when it was a bit steep and was out of energy.

It was a 12 to 13 Km ride from East Ivanhoe where we parked the car to the Fairfield Boathouse, one of my favourite spots along the Yarra. I do have to confess to eating half a piece of cake and cream with my cappuccino. But riding bikes up hills is great for strengthening your knee muscles, which is great Everest Base Camp trek training.

Everest base Camp Training Boot Camp

Everest Base Camp Training Boot Camp

How can being here on a beautiful Melbourne Autumn day be considered Boot Camp?

TODAY – I hour 15 minutes on the bike some hills. Approximately 12 – 13 km. Treadmill 10 minutes on 7 step incline approximately 1 km.

Boot Camp for Base Camp

There is a training calendar, the Trainer and a plan. There is always a plan. Only sometimes it changes.

Boot Camp Day Two

The plan was to ride from the suspension bridge to Petty’s Orchard, have a coffee and return. Before we started Adventure Man Sam informed me of his plan to detour off the track via a really steep hill along a rocky track then rejoin the main track. The very hill (below) we trained on ad nauseum for our EBC trek in 2013. I knew I would have to walk my bike up.

TODAY – approximately 10 km ride with some big hills and competitors!

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“Our hill” with the Trainer and my daughter at the very top in February.

We arrived at our hill to find the inaugural Pedal for Parkinsons 6 Hour Enduro MTB, taking place. After watching the event for five minutes, we headed off back on the main trail in the direction of the orchard. Next thing I knew the Trainer was riding up another dirt track alongside the cordoned off area of the event. That wasn’t on the plan. I had no choice but to follow.

The new route crossed over the event’s circuit at a few points. There weren’t huge numbers of riders so this wasn’t a problem. We joined up with the down hill trail from the original planned route. At this point we were on the left of the cordoned off section sharing a reasonably wide track. When we saw a rider on our side of the tape but coming towards us we realised we had in fact, joined the event, but were going in the wrong direction. That was definitely not on the plan.

Eventually we got out of the area, made it to the café at the orchard, had our coffee and headed back. With the exception of very narrowly missing a rider on another off trail track we arrived back at the car in one piece.

Who says you need to go to Everest Base Camp to have an adventure?

Bicycle Love

Finding Work Life Balance

Get Back On a Bike and Get Back On Track With FitnessBicycle at the Yarra River

In mid 2012 I quit my job. I desperately needed time off work and to find some work life balance and reassess my next step and thinking about what retirement would look like down the track.

During those first few weeks off work I fell in love with and bought, a new beautiful traditional bicycle. Given my second-hand one was in the shed covered in cobwebs, my husband was sceptical that I would use it. I proved him wrong. Continue reading