Back in the Saddle Again

Prioritising the blog over training has meant I have gone from Everest Base Camp Fit to Everest Base Camp Unfit. As finding fitness for the first time is part of the journey I am posting this post about my weekend ride. Did I mention I LOVE my bike?

Getting Back into a Fitness Routine

We had a plan. We always do. But then it changed. The basics of the plan is always the starting point and the direction, which translates to whichever car park we start from, up river or down river and the destination. The plan was to start from the suspension bridge and ride to Petty’s Orchard and back. At a certain point we had to get off our bikes and walk because the hill was too steep, having said that I have ridden up it before when I was Base Camp Fit but I am not at the moment. At the top the Trainer announced he was going straight not left, where we were meant to go. In the plan.

The Trainer always does this to me. The revised plan meant an even steeper hill with a terrible rocky surface, actually one of our trek training hills for Base Camp. One where you walk – not ride a bike. He explained he only wanted to go half way and then take an emergency services track down to rejoin the main trail. Ok I sighed. I’ll follow you anywhere, I thought, to a point. I had come grief doing this before. Read the post

We saw some kangaroos hopping along, the main trail and went off the trail to our little hidden cafe in it’s lovely rustic setting hidden on the river in a heritage apple orchard.

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The Suspension Bridge at Templestowe on the Main Yarra Trail

Back home after the 12 kilometre ride it felt good despite feeling some muscles that haven’t had a good work out in quite a while. I have let my fitness level slip for a number of reasons and I need to work at getting it back. I think the bikes will be the way we do that for a while.

My bike at Mum's vista seat

Taken the Day Before Mother’s Day

There are more of my Bicycle Posts on the Menu under the Fitness Tab and then click on the new My Bicycle Diary tab.

Some webpages you may find helpful.

Banyule Council Bikes and Walking 

Manningham Council Bike Trails

Bike Paths and Rail Trails

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?