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    Mon, 13 Mar 2006

    Going downhill

    First, gentle reader, a confession. I have bought a bicycle. Yes, as a confirmed recumbent enthusiast I have recently been living a dual life sometimes puttering around on one of those two wheeled things that fall over when you stop. I've not yet had the heart to tell my Mob buddies, will have to fess up on Wednesday morning I guess.

    There were a couple of motivators for this - when riding with Rachael and Lu a bike is a bit more convenient, I can go where they go without having to worry about jumping gutters etc. I fancied a bit of a change too - the GT3 is lots of fun and very comfortable but having a MTB adds a new dimension to riding around. Last and by no means least is that my commute will eventually involve a fire trail.

    Got the bike from Trevor and the guys at Lonsdale St Cyclery who I can heartily recommend - very nice people and very knowledgeable.

    So on Sunday chucked the MTB in the back of the car before we headed out to Carwoola. The intent was to try to find a path through the bushland between Captains Flat road and Queanbeyan, hence avoiding having to ride down the very perilous King Highway. A friend of ours, Simon, was keen to come along which was cool - was nice to have someone to bounce navigational decisions off as we rode around unfamiliar territory.

    It ended up being quite a descent and I was very glad for having at least read a few articles on riding downhill on an MTB even if I hadn't actually done it before. Spent most of the time hanging off the back of the seat proceeding very carefully.

    Thankfully we avoided any spills, riding all but one section of about 30m as it was just too steep and rough, at least for my/our riding skills. I suspect if I start doing this at all regularly I may have to consult an expert...

    The hill thus conquered we rode into Queanbeyan and parted company there, 8km total over about 40 minutes. Shortly afterwards I had to stop in a side street for about 20 minutes to remove the bindis from my front tyre and fixing the associated puncture. Lady from the house opposite even kindly came out with a tub of water in case I needed to bubble for the holes. New tube did the trick instead but was nice to have the offer. Remainder of ride home was uneventful if warmish, only other stop was to get a couple more tubes and fill up water bottles.

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