Saturday i went back to the You Yangs. The plan was to go in the morning, but as always other stuff popped up that needed doing so i finally got there about 1:30pm. On the way there i decided to revisit the Stockyards side of the park, where i have only been once – and didn’t fair so well.
The Stockyards side of the park is somewhat more technical than the Kurrajong side i normally frequent and also contains quite a bit more climbing. You could say the stockyards is for more advanced riders and it definitely requires a bit more fitness.
I am not advanced and i am not fit.. but i do enjoy a challenge. Last time i rode here i had just come form a big lunch (with a couple of wines) and was feeling like crap.. with no power and a constant feeling i was going to meet my lunch again every-time i got my heart rate up. It certainly didn’t help when i cam off the bike trying to negotiate a rock step up.. Almost impaled my self on a old branch and managed to get some brag worthy bruises.
So this time i was keen for revenge and equally keen too get up the rock ledge. The ledge isn’t very big, however it is on a uphill section of track that is already sapping my fat bodies speed. As can been seen in the video above, i just run out of momentum, and stopped.
I wasn’t going to let it happen again, so i took it easy until the uphill section then pushed the pedals harder.. I was committed and determined to make it. I picked my line and aimed for it.. Then suddenly I pulled the break leavers, and came to a full stop 10 metres short of the rock.
What just happened.. Nothing really except a quick dose of fear that overrode my adrenaline and made my brain send the signal to my hand to apply brakes and stop. Weird feeling.. So i got of the bike and stalked the rock a bit..
Trying to learn it secrets and also trying to look for a spot i could ride up it easier.. I fell prey to my fear and walked the bike up it.. Always next time; but it was nice not to hurt myself in that spot again.
Would i have made it? I don’t know. I would like to think yes, but i’m just not sure. One thing i do know is i am determined to clear this obstacle. I have seen others do it, and i am sure i can.. Maybe if i was lighter and more skilled it will happen easier.
Skill is the thing i lack. I am fairly confident on the flat, down hills and in corners- however uphill technical section like above, i struggle with. I know this is partly due to me being a lard ass, but the skill bit along with the slight fear is something i need to work on. I am even considering getting a skills coach for an afternoon to help me overcome this. Not 10 minutes later i proved that i need help on these rocky up hill sections.
100 metres around the trail from this rock is a technical and rock section of trail that is quite steep. There is 2 different lines and both require some skill to avoid coming to a complete halt or striking the pedals and cranks really hard. Last time i was here, i walked this section both up and down- so having failed on my attempt at the rock, i was keen to redeem myself.
Successfully i negotiated the trail downhill, getting my weight back early and committing to the line i chose. When i came back to do it the reverse way (up hill) i was brimming with confidence. I picked my line again and began my accent.
Through the first rock section, quick change of direction- lined up for the second section then OUCH. I am now laying on my side against a bunch of large pointy rocks. What just happened.. It was going so well.
Thinking back to it now, i believe it was a combination of over correcting for the turn, and not going fast enough. Few cuts and bruises, but nothing to0 bad. Just more proof that this is a problem i need to work on.
I have only had 4 crashes on the mountain bike and now 3 of them were on slow technical uphill terrain. This is something that needs to be worked on asap, so my brain doesn’t take total control and make me get off and walk every time i see a difficult obstacle.
The rest of the ride went well, even took 3 minutes off my best time on one of the loops that involves a lot of steep climbing. Nice not to have to get off the bike and rest half way. Improvement is happening, i just need to get lighter and more skilled.