So, I managed to come off my bike once again and, just like Britney Spears exiting a limousine, I regretted not covering up. I am not sure how many accidents it is possible for me to have before my time here is done, but one thing is for sure, that number is rising. However, just like brave Britney, I am liberated and I am not afraid to show off my scars!
So, this time, I managed to kiss the ground in the You Yangs Regional Park, a series of granite peaks that dominate the flat landscape 55 Km south west of Melbourne. The You Yangs are only 340 metres tall but their stark granite and dust landscape is as challenging as any terrain I have ridden before. The landscape is tough, bone dry, barren and unforgiving. If there is ever a MTB park on Mars, I would imagine it will look like the You Yangs Regional Park.
The many trails snake through the sparse burnt bush over the granite outcrops and snake in and out of the rough undergrowth. They throw a myriad of surfaces at the rider in rapid-fire succession. The trails have it all; harsh switch-backs, technical downhills, raised boardwalks and some heart in mouth blind descents. Couple that with a few hours of oppressive heat and you have one of the most testing and exhilarating trail rides I have undertaken.
So where amongst this candy shop of obstacles did I reacquaint myself with the Australian dirt? Had I underestimated a descent or a switch-back? Had I misjudge a jump? No, I wiped out on a fire road without a single obstacle in sight. Away from the severity of the single-track, I let my concentration slip whilst talking to a fellow rider. One minute I was upright, the next I was kissing the ground like a newly arrived pope! Maybe, as my wife has suggested, it’s time to take up golf.
Oh, and yes, those black things all over my arm are flies.