I get my monthly training program from my coach a week before it starts that month of training. I have gotten into a habit of deciding which rides/routes I will do for the certain distance or time he sets for certain days. So if it’s a credit card ride (riding out to a town and staying there and then riding back) or a double century (1ookm one day then 100km the next) I just think of two rides that get me that distance. When the day comes around I reluctantly leave my comfy bed and get into my riding kit and shove some bars into my back pocket and fill up my water bottles and head out.
For me, my brain thinks it is training. Training isn’t fun when you hit the point of suffering, but it’s something you need to do. I like to suffer on those big hills and when I finish the ride I feel like I have done something worth while. No matter how bad I felt at the start or in the middle and the end. I have done something to make me stronger mentally and physically, but. I think I have been looking at this the wrong way.
Since starting the blog I have been throwing my mothers small digital camera into my back pocket so I can snap a few pictures when I go out riding. Which are the ones you have seen in earlier blog posts. Which has widen my opens up to where I go and what I actually witness day in day out when I ride. Wether it be a suburban rider at 5am through the city or a rural ride out through Samford, there is something worth while taking a picture of.
There are some pictures I took of a ride that I call the “Brookfield” ride, because it goes through a suburb called ‘Brookfield’. Creative I know. Anyways the point is I start in my suburb ride through the middle of Brisbane City, through parks then before you know it I am next to some small hills that turns to green scenery in a matter of a few seconds. It’s quite bizarre really that if I wanted to. I could ride for 30min and already be in a completely different place of scenery.
Friday I set out to have a relaxed ride with my mate. He lives about 30 minutes north from my house out at Samford. There is a small hill that splits the the dense housing estates from the bush and slightly more rural areas of Brisbane. I had parked at Ironbark which is the forest on my side of the hill to ride up and meet him on top of the hill. From there you can ride back down through Ironbark to the trails at Bunya State Forest. Although it’s a bit of a steep climb up the hill.
My mate had just received his replacement frame from Trek so he was keen to smash out some single track. I was just out for a cruise. A relaxed ride to enjoy the trails. The first trails we hit was a trail that contoured along the side of the hill. It contained some switch back turns, small pinches out of tight turns. I had ridden this trail before near the beginning of the year, I had seemed to have forgotten every turn and technical obstacle besides the scratchy bushes that whipped you as they loomed into the trail. It was dry today and the trails felt as if you could lose your front wheel going straight. The corners were shallow and off camber most of the time which made me feel as if I was crawling around them.
Bunya has a nice neat track network with fire roads running through the bush linking up single trails and providing trails that you can ride fast or slow and still be throughly enjoyable. I guess the only down side with the forest is that there is a semi-busy road that runs down the middle and cars can be traveling fast, but again they have provided a well built cement bike path on the side.
While we were racing about the trails my friend was trying to increase his placings on “Strava segments”. He had been saving himself though on the ride for this hill climb on the way back. You ride up something he calls “Three Sisters”. It’s a little over three minute climb if you push it so your guts are almost coming out of your mouth. He was trying to beat another chap who was two seconds faster than he was. I also mentioned I would give it a go. We lined up well before the segment started, I told him to go first and I will leave about a 30 second gap before I go. Off he went racing down the gentle slope before it started to kick up. The first climb is a moderate climb, nothing too bad to hurt the legs, but it was backed up by a second longer slop gradually getting steeper. Finishing it off with a moderate pinch to the top. I could see him 70 – 100 metres in front of me.
He was pretty annoyed at me when I had beaten him by eleven seconds up the hill. I don’t really like using Strava, it has its pro’s and con’s but for me it’s just numbers that don’t mean much. The numbers doesn’t mean you will win if you can do a climb faster or a descent faster. Plus it seems like people only upload their “fast rides” or the rides they got decent times up climbs and down hills. I say, whack your GPS on. Ride so you feel good and that you have achieved what you had set out to do.
We finished late in the after noon back on top of the hill where we met. You can look over into the Samford Valley from the top of the hill. Here’s some snaps of this glorious afternoon.