I started out riding on a Mountain bike. To be honest I was never any good at doing single tracks, and still feel the same way now. I can get fast speeds, but always have issues with going downhills due to my light frame. Honestly aren’t that great with my handling & braking. I know I’m probably better than I give myself credit for. And could possibly develop into a semi-decent Mountain biker. But I only touch the thing once a month and just don’t have the consistency to be good.
When I started to ride I tried to get down to the Wednesday night Trailmix rides at Lysterfield Lake. These started at the Trailmix Cafe at 6:30 pm. Usually we would do between 20 – 30 km’s for the ride. I really enjoyed them as you could smash yourself. Then you would get a large rest as you waited for the last rider to catch up. No one was ever left behind.
You could spend the night chatting away, or you could smash yourself silly, or do both.
They usually split the groups into the slower groups, or the fast group. I tried doing the fast group several time, and really felt embarrassed. I could match the speed & power easily enough. But couldn’t ride for shit, and was always out the back. I felt like a spaz and didn’t feel comfortable. So I ended up joining the slow group which I had far too much power, speed & endurance. Sadly I wasn’t getting much of a workout. But didn’t feel so much as a spaz, and knew I was likely not to hurt myself (only two crashes from memory). But there were always better bike handlers than me.
I hadn’t found my niche in cycling at this stage.
What I was finding that whenever we hit a hill I would fly off. Always loved to get to the top so easily. Waiting for everyone to catch up out gasping for breath.
I stopped going when I discovered Road riding. Finding that if I rode to work would be getting 60 – 100 m’s in around my work day. Whereas would only be doing a short one if went MTBing. I returned several times when I was recovering from an injury or illness. Always enjoying riding there, and wish I could do it some more. I was introduced to night riding at Lysterfield Lake with them. Which is totally insane. Flying through single trail in pitch black at 30 km/h. Dodging obstacles, bunny hopping roots, keeping an eye out for Kangaroo’s is dangerous but exhilarating.
One of the main reasons why I stopped riding with the fast group is they took us up one of the double diamond sections at night. Which I had done once during the day and had shat myself on. At night, I shat myself more. It wasn’t a matter of not embarrassing myself, but of pure survival. When you do a jump at night time, you can’t see the ground. It gives new meaning to the word flying….
Would highly recommend to go down and join them one Wednesday if you get the chance. They’re a great bunch of guys, and encourage riders of all abilities to join. I’ve bumped into some of the guys since then and happy that they’ve remembered me. The pretend Mountain biker.