After a week spent (attempting) snowboarding I started Week 7 feeling very sore. I had many small but painful bruises all over my limbs; and an extremely tender left shoulder.
Not one to do things by halves I jumped straight into my riding by commuting to and from work on Monday on Kate the XTC. The week off the bike was quite evident with a heavy build up of lactic acid in my leg muscles and butt cheeks!
Tuesday was a slight sleep in and a shorter commute into work. Ignoring my screaming quads I rode out to Mt Stromlo via Lake Burley Griffin and had a quick spin around some of the easier trails to get 21.1 km of dirt under the tyres. The commute home was a painful 38.1km in the cold of Canberra’s night-time.
After a fairly intense 95.3km on Tuesday I took a rest day on Wednesday before taking the easy route to and from work on Thursday. Even though I felt like I hate skimped out of some quality riding by taking it easy I did reach my goal of 200km in just three days of riding.
On Friday I decided to break out Sara the roadie for some easier commuting for my early start at work. After a fairly long and tiring day at work the decision to take the short route home was an easy one… But I had to work hard for it. Canberra decided to put on some incredibly strong wind gusts that almost blew me off the road and into the gutter several times.
With Round 4 of the CORC XC Series being held at Mt Stromlo on Sunday I intended to take some time on Saturday to service and ready Kate for the next days race. Instead I took her out for a spin around Bruce Ridge with fellow Bermer Tony on his new Trek Superfly (which is sooo nice… pity it’s not a Giant!) It was a very enjoyable 50.1km of riding but I still needed to prep my bike for the CORC race.
I don’t warm up very quickly when I ride. It’s generally around the 7-9km mark when on the mountain bike before I’m actually warmed up enough to take on the singletrack with speed and confidence. Because of this I will either ride out to a race if it’s close to home or do a few laps of the course beforehand. On Sunday morning I joined fellow Bermers Andy & Tony for a ride out to Mt Stromlo.
It wasn’t long before I was tearing off layers of clothing in the crisp Canberra morning; I was warming up very quickly. We arrived with ample time to register and unfortunately enough time to get very cold in the chilly air, light rain and sweat drenched clothing.
Soon I was off riding Mt Stromlo’s western trails for some quick paced XC racing. I hadn’t ridden the first part of the course before and was in for some technical and rocky trails. I handled the course well on my first lap and made up a few places before deciding to attack the faster riders in front of me. I took a few chances and was quickly passing the juniors and slower paced riders. Fast fire-roads and different lines up the short but rocky climbs allowed me to use Kate for what she was designed to do; quick acceleration and powerful climbing.
After worrying about not riding the trails prior to the race I was really enjoying the experience on what I felt was a great course. Halfway through my second lap I pulled up to see an injured rider laid out on the trail. Young Pedal 4 Pierce rider Chris had taken a spill and was concussed from the fall. A few of us diverted race traffic and helped out until an ambulance arrived to take Chris to hospital. Thankfully he got the all clear and was sent home later in the day.
I finished my lap; came last in my grade and helped pack up the rego/event centre while enjoying a post race coffee. When all the dust had settled I packed up my gear, rode down to the main car-park and headed off to lunch in the city. After scoffing a pizza at Debacle I headed home slowly with a full stomach and 81.4km under the tyres for day.
At the end of the week I finished with 352.5km on the bike. My biggest week of riding this year. Although I’m a little sore in the legs I’m looking forward to another big week in the saddle with my first 12 Hour solo race this coming weekend at Dargle Farm.