Thursday, June 25, 2009

Of Fog and Freedom

Fog has been all pervasive lately - riding in on the highway, I can see the fog over settling over the Murrumbidgee and gradually seeping towards the city. Or flirting spookily with the pines in Majura, or sweeping rapidly over the dramatic, exposed summit of Mt Coree, or even lingering in the pre-dawn twilight over Cataract Gorge. Fog has both the power to conceal, and enchant perhaps... mystery of the unknown?

Uni's done and dusted, so riding has taken over. Rode out at Appin on Sunday (managed the 4am wakeup), and struggled over a very challenging, if rewarding course. Blasting up the short, steep climbs on the single speed meant massive muscle compression, and I struggled to find any smoothness or flow from this point on, and rolled slowly around the course. Still, it was an awesome challenge and great fun. After 8 hours I felt thoroughly smashed, but some sense of achievement.

Since then, I've been trying to loosen the body up by doing road miles up the yellow valleys and sparse hills towards Gundaroo, or even heading up to the summit of Coree. The infamous summit climb has been graded (except for the notorious last section, complete with concrete step), but the rocks have been replaced by mud, so the climb was a slow and painful grind through the slop. I think I realised just how steep this climb was when traction was low and the slope unrelenting - that or I was pulling a much bigger gear. At the summit, we were battered by an icy wind and whispy clouds that

The descent down Two Sticks was as awesome as ever, although now there are fewer rocks and more water bars, so dirty whips are in order now.

What are plans, then? Lots more kilometres leading up to the Sydney 12 hour, including another Wee Jasper ride and probably a coast trip. All this should hopefully provide a good base for the Scott 24 hour.... and thus the qualification for 2010 Worlds.

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