Millfield (?) downhill track

9 11 2011

Oh God i’m unfit. I think I am officially the heaviest and slowest I have ever been. I am also riding like an 8 year old girl. The slightest technical feature sends  me into fits of hysteria and then I cry for mummy.

With that in mind, I decided to ride one of the biggest hills on one of the hottest days of spring and then try coming down a gnarly downhill track on a rigid bike. The results were predictable.

I was looking at a bit of trail that B-rad though might be a nice link in the Big HuRT. The downhill track brought carnage on the BFO so we were looking for something a little more gentle for fatigued people on loaded bikes to tackle.  There was a lot of suffering on the way up the fire road, there was certainly more walking than riding and there were a few rest breaks to try and get my heart rate below 700. On the way down I somehow avoided killing myself but not through lack of trying. This was classic fall line trail with huge rocks everywhere and a slippery covering of leaves meaning it was impossible to slow once you had any sort of momentum and it was merely dumb luck that I kept it upright most of the time.

I eventually found the link I was looking for and what do you know. It climbs all the way back to the top of the hill again. So I dutifully pushed all the way back to the top to try and figure out where it comes out… It turns out B-rad was actually nosing down the start of this trail on the BFO a couple of weeks back. After plottings its origin, I turned around and tried to ride back down it. It gets real ugly in places… probably just as ugly as the downhill track. It doesn’t have the 6 foot drops that the downhill track has, instead it as copious moto ruts – 5 or 6 different lines of moto ruts. They were so bad and steep and deep that the sensible thing to do is get off and walk/slide your way to the bottom.

I’ve never been sensible and it resulted in me getting totally out of control, choosing to lay the bike over rather than gather any more speed, narrowly missing the tree stump with my head and watching the bike cartwheel to the bottom of the hill. Lesson learnt.

I headed for home but I still had a little of the downhill track to ride. Of course, I rolled the front tyre right off the rim on yet another rock drop and so had to tube it (thank god i purchased one of those this morning) for the roll back to the car. All up, it was around 30 k’s of riding and about 800m of vertical.

Will it be in the Big HuRT? Probably, there doesn’t seem to be another way off that ridge but there is still plenty of exploring to do before we make any final calls. The single track that the rutted moto links to at the bottom is just beautiful so there is some pay back for being scared half to death on the way down.

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