Day Seventy Eight: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

I stood at the top of the mountain looking at the view.  In front of me was the start of a trail.  One that I had never cycled down before.  I had no idea where the trail ended, nor which side of the mountain I would exit from.  It looked good though, judging by the tire tracks, it was used by motorbikes.  So far whenever I’ve followed motorcycle tracks up here in the mountains, the trails have turned out to be fantastic.  I clipped in, took one last look at the view and set off.

The first few minutes of the trail was comprised of soft sand that looked like it had been taken from a beach in the Maldives. The sand had been built up into large soft berms in the bends.  These were fun, letting the bike run wide and high up in the berms, and feeling the slingshot effect as you are whipped out of the corner. it was a fast, smooth and flowing descent so far.

I began to follow a fresh set of tire tracks, the rider’s lines were excellent and were proving to be the best route through the obstacles that were beginning to present themselves.  The size of the rocks began to increase, from grapefruit to bowling ball and on up to sofa sized. The trail was getting very, very technical.

I was now at the limit of my technical ability, the number of drop offs were coming fast and thick. Riding the trail blind (ie. not knowing what to expect) I put my faith in following the tire trail left by the motorcycle.I was talking to myself, not aloud of course for that would be insane. Quietly, in my head, commenting upon the terrain as I flicked the bike left and right, choosing a path through the rocks, gullies and crumbling sandstone.

As the terrain became increasingly difficult I began to wonder what sort of off-road machine had left the tracks.  I now know that it was a trials bike, as opposed to an enduro machine.  I know this because of the route that the mystery biker took over a series of large boulders.  I could see the marks left by his bash plate as he had manoeuvred over several VW Beetle sized obstacles.  One section of bolders were challenging enough just to climb over with my mountain bike on my shoulder.  In a word, it was incredible what terrain this mystery motorcycle was crossing. It was getting a tad ridiculous.

I was now at a bit of a loss.  Clearly just trying to follow the tire tracks set by God riding a trials bike was not wise.  This really hit home when his tire tracks disappeared at the edge of what can only be described as a dried out waterfall.  I cannot, for the life of me think of how he got down.  Me? I climbed down, lowering my bike by the back wheel, holding onto pieces of vegetation to steady myself.  My ride was turning into a bit of an adventure.  It was a lot of fun and I was impressed at what Motorcycle Man was riding through.

All was going swimmingly well until I decided take a sip of water from my CamelBak.  I’d been riding for about 40 minutes and until then had not taken a drink.  It didn’t take long to realise that what I was drinking was mostly Fairy Liquid.  This of course is not good.  Whilst it is superb for cutting through grease on plates after a Sunday Roast, I can assure you it tastes horrendous and does not quench your thirst.  I sat down on a rock that was battle scarred from Mr. Motorcycle Man and laughed.  ‘What a bloody muppet’ I thought to myself.  Out in the middle of nowhere on a trail I’d never been down, one that is only slightly less technical than a hard stage in the Camel Trophy and I’ve got nothing to drink except washing up liquid in my reservoir.  Brilliant.

Luckily for me it was not hot and the trail eventually ended on a section of fire-road that I recognized.  I cut my ride short, pointed the bike downhill and was home in thirty minutes.

I plan to tackle the trail again and think I can take a fork off to the right just before the waterfall section, I believe it will pop me back onto the trail further down which means I won’t have to swing through the trees like Tarzan with my bike on my shoulder.  My CamelBak is now clean and free from Fairy Liquid and I’m ready for a 2 1/2 hour blast.

I wonder if I will bump into the dude on the trials bike? I’d love to see how he gets through the waterfall section.  Madness.

Maybe this is how he did it?

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