Sunday, 19 September 2010

Dalby The Return; A Story Of Mud, Sweat, And Gears, Disapearing Brake Pads, And The Motivational Power of Chocholate Cake

A couple of months ago I went to Dalby Forest and broke my bike and almost my chin but that's another story. Anyway a rematch was in order so with Messrs Sergeant (John), and Headley (Ben) completing the dream team (not a particularly good dream you understand, more of a middle of the road one that's only half remembered upon waking) we rocked up ready to go.

Bike, check; helmet, check; sensible trousers, ahem!

The trail center was quite busy despite the rain and fog with we went through our crucial pre-ride preparations, coffee in the coffee shop and a couple of chocolate biscuits then hit the initial zig-zag's. Legs feeling good and progress was made, Dalby trails are quite open and flowing not particularly technical and usefully for today well drained.

About half way round after a particularly steep and demanding set of switch backs I notice a bit of a horrible smell emanating from my rear brakes. A quick inspection revealed that 15km of Dalby's finest had manage to ware the brand new pad down to the metal which was now doing its best to chew through the rotor leaving me with rear brakes with the same stopping power as engine oil. Being organised and prepared individuals we had no spares but I still had my front brake right?

A far to clean bike.

The Dalby red trail is long about 36km with some fantastic flowing sections but quite a lot of up and down, the odd technical rocky section and some awesome bomb holes (these are particularly fun with no rear brake). The trail at times can be quite narrow and if you pick the wrong line or take a corner too fast you will end up in a ditch (always amusing for your friends).

There is a term in cycling called bonking (trust me there is I read it in Singletrack), and unlike the other form of bonking this type is not fun. Bonking is the cycling equivalent of  what runners call the wall, apart from whereas you can run through the wall bonking usually results in complete collapse of all your muscles through a combination of exhaustion, low blood sugar and lactic acid build up.

Anyway by about 28km John was suffering from cramps, lactic acid build up in my legs was making the climbs a test of endurance with power levels waning, and Ben was discovering that not satisfied with eating my brakes Dalby had had his for dessert. Good god when does it end was becoming a bit of a refrain.

There are many ways to motivate; ideals, money, great speeches and leaders; we settled for chocolate cake. Back at the trail center was a big slice of soft, moist, chocolaty goodness (complete with chocolate icing) and it was ours if we could just get there. Armed with such a lofty idea we found unknown reserves of power and bravely face those final miles.

Legs burning and covered in mud we pile down the last switchbacks back to the car park big smiles on our faces, we don't do enough of this sort of thing. Oh and the chocolate cake was good.

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