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by Carl Brewer last modified 2008-08-18 01:54

A weekend away cross country ski-ing, a late dash to DISC and finally a semi decent time

Richard Grace and I went away for the weekend, leaving on Friday to spend two nights up at Mt Sterling, for some much-needed holiday and some time on the snow and the last trip in his old Landrover S3 'Adventure Truck' before he gets a new car.  Those of you that haven't done it, XC ski-ing is great cross-training for enduro cyclists, but for sprinters, it's probably not so useful, but it is a lot of fun and you have to 'earn your turns'.  Which is to say that to ski downhill, first you have to ski uphill.

TBJ is at the intersection of Sterling Rd and Circuit Rd

It's here :

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We skied up from there on Friday in a reasonable amount of rain to the King Saddle shelter, where we decided to rather lazily pitch my tent inside the shelter (dry, out of the wind ... slack!).  Watching the rain fall and melt the snow was a bit sad, but there was a lot of snow .. so we had good hopes for the weekend.

And it was good!  Saturday was cloudy, and had intermittant snow and rainfall, we skied up to the Cricket Pitch via fork creek trail (it was quite icey and we didn't fancy the black run up Sterling Trail!), then did a long loop back to King Saddle via Baldy loop.  Very nice ... about 4-5 hours of ski-ing, and there was lots of snow.  That night a group from Ivanhoe Grammar showed up and shared the shelter with us, but they left us alone after their dinner and talks by their group leaders (15 y/o kids are gormless!).  They didn't trip over too much stuff and generally were well behaved kids.

Sunday we got up and did a loop around the circuit road as it was very very icey early on, back to King Saddle via Hut Loop, finished packing our packs and then did another run to the Machinery Shed and then down to TBJ via Baldy Loop again, for about another 4 hours on skis (the last 3 with packs).  One of the drops down Baldy loop was just perfect, nice snow, a gradient not too steep to scare me too much(!).  Down to TBJ, get changed, and get going ... except the AW won't start!  We hand crank it (try that in your Toorak Tractor!).. still won't start.  After a few more cranks it eventually starts ... and we're away! 5km before we get to Mansfield and bang ... left hand rear tyre blows out.  Oh great!  I got Rich a new jack after the last flat tyre we had over summer when we drove up to Bonnie Doon and the old jack broke, but it's not quite enough to lift the AW up high enough!  Doh.  We flag down a passing 4wd and they have a trolley jack.  5 more minutes and we're on our way again.  the AW is determined to make this a memorable last trip!

2 hours later and a very very quick stopoff at aboc HQ to grab my kit for DISC, and we're away again, I've let Nath know to run the warmup, and when I get there he's just finished it.  The enduros do a few efforts, and then it's sprinters time, and we're doing standing 1 lap efforts ... oh ... they do hurt!

Then I take the enduros for some motorpaced accelerations, and then we do flying 100's.  My first one is a dog, 7.17s or something awful, but finally I manage to break 7s after a few weeks of being stuck on 7.1's, with a 6.7s, it's way off my target of a 6.5s F100, but it's not that far off and I still don't feel like I'm hitting the startline at full speed yet, so there's plenty of room for improvement. We finish off with a take a lap grand prix and I ride the motorbike for them, as I'm pretty knackered from all the ski-ing etc.

Home via Nandos for protein and carbs and lots of extra hot sauce! Sleep in my own bed ... ahhh

A bloody good weekend!

Today I rode out to a client site and saw one other pushbike on the road the whole time.  It's a cold and windy day out in the Eastern 'Burbs and it seems everyone's inside in front of a heater.  I might chop some wood for tonight, or just put on a jumper.

We missed a lot of the track cycling at the Olympics, it looks like Ryan Bailey's burnt out, but Anna Meares is a chance to do very well, Go Anna!





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