After a three year hiatis I decided that 2014 was the year to revive the Aussie Diaries. A lot has happened in three years, but some things stay the same. Â Iâ€™m still the same mountain bike obsessed girl I was in 2011 and the Muddbunnies are still a huge part of my life. With almost everything else in my life being in flux itâ€™s nice to have a couple ofÂ constants. Â So let’s get this started by playing catch-up.
2011 – 2012 in short hand
For those of you that followed my original blog, I never did make it to 200 days of riding, I did make it to 197 though, so figured Iâ€™d make the magicÂ number in 2012. Â Somewhere along the way though, the number stopped being that important, so although I didnâ€™t stop counting, making it to 200 just stoppedÂ being so damn important. No, it didnâ€™t happen in 2012 either, but by that stage I donâ€™t think it actually mattered to me any more. I got another 193Â amazing rides in that year if you are wondering.
2013 – Year in review
Last year I decided to drop the 200 days off my table (Yes I still counted how many I do though) Over the past couple of years I think Iâ€™ve finallyÂ managed to appreciated the concept that it really is the quality of the ride, and not the number of them that means the most.
Last year began with a trip to Sedona, situated in the middle of the Arizona red desert. For me it almost felt like I was back in outback Australia, the same redÂ dirt, epic open landscape and that sense of beautiful emptiness. If youâ€™ve never had the opportunity to visit Sedona, I highly recommend it, especially asÂ a winter escape. Even in early February the weather was warm, well except for the first day when it snowed on us, and the trails are like nothing you willÂ find on the Shore. Not as technical, but the exposure on some of the trails had me a little nervous.
Easter is always the second trip of the year and I headed to Vancouver Island with a group of my good riding buddies on what has now become an annualÂ pilgrimage. To me itâ€™s a great way to get psyched for the upcoming riding season, get a bunch of riding in on trails that I always plan to get backÂ to during the summer (but never do) and hang out with friends eating good food and drinking good beer.
2013 is also the year I became NSMBAâ€™s first female Trail Adoption Program (TAP) Trail builder. I spent the year working on the Richard Juryn trail withÂ the crew from John Henry Bikes. There is something extremely rewarding about trail building and maintaining, seeing the rejuvenation you can generate in aÂ few hours of hard work. Seeing the pride in the eyes of your trail crew when random riders come through and tell you what a great job you are doing.
As Spring moves into Summer, Pemberton, Squamish and Whistler, all become more viable and accessible for mountain biking, and I start spending the majorityÂ of my free time in Whistler. I know people have joked with me about the amount I ride over the summer, but with such limited time you have to make the mostÂ of it, and that means pedal rides in the morning then bike park till it closes, eat sleep and repeat. Â Add in long daylight hours durig the week and that gives plenty of time for ridng on the Shore and other local areas as well.
I do take a time out from Whistler over the summer, on whatâ€™s become another annual trip of mine; Nelson. Nestled in the kootenay Mountains on the otherÂ side of BC. This is big mountain riding, think long shuttles with long loose and gnarly descents, throw in a few big rock slabs and that sums up Nelson. Â Itâ€™s also another opportunity to hang out with friends that I only see once a year, and ride trails for 9 days in a row that constantly make me feel like IÂ am pushing my limits.
I always try to add another fun adventure in over the September long weekend, and last year I had decided to stay local and do the RainbowÂ Mountain heli drop out of Whistler. Again I rounded up a couple of friends who were keen for an adventure, booked a helicopter and off we went. I donâ€™tÂ think Iâ€™ve mentioned yet how much I enjoy Alpine bike adventures, and helicopter rides. You could do this ride on a smaller bike, but for sheer fun Iâ€™mÂ gonna suggest doing it on the biggest bike in your collection.
As we approached the end of this ride, I lost my front wheel on a loose section of trail and managed to crash directly into a rock (yes, I seem to have aÂ thing for crashing on rocks) a quick inspection confirmed the worse, the impact to the rock had snapped my clavicle. After distributing my bike and gearÂ among my companions I made the slow and painful walk to the bottom of the trail.
Fast forward 8 weeks, and my doctor gives me the okay to â€œget back on your bike as long as you take it easyâ€ I consider Expresso to be acceptable for thatÂ sort of ride. i spent the rest of the year reacquainting myself with my bike, and doing a couple more trail days on Richard Juryn. Coming back from anÂ injury always leaves some psychological scars along with the physical ones, and I am only now feeling that my full confidence on my bike is returning.
So for those who made it this far through my first post, and who would like to geek out on some statistics, here they are:
157 Days, made up of:
- 71 days Rocky Mountain Element 29er
- 55 days Cove Stiffee hardtail
- 21 days Cove STD
- 22 days Specialized Demo 8
This was in 24 distinctly different riding areas & 2 bike parks. I think that was a pretty good effort for 2013!