Last weekend I headed up to the snowfields of Mt. Buller – although there wasn’t any snow – we were there to ride DOWN the mountain, on bikes…
With a group of people from work, we booked a tour with All Terrain Cycles, meaning we just had to arrive, and a guide would greet us with bikes, helmets, gloves and so on.
I hadn’t ever seen Mt.Buller out of snow season – it was kinda wierd / eerie to see the sights and familiar places, but looking very different.
We had a quick skills session, more to familiarise ourselves with the bikes – and to prove to the guide that we were capable – and then we set off.
The trail began just near the top of the “Bourke St” ski run – I’d been there with about 2,000 other people, but this time there was not another person in sight.
And the big ski-lift was in place, laying dormant and waiting for winter.
We completed a few small trails at the top, and down behind the chalet’s of Mt.Buller, and then we picked up the “Delatite River” trail.
Lots of sweeping hills, and downhill descents, dodging loose rocks, muddy potholes, leaves & branches – as well as each other !
This was the “real deal” mountain biking – I certainly shat myself a few times on the high-speed downhill sections – flying over some of the jumps – landing on my front wheel, and rolling with the back wheel in mid-air for a bit – but didn’t crash ! *phew*
The bikes were pretty good – GT Avalanche’s – with front suspension and disc brakes – they worked very well considering the beatings and rough treatment’s they must have had…
After the BIG downhill runs, we followed alongside the river, and had to cross the river almost a dozen times. Most of these required people to carry the bike through – resulting in wet sneakers, and much laughter when people fell in.
*I* was one of the first, when I tried to ride THROUGH one of the river crossings, and realised half-way that it was too deep, and tried to step down – onto a slippery rock, and onto my butt – sitting waist deep in the river. Cold ? Yes !! (but rather refreshing – and much to the amusement of the rest of the gang)
We had a few punctures – Brian (the boss) was the first to go – and then Dale, me and Dale again…! Luckily Shannon from ATC just fitted a new tube, and we were going again in less than 5 minutes.
Finished up at Mirimbah, and had a laugh & chat about the day – and chomped on an awesome home-made burger – we were all famished by then (and were squelching around in wet sneakers).
It was an AWESOME day out – I’d been looking forward to it for ages – I never get out much on my bike, and usually on fairly tame gravel paths.
Hopefully will get to go again one day – might take my iPhone next time, and use the GPS to track where we went – I’ll have to get a waterproof case, eh ?
Here’s a few pics of the day :
Thanks to the guys from work who came along and made a good day of it – was a looong day – we left home at 6 am, and didn’t get home till 6 pm…!
Same time next year ??!?