On Saturday 9th July, I did a ride with the Liv MTB group. This time, instead of doing any technical mountain bike rides, they did a trail ride which I thought would be good "practice" for using my CX outside of commuting and Melburn Roobaix.
The night before the ride, I experienced another one of my worried-about-things-anxiety attacks. I had not done a ride like this before and wasn't sure how I would go. I was adamant on riding the CX rather than my mountain bike so that added more worries upon existing worries. I didn't end up sleeping much (probably about 2 hours in total) but luckily the ride started at 10am rather than some crazy (road riding) hour.
I woke up at 8am, left the house at 8:30 and arrived at Yarra Junction at 9:45am which gave me plenty of time to get ready. There were only two people who rode CX bikes, myself and one of the ride leaders.
The first part of the ride was along the Warburton Rail trail to Warburton (to Cog Café). It was a very casual pace and Sally and I were chatting along the way. We had a pit stop at Cog for a few minor repairs and then it was off to ride a 1.5km of the Donna Buang road until we hit O'Shannasy aquaduct trail.
The climb up Donna Buang Road was hard. I had to many layers on and was sweating buckets. I haven't ridden up Donna Buang since the Giro della Donna in November. Not sure when I will return to Donna for a proper ride but doing it in the middle of winter is not my cup of tea, maybe around October again...
The aquaduct trail was nice and flat for 99.95% of the route. There were a few tricky pinches and areas where you had to hop off the bike and push/carry the bike through. I really enjoyed the trail and something I will definitely do again. Apart from some slippery puddles, most the route was just covered in twigs and bark.
There was one part of the trail which I had to walk the bike down. It was -20 to -24% and too much gravel for my comfort zone. After that, it was a fast descent down Don Road back to Launching Place where we got back onto the Warburton Rail Trail back to Yarra Junction. We stopped at Amanda's café for lunch to end the day.
The whole ride was about 32km and 2 hours of riding (I had my autopause set and the total time was actually about 2:45).
I was so glad I came on the ride. It was manageable for my level of skills and on the CX bike apart from the sharp (and short) descent where I walked the bike down. If it wasn't for the group, I would not have known about the route.
Overall, great ride and I got to (finally) have a chat with Kathryn for the first time.