Saturday 30 December 2017

Forestry Trails & Face Plants

One of the worse things about running your own business is working when everyone else is on holidays, but one of the best things is you can take a day off when you feel like it...and that's exactly what I did yesterday. Marks birthday was a good reason to go adventuring for the day.

I had read about the mountain bike trails in the Naseby forest and was keen to go and have a look, so that is where we went. There is 500 hectares of privately owned forestry full of mountain bike trails of all different grades. (If you are interested in finding out more click here.)

It was also a good chance to check out the road from Lawrence to Middlemarch, as that is the next challenge I am setting myself...30 kms of gravel and hills, then 50 kms of highway and hills. And not nice gradual hills but steep and short (ish) ones.

Naseby is a lovely town with a lot of history dating back to the goldminers, and still quite a few original old buildings.

We both needed to eat before tackling these tracks and and headed to the only cafe in town, The Black Forest Cafe. The food was so good and I filled up on sourdough bread, sundried tomato chutney type thing with avocado and feta mashed on top and a poached egg. 

Now it was time to check out some trails. There was a bike trail map available from the info centre but it wasn't that detailed. There was a trail that seemed to be the main one with other trails branching off it.
This main trail is called the Mt Ida Water Race Trail and does follow an old water race. I think we took a wrong turn to get to it and ended up on a single track that was way out of my capabilities, but as we all shame in walking!

Once we got to the water race trail it was really easy riding and very well maintained. Amazing to think that this water race was all dug by hand back in the 1870's. They even had siphon points where the water race crossed a low point and you can still see all of this when you ride the trail.

We passed some lovely dams and forested areas, also quite a bit of the forestry had been logged and replanted. It's such a great idea to be able to utilize all this land for trails. 

So there I am..riding along a nice easy trail and come to a slightly narrow part. The rain had washed a big groove into the trail so my brain said go around that but what did I do? I went straight through the groove, my pedal hit the side and I veered sideways to the left and plummeted down a 5ft bank! Somewhere between leaving the trail and landing at the bottom, I face planted down into the scrub, rolled and Birdys handlebars hit my cheek. All I could do was lie there and laugh since I wasn't hurt. Poor minute I'm riding in front of him and then bang, I'm heading off over the side!

I was fine though and we kept riding, but when I woke up this morning my body sure did ache and my ankle was pretty swollen. But minor injuries and it could have been worse.

After riding the 20kms there and back on the water race trail, we investigated some of the others. I was OK on the Intermediate Grade 3 trails but I think any more than that and I would be struggling. I enjoy single track biking to a certain degree, but would much rather ride long km's on good trails. Also I just don't have the skill nor the balance to feel confident riding difficult terrain.

After mucking around on the trails for a while it was off to the Ancient Briton Hotel for a beer and sit down. Jess, the hotel dog was big and friendly and the beer went down a treat. It was such a hot day that I could have easily sat there all afternoon and had a couple more.

For anyone who likes biking I would recommend you check Naseby Forest out. You can get to Naseby from the Otago Rail Trail..its not too far to ride from the trail and there is a camping ground to stay in.
It was a fun day out and I will definitely be heading back to Naseby.

"Crashing is part of cycling as crying is part of love."

                                                                                         Johann Museeuw