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Social rides, testosterone and burgers - at Wingello

Antsonline's picture

By Antsonline - Posted on 11 June 2013

Whats this? A blog post that isnt about a race? Surely not?!?!?!?

In the spirit of Monday mornings (on a Tuesday) I thought I'd help you slowly transition back to work after a glorious weekend with an account of a big trip to Wingello on Sunday. There is a gap in the racing season, and most people were keen to ride - just to remind themselves of what their MTB felt like!

Pretty much all the gang had confirmed with only Garry Millburn and Kyle Ward making their excuses (National CX round in Adelaide, and Nans X-tieth birthday respectively), and I can honeslty say that other than for the 3 Ring Circus, I have never seen the central carpark at Wingello looking so busy. Riders and cars were everywhere. From guys on Kmart shitters, through to fully lycra-clad 'Pro' riders on $10k's worth of carbon - all of the MTB scene was well represented.
I really love seeing a bunch of mates unload from their over-packed car, and immediately start sledging eacah other about whether they had "applied enough lube last night….." - its classic stuff.

Our random bunch had all sorts of riders represented - from the all-conquering Jenny Fay (who is now building her fitness to go to Europe and really test herself), through to Kevin Nichols - the oldest bloke in the bunch, but the only guy with an Olympic gold medal in cycling. Riding with Kev is an inspiration, despite his numerous crashes!
Along with those 'hitters' there was myself, Dicko, Brian, Sloaney, Doc, Gary Davidson, Nienke Oostra, Mark McInnes and even Atelier De Velo's Chris Herron…..

The plan was for a social ride. I had even come out in 'no lycra' - baggy shorts and jacket. From the outset, it was clear that the ride would be done on the harder side of social. The thing is, Jenny needed to work hard, and frankly, this is a speed that most people find tough. When you add to that the fact that dudes don’t like being beaten by non-dudes, you have a recipe for a faster ride.
We hit up the red loop first. The Wall is back in the 'official' loop again, and it was here that the first shots were fired. Jen smoked up it, along with myself and Chris. Just behind were Wayne, Brian and Paul. After that, we rolled the loop with guys at the front, riding with Jenny, just 'testing' their fitness, to see what sort of effort they could make.
It was quite funny really.

Just as I was beginning to over-heat in my baggies - racing through the singletrack at almost race-pace, we finished the lap. Rolling down to the car-park, there were already a few weary faces. You can imagine the groans as it was announced 'right - that’s been a perfect warm-up, I'm gonna go and hit a hard Yellow Loop'.

The group split. Mutinous voices were heard suggesting alternate routes, and it was decided that the majority of the group would ride the normal 'yellow' loop, whilst those who fancied a test would go and hit the extended loop use for the Highland Fling - the 'Outer Limits' - at a solid tempo.
With this, I removed the baggies. Underneath I had concealed full lycra race-kit. Baggies on a fire-road burn-up? No thanks!
I had suspected that things would get a little bit 'tasty'. Whether you're fit or not, a racer is a racer….

With agreement to meet back at the carpark in "about an hour" we set off. Pretty much immediately, the long drag up from the carpark had caused a 'selection' with myself and Jen pushing on. Kinda giggling, we looked back and saw Chris, Wayne and some others behind. So we pushed a bit harder Eye-wink
I never have liked that 'Half-Way' hill. It was made worse by the fact that I am not really fit and my riding partner is almost at the peak of her powers…Anyway - suffice to say that the 24kph average speed (yes, it was that fast) around the long yellow loop had me breathing pretty hard. It did strike me how amazing it is; the strength you can muster when pride is at stake!
I refuse to be 'chicked'. The 8.5kg Cannondale I was riding made up for all my weakness.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the other group, doing the shorter Yellow Loop had also had a bit of a burn up - Mark McInnes recently entered the Cape Epic, and in the knowledge that Wayne and Brian are also doing it, wanted to lay down an early marker...

Back at the car, we all met up again, and agreed, finally (!) to do one last lap of the Red Loop all together.
It was going really well. Nothing too hard, a bit of chatting, everyone a bit fatigued……until...Dicko comes screaming past as if he had seen a ghost / was being chased by a lion!
Sloaney looked at me and said "he always does that - too much testosterone". I laughed and said that it wouldn’t last long - knowing that Waynes fitness isnt quite what it was a month or so ago…

Sure enough though, it was the spark that lit the touch-paper a final time. It was on. For the final 1/2 lap of the red loop we rode at race pace. Through the singletrack we went almost full-gas. I could hear tyres scrabbling for grip, and the odd 'whoop' from behind as someone mis-judged a corner…..Jenny, myself, and a silent Doc, were riding fast. Brian joined us briefly, before getting tailed off again in the tight, twisty stuff.

Before long, the fun was over, and were cruising back to the cars. Back at the carpark all the stories came out about why wheels had been dropped, and it reminded me immediately of the start of the ride - dudes seldging each other about anything they could. It was different with our group, because non-dudes were also dishing it out. Nienke and Jenny represented the fairer sex very well, and frankly, other than the odd occasion (mostly Dicko) the was more testosterone on display from the girls than the boys!

The sunny 'social' ride with friends was closed out courtesy of Dave and his family at the Wigello Village Post-Office. Their burgers are the stuff of legend, and with full bellies we got back into our cars for the ride home - all agreeing to get together again, when fitter, for another 'social' ride.

Please - let the racing season have re-commenced by then!

Black Flash's picture

My Tuesday feels better now.
Our crew also road tripped to glenrock for some fun. Sounds like we need to add some female company for the next trip judging by your fun... Where to go next road trip?... That's the next question...

Pete B's picture

Sounds like you all had a good time. The sledging is definitely a major part of the social rides and should be participated in at every opportunity.

I was there on the Saturday and it was pretty quiet. I did the red loop 3 times and never made it up the wall, I just don't have the upper body strength to get past the really steep section about a third of the way up, massive kudos to those that can make it.
24km/h average round the yellow loop is going bloody hard, and that climb out of valley is a killer. It's the first time I'd done a full yellow loop and after 3 red loops, my legs knew about it.

I'm yet to try the burgers at the post office, normally I'm only just leaving the forest at the time I've told the wife I'll be home so need to make a sharp exit. One day though.....

Brian's picture

It was an awesome day and I had so much fun even if my heart was jumping out of my chest.

Pete, our last lap was a shorter red loop just to make sure we made it for burgers Smiling

garyinoz's picture

at least it was for some, I was really feeling it on that first lap. The yellow loop was slightly better thanks to the splitting of the group Eye-wink. I'd blame the small wheels but Paul was having no problems. I'm looking forward to getting back in a few weeks on bigger wheels and a lighter bike in general. The burgers are great once you take out the beetroot and pineapple!

All up a great day out.

doc's picture

All the right ingredients for a brilliant day out ! That certainly was fun turning it on through the single track at the end. No chance of any whoops from me though as I was to busy trying to keep the wheel in front Smiling

Did someone mention how good the burger was ??

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