January 7, 2010

Off the beaten track

Route: Westerfolds Park mountain bike trails
Distance: 20.5km
Duration: 1 hour

I was reading something online the other day about the best way to train for a cycling event such as the 3 Peaks Challenge. It was saying that it is far better to ride shorter distances more often than it is to ride one long ride per week. Unfortunately, my strategy in the past has always been of the “go long, go once” variety and so I am now making a concerted effort to remedy that.

At 6:30 this evening I jumped on the ol’ mountain bike and headed down to Westerfolds Park, a lovely expansive reserve on the banks of the Yarra. At Westerfolds there are a bunch of fantastic mountain bike trails that run alongside the river for several kilometres and tonight I rode along these for around an hour or so.
The paths are quite varied, from tight, narrow paths that force the rider to duck under low trees, to wider, sandier paths where you can push along quite hard. Being a weeknight there weren’t too many other riders on the trails and to be honest, I was more in danger of running into a rabbit than another rider.

It’s quite difficult to guage how strong I’m feeling while on the MTB as it’s a completely different set up to the road bike and a completely different type of riding. For a start, I didn’t ride for long enough to test whether or not I would get the cramps that I had the other night.
Regardless, it was good to get out for a bit of a spin tonight even if it wasn’t a long one out on the road.

Tomorrow morning myself, Brendan and my partner Sharon are heading up Mansfield way for a couple days of fresh air. For those that don’t know, Mansfield is the home town of Australian Grand Tour stage winner Simon Gerrans and it’s on the slopes of nearby Mt. Buller that “Gerro” apparently did a lot of his early training. Brendan and I will be heading out to Buller on Saturday morning for a spot of training but I can’t see us challenging Mr. Gerrans best time up Buller – 39 minutes and 50 seconds. We will however be trying to get ourselves fit and ready for one hell of a cycling challenge in less than two month’s time.

59 days to go…

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