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Mountain Bike Blog

 

 

Loving the Thredbo Flow Trail

 16/4/2013

You will have to excuse my self indulgent ramblings but I've had another one of those "I can't believe I can do this (as a 42 year old) moments".

Totally stoked with the GoPro Footage - Shot over 3 days at Thredbo, Kosciuszko Flow Trail

About 12 months ago I worked out that I really liked this whole Mountain Bike thing and decided to buy my first real bike a Giant Reign 1.  During the second half of last year I rode a lot of trails and learnt a heap about riding.  Over XMAS I rode almost every day and this included going to the NSW Snowy Mountains to ride the Thredbo Flow Trail.  In just a few minutes I realised that I still had an enormous amount to learn, in fact my inability to rail the banked corners was a massive reality check!   While I enjoyed my time at Thredbo I was pretty disappointed with how poorly I handled it.

When I got back on the trail in March (after sitting out for 8 weeks with a broken wrist) I worked very hard improving my skill set; specifically riding at speed.  Countless hours climbing and descending water bar riddled fire trails around Belrose, St Ives and the Terrey Hills area not to mention practising my banked turns on the Blue Descent at OMV (Old Man's Valley, Hornsby).  I followed that up with 4 days in Lithgow on trails I'd never ridden; fast descending fire trails and technical single tracks all of which got me pumped up for a late season trip to Thredbo.

Day 1 in Thredbo and I managed to put in two runs before the lift shut.  The trail had changed significantly since I last rode it, probably due to the hundreds of Flow Roller Coaster race runs the weekend before.  Heaps of rocks and ruts had appeared in sections that previously were groomed smooth.  Corners that in January were soft and sandy were now bedded-in allowing a really fast rail through the turn.  The trail was infinitely more fun, fast and challenging this time around.

The first two runs of Day 2 were good; I was improving on my speed and flow but rapidly running out of brakes. Stopping a 110kg rider doing 30+kph with Avid Elixir 5 180/160mm rotors is a big ask but when they aren't at optimal performance it makes for a hairy ride.

My solution was to try and get off the brakes as much as possible, giving them time to cool.  I did my best to let the bike run on the straights and leave my braking late and hard - a ballsy move I reckon, because at 110kg I pick up a lot of speed quickly!  It also meant I needed to really work my legs planting the bike on the corners as I tried to get off the brakes earlier and exit them faster each time.

On my final run that day I nailed it.  I knocked almost 30 seconds of my previous best time and when I watched the GoPro footage I was TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY with how fast I was riding - It still surprises me.

While I still have a lot of work to do on my body position and getting more lean into the bike (it was pointed out to me that the markers are still on the edge of my tyres) the improvement in my riding since January and even over the weekend itself is significant.

I continue to be amazed at how much I can do and the level of confidence I've gained.  The hours I've spent enjoying myself on the varied trails in my area have delivered results well beyond my expectations - I'm totally stoked with how I rode and it has inspired me no end.  Not bad for fat 42 year old!

I'm looking forward to taking it up a level next season.

 

Trail Centres and Trails featured in this blog

 

Comments:

This website is brought to you by MTB weekend warrior Aaron Markie.
There are plenty of great websites out there with a wealth of information about Mountain Bike Trails,
however in my experience its hard to get a good mix of info, maps, photos and videos of trails I've never ridden.
The idea of this website is to tie those 4 elements together and give you a more detailed look at the MTB Trails I ride.
If you have anything to add then let me know.