After a surprisingly cool start to the day, a big group of riders turned out for the first monthly Sunday social ride with PGMTB. There was a variety of people there, from quite young lads (still at school) to some of us more mature Committee members, and a couple of female riders as well, for a total of about 30. This was much too big a group for us to guide around, so we split into three self-seeded groups:
The quick ones, led by Sean Milligan, with assistance from Jason Lansbury & Glen Brown;
The intermediate group, which I led, with assistance from Guy Stephens, and also thanks to Brendan Matthews – this group started as 15 riders and ended with only six; and
The introductory group, led by Brendan Dean, with assistance from Simon Giosserano.
It seemed that no-one really wanted to go with the quick group, so a bit of encouragement and arm-twisting was needed to thin out the massive intermediate group a bit.
Sean’s group headed out for the hilliest route they could find, and although they only covered 16km, there was over 420m of climbing. They finished around 12.30pm and a few of them were well exhausted by the end of their loop, but it seems that everyone who went in that group was glad they made that choice.
There were a few sandbaggers in my group, who would have done well to go out with the quicker pack. A couple of the riders struggled with the pace but it was good that they had the option to join up with the introductory group mid-ride. We started with a couple of steep hills and some technical descents which everyone managed safely. We headed south, crossed the river, and did a short loop on some of the more technical rocky trails, before heading back north to take in some classic flowing singletrack. Me: “Second last big climb back to the cars.” Guy: “Second last? Maybe third last?” Yes, well, maybe third last – but you don’t want to discourage tired riders, do you? My group covered over 21km, with just over 480m of climbing. We finished last, at 1.06pm – by which time most of the others had left. Tired, but happy faces all around.
Brendan’s group made a beeline for the water tank, and started on the flatter singletracks near Oatland Rd, then headed south and west to take in some fast, sweeping trails, including the favourite sections done by both of the other groups. This group covered 17km and climbed about 350m. Quite a big ride for many of the riders, who have been attending the north side Tuesday night rides and normally covering a fair bit less of the trail network in one go.
There were no major incidents on the trail. One rider in my group suffered a flat tyre early on, but a bit of cooperation and this was quickly fixed. Everyone came out of the ride happy and healthy – but on that note, one member of our group was involved in a car accident, entering Yan Yean Rd from Memorial Drive. The rider was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, but is now home shaken, but otherwise unhurt. The Club takes this opportunity to remind all riders that we need to be extra careful when we’re on the road.
1. Plan to leave early to get to a ride. If you’re running late, let us know and we’ll wait for you (within reason, of course).
2. When heading home, take extra care – you will probably be tired after the ride, so be super vigilant for traffic and kangaroos.
3. Try to car-pool when you can. It’s not just environmentally more sustainable, it also helps to have an extra pair of eyes in the car with you.