Chris an me went on a reconnaissance ride out to Fernvale to peruse the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.It was also my first MTB ride! Chris rode his new CX bike and donated his Specialized MTB for me to mash. And it was fun. Tough to get some speed, but fun. On dirt i would say an MTB is at LEAST 10km slower than a road bike. It can seem quite demoralizing going so slow – but at least the terrain keeps your brain interested.
My hands hurt quite a bit from being not used to that perpetual position on those wide bars. And the constant vibration and intense grip your hands needed to do when negotiating terrain that could send you sideways at any moment didn’t help.
I brought my Garmin along just for lols and to DOCUMENT this event.
Despite the intense headwind and the fact we were struggling to maintain a 20km/hr average speed, I was hooked on MTB and decided 5 minutes in that I would buy my own hardtail MTB as soon as I could. Yeah.
The bike felt washy at the back but that didn’t seem to freak me out. And when going over massive boulders it seemed to handle that situation best with speed. It felt most unpredictable when you approached obstacles timidly. You needed to trust the bike to get through things. Whereas on a road bike you necessarily have far less faith.
But then we came to the INDIANA JONES TEMPLE OF DOOM BRIDGE.
And I flat out refused to cross it. It had these big gaps, no hand rails and was literally ANCIENT. There was certain death if you fell. It was at least 50m above the river at it’s most extreme point. And straddling a bike and crossing at the same time would have been fucked up. And then you would have had to do the same again on the way back. The picture below does not do the potential ordeal much justice.
But then we worked out that the trail went down to the river and up again. A pretty intense dip in and out it should be said. But at the river crossing the water was huge and deep and we’d need to cross it again on the way back. I voted to turn around and Chris agreed. Phew.
At Lowood we saw this awesome old Brisbane map at the antique store. Then Chris and I had pies at the Fernvale Pie Shop who have 100 different pies to choose from – the largest selection in Australia apparently.