Stromlo/Clifton’s bday weekend

Last weekend was spent in the cycling capital of Australia, Canberra. The occasion was cliffy’s bday + well, awesome singletrack and trails.

We packed and left at 630 (i was 5 minutes late :p). Decided to head down in my car and matt’s ever faithful cube.

Figured out a long while back that enve wheels on roof racks is a pretty scary affair. Something about the rim profile that makes it very susceptible to cross winds in particular. The result is a flappy front wheel for the whole way down which is pretty scary for any onlookers. I have a solution in mind with a park tool and i think i better get on it soon. Wouldn’t want to repeat a kev …. (inside joke).

Stopped at Sutton Forest for a quick bite.

Eddie being Eddie obviously went for the big breakfast option even in a highway diner. Incidentally, about a year ago before i started my work, i didn’t really learn to appreciate coffee. Now however, i definitely appreciate good coffee more and can tell the difference between the likes of coffee. I downed my coffee fairly quickly as i wanted all the energy i could get for the awesomeness that is Kowen.

Since the last time i visited Sparrow/Kowen, the road has changed completely. The road outside the old parking lot is now a dead end and a new road connected to service motorist. This actually made it quite a bit better as it felt infinitely safer not to have cars flying past at 100km/h as you unpacked and got ready. We nearly got lost though and i have to say a bit of dejavu set in from the time we couldn’t find kowen entrance properly and ended up in the old mt kowen trails.

All good though as we found it fairly quickly after a u-turn and before we know it we were rolling towards the trail head.

Nothing prepares you quite for the awesomeness that is the Canberra trail network. Still, having stayed off the mtb for awhile, i was definitely a little rusty. I rode fairly stiff pretty much all the way until i got to sideshow bob and instantly like a light bulb my riding changed. Things started flowing together. Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Soon we were all hollering the cambered hairpins and sweeping between the trees. From this section on wards it was just awesomeness right till the end. Everyone was super happy and on a high and when we finished we decided to head across the road to ride our old friend sparrow hills.

From about this point on wards, the guys exhibited some anti-hill syndrome and certainly at some point there were quite a bit of cursing whenever the gradient headed upwards. I enjoyed sparrow hill, it seems a fraction of kowen now and it isn’t as groomed but by itself it is still a top trail.

Oh yeah …. Cliffy had a fall about 15 minutes in. Off the smallest water bar no less. He decided to tweak the jump a little and whip it a bit  but his foot came out of the very loosely set xtr pedals which resulted in a cloud of dust.

Nothing serious but he would pay for it later on in the night and stromlo.

After we finished, we came back to our car and caught Eddie completely red handed.

OK so background. Basically we wanted to own Cliffy. The plan was for eddie to make a cake with a balloon at its core with cream all around it so that when it was cut it would splatter the crap out of him + we added in a bottle of coke with mentos for good measure. It wasn’t meant to be though as the cake … well …. looked more like some icing on top of a balloon. It was a disaster. The mentos weakly reacted with the coke and caused it to trickle out of the bottle instead of gushing out. FAIL FAIL FAIL……

We checked into the very cozy apartment after our ride and quickly had a refreshing shower followed by watching the F1 qualifiers. The weekend was already awesome at this point as it was just one good thing followed by another. After F1, we headed out to dinner. Found the place we visited last year and had a beer or two … or three …..

Found our way back to the apartment and prolly went through half a case of beer (mostly eddie and matt, kev drank something or rather….). Went to sleep soon after and tried super hard to put up with the snores of Eddie. I don’t freaking know how winnie does it. Maybe her hearing is shot or something ….. because i would wish i had crap hearing if i had to hear that every night.

Edit :: How can i forget the spray bandaid moment from Cliffy? Has anyone tried spray on bandaids? They effing sting ….. We sprayed what must be a whole can on Cliffy. We sprayed a few jets first to a “oh its alright” respone which opened us up to spraying a crap load on him. Soon he was on the bed writhing in pain. LOL, never seen anyone in that much pain. What made it worse is the bandaid set and every little bump the next day on stromlo would cause him pain…. LOLOL

Woke up to a rather chilly morning and packed quickly and headed off to get some bacon for breakie. Found an awesome joint and enjoyed some runny poached eggs. Stromlo soon followed after and as always the trail was in awesome condition. NO. It was in much better condition. The berms on the luge has being manicured to a point where it was just so awesome. Canberra riders, you have no idea how lucky you are!

The highlight for me however is trail 6. I don’t remember all the section names but i really enjoy this trail. It is longer than the skyline/luge trail but imo it has a wider variety of terrain and the section up near the top with the repeated drops is just divine.

At around 2pm we started to pack and shower and head back. You see, we had the F1 race to finish the weekend on and we drove back to meet the 5pm race start deadline.

Couldn’t ask for more as always. I think everyone had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs and you know you had a good weekend when you head back to work on monday and you absolutely dread it as you would rather turn back time and re-experience the weekend all over again!

Thanks guys for an awesome weekend and Canberra we will be back 🙂

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