I probably should have a warning next to my name. 2.5 hours max = 4 hours. Level 3 or 2 = 5+. Recce for a ride next year = I'm never going to ride this track again. I won't push you too far = I'm stuffed, can you start my bike! I'm happy to ride to your ability = so long as it's more competent than me.
Lucky for me Crusty350 was camped just up the road from me in Bright. I had already embarrassed myself with him during a ride at Wildwood but with no other takers, I was more than happy to ride alongside Crusty350.
The first hill was perfect. A steep Climb with plenty of switchbacks and rocks. I found myself in first gear for most of the climb. I was caught out a couple of times with poor visibility due to the dust. This just added to the challenge and soon we were on an easy open flowing ridge track.
It wasn't long before I fell asleep riding along this big open flowing track with lots of washouts. I stopped to try and impress Crusty350 with the site of my big crash years ago. I don't think he gave a .......
Soon we were at the Tawonga gap where the view is ok.
A deep breath later and we started the descent of hell. The first 100 meters I was just sliding out of control while trying to look super cool and in control. I think it was at this point that I mentioned: "there is no turning back".
Massive ferns blocked most of the path. I really had no idea where I was going. I had ridden this track before however this time it seemed a little less ridden?
The first major log crossing. No problems. It was a steep steep f........g steep hill. I just needed to cruise over the log and see what happens. This is where hindsight is good. I easily go over the first log expecting to just keep flying downhill out of control. But no, DELWP has placed another log a couple of feet out of sight that catches my front wheel. No problems. I use my stuntman skills to fly over the handlebars and through the air to land perfectly in the bushes without a scratch. Then my bike decides to follow!
I now have bruises from here to there, maybe some concussion and I need Crusty350 to lift the bike off me. At this point, I repeat "there is no turning back".
I now have bent handlebars, bent brake lever, and bent pride. But the ride must go on (remember 2.5hours max for this ride)
I continue to lead which resulted in both of us having to pull my bike from deep mud sinkholes not once or twice but probably 5 times. Then came the real challenges. I got a flat battery, trees over the track, arm pump, cramps, mud holes with tree over them. At one stage we had to drag our bikes under a branch and through a mud hole. This ride could not have been any better!
The point of this type of ride is trust. You have to trust whoever you are with to get you through. Every obstacle is a test. It's how you tackle it with a positive attitude that will make any ride rewarding. I'm used to riding with one person who I have always trusted. We have attempted some crazy stuff but have always come home in one piece, together.
It felt good to ride back to Crusty350's camp in one piece. I went home and kicked the footy with my boys and enjoyed a beer or 2.
I can safely say that that track is off the planned route for my Bright Epic. Thanks, Crusty350.