we decided that we would not take the bikes with us on our long trip around australia. there would not be many opportunities to really ride them as they were meant to be ridden. we would have at least 2 (kris threatens she would not be shuttle mum if we didn’t ride with her on some easy trails every now and then) fairly serious bikes and a lot of gear with us. i know i would not be able to leave the bikes unattended without feeling anxious about it.

so we planned this epic bike trip before we would set out on our big adventure. the first stop is canberra / mount stromlo; natalie was keen to ride western wedgetail / pork barrel / double dissolution again, which she really enjoyed last time. then we would continue to bright, where we have not yet been (riding) but which is apparently a great mtb destination and conveniently located close to mount beauty and a few other victorian resorts. after a week there we would then move to wat’s probably the best place of them all: thredbo. so we’ll be riding in the a.c.t., victoria and new south wales.

a serious amount of riding squeezed into three short weeks. well, we’ll also then spend another day in green valleys just before we leave.

base camp was in queanbeyan, there is a serious lack of caravan parks in canberra. it’s actually embarrassing, not sure where they think all the mountain bikers should sleep.

we spent two days riding on mount stromlo. we started with two laps of pork barrel with our shuttle mum kindly waiting just at the bottom of the run – that’s one of the great things about mount stromlo: you can shuttle back up to the trail head using your own car. nat then also wanted to try skyline / luge, which really surprised me given she absolutely hated it last time we were here. think major meltdown at every turn and given the guys named part of the trail ‘luge’ you can imagine what that looks like.

you get the picture. i have no idea what happened but this time around she absolutely loved it! every single berm of it. her bike’s new name is therefore bermy mcbermface and she calls herself the bermster.

i had trouble keeping up. in the evening friends invited us over for a bbq and kris & nat looked after their kids, alex and sophia, while al, tash & i went for another run around mount stromlo, without a shuttle this time. by that time in the afternoon the sun had had sufficient time to turn the hill into a furnace and our ride into what was probably the riding equivalent of bikram joga. tash and al were both on their new bikes and were flying up the hill while i hung on for dear life and by the end of the climb i saw stars – in broad daylight.

today we rode another three laps of pork barrel and two luge and we took the actioncam with us. we’ll try to upload some footage when we find a decent internet connection.

so far we are loving it. tomorrow we got a long drive to bright ahead of us. i hope we’ll get there without drama.