What a great day the inaugural Goldfields Steam Train Challenge AKA Race the Train turned out to be! Cyclists could opt to ‘Race’ the train on the dirt trails that run beside the railway from Castlemaine to Maldon, or join in the social ‘Ride’ back from Maldon to Castlemaine.
Not having ridden unicycles much at all in the last couple of years meant the ‘Ride’ option made the most sense for me. It was probably the most fun as well, as I got to ride the steam train out to Maldon as part of the ‘Race’. Not long after leaving Castlemaine the steam train started to catch and pass cyclists much to the delight of everyone onboard. I can imagine how it must’ve felt for the cyclists – looking back over their shoulder, hearing the whistle of the steam train getting progressively louder as the gap narrowed. Race the Train really is such a cool idea for a cycling event!
The ride back to Castlemaine was great fun. The start was a little congested so I waited until most of the cyclists had left before getting into a sweet groove that aside from one brief stop lasted all the way to Castlemaine. In addition to my lack of fitness, going into the event I was also concerned about not getting up on the 36″ uni cleanly in front of all those people – unicyclists know what I mean! Fortunately it all went off without a hitch… phew!
It really did feel great to be back on the 36″ and before I knew it I was back at the event area in Castlemaine enjoying a coffee and munchies. I was surprised to feel so good with no sign of the aches and pains in my legs that hung around for days after my earlier test ride. I think it was primarily due to being a lot more relaxed on the uni the second time around.
Kudos to Paula at Cranked Up Events for a superbly organized event with a friendly vibe. It’s definitely one to put on the list for next year!