Tell ya this has been way too many years in the making! Not just the MTB trail network at Falls Creek but me finally getting back to the Bogong High Plains. Like many things in life it’s come close in the past only to fall apart at the last minute, but this Summer it is ON!
Thanks to scoring a cool gig working for Blue Dirt MTB for the Summer riding season I was finally able to get back to Falls Creek, a beautiful little Alpine Village in North East Victoria. I lived at Falls from 1989-1995 and spent every Summer roaming around the mountains on my Stumpjumper MTB. In those earlier years I was the only local mountain biker at Falls. That soon changed and by the mid 90’s there was a already a push for Falls to have a MTB trail network. I guess good things do come to those who wait as 20 years later it’s a happenin thang.
The plan at Falls is to work in BlueDirt’s cool Village Bike Cafe until my shoulder heals, and then move on to running the shuttles. As part of that I thought I’d bring my Mojo HD3 along on the first weekend just in case, you know, to ride around the village streets while looking up at those fresh new MTB trails. Yeah right huh?!
By Sunday the itch to ride had seriously set in and there was an opportunity for me to put in a few shuttle runs. It maybe wasn’t what my physio had in mind when he said stick to bike paths but I knew it would be OK – as long as there were no crashes. For my own peace of mind I just needed to know where things were really at with my shoulder and riding, and to set a benchmark to measure future improvements against.
I gotta admit there were some tense moments especially on the first run (down the new High Voltage trail) but overall it felt great just to be out, enjoying the stunning views and flowey trail, along with starting the process of rebuilding confidence in my body on the bike. I can’t lift or pull back on the handlebar at all yet, and absorbing the impact of even little drops is tough on the shoulder – bit of a problem while riding – but both of these should improve in the coming months.
Getting back on the bike and out on the trails was seriously worth the risk. Within a few runs – High Voltage, Thunderbolt, Generator, Vortex, High Voltage – I started to relax more… and pick up the pace a little more too. Even though my shoulder couldn’t do much yet it was a clear that stupid would indeed be able to return one day. Phew. Relief. I could feel a whole bunch of angst leaving my body and mind.
It was definitely time to stop while I was ahead and get back to work at the cafe… and all up the shoulder didn’t feel too bad either. You gotta love a happy ending sometimes 🙂