I had a few things to do in Woodend so took the 24 GUni along to ride the local Wombat MTB Trail. Good timing too as today was the last opportunity to squeeze in a longer ride before the Cyclic Navigator on the weekend, and the weather today was much hotter than the excellent cool conditions forecast for the day of the event.

A major burn had been conducted in the forest since I last rode there in September, in preparation for the Summer bushfire season. The burnt forest was so quiet today – no thumping of kangaroos, rustling of critters, hardly any birds. Usually that is one of the funnest things about being on a uni in the bush – you hardly make any noise and are traveling relatively slowly so can hear the forest.

Burnt ‘Autumn-like’ Forest

It felt kinda weird. Here’s what the trail was like back in July

Forest back in July

The 24 GUni was good fun, though like the Black Forest ride the other day I tend to think the single speed 29’er is a better overall match for today’s terrain. Making use of high gear definitely on the GUni takes more commitment and energy vs riding 1:1, especially in the twisty, rough, up and down single track terrain.

The Schumpf hub is running great, as is the tubeless 24 tire. I haven’t added air to it since early September, and it feels great to ride.

Schlumpf Hub and Tubeless going great!

The lack of shade and anything much green in the burnt forest also meant no cool air. The additional heat was immediately noticeable.

No cool air in burnt forest
No cool air in burnt forest

Another interesting thing was that there was no sign of the 100mm of rain that fell a week or so ago. The trails were hardpacked, dry and dusty, not a puddle anywhere – much different to Winter!

A fun ride, not an easy cruise but that’s a good thing. My fitness has crapped out over the last month of not riding due to injuring my left leg/foot so it felt good to be out there puffing and panting in the heat. My leg feels pretty good too. I’m also really looking forward to getting back into Trials once the Cyclic Navigator is over.

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