Red Hill by bike!   1 comment

Saturday, 30th June, 2012

After foolishly agreeing to take part in the 100km Sydney to Wollongong (okay I’m only doing the 58Km second stage of it, but let’s pretend that I’m doing it all), I need to start upping my training for the big event. So after getting up early and donning my cycling gear I rode my bike up to the start of the fire trail that leads to the top of Red Hill.

For those of you who read my blog avidly, you’ll know that Red Hill is my nemesis after it nearly broke me the first time I tried to take my bike over it on day I purchased it. Now, after over six months of counselling, I’m back to show it what I’ve got.

Another beautiful, crisp sunny morning in the ACT and there were plenty of people out and about on the hill enjoying a walk and taking in the wonderful scenery. The first climb from our apartment complex to the fire trail is steep but it’s on public roads, so I took it pretty easy as I knew that things would get harder later. After joining the fire trail at the back of the houses, the incline eases off a little but the riding is a lot more difficult, as the track is mixture of hard packed dirt, lose stone and gravel plus the odd stretch of grass. Part way along the rear of the houses, the track veers off to the right and up a steep incline where I was glad I’d bought the SPD pedals and shoes as these helped me power my way up and over the crest. It’s an undulating ride along to the saddle that lies between the Red Hill lookout and Mt. Davidson. It’s a footpath up to the lookout, although I’ve seen mountain bikers head up that way, but I was going to take the fire trail up to the top of Mt Davidson.

However, after having a short rest at the bottom and setting off a brisk pace, I soon found myself in trouble on the very steep slope where I managed to get the chain to jump of the front cog as I changed down into low range. From a standing start, I found it extremely hard to get going again on the loose stuff that made up the track and ended up walking up the hill until I reached some hard packed gravel which enabled me to jump back on the bike and complete the ride up to the top. Took in the fantastic views at the top for a minute or two before starting the decent down the other side. The decent looked a bit steep and scary, so I took my time at first, but after a couple of hundred yards I found my confidence growing and I was able to speed up and really enjoyed the rest of the drop down to the gate at the bottom. Around about here, I was surprised to see a couple of kangaroos cross my path and I still find it amazing that I can see kangaroos within a mile or so of our apartment. After climbing through the Gate, it was only a short ride down start point of the circuit and back on to the road down through Garran and home.

Great ride! Must do it again next week!


Posted July 1, 2012 by yermandownunder in Out and about

One response to “Red Hill by bike!

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  1. Pingback: My Nemesis (again) | yermandownunder

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