The ride of the year … 2 weeks of planning and avoiding bad weather were very nearly ruined 100 metres off the first climb when, losing a touch of balance / direction / control I veered off a cliff, landing 15 foot from the path, downwards.
Blurry, in more ways than one : “I’m okay!”
Luckily, the sound effects of splitting bamboo helped break my fall and I landed, frozen in motion with my bike suspended 7 foot in the air, caught on the branches. Luckily – very luckily – I escaped with little more than an hour of mild shock and a rational fear of going near the edge again. Several handfuls of peanut M&Ms; later, however, and I was feeling a bit better.
This improvement was sadly checked by three and a half hours of the hardest, most gruelling, demotivating hike-a-bike that I have ever endured, the slippery singletrack only broken by trees pushing into the queue in front of us.
To cut a long and cold story short, we made it up to 8 Km by 12:00 (our designated cut off point) and started on the tough walking descent … but how much psychology is important! Our spirits returned with our energy and we were hopping over the trees without looking back once.
Motivated by the bright sunshine and dancing girls, Team 7-11-7 discuss race tactics
7 Km of epic singletrack descending through Bamboo forests, with the distinct feeling we were in land of the giants, and being watched by bands of lycra-clad ogres.
And with steam whisping off our disk brakes as we return to the final bridge, there was no question we will be back next year. But time with better weather, felled trees, and a nice parking spot at the top of the trail with 16Km of some of the best descending available snaking out in front of us.
Back at base (after a rather shaky bridge ride)