Clutha river valley bike ride: Day 1

20140517-215033.jpg the rowing club decided to do the river trail mountain bike rode from Alexandra to Lawrence, usually two trails tackled on two different occasions. I have a cheap mountain bike but have never ridden it further than the shops, but I that, what the heck, I like a challenge!

The first day was Alexandra to Roxburgh. BUT, there’s a river taxi section that is really expensive $95 each) so we decided to ride the top section, to the end, and back, then the same with the bottom section. 44km in total. Tomorrow we will ride from Roxburgh to Lawrence, approximately 70km. Wow! I hope my knee holds out, as I have no bike shoes for mountain bikes.

The first part of the trail was reasonably flat, but very soon it was getting steep, with warning hairpin signs and recommendations to walk the bike. The trail was a cinder path, very steep in parts, and a sheer edge down a cliff to the river below. A bit nerve wracking for a roadie!

Through this safely: scenery was simply stunning. It was hard to not stop every few minutes to take a photo! The turn point seemed to come really soon, and we waited for the group to gather before making the return trip. At the end of the trail was a look we decided to stage a photo due to the camouflage on it, which reminded us of a maimai!

Tough ride, negotiating turns on a big heavy bike I am not used to, the terrain, the weight of the bike, the knee. It held up well on this leg, thanks to ROCKTAPE strapping.

Into the cars, drive to Roxburgh, then to set. Off on the other half. Wow, this half different. You know you’re in for a tough ride when the double switch backs section you saw in a guide book is right at the start. Again, we were rewarded by stunning scenery but this half was way way tougher. Much more undulating with long steady punishing climbs and downhills.

The waterside view at the end of the trail was way worth the effort, but look at the elevation in some of the other photos, yep, they are some mighty climbs!

I learned that there is value to switching out the road bike for a mountain bike, it was enjoyable, if not really hard work at times. I was challenged with a mechanical half way through the second half, (which I managed to bodge fix) and a knee melt down moment.

After screaming, and throwing my toys out of the pram following by crying, I had a word with myself. Mel, it’s you against the knee. You knew it would hurt and you knew it would get worse, but are you going to let it beat you? NO!

Climbed back on, off I went.

44 challenging kilometres later, day one is complete.

I am told we come out of the mountains tomorrow, I surely hope so!

One Comment on “Clutha river valley bike ride: Day 1

  1. Pingback: Day 40: the new mountain bike | Melanie Ryding – Ryding2Health BLOG

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