In between actual Australia Day on Saturday and its public holiday on Monday, I tuckered myself out completely on my first ever mountain-bike ride on a real mountain.
We drove up to the hills of Paluma (just an hour’s drive north from here) to check out what it’s like to go mountain-biking in a World Heritage Listed Wet Tropical Rainforest. And guess what? It was ace! And it was wet. Driving to our biking departure point, I noticed that the grey clouds were swirling dramatically above us; then Hayden began to wonder out loud why all the cars coming towards us were all fogged up inside? And why their windows looked so wet? Up ahead the tropical rain was thundering down in the forest and on the dirt roads, but we didn’t let it stop us. Of course it wasn’t cold, it was warm and muggy as anything, and we weren’t about to wuss out on our first ever expedition.
Once on my bike, I had the best time hurtling down the slippery muddy road and I was not deterred by the heavy rain or the mosquitoes. In my adrenaline-pumped mind I was spending about as much time speeding downhill as I was pushing my way uphill – but when we finally decided to turn around and go back, I realised that my previous perceptions had been seriously out of whack. It was a long way uphill to get back to the car.
I don’t know if you have ever seen mountain bikers on the road, when you’re speeding past on a Sunday drive through the countryside? You wiz by a couple of bikers painfully inching their way uphill and you think “You poor bastards.” Well, I just want to let you know that it’s all completely worth it. All that adrenaline, and all that hardcore exercise makes you feel so tough – but only until the moment you get home, and then you fall to sleep like a baby.