Updated: 3 days ago
See my YouTube of this ride here
I’d been in the vicinity of NCH since December, but with either it being too hot, being busy working in the garden, being too jet lagged to get up early, and a multitude of other excuses, I’ve only ridden NCH twice this spell in Australia.
The first time was in the heat of a summer’s day, I’d forgotten just how hard the push-up is in the summer heat, so didn't stay long. The second time, this time, was a complete omni-shambles. I looked at my weather app and it read 27°C and similar for the rest of the day, a break from the 40°C heat of the last few weeks, so I decide this is my opportunity to do NCH. I set off from Lavington, around a 30 minute cycle ride away, at 08:30. The intention was to session No More Secrets, which is a one diamond black.
I entered the reserve via the Gap Road entrance, and started up the fire road, it was bloody hot! After many rests on the way up, by the time I got to the top I was struggling with the heat. I’d taken four litres of water, my rucksack with tools, pump, first aid kit etc, and both my trail and full face helmets. All this weight, along with pushing my bike up and wearing/carrying full protection, made it heavy going. But I couldn’t quite tally why I was so hot, and exhausted.
I always ride the blues or blacks of NCH with a full-face helmet, spongebobs, back, elbow and knee protection. It is gnarly AF.
Once at the trail head I stopped and had a slice of melon, a drink and a rest, then go on my first run. I wanted to do a slow run, and stop to session all the drops I’d chickened out of last time. On getting to the triple drop, two teenagers were for some reason on the hill, on foot. And watching me as I rode, which I didn’t like at all as I’m embarrassed as to how shit my riding is. They wasn’t rude at all, in fact were complimentary, but it made me feel self-conscious. So I decided to push back to the top and start again, hoping they'd be gone by the time I ran down again. And it would give me the chance to make some improvements to the obstacles that I’d hesitated at on the first run.
Alas, I hadn’t counted in the difficulty of getting back up. It’s a steep trail, the sun was blazing by now as it was midday, with very little shade, I struggled to get back up. I thought I must be coming down with something.
By the time I did arrive back at the trail-head I had to strip off and rest in the shade of a mast generator for an hour. In fact I had a sleep! I was still overheating and feeling a little dizzy after my rest, so I reluctantly but sensibly decided to abort the No More Secrets mission.
I couldn’t bare to put my full-face back on, or my protective gear. I rode down on the blue, Terminated, then Home Run to the bottom. Terminated, I’d say would be an Antur Stiniog red at least, so I was worried about falling without protection but had quite a fast ride down, which made the trip worthwhile.
I couldn’t face the ride home, so I rode the fifteen minutes to the river in Noreuil park.
I was quite worried at how bad I was feeling, which wasn’t helped by having an I cream, I think it was a shock to my system, I nearly passed out.
Anyway I rested up, pity being taken on me by members of the Mitta Mitta Canoe Club, who gave me a cold drink and let me sit in the shade of their boat shed. Sitting messing around on my phone, it was then that I realised that my weather app was on Honolulu, not Albury! Albury was showing 41°C, which explained my overheating. What a twonk!!
When my daughter arrived we had a nice swim in the cool river and me and Stumpy got a ride home in the car!
So a bit of a disastrous day, but not the end of the world, there’s always another day!
No More Secrets MTB trail – one diamond black trail
Steep, rocky gnarly downhill trail with many natural and man-made drops.
Directions to trail: From the Gap fire road turn right at the Ridge junction. Look out for the Glock trail sign on your right, guessing I’d say around 350 metres from the junction, turn towards the Glock trail only for a couple of metres then you hit the Castle and No More Secrets signpost, turn left there.
Terminated MTB trail – blue trail
Less steep, rocky and slightly rowdy
Directions to trail: From the Gap fire road turn left at the Ridge junction. Look out for the signpost on your left, around 100 metres from the junction
See my Nailcan Hill blog for info on Nailcan Hill