One thing I really want to try is the Great Vic ride. I want to do the longest one, which currently sits at 9 days and 541 km. It is on the pricier side – there is the ride itself, food, supplies, and all the gear that makes it financially intimidating. Nobody I know is actually concerned about the length of the ride. Whether they can handle that distance or not will remain to be seen, because unfortunately it has been hard to sway friends to come with me. While I am sure I would be fine doing it by myself, it would certainly be more fun with other people along. Maybe next year!
I know they offer shorter distances that significantly cut the price of the trip down. But it also significantly cuts down on the amount of riding you do. You also get less time in each place, which is a bit of a bummer. The 5-day ride starts with the riders who are going for the full 9 days and stops halfway through. The 3-day trip joins up with the 9-day crew toward the end of their ride. I just feel like if I am going to do the Great Vic, I want to do the whole thing, you know? I want to get the full experience! Of course, the ride won’t be exactly the same next year, but maybe it will be even better than this one.
This year it is going to start in Bright, right near a great craft brewery. That’s my kind of start to a ride! From there it will go all over the place. Riders get to go through a bunch of different towns — some known for their shops or history, others for their MTB friendly trails. You get plenty of time to explore the different places, too, as not every day is spent riding. It is also an incentive to get to each location quickly, I guess. You can eat at great restaurants, swim in local lakes, or brush up on your history at a museum. Plus you’re camping, which is cool.
The landscape changes along the route, which keeps the ride from getting monotonous. There’s hills and plains, farmland and rivers. You get to ride it all. The terrain can’t be too difficult, though, because they let kids ride it. The Great Vic is a great way to for me to see a part of the country I am not all that familiar with. I like the idea of a ride this long through a place I don’t know well. I have done some of my own riding around on trails and made sure I can hit those kinds of distances back-to-back the way the days were broken up. Now I just have to get the money and a friend or two to head out with and I’ll be set to go the next time.
So there was a trail I hadn’t been on yet, and I probably should have waited a couple more days so the trail would dry out a little more before I headed out on it. I figured I have done this a million times and I’d be fine. It should come as no surprise that I made a few mistakes thanks to my stupid attitude. I should have known better. Much better. But you know, it has been a bit since I was able to get out there and I was getting a little crazy. And when we get a little crazy, we make mistakes. Today my confidence got the better of me and I might be paying for it for a while.
Ok, you probably know where this story is going and it is not entirely pretty. So I’m taking the trail and it going fine and then I get to a patch that is a little more muddy than the rest, probably because it is more shaded than the rest of the trail so far. I misjudged a turn, like we all do from time to time. My back tire lost traction and when I tried to correct it, I skidded out a bit. There was a hill there and I got a little nervous because I was a bit close to the edge. Luckily, though, there was a tree there. I slammed into it and it stopped my momentum. On a normal day, slamming your knee into a tree is a huge bummer, but I will take that to careening down a hill just about any time.
In other good news, I managed to stay on my bike. Because I hit the tree with my own body and not my bike, there was not a whole lot of damage to my bike. That would have caused all kinds of issues. Hooray for that!
I managed to get myself off the trail and limped back to my car. It was slow going but I was not in any kind of rush so it did not matter to me when I got home. There were some other riders there just about to head out and they helped me get my bike strapped to my car and made sure I was OK. I told them sure, it looked worse than it really was. I actually didn’t know that at the time but they were looking a little nervous and so that sent them on their way. I have a first aid kit in the car to clean myself up with and it did look a little better after that.
I drove home carefully because it had really started to hurt. I got myself in the house and now I’m sitting here with some ice on my knee, a match on TV and a beer. I am going to convince my roommate to grab dinner tonight and I’ll be all set. We’ll see how my knee feels in the morning. It is just bruised up and scraped on the one side, so I doubt it is a big deal.