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Level Up - East Coast Lake Loop

Saturday

Following several days’ heavy rain, Josh and I loaded the bikes and headed out on a three day route. This trip was planned around having a great ride, as well as Josh helping me with some riding techniques. With an upcoming trip to Australia, including the crossing of the Simpson desert, I am on a mission to get really comfortable riding sand, and generally improving my technical riding skills across a wide range of terrains.

The first day was fun and tremendously educational as we started on the muddy access tracks on the western side of Ellesmere. We shared these tracks with ten billion of our winged friends aka lake flies (the size of juvenile pterodactyl) trying to make a home in our eyeballs and up our nose. Every now and then there’d be a swarm of them and they’d rain down on you like those killer bees from Swarm 1978 (funny movie, by the way). While I had a couple of drops along the way, I started to get in the groove of riding muddy ruts and the importance of picking a line and committing to it. 

Soon after, we reached the sand sections around Kaitorete Spit. I found the sand quite alien and counterintuitive to ride, but I managed to grasp some key techniques. I still have a fair way to go before mastering sand riding, but I am thoroughly loving the challenge.

As late afternoon rolled around, we reached the bach we would be staying at for the two nights and using as a riding base. I ended up lying on the floor by the verandah relaxing in the sun. It was a great way to wind up an excellent day of riding!

Sunday

What a day that was! While I felt like I learned some new techniques on the Saturday, on Sunday I felt like I'd hit a whole new level. With the help of Josh, I feel like I’m really honing some key technical riding techniques. What a difference that has made! Having this new confidence made rest of the day on the loose beach gravel, as well as slippery, muddy twin track and the undulating tuffy swamp land thoroughly enjoyable.

Monday

This was a pretty relaxed return leg setting mototokens along the Selwyn River. This wound up a great trip that was both fun as well as allowing me to make huge progress on my technical riding skills.

Casper
Author of this article: Casper
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