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A bushbash, a ride and a stack

Fern valley by andrewgillsag
Fern valley, a photo by andrewgillsag on Flickr.

It was late in the afternoon by the time I set off to walk to Mum and Dad’s place to collect the Purple Monster. It’s been there since they borrowed it to take camping with my uncle. He came off the bike and cut up his face … Fortunately, the stack I took tonight wasn’t quite as bad.

But back to the start of my story. I set off from my house at 3:30pm knowing that it would be dark before 6pm. It’s 7.5km along the trails and I didn’t want to run (I hit my knee with a shovel in a gardening accident the other day and it’s still a little tender). I set off along the trails but then got the idea of cutting cross country to reduce the distance I have to walk. And because I felt the need for a little adventure.

I began by cutting up the side of a hill populated by gums and long seed-covered grasses. Then down the other side I went, crossing a swampy creek that was overgrown with razor-sharp grasses. The lack of recent rains allowed me to keep my feet dry. I crossed along the side of another hill before entering a scary forest. That’s what I call the dense she-oak forests where fallen trees twist together like massive wooden spider’s webs. Scary forests are beautiful despite the name I give them. Finally, I crossed through a delightful fern gully, crossed the track and exited onto the road for the final 1.6km walk to my parents’ home.

After a brief visit and drink I jumped on the Purple Monster and headed for home. All was going well … until I hit the gravel. I had one hand up on my helmet adjusting my headlight angle, the road-style tyres had been pumped up to a full 65psi and I’d forgotten to let air out, the gravel was dry and deep, my mind was wandering thinking about how awesome my new The OMM Classic Marathon 32 backpack is and I got punished!

My right elbow and thigh took the brunt of my fall. I got a fright and it hurt. For the next five minutes I rolled around on the ground like a soccer player milking a penalty. I moaned and cried and seriously contemplated calling my Dad to come collect me and give me a lift home. But I sucked it up, dusted myself off and rode home in the now dark night.

The ride home wasn’t exciting. I rode like a nanna (actually, that’s quite offensive to nannas – sorry) but enjoyed my first night ride in months.

My elbow is grazed and has a deep cut in it. But I can’t go to the doctor because I have a deep phobia of stitches and can’t risk the doc telling me I need any (though I don’t think I do). The bruise on my thigh is probably going to be quite epic but I had a cold shower and iced it with a bag of frozen chips so hopefully it will heal quickly. In the scheme of MTB crashes, this was tame and I’ll be back at it in the morning.

Total: 5km off-track walk + 7.5km MTB

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