Mountain Bike

Exploring the Forces of Gravity 2015

Gravity 1

According to the Wikipedia dictionary, gravity is the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall toward the centre of the earth. I can relate to this definition, as I pull on my Liv baggies and flow top for the first time, dropping my seat and feeling the extra inches of low travel sink and bob underneath me.

Shoving on a full face helmet and sliding on alien style goggles, I am now feeling extra-terrestrial; confident I will fly toward the centre of the earth down the wide array of Mt Buller trails that await me. No longer lean and lycra clad astride a racey carbon hard tail, I feel a new surge of relaxation and peace on my new ‘fun’ bike. Super light camel back at the ready and loaded with supplies; I am no longer weighed down by tools and tubes shoved awkwardly in back pockets.

Now totally set up for trail riding, I am adventuring and learning to descend, taking in the beauty of nature. This bike is all about exploring and enjoying the trails in a whole new way.

Looking back over my mountain biking journey, nothing beats the sheer exhilaration of my first day ‘riding park’ at Mt Buller with my partner and best friend John. Clattering and shattering down dusty, corrugated switch back berms I try in vain to keep him in my fogged up goggle vision, suspended mid-air as the Liv Intrigue soaks up every inch of the trail.

In retrospect, the day felt like a constant play of contrasting elements. From ear blasting, bone-shaking descending to sitting like a zen monk on a swinging chair lift; no apparent safety bar or harness available to hold us in. Instead, we are suddenly seated – nursing our huge bikes across our bodies as the chair lift rises up….moans a little, then continues to rise; the ground steadily dropping further and further away.

This is the meditation of the chair lift; the blissful song of the bush and the glow of the tiny yellow native flowers dotting the earth below. The relief of physical rest on the chair lift mixes with the undeniable element of danger, merging to form a deep state of trance like altitude-induced disassociation. It’s the weirdest thing.

As we rise further up above the forest trees, the chair lift swoops into the landing and once again, we roll back to the trail head.

This time to welcome another wild eyed, teeth chattering, gravity bound extra-terrestrial adventure to the centre of the earth and back.