Went to Thredbo for a weekend of riding with my Canberran mate Craig.
We originally planned on taking both our cross country and downhill bikes and our kayaks as well and doing some exploring up the Snowy or Thredbo rivers, but upon reflection, trying to fit in all those activities would have resulted in reduced beer drinking time, so we left the kayaks at home this trip.
In the past, when I worked for myself, I could just leave for these trips which ever day or time I liked, however after finishing work on Friday, loading the van and picking my bike up from the shop I arrived at Craig’s place just off the highway fairly late so we decided it best to have some dinner leave in the morning.
Of course we sat up drinkning beer, slept in and left at a pretty tardy time arriving in thredbo at lunch time after stoppng in Jindy for a pie ….what a mistake!
I checked us into a cheap room at the Thredbo Hotel and quickly geared up then went and registered in the bike shop and headed to the lift.
In my haste to pack on Friday arvo I had left my chest mount for my GoPro helmet cam at home and had no time to modify my visor to accept a normal mount, I also left my old trusty Nokia N95 phone at home (being too scared to take my iPhone riding even though I have an indestructable Otter Box Case for it) so I would have no photos or video…Mistake 2!!
Bumped into a mate Ben who’s a Ski Patroller in winter waiting at the bottom of the lift so we got in line and proceeded to load the lift.
Being a bit dazed and confused after the mornings rush whilst loading the lift I didn’t notice that my handle bars we resting on the chairlift seat rather than up higher on the arm rest, It all looked normal to me until the lift started to move away and my tyre scrapped the concrete down ramp. I was suddenly thrown forward off the chair over my bike onto the grass. At least I can now say I have fallen of a chairlift, something that has taken me 25 yrs of lift riding to achieve…..Mistake 3!!!
Anyway, after reloading the lift I made it to the top where Craig and Ben were waiting to take the piss out of me and we took off. It was then that I noticed that my front brake was as weak as piss.
The bike had being in the shop getting the forks looked at after riding Thredbo on Australia day where the rebound damper failed completely and the rear spokes had losened so much that the wheel was buckling and the tyre was rubbing the brake arm when going around corners. This repair took the shop two attempts and after thinking that they had fixed it by simply servicing the forks they had to be returned to the importer to be replaced which meant I would have to borrow a spare bike of Craig’s for this weekend.
When they called to let me know that the fork parts had been replaced under warranty and I could pick my bike up I was stoked at first; however they mentioned that they couldn’t fix the front brake, I told them there was no problem with the front brake and the work shop manager asked “didn’t I speak to you about it last night” after advising him that he must have confused it with another bike I wrote it off as a mix up.
Cut a long story short, I’m at about 2000m above sea level about to ride about 6.5km with 600m vertical drop WITH NO FRONT BRAKES….Mistake 4!!!!
It was an interesting run, the brake would work eventually as i slowed down but then grab violently, to make matters worse my rear tyre was getting bald and skidding.
So after making it gingerly to the bottom without too much incident, I took a quick run up to the Servo to get the bike mech to look at it but he was busy pulling apart some blokes forks and said come back later, so of I went to do another slow but safe run and I bumped into Greg who I had ridden with in the past, keen to help he removed my wheel and tried to pump up the pressure a bit by squeezing the pads out, but this didn’t last long as i found out after making it to Kareela Hutte rest spot.
So it was back to the Servo for a bleed, no good, the master cycling must be the problem, they offered to rent or sell me a second hand loaner brake one of which was a Avid Juicy 7 which I have on my Stump Jumper, as it was getting close to the 4pm last lift we thought it best to cut our losses and swap the brakes over in the morning and use what remained of the day to go for a XC ride to check out the new track that is being put in along the river down to Thrdebo Diggings. They had not made much progress on the track building and we only made it to the garbage tip before the track ran out…..Mistake 5!!!!!
We ended up back at Friday Flat in no time and thought we should give the 4 Cross track a spin, It was obviously not used very much and was covered with weeds and looked like crap but we pushed on up to the top ramp of the Easy Does It lift where the starting hill is and took off for a short and not very sweet run and headed back to the village. What a waste of beer drinking time…Mistake 6!!!!!!
When we got back to the car I quickly got changed and ripped the front brake of the XC bike and mounted it easily on the DH bike and packed up but needed to borrow a 1mm allen key for the cable mount so we rode back to the Servo and helped Rob ferry some bikes up to the bike shop and then on to the Hotel to check into our room.
Dirty and smelly we just dumped our gear and went to the Pub for a couple of well deserved James Squire Golden Ale, went back had a shower and then an excellent pizza, salad and red wine at T-Bar Restaurant, followed by more Squires at the Pub and to finish off a couple of Asahi beers at Bernti’s.
Next day It rained so we had breaky and just bummed around wishing the rain away, went to Jindy visted Bruce from Wilderness Sports and to the old shoppong centre for a burger at Serges where we bumped into Ben again who happened to have with him a pair of Black Diamond Custom telemark boots that were for sale, which Craig quikly tried on and purchased from him.
After a nother stop in Cooma to check out some cheap skis we headed back to Canberra and me on to Sydney.