I am 31 years old and a primary school teacher. I have been cycling regularly for 10 years but found my love for cycling through the Great Victorian Bike Ride in high school in 2001. I do triathlon so I typically ride 2 to 3 times a week and distance really depends what I am training for. I own 3 bikes, a time trial bike for triathlon, a road bike for training and a mountain bike for the occasional off road adventure.
I ride because I love getting out on my bike and going on adventures. I mainly ride alone as I consider it “me time” where I can escape the reality of everyday life. I do ride with my partner or some close friends on occasions to change things up and sometimes I just need that little bit of a push to get me out of my comfort zone. I am not inspired by anyone to ride, I ride because I enjoy it. I go out there and try to better myself. I am a goal driven person, so I set small goals for myself and go out and try and achieve them. They may be small ones such as ride 50k and avg over 25km/h or big ones like ride the 7 peaks.
Up until 2015/16 I gave myself the title of “Flat Land Mammal”. I don’t climb hills. I am not built to climb hills. I attempted Mt Buller and Donna Buang on a few occasions and failed. This was enough proof to me that I should not climb hills. Then I met my partner, who loves to climb hills on a bike (oh ho!). He introduced me to compact cranks, saying that no wonder you hate hills, you have big gears. So, we put some compact cranks on my bike and changed the rear cassette so it had a 28 on the back. Well did that make a difference. In 2015, I managed to conquer Buller, Donna Buang and Lake Mountain so I set myself the goal of completing 6 peaks in 2016/17 summer. Baw Baw scared the daylights out of me, after hearing how bad it was.
So we got to booking a week away in Bright to complete the four peaks around there. We started with Mt Buffalo as I thought it would be a good introduction. It was tougher than I expected as it just a constant gradient until you reach the chalet. We eventually got to the top and it was amazing. Such a sense of achievement. Next was Hotham. There are some very steep parts on this mountain. But the views were lovely. Then Dinner Plain. Do not let the map fool you. This is deceptively tough. I started at the top. There is some climbing on the descent then the first 10km is quiet tough out of Omeo. Had a beautiful lunch at the top though which made it all worth it! The last for the week was Falls Creek. This is my favourite climb. So pretty and just a lovely ride including the descent. I am not a confident descender but this was just lovely to descend. (My partner actually drove to the top of Hotham and Baw Baw to pick me up as I was so anxious about descending them)!
Next was the two I had ridden before. Lake Mountain and Buller. Once you are over the first 4km of Lake Mountain it is a cruisy climb. When I got to the top of Buller I thought to myself “wow that was easy”. I am not sure why I thought this but even the last 2km didn’t feel as tough as it had in the past. I was really enjoying the challenge of climbing hills.
The last one. Mt Baw Baw. I wasn’t going to do this climb this year. I thought I wasn’t ready for it, but I had done 6 of them so I may as well do the 7th. I knew that Baw Baw was tough. My partner once again changed my rear cassette to a 32 tooth to make it easier. Even on the morning I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. But I did it! It is tough, but I took my time, stopping where I could and just found a rhythm. I was so proud of myself for getting up all 7 peaks!
I am now looking for climbs to do and am looking forward to revisiting Bright to tackle the four climbs and hopefully go a little bit faster up them!