Thursday, December 11, 2008

Skillz – Shuttles Rock

Shuttles up Vic Park again last night with scatter. (I really should get a photo of me in my fullface and pads for here). I haven’t been on the bike since the Hammerhead, but it has a new derailleur hanger since my crashes at the weekend and I put its big fat tyres on. We managed to make the 4:40pm shuttle this time and headed down Brake-Free, Seasame St, Dazzas, Brents, Bridges and out. As scatter is faster than me I picked my own lines through Brents and ended up riding the 3 drops (no worries) in the top half at low speed. Yay. On Bridges however I took the wrong line and ended up at the top looking down a wall of death. After a brief wave to scatter in the distance I daintily walked down, which was bloody difficult. We missed out on getting on the next shuttle but scored a ride with some nice boys back to the top. This time no mucking about, straight down Seasame St (not the best lines from me this time), Dazzas (nice flow), Brents (nana lines all the way), Bridges (ahhhh, you turn right there) and then I rode Double Drop for the first time (couldn’t be bothered getting off and pushing my bike down). WOW! That was scary but soooooooooooo fun. Blast down the 4wd track doing hucks and catch the next shuttle.
Back up the top and nice to get into the fresh air (it was a bit stinky in the bus on this run) and we decided to session Brake Free and practise our jumping skills. Wee, fun, but really tiring. Scatter showed me how to do the first double and I got it. Yeah!!! I also managed to hit a couple of the big tabletop jumps perfectly. Yes, yes, yes. It was actually bloody hard work just doing laps of this small track but I really felt like I was making huge progress, thanks scatter.
Then it was time to head down. I nailed Seasame St this time and managed to keep up with scatter most of the way down, a first. Then Dazzas (fast, fast, fast) and into Brents (nana lines again, silly I’m definitely riding the top drops next time) and Bridges. I knew the lines this time and then Double Drop, where I nearly had a whoopsie, but my new found skills saved me.
It was definitely the best ride I’ve had, which is saying something because I’ve been loving being on the bike at the moment. I feel like my skills, well my downhill skillz, are better than they’ve ever been and I just need to work on my fitness to get my up and across skills up there as well. I would highly recommend shuttling to anyone who wants to get a bit more confidence into their descending. Riding the same bits of track over and over in a short space of time without the oxygen debt of climbing really gives you a great sense of how the bike moves, what lines to hit and how fast (or much faster) you can go.
I guess its back to the hills for me. I should also try and find the motivation to do more roadie work, but my bouncy bike is just so much more fun. I think shuttling will definitely have to be a semi-regular thing though, its just so good.

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