19 June, 2008

It's on again- The Paluma Push '08

It's almost a year since I suffered my first broken bone and I've decided to return to the scene to wipe the slate clean.

The Paluma Push is a fund raising MTB event held in the southern reaches of the Wet Tropics of North Queensland. There are 2 categories in the Push- a recreational class in which participants complete 42 km and the competitive class who get to do an extra 10 km. All of the money raised goes to the local Rural Fire Brigade.

It has become so popular over the last few years that entries have had to be capped at 500.

The circuit takes riders through some of the most spectacular bush around. It's a rare event because some of the land is privately owned, some is government land and it's not usually accessible.

Time warp back 11.5 months to last year's Push and I'm traveling quite well in my first MTB event- about 10km in when I get squeezed to the left on a downhill right-hand turn. Not much drama in that except the road surface was very loose gravel and as I tried to bring the bike back on track, the front wheel took a good bite and pitch-poled me onto the track- landing on my thumb. Adding insult to injury (that being the fractured thumb) was one of the following riders rode over my back and cracked the filler of my hydration pack. (I went out this evening and bought a new hydro pack)

I managed to finish the Push, albeit with some discomfort and much slower than I had hoped. I was unable to shift my front dérailleur unless I reached across with my right hand to shift and that gets a bit tricky on some of the single track sections. This inability to shift to the big ring led to some stretches of seriously high cadence and ensuing cramps.

I wasn't going to ride this year's Push. I was going to sell my MTB and put the money toward a new road bike but I have been convinced (and rightfully so) that I probably wouldn't buy another MTB of that quality again, so I'm going to hang onto it, ride it, enjoy it and do the Push.

This year our team, "Sore Optimists" is hoping to come in with times less than 3 hours and no injuries.

Dee- we gotta get you on that "dually". You're gonna love it!!

Oh and I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that it only took until 12:45 on Tuesday afternoon to get the fluoro light changed above my desk....and even then it took calls from my neighbouring workers to get it done.

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