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the best of trails

There are new mountain bike trails in Holly Bank and they are the best in the country. The past three days have bequeathed my first three rides. Fourth if you count the one at the very periphery of my memory from which all I can salvage is a dissolving image of an expansive plateau of felled and smoking timber.

On the first day we did the beginner’s circuit for kids/ale-drinking-wankers, through ferns, pines and eucalypts. Rolling smoothly, unbreakably, around corners, butterflies audibly flapping out of my way. It was raining outside but inside the forest the scented moisture rose up from underneath our fat tyres instead. The second day we tried the intermediate loop through the tall timbers, mossy, pre-and-post-historic. I fell over the handlebars and retreated to the beginners loop, this time riding fearful. Brake hard so you do not break hard. On the third day, Christmas morning, I tried again: down the hill, across the same creek twice, then up the hill through moss and mud. I don’t remember any of it, just the terrifying sensation of the intermediate rock beneath my wheels.

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