I like climbing. All kinds – rock climbing, hiking up mountains and while riding road and mountain bikes.
With rock climbing it’s as much the mental challenge as physical one of getting to the top of a wall using the right holds and moves.
With hiking it’s the slow, methodical plodding of putting one foot in front of the other with a pack on. That and the desire to see what’s on the other side.
With riding, it’s the rhythmic grind of keeping the pedals turning.
Lately I’ve been on the road bike doing a few climbs out of Melbourne.
Mt Donna Buang is a favourite, as is Lake Mountain.
A friend and I recently did Lake Mountain, on the outskirts of Marysville, a town that was almost completely wiped out by bushfires in 2009.
While the town has been rebuilt, the landscape around it still bears the scars of the fire. The forest is slowly regenerating but the dead, charred trunks of trees stand like tall matchsticks across the hillsides. It’s a sad sight because the forest pre fires must have been spectacular.
It’s nice ride to the top of Lake Mountain, where there’s a café and other facilities for winter when it snows. The road is a steep climb out of Marysville before it levels off to a relatively gentle gradient.
The fun part is going down and hitting some pretty impressive, probably stupid, speeds, as this screen grab from my activity app shows – 79.8km/h.
Anyway, here’s to hill climbs, and the way back down.