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Two months has flown by and after spending the weekend in Falls Creek again did remind me of my neglect to do a report on the women’s weekend I was stoked to be a part of.

With some passionate women (and men) working hard up at Falls Creek, the 2nd MTB de femme was looming in January.  Xena from Falls Creek Resort management contacted me to come and be a part of the whole weekend, and I am so glad I said yes.
Norm was even allowed to come along with local ambassador Paul Van Der Ploeg.

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Firstly, I love the alpine environment, secondly I love to visit and ride new trails and thirdly I love to meet and give back to other female cyclists.  
This weekend ticked all the boxes.

We had a visit to Albury’s Cycle Station bike shop owned and run by Jacob Wolki and did a bit of meet and greet as a Liv Ambassador.  
On our way to Falls we dropped in to see Dan, Jenny and Gerry VDP with Paulie still in bed.
Thanks for the hospitality!

Arriving at Falls I cannot help but get excited at the prospect of opportunity here.

What can I do? I can walk, run, laze about, ride a road bike, shred mountain bike trails, eat good food and do it all again.  
There are options of easy rides, climbing, techie downs, flowing downs, shuttles up, and all day ‘picnic’ style rides.
Including mega EPICS for the backcountry adventurer and 40 minutes down the hill you have even more adventure at your doorstep with Big Hill MTB park and Mt Beauty to visit as well.  
Not to mention the possibilities of what lies in store on the road bike too!

Truth is you need more than a weekend to get the most out of your time here and I was wishing I had tagged on another 3-4 days to this one.

http://www.fallscreek.com.au/mtb  check out the link for all summer details and trailmaps etc...

Norm and I were extremely stoked to be looked after by the team at QT Falls Creek. We had a fantastic apartment with plenty of room to lounge about, do our washing, get work done and have a spa on the balcony at the end of the day.  Thanks to Andy Reid (& Xena) for organising our amazing accommodation.  Some pretty good value summer accom deals too https://www.qthotelsandresorts.com/falls-creek/

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On Saturday our time was spent riding up and up and up to the top of the mountain by a series of fun and challenging trails.  Jumpstart really did remind me that I was climbing at 1600mts above sea level straight away. Some technical rock corners had me huffing and puffing, and the gradient soon settled down.  Up the Generator and then down it, we hooked onto the dirt road for a before hopping onto Eagle rock, making our way to the very top.  The trig point of Frying pan spur was just amazing. I just wanted to get out my picnic rug and settle in for a few hours.  Get out some pencils, sketch some vistas, whatever, but just using this vantage point to enjoy life.

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But...what must go up must come down and we had girls on a mission.

It was Flowtown they had come to see and that meant liking onto High Voltage. A steep ‘qualifier’ entrance rock armoured for quite a while, you don’t want to go too fast here.
High Voltage is a gravity fed trail, but even though you trend down, there are loads of rock features to get up and over with momentum and gullies with bridges, and blind corners to trust.  

It's all about forward vision and choosing correct gears, with accompanying momentum.  Doesn't take much to lose it here.  
Secret is 99% of the time, the rock/s are the line. Up and over, not through.  

After a quick regroup we were onto Wishing Well, similar feel here, though it opens up a bit but the trending is still really tuning into the rocks and the lines, letting the bike roll, not too much control and more flow.  Once Wishing Well opens up into Flowtown, then its on and it really is corner corner corner, flow flow flow, with A lines for those who want them and the trail just keeps flowing for the rest of us.  For me, there are only a handful of A lines I am comfy with and that’s just fine, I am going fast enough down here thankyou!

Toward the bottom it really picks up speed, and the better rider can gap and manual through many sections, I was just desperate to sit down and pedal, my legs were burning!

That entire descent was mega and it’s about 10 km long.  On this day, we caught the shuttle up.  Since then I have ridden Pack Horse up to the carpark and apart from a few near impossible switchbacks that I did walk, I did not mind the ride.  4.7km long and some seriously beautiful surrounds.

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After lunch (which was at Be Foodstore thank you) we headed out onto Induction, Short Circuit, Jump start and up to Thunderbolt. With Paul showing us the lines, I enjoyed this trail a lot. Technical features that needed a bit of line checking but all totally rideable.
We then finished off with Vortex and this was also mega fun with natural rock features surprising you around every corner.

The afternoon was spent with PVDP doing a demo of fixing a few things on your bike, and I did a chat about the life that is mine to a lovely group of women.
Then we had a really nice social night out at Huski, thanks for wonderful food here!  Vegan was not an issue.

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Pretty big day and day 2 had a nice option of riding the aqueduct trail out to some huts with picnic lunch provided. Norm and I put our hands up straight away.

Sundays leisurely option was the most fun I have had in a long time.
Views forever, not many big hills, social, food, riding my bike and just being outdoors.

Every now and again, man made trails need to make way for just riding and this is what I think I love about Falls Creek Resort.  
You can pick and choose every single day and keep fresh and excited with new places to explore.

The lunch spot at the hut was so much fun, again could have popped down a pillow and fell asleep!

Thank you to Xena and your team at Falls Creek Resort.
What a memorable weekend with so many good people to share it with in a magical alpine environment.
Great food and great accommodation.

It is worth the drive and worth making it a week long visit to the region. In fact longer! Visit all the North East area and ride everywhere.
There are great trails in Albury, Yackandandah, Beechworth, Mt Beauty, Bright, Mt Buller and more.  

http://www.victoriashighcountry.com.au/

Ok maybe you need 2 weeks!

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What bike did I ride?

My new Liv Pique had arrived only 4 days prior to Falls Creek so this was its first proper ride. https://www.liv-cycling.com/au/pique-advanced-1

The Pique is a female specific cross country style dual suspension with slacker angles, meatier forks, and a bit more travel. Big bars, an enduro look and feel with dropper seat post, I have found this bike to be very adaptable and confidence building on the descents.
It is very well suited to terrain at Falls Creek and I used my dropper OFTEN! Very often.  I normally run an 80mm fork on my hardtail and 100ml fork on my Lust dual suspension, so 120mm is very noticeable and very enjoyable.

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Out of the box the changes I have made are to get rid of all the spacers and slam it down, cutting off excess steerer.  
I have changed handlebar grips as these were too narrow and made my hands sore from over gripping.  
I changed the dropper lever to how I like it and put my own Shimano SPD pedals on.  

That’s it! Out of the box with a few minor adjustments.

The Giant wheels are fast, the XT componentry is amazing and responsive, the Fox forks with 120mm travel are more than I have used so I feel that extra 20mm!  
Here’s the fact sheet for your own viewing, great value for a bike that can pretty much anything.

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