Dieter Kahsnitz's field notes
All our research before the shoot told us that Canberra is a bike city, but we were not prepared for how much is going on, how passionate the people of Canberra are for riding bikes and how welcoming the people of this city are.
Spending a week riding all over Canberra showed us that the benefits of a designed city means that bike paths are literally everywhere. The downside to a city that was a clean-sheet design is that it could be seen as soulless - something Canberra has been accused of. But more on that in a minute.
The best place to start is the riding. Stromlo is simply stunning. The trailhead has probably the best cafe and bike shop area I've seen anywhere, including on my many trips riding MTB's in the US. Before a ride, you can get everything you need or have forgotten at the bike shop. After the ride, the burgers are honestly one of the best I've ever had.
The riding itself reminded me of the You Yangs a little, with the trail surface being a little sketchy so you've got to be on your game. The variety of trails is immense. Vandy raced on the day we arrived and flatted right in front of the TT crew! It's truly ace.
Majura Pines is 15 mins from the city centre on the other side of Canberra and personally, I thought it was some of the best riding terrain I've ridden in ages. The variety of trails, from gnarly old school double blacks to flow trails means there's something for everyone. Heaps of green and blue trails too and the progression is nice and gentle. Next door is a winery too with its own gate...perfect...We chose to ride here 3 times during the week, after 14 hour days shooting...just because we loved it so much.
Now, it's time to put to rest the notion that Canberra is soulless. it’s the opposite actually with the food scene quite frankly blowing us away. So many passionate and enthusiastic people doing amazing things with all types of cuisines. We did a food tour, something I highly recommend.
In a week of highlights, the National Arboretum was my absolute favourite. It's a national treasure and will become the go-to place in Canberra as the tens of thousands of trees grow. The restaurant and cafe are world-class. There are 20 kms of single track snaking its way through the place, and the views are breathtaking.
I love Canberra so much I'm planning to come back here with my partner Jane and have a Trail Towns holiday later this year...I can't wait!