Over the weekend we headed out to Rydal to see what the action was like at the Chocolate Foot’s Single Track Mind series and we were impressed. We wanted to see what other MTB event companies were doing and shoot at some new trails. Rydal is a tiny country town with only a dozen houses maybe and a exhibition oval on top of the hill. The trails here are quite new, being only two years old and the members of the Central Tablelands MTB Club are very enthusiastic about what they have achieved there. Rightly so, the 9km circuit used for the day is single-track nirvana, not only is it in some beautiful gum tree forests, which will never be logged, but there is never more than 20metres of straight trail.
As for shooting, we were very fortunate to have some thick cloud cover for most of the day providing very soft and even light eliminating the harsh shadows and requiring loads of flash to balance out. Because of the large number of trees and shin high grass in places getting low with a long 200mm lens made for some great shots. A few dead tree roots were built up to give the more adventurous or experienced rider something to fly off but many showed off for the camera and had some fun.
The course runs along top of a ridge-line in a large loop from the grounds where everyone had set up camps and fires obviously coming out the night before and enjoying the cool fresh air that only the outdoors can provide. Joe and Fiona of Chocolate Foot put on a great race and had plenty of praise for this course. As usual, the MTB community are a tight knit group who love the sport and the outdoors, if you haven’t attended one of their events or simply the Rydal event check it out, you wont be disappointed.