Monday, January 05, 2009

Peninsula Tops, View, Sinclair, Fitz, Herb

Spent Boxing day to the 4th at Little Akaloa. other than tootling about the bay, i did one big(ish) ride whilst there, then the biggie on the way home.

Cant even remember what day it was now, but back in the last days of 2008 i headed up to Chorlton, and on up View Hill Rd. it was hot, damned hot. schlepped on up to the end of the 'legal' bit, thru the gate and on up to the peak. the Hill really lives up to its name, with a view down into Little Ak, Raupo, Okains, Akaroa harbour, out over the plains to the mountains, across the whole peninsula, the porthills behind Lyttelton, right up the coast to the Kaikouras... with a weird sea fog banked up off Little Ak, Raupo and Okains. mint. had a little explore on the south side, then bombed back down, minutes top to bottom.

Yesterday, got dropped at Pettigrews Road. headed up over Sinclair, Fitzgerald, across the tops over Mt Herbert and into Diamond Harbour. Awesome ride, awesome views, awesome weather. Saw only 3 other bikers, and 5 walkers.

about 20 minutes in, after a bit of climbing, i was stepping off a stile into Whatarangi Totara Reserve when my foot went into a hole and wham the pain shot through my left ankle. "FUCK!" i thought, "not now". it hurt like hell, but i figured i just had to go on with it. it twinged a bit whilst pedalling but mostly was okay. definitely felt it but the pain seemed to keep at bay most of the time. anyway, i soldiered on, not letting it take away my enjoyment of the epic trip i was undertaking. little bit of walking up top of sinclair to where i met the first two bikers by almost being run into by the first. i'd just climbed over a stile and was testing my ankle when this guy came honking in. he took evasive action and avoided hitting me. i had a wicked descent from there to the saddle between the two peaks, flowy and beautiful, with cool singletrack (that we'd always avoided in the past) for a time. the grunt up the back of Fitzgerald was a grunt as always, some walking. on the fast descent off the top i said g'day to a walker.

little bit of walking through the tight techy bit, then nice descent down and grunty wee climb then nice fast descent again to waipuna saddle. walked a bit again then fast down to portlevy saddle. VERY disappointed to see on the DOC sign a biker with a red slash through it from here. ignored that and continued on. steep wee bit then all riding til the attack on the back of Herbert's sub peak (913m). walked up that, carrying bike mostly, sometimes walking it ahead or beside me. talked to a walker couple on way up that. rode across and peaked Herbert (919m). then for the descent. 17:44 and i was aiming for the 18:10 ferry... talked to a couple of walking girls, then right down in the sweet singletrack valley talked to a biker.

made the ferry wharf at 18:15, ferry already half way across back towards Lyttelton... damn. only one thing for it, Godley House, where a pint of Monteiths Golden hit the spot bloody well. as did some fries and another pint... after sitting there for the good part of an hour, when i stood up again, the ankle screamed. T picked me up from the ferry in Lyttelton.

Overall, i climbed the equivalent of Mt Herbert, all up 917 m of altitude gained, but i got to relish a grand total of 1380 m of descent...

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