Monday, February 02, 2009

Packhorse, pack of heat...

Mint ride yesterday with Nelson. rode over to his place by about 8.30, and we jumped in the Bongo, headed round to Motukarara and up Gebbies.

parked up top (160 m), and hit the trail. gravel road for first 800 odd m, mild gradient, then into pine forest singletrack. slight climb then sweeeet descent into a valley, then a climb up a bit and over a stile then climbing along side forest and round a corner, onto a forestry road descent, which then peeled onto a sweet flowing climbing singletrack through fir. a coupla switchies too tight and steep to ride, then pedalling again, all the while in forestry. man, have we discovered the untouched unknown forested singletrack riding destination on the outskirts of chch??? Possibly. climbing easily some more ups and downs, nothing major, passed a couple of walkers, then it got steeper, little bit of walking, not much tho, heat getting to us, so muggy so stopped for rest. walkers passed. rest some more, then onwards, up towards the final fence of the forest. quite steep hillside here, with the track lightly bench cut into it, going up at a nice gradient, kinda bottom range middle chainring, or a few down on back in granny, sidling round the hill. you wouldnt want to tumble off the side... up to the Remarkable dykes with some nice rocky trail here, and they really are remarkable... then its about 5 minutes round to the hut (460m)... all up, about an hour from van to the hut.

the hut had been full over night, with people camping around it too. most had departed by the time we got there. nice hut. great views, down Kaituna, across Lyttelton Harbour, over the porthills all round. no sign of the southerly.

anyway, we decided to explore a little further, and so headed round back of Mt Bradley. nice trail round to a wicked patch of bush, trail sweeetness through it, except for the onga onga that crowded out the trail at one point, then out of the bush onto a zig zag track up the hill. spotted some goats above us. ended up getting tighter and tighter up to about the 650m contour. then we turned round and rode the 200m altitude back to the hut. then after waiting for a few walkers to come up, headed on down the track to Gebbies... much better downhill, obviously.

carefully round the sidling through the dykes and on down to the forest. then into the forest and a smooth flowy bombfest ensued. luckily encountered no walkers, tho the visibility is such that it wouldnt be a problem, not really any blind corners anywhere that you're not going carefully round. awesome flow all the way back down. the first few little ups are easy blasts, but towards the end theres a couple of grunts that were pushing my heat and sleep deprived exhausted bones. the last climb (that was the sweet descent at the start) had a few corners of walking. then a blast down the gravel to the car. all up, about 25mins back down from hut. We're thinking this'd be a great night ride.

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