Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday sloppy Wharfdale goodness

Got word on Saturday that a couple guys i know were gonna do Wharfdale on Sunday. i's keen as mustard, so did a little prep on the bike, regreased headset and nicely oiled up the chain. Also, chucked on a new tire i'd got. Ritchey ZM Premonition i'd picked up from Torp7 a couple days before.

Tom and Matt picked me up at 8 and we headed out the Tram Rd. Left Chch's dreary grey and headed into blue skies and sunshine. First car in the carpark, tho some walkers (and dog) arrived while we were getting ready. Somewhere on the road there, something must have been flicked up by the back wheel of the car, slashing Tom's front tire, totally slicing through tire and tube. no spare tires on board, so we cut up the old tube, folded it several times, inserted between new tube and tire, and pumped her up. kinda bulged a bit, but wasnt too bad, but just to be safe, we put a random ziptie (that i just happened to have in my bag) around the tire, which held it quite nicely.

hit the trail. pretty good knick. excellent muckiness, lovely slippery roots. hit first pile of snow at about the 3rd bridge. counted somewhere between 6 to 10 tree falls. wonderful flowy section half way in, love that groove. fair bit of snow and extreme muckiness up towards the switchbacks, and the saddle. Tom figured his tire was gonna blow out, by the saddle the ziptie had gone, so he turned back, while Matt and i headed down for the hut. first 50m or so was messy snow, but beyond that was good, mostly. lots of snowloaded branches down, all of which we cleared off the track, and quite a lot of ice down this side. very cold, and cool eerie mists kinda hanging around.

made the river, got across without too much bother, and then this heinous climb kicked in. i didnt remember this from last time (years ago!) i'd been to the hut... anyway, got to the hut, signed in, had a One Square. brrrr, got moving again, back up and over, then the long slog back to the saddle. one off at a creek when my front wheel dropped and i leaped over the bars and stayed on my feet. at Midday, Matt replaced his front pads.

made the saddle, and the down began. for a bit anyway. not bad, bit splecky. on the climbs my legs were really starting to burn. the second to last descent (the one with the bridges in it), i think would have to be one of my favourites. its when everything comes together, all your skills honed to perfection, cept for feeling utterly shattered having not had a good long inclement ride like this for a lonnnng time.

the climb to the gate nearly killed me. but the final descent made everything better, getting faster and faster, briefly slowing for that metal pipe and following little creek, then on down to car park. sweeeeeet!!

Tom had made it back just as the bulge eminating from his tire was starting to rub the fork arch. he'd been waiting a fair while for us... Lots of cars in car park now too. We'd seen a couple of couples runners en route.

Meanwhile, my new tire worked very nicely thanks. was predictable. a nice size, good and big for a 2.25. didnt hook up as much as some mud specific tires would, but never gave me any issues of spinning out. should be a good tire to go on with. expecting another newby soon too, a Schwalbe Muddy Mary. chuck that on the front for a while methinks.

home 3ish.

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