Tuesday, October 19, 2010

the trip

so far so good. final night, sittin in a puter room and loading this down. for a far more indepth analysis, see steve's pfmtbc write up.

Friday, roadtripped to Dunners, arrived, settled in, loaded up with food and beer then hit the local Redwoods. rode up steeeeeep roads (Rockside and Tanner) to get to it, up McGouns to top, down a single, through mudtroughs to the top of the 'loop'. off down switchback after curve after curve after switchback, loving it all, slightly loose in places but fun fun fun, and 5 minutes later you're at the bottom and head up for the climb which switchies its way up the hill caning it to the top. how many loops? i think 3 or 4, but on Pete's third, he crashed real good skinning the knee.

day two
massive day, heaped upon a hangover from celebratory arrivals. Multiple hours of riding exhausting all involved, slowed even further by a certain dreaded one's constant flats. took Nichol's Creek Switchback track all the way up to Swampy, hung a left at the top and on over to a speedy descent to the 'bull pen'. tried to find the entrance to a shortcut down to snakes and ladders (alas, took road round instead). No one particularly enjoying the Snakes'n'ladders, so half the party bailing out, while the other half continued through it only to be stopped by Mike's flatting. back up to the bull pen in killer heat with worn out climbs back up to top of the way we'd come down, and time to hit the switchbacks again. Everyone loving the descent, with footage captured. over all, everybody loved the beginning and ends of the day, but not a lot in the middle.

day 3.
signals mixed. up up up up up up road after road to Signal Hill Monument and g-stringed tourist asses to meeting a friendly Brent (from Bike Otago) who led us down descents we'd enjoy to bottom, nice rocky technical but reasonably fast descents, thinking rain would kill the rest of the day.

back base then some lunch, and rain gone, so drove up for a post lunch Redwoods play, multiple laps, then across to Buffoons and an argumentative start prior to blazing around some of the sweetest singletrack yet. starting from the carpark we headed into the Forrester forest into the day before's racetrack, loving it down then getting back to the carpark. quick lap of the bmx track, then off up the hill, into Bethunes Gully, up a singletrack which zigged us down again into the picnic area, over a bridge, up Mt Cargill Walkway, which seemed to get steeper and steeper, us spotting the singletrack below us, eventually up left to a wee play on some wooden things and down to race tape, hard left into Haggis basher or hunter, for a wicked descent popping stuff on the way. back over the bridge and up the xc climb, zigging and zagging through fantastic plantation forest to a top. the speedier ones raced off and took the 'Expert' line, while the slightly slower for some reason took the 'Sport', and so the 'experts' all ended up down the bottom again, waiting indefinitely for the others who never showed. cel contact was made and we all headed on up the way we'd arrived into the clearing originally, then took a zig zag track up left and over to find the others on the road. then we circled out round Forresters park on all of its singletrack back to the carpark.

day 4.
Government Track, out near Waipori Falls. very niiiice. bit of a drive out of town, into fucking nasty looking weather, me in the falcon thinking oooop, steve'll be cross, but arriving up the valley as the sun shone and the bush beckoned. up the first couple switchbacks thinking what are we in for?, then onto glorious benched singletrack gliding through spectacular forest, fuchsia-broadleaf-podocarp in the lower and wetter areas, with dryer beech forests on the ridges, then into manuka scrub getting shorter and nearly subalpine up top. brief time in some farm land with wind trying to blow us over. over an hour to the top, with a bit of hail thrown in on the way up for good measure, otherwise mostly sunshine including at top. black weather coming so off we headed back down, first through the manuka then into the good beech forest and then the podocarp. when the black weather hit, snow started falling, spectacularly. the roots were skittery and all of it was fantastic. to me, this track is everything i love about riding in new zealand.

day 5.
forecast nasty, so didnt expect to ride, but day turned out to be sweet, so we got up the switchbacks again, great ride up and great ride down. arrived back to base as the skies opened, perfect timing. lunched in town then 5 of us partook of a tour with Richard Emerson of his brewery. a great experience, with 'quality control' being a very important part of the tour.

day 6,
packed up, left Dunedin. Pete, Marie, Mark and me in the Falcoon, off up to Waimate. Excellent Peas, Pie and Pud at The Savoy, the best tearooms in South Canterbury, then off up to end of Point Bush Rd to ride the White Horse. Steep ass little switchback trail up through regenerating native bush and macracarpa and pines up top, even seeing a Wallaby mosying through, and on up to the PD gang working around the Horse. Photos, then down, popping most of the jumps on down in no time flat. back in car, off we went. 20 odd kms later Mark realised he didnt have his camera! so, back to Waimate, and on round the road to the top of the track. Retreived the camera and the Mark and me rode down again, meeting the others on the road below, great ride the second time round too.

Home for dinner.

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