Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rameka, Jan 16th

16th Jan, 2011. Installed new rear pads at Riwaka Resurgence prior to ascent of the hill, and with sleeping boys in back, T dropped me on Takaka Hill Canaan turn-off, figuring with those few ups and downs on the road i’d bed the new pads in nicely before hitting any serious singletrack.

Reasonably uneventful ride in, passing a worn out cycletourist woman and a little further up her partner before the saddle, and being plagued with a clunk on every pedal rotation in certain conditions, ie, not all the time. Snapped a shot of the bike and the road where i lost a maglite next to our brokendown audi on the way into our campsite G2000.

At Harwoods, figured i’d try out the new Gold Creek circuit, surprised to see it was classed as an Easy... hitting it, first wee climb, realised why. Still, should never let simplicity dampen a ride. Some cool country to see.

Seemed up and up and up across various paddocks, through various gates, a not particularly pleasant surface, kinda energy sapping grass scattergunned with plenty sheep shit too (which i think cant be great, dissolving down into the karst and on down through the cave networks beneath...), also stinking up a tire now and then.

It all finally started getting interesting, riding wise, once you got to a creek. Some sort of juncture with the outer circuit – twice you cross the creek, nice clear fresh looking water, tidily crossed, rideable or not, then this zany ascent begins, with beautifully constructed, near-wheelchair grade
build trail,

with a zigzag up a hill into almost alpine dracophyllum assemblage rocky wee top and on along for a bit through lovely bush. Bit of a descent across a paddock with some whoopdedoos and back into another clump of forest with more lovingly constructed singletrack, with velocity controlling off(or weird)-cambering, finally spitting you out for a last blat down to the Harwood’s Carpark.

Here, quick chat with the cycletourists who were gonna stay at canaan for a few days, so would explore the trails (i highly recommended they hit down the Rameka), i signed the book and headed up the short climb to the Rameka turnoff.

Scoffed a OneSquare and found i had cell reception so shot out a few txts to the world and treadled in at 16:10 according to one, with very slightly lowered seat. Blissful. Sublime benched native forest singletrack -- my favourite thing. Kept a nice pace, thinking the singlespeed wouldn’t have been so bad, 'cept for its rigidity, riding or not riding the creek crossings, depending – certainly cleaning a lot more of them than any time in the past (reminiscing on the one i crashed at), the track was so dry, tho still had a few surprising wet bits. One photo stop,
cool big fractured rocks the track rides through. Recognised the the area where pete got lynched by the lawyer too. At what turned out to be right near the Abel Tasman National Park boundary i was jetting along, flying over everything, roots, dips, rocks, and rounded a bend and spotted another cyclist, a guy it turned out was riding from Takaka to Mot.

From here the ride is not for much longer. In Dozer’s bit, instead of dozering, i took all the little jungletrack bits off the sides, then into the gorse for some super fast mad loose descending to the cool cut marble techy rock climb out to the ending speedy section to the roadend. Finally onto the road ((not really-) admiring the mad castle), more chip than last time and somewhat scary (but still fast) as a result.

Into the Rameka Project, kinda stupidly F A S T to the pines, spotted a guy grubbing a new track. “I’d like to shake your hand! Congratulations on being part of building such awesome trails!” I prattled. quick yarn and off on down through Great Expectations, loving every metre of this handcrafted goodness.

Onto the road, down, barely in control, into the ford and straight into 2 Clicks.
F a n t a s t i c.
This and 1 Click are damned fine examples of the kinds of trails that need to be thrown into similar areas (alongside roads, alongside rivers) all over the country where there’s connections between other trails (or road-ends etc). Its inspiration for getting something similar in a few places i can think of at home.

Then off down the road a little and into OneClick, taking in the low line first, then walking back to ride the high line (rockgarden said closed) and lower down, the riverbed section (cool!). When the singletrack ended, back onto the gravel road, blatting it down to the seal. From here, a hard 15 minutes into the wind to Pohara where the family was bunked up in a cabin. Lovely swim in the sea to replace one salt on the skin with another.

No comments: