Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday no wind blowing on the Blowhard

Awesome ride this morning. Pete picked me up at 8.30 and we headed for Nelson's place. Grabbed him and headed 'round past Ashley Gorge and up to the end of Maori Reserve Rd. A bit of frost around, but sunshine and blue skies blazing.

Relentless start, no warm up, just granny geared grunt, nearly steeper than bearable, but eventually mellowing out a bit. nice to see some native clematis in full flower in places. Got to the big 4wd wallow and the real steep walking began. Rocky, gnarly, steep as, for a little while. Then a bit of riding ensued, couple more walky bits, more riding, more walking. all good. a real lung opener. Here's our first break.

On up for a bit, then a nice down, reminding Pete why he rides (he was beginning to wonder), then on up again. Eventually we got out to where Chris, Nelson and me got to on my first trip up there. From here there's quite a steep chute of a descent into the woods again then its climbing again, mostly out on an old burned cleared alpine tops type environment. some real good grunts. Back into forest for a while now and then. Somewhere in there we met the Bypass Track from Glentui. Not far up from there Pete snapped his chain

Fixed that and it was on up up up up up, into some open true alpine Dracophyllum scrub with a lot of muckiness and then through a cool forest with lots of moss and with snow on the ground and drips of melting falling on us. a few rooty holes and a couple of clearings and we were at the top, all 1048m of it (which, by my calculations, is roughly how much we'd climbed in all, even tho we'd started at 300m, there's roughly 300m of downs interspersed with the climbing on the way up). spectacular views up there, and, i kid you not, not a single breath of wind. fantastic. not living up to the name at all...
Towards Lees Valley

Towards the Wharfdale back end

Looking down on Oxford township

i led off and the fun began. blazing. absolute bliss. at times the softness of the ground acted like brakes, so you could stay off your own ones. had noticed a cool rock feature, moab stylez, on the way up, and both Nelson and me found a line onto it and down it. looking back, we watched Pete navigate the rocky drop to the side. he was trying out his new Gravity Dropper, and taking a bit to get used to it.

lower and lower we got, then we had to climb again. walking up the nasty chute below where Chris and us got to last time, and once more further up. rode the rest tho. sooooo much fun. the steep steep rocky bits were a total blast.

as usual, the bottom (4wd wallow) came too fast, but i think it was worth it, the downs really did last well, and legs were sore, and braking arms were sore (but not as sore as Involution last weekend). then bit of a climb out and then down the 4wd section, fast, til we rounded a corner and there was a couple of HUGE horses (with a couple of guys on them), who were pretty wary of bikes and were getting a bit freaked, so chucked our bikes up into the broom and stood up near them and the horse calmed and cruised by. (+1 for biker / horserider relations).

finally down avoiding the ruts and blasting out to the car, getting hella loose in the grease at the bottom. if my calculations are correct, a grand total of 1300m altitude traversed.

dropped Nelson off and returned via backroads to Cust to Tram Rd. got home before 2. all good.

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