Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last day of 2011, a ride of 2 rides more down than up.

Family drive to Akaroa for a look-see, so chucked the bike on the back, and they dropped me at the Okains/Robinson's/Summit intersection, where i coincidentally met Aaron and a couple of his mates all on their roadbikes up from Okains. We rode together up the Summit Rd a wee ways then i peeled off down an incredibly overgrown double fenceline into Robinsons. Started out with a longer bushy section than i remembered from dealing with it during a cold foggy wet Cyclic Saga in '99 with Paul DeSpa. I nearly went over the bars in here, cos of the long grass hiding the ruttedness, but quite fun, most of the grass at least as tall as my axles, some as high as my wheels, and the seedhead stalks higher than my bars! Quite slow going really, with intermittant clay-ey bits allowing a brief burst of velocity, and then got much better right near the bottom where the trail was nice dry clay surface, and some good rough speed could be enjoyed. Vastly different from my previous experience in '99 when i was belly on seat legs out like trimaran pontoons both wheels sliding in mucky greasy grass and mud...

Then it was onto narrow seal and more fast descending before the flat of the valley, then the main road, round the waterfront and up a small hill, overtaking a guy on a roady (who'd ridden from Papanui and was still to ride back(!)), then fast down into Takamatua, hung a right, and then a left up a wee gravel grunter which turned to steeeeeeep clay before meeting up with the main road again. Then it was across that and down the Old Coach Rd for a steep fast descent into Akaroa where i found a Cruiseship crowd added to the usual nutjobs that frequent Akaroa over New Years, and my family.

Interlude of play and buying fish, and fish and chips, and we escaped the loonybin and returned up Robinsons Bay Rd, left onto Summit and they dropped me at the View Hill farmtrack. Quite cool up there. Grass not so overgrown on account of some cattle, so shit needed to be avoided. Good climb to start with, but then it goes a bit messy with rocks and unrideable sections and a bit of walking eventually to a gate. I'd love to get across this top with a tool or two and strategically sculpt a rideable trail. After the gate, its a short steeep climb then onto the traversing semi-benched sheep track around the west face of View Hill. Before hitting the farm track i veered right and made my way across and onto the farm track which i took (granny most of the way) to the top. Great views, it being called View Hill for a very good reason. Then it was down down down down down. fun times. Forgot to check the time at the top, but at the gate to View Hill Rd proper (where we were just shy of couple days before), it was 15.10. Hit the trail, faster than 2 days prior because a vehicle had been up and down in between, so the grass was a little more pressed down, and i knew what to expect, and where the likely worst ruts were to watch out for. Excellent blat down the gravel, just insane speed then out onto the seal and a car coming from Longlookout gave way to me and i left them for dead in my tucked speedster coast into the valley. All heads turned as i whipped past the beach, then i huffed back up to the bach.

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