Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday McCormacks Greenwood Richmond Britten figure of 8 with tails

Nelson met at mine after work and we got word from Warren that everybody had piked... So. We joined traffic and eventually parked up under the leaning tower of Ferrymead and treadled round into McCormacks Bay and up the grunty singletrack. Nelson was way fitter looking than me, who struggled my way upwards breathing laboriously and dying in the heat. Just after the bridge we explored the right hand track finding its end, and shooting back down along it then on up the rest of the trail. Blew a couple of the switchbacks then died and walked the last couple.

Up the road next, all the way to the top of the road, a brief gudday to a couple of riding guys and off down to Greenwood. Grass a bit drier now, therefore slightly slipperier than last week. Snack above the ruins, and then we were off. Good blast, just taking it pretty cruisy mostly, wafting and roosting. But then, below gloomy gulch, after the steep rocky section and the swoopy bit and come back round to the left and into a few switchbacks, a couple of times i felt hard whacks out the back end, and not long after the back wheel got squirrelly then sure enough, fssssssssss and nothing but tire and rim. Flipped the bike into the long grass and sat me down to fix.
Snake Bite!

Nelson turned up complaining of noisy rotors so he flipped his steed over too and replaced his front pads.
Our "Yard Sale"

Off again, giving Nelson a big gap so he could stop and photograph, i rode down, through the cattlestop, over the yump, round into the valley, then down past him and into the rocky up. Stopped there, got my phone out and photographed the trail just after he'd ridden through. He rode ahead again, i blasted down behind him and realised what he was doing so rode back up a bit then blazed past him again, and again stopped for his photo, this time it worked.

Onto the road and we troddled our way up to the big pines, the nor west wind starting to really blow hard. Fun blast down to the lone pine, windblown grass leaning across the singletrack. Over the stile and another fun blast down to the new bit of track. Good run down here, over the next little stile, then the cool benched track down down down to the rooty stuff and stopped at the next stile. Turned back, and rode up the way we'd just come down. Me, once again, struggling.

At the road again, decided to ride up the 4wd track back up to the Greenwood track, and then back up the top section. This was a horrid little climb. longer than it looks and full of little steps that suck at your progress most insidiously. Gasping, i followed Nelson onto the singletrack, a few wee downs, but mostly up. At one point, over the top, there's a couple of spots where the trail has two short options. On one of these, i decided to take the right hand option, but my front wheel decided it liked the look of the left hand option so the rut lip threw me down. As soon as i landed my right calf cramped. YOWCH. tiny scratch on the knee, my wrists and right shoulder and knees took the brunt of the fall. I'm gonna hurt tomorrow and Thursday. Got straight back on the bike and kept on riding, catching Nelson on the road.

Up to Britten, onto the singletrack, then down down down. At the bottom of this, the sunset and norwest arch were just TOO much, so we stopped and Nelson took a bunch of pics, as it changed and got more and more spectacular, lighting the sides of the ranges to the north, and right round to the Waipara foot hills and it was just stunning, glowing bright bright orange and yellow hues over the rest of the port hills and dust storms lifting from the Rakaia gorge and virga rain falling from the dark arch. spec-fucking-tac-ular.

Next up, light getting pretty dim now, blasted down the road, hung our right into Craigieburn Pl and (quick walk) down the steps, then into switchback after switchback, then flight mode down the lovely singletrack. Near the bottom we explored the left hander into the wee patch of pines. Too steep, too many rocks, too many steps, and no flow... out the bottom of this, and on round back to the car.

Awesome times.

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