Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thursday evening Packhorse and Living Springage

Worked latish and then treadled to get picked up by Nelson on Springs Rd (he'd been in Hornby for some work thing), then we 'rona'd round through Tai Tapu and Motukarara and up Gebbies to park. Probably a little before 7 we headed off up the trail. The first section of trees are felled, opening up the singletrack newly formed eventually tucking back into the trees on the steeper part of the descent. Awesome flow down through this then hit up the tight climb which was maybe the only part of this ride that i cleaned and Nelson didnt. Over the stile and up the steep paddock and over to the next stile, then the fast descent down down freshly smoothed forestry road passing this

before heading down a bit further, i think, then Nelson missed the turn into the darker Douglas Fir forest which climbs nicely at first then steeply switches back and forth and then across opening up towards that cute wee bach. Then its sweet sweet climbing a couple small descents and a few switchbacks and climbing steeper still til finally we hit the final stile. i walked a LOT of the climbs... just didnt have the climbing groove tonight.

Next up its across the fantastic exposure. Ledge narrow, drops to the side, 'remarkable' dykes above, risk of rockfall??? not much sign of rocks having left the dykes, one boulder, slightly bigger than an overinflated soccerball on the track, but otherwise zip. cool ride round and up, lots of dabs, keeping the left foot clipped in, and eventually made the hut. bit of a look round and we turned back down.

Here's Nelson (can ya see him?) entering the maw of the dyke...

Took that pic then rode to catch up, cleaning some of the rocky stuff he'd baulked on just before that pic. (hee hee). Then i lead from there back down round to the stile, then on down down down the blast of a trip through the forest, fantastic trail, tight trees, smooth as smooth gets. After the bach, a fallen tree caught me and Nelson detoured quicker than i clambered so he blazed off ahead of me and we nailed it down through the forest. Hit the nasty climb back up to that sign (above) then on up over stile, up a little more, then blaaasst down the rooty clay paddock's edge trail, over stile and down rooty barbedwire edged narrowness, then rooty climb and steep nasty bits of walking climb, out of the forest into cleared more climb and finally over the hump, stile, and down the road, ducking onto a newly cut, dirt track juuust below the road, encountering thistles in the fingers and calves but generally enjoying the concentration of it better than a fast gravel descent.

Great trail, like a compilation tape of all the best sections of Port Hills riding, snippets of so many pieces of Port Hills trails.

Then, was into the car, and round for a lap of Living Springs. Excellent work has been done in here, and with tape up for the Singletrack Fiesta this weekend, marking the way nicely in the now getting darker bits of the forest. A tiresome climb, for me anyway, up through The Pines, but man oh man, i dont remember it being so long, in a good way too. It just zigs and zags so nicely up, using the land to maximum effect. Would be a sweet descent too. Continuing into Rhymes with Orange and the worst of the climbing pretty much done. Caught up with Nelson here and we blazed off down the down, into the dark bush thanking the white marker boundary tape, and enjoying the crap out of the back and forth downwardsness. Round into Zanes and w00t fest, albeit and somewhat blind one. I noticed the section of trail i helped with way back when has been bypassed now, no doubt due to the slumps of last winter's wet, the detour is sweet getting out of the forest and cutting along a sidle before rounding a spur and sending us back into the darkness for the final swoopy descent. screwed up a couple of bits in there, but no offs so all was well.

Home, late.

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