Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday Night Travails

Good, tho tiring, jaunt last night.  Nelson and me got over to Pete's just on time and we Falc-hooned up to the Kiwi where to find Steve, Robin, Warren and Wayne awaiting our growly presence.

First up, we headed up to top of Vic Park, Nelson and me being the only two to dally on Thompson's part 2 to finish, while the others took the road.  Next, it was into the blast round the Traverse.  Not so much fun this direction, with it's predominant climbing, and I was getting hungrier by the metre.  Nelson led the first half but blew himself out and allowed me the front for the second half round to the end.  More puddles than anybody was expecting, too.

Then it was onto an incredibly dumbed down Vernon, smooth sailing all the first half, tho, Nelson and me took the old line above the switchbacks and Pete managed to under cut us, getting a wee ways ahead of me and giving me someone to chase.  Several riders on their ways up the trail, who all politely, surprisingly, parked aside for us to pass.  I had a good chase after Pete, gaining on him very slightly all the way down and ending up right on his tail right at the end.  Had some pretty sketchy moments in my pursuit, i must say.  Looking back, we watched all the other lights parsing the hillside through their courses as the others rolled in for the regroup. Thankfully Nelson had a whole OneSquare and shared one with me.  Very helpful.

Up the road, Nelson, Pete and me all rolled 3 abreast the whole way keeping a good pace on up to the Traverse again, other (keener) riders all up on the trail above.  Another regroup at the trail head and I led off with Nelson in hot pursuit.  I lost him on a few bits but he always gained me on the climby bits with his mad cadence power.  Multiple party members commented on the puddle just before the jumpy rock before the pond and how wet tires landing on rock played skittery games with their control.  A regroup at the old sign spot and some dude muscled past us "on ya right".  We let him get a wee ways ahead but the next posse were encroaching so we set chase and i just managed to catch him before we hit the pines.  From here it was through Thomson and Thompson back to the Kiwi.

Here, Steve and Robin went their merry way and the rest of us headed up the road for the Nun.  Clamber clamber we went to the top, my legs screaming for mercy.  I led off down and had a pretty damned good go, popping lots of the new air, and rolling over some of the new tabletops, nosing it up bigtime on the usual then slowing accordingly through the rocky bits that always hang me up.  A few puddles along the way.  The lower section, I paused to await the next light then hit it and flew, railing everything, popping the yumps and cruising up the last little grunt out, legs just about dying.  Nelson turning up straight after Pete, telling tales of a wicked crash.

Back at the Kiwi Nelson and me said 'cheers for the lift up' to Pete and headed back up to top of Vic Park, on the road this time, struggling with the climb.  Back then forth in the pines, over the see-saw, couple of brakefree jumps then across and down into the gums, hurtling through my favourite section, back and forth, very little trace of anyone else having ridden it for ages.  Eventually, back out onto the skidder site and straight into a refurbished Spazza's, off down and straight into Brents taking a right hand line and joining into the bottom of Sad to the Rick, into sloppy Bridges, then into the pines and a dry(ish) nuFlow expecting grease at every turn but not getting it, then into the valley bottom and pulling up for the stream crossing.

The HiddenValleyLink track got me.  I ended up walking the 2nd hairpin, then walking the steepest bit in the pines.  Once we were on Old Skool my light started cutting out, making me glad of my handlebar mounted one, which I ended up relying on most of the way down.  Out the bottom, shattered.  We knuckled in for the long haul down Bowenvale, Eastern, Wilsons, Nursery and Stanmore home.

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