Sunday, October 07, 2012

Sunday Wharfdale Adventurings

Bit of an epic today.  I'm certainly feeling like I've done something pretty huge.  Got out to Nelson's around 9a.m. and checked out his environs before we Grand Wagonned around through Oxford to View Hill and parked up.  Somehow it was like 10.30 as we were making our way up the start of the trail.

A perfect day, cool, with blue skies and sunshine.  As usual a bit of water around on the trail, and some really soggy sections.  Looks like there's been a lot of riders through it of late.  But the dry north facing stuff was nice and dry.

We were good trail pixies all the way through.  By the time we got to the saddle we'd cleared off 6 logs, with only a couple of major wind-throws we absolutely couldn't have budged. 

Seemed to make the saddle in no time, tho, I don't know how long it really too, maybe an hour?  possibly more, what with all the stopping.  Anyway, carried on over and headed down towards the Hut.  Fucking mucky along the top section, but then it got good, for a while.  Before the big historic slip, there was a big bunch of trees across the trail, requiring a bit of schlepping and scrabbling.  On down, I was getting more and more tired.  We stopped and cleared a few more logs before finally making the river, hoofed up the climb then negotiated a tricky descent (I rounded a corner to find Nelson's bike and him separated in a big pile on a corner) to the hut.  Checked out the river below the hut, wrote in the book and feasted on One Squares...

Then we hit the trail down towards where the Townshend Hut used to be.  What a fantastic wee section of trail.  Bit of a climb to start, but then it just flows wickedly.  And riding it back was surprisingly good too.  Tho, by this time I was feeling weaker and weaker.  From the Wharfdale hut we began our climb back.  Ugh.  Took as long as it took.  Most puddles, I'd pull a wee wheely over just in case they were deeper than expected.  Ever more tired, on the way up to the saddle I was crossing a puddle, and thought, "I'll just let it roll through."  Big mistake.  My front wheel stopped dead and I overbalanced and toppled straight over the bars into the muck.  D'oh!

From the saddle, the downs were spectacular.  So much fun, so much flow, so good.  The climbs seemed to get betterer too.  My legs were burned out, but what had been granny crawls became more and more middle ringed.  Second to last descent, with the bridges in it, was amazing.  I stuck right on Nelson's tail and we just flew.  Final descent was fast and loose.

Other users:  Met a guy on his way out, who told us the Hut had seen the Canty Uni Tramping Club's 'Bushball' overnight.  Met a guy on a bike with a climbing helmet and big pack, just come from the Bushball.  Then a girl walking, obviously the same.  There were a couple at the hut, who left while we were there, and later we passed them maybe 20mins from the end.  Met a guy and his son on bikes on their way down from the saddle negotiating the big wind-throw.  Rounding a corner I thought I was hallucinating, 4 or 5 sheep??  Nope, Huskies, and a guy, walking out.  They'd been to the snow up high.  Then one guy on a bike looking stunned as we flew past him, then a family of 4 near the end.  And a tonne of cars in the carpark when we got back, where their occupants were, who knows? 

New fork report, perhaps not as much small bump compliance as the Fox when it's tuned right, but it certainly felt good, and I think the 20mm axle really makes a difference.  Steering felt really precise.

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