Friday, December 14, 2012

Rameka, tumeke...15th December, Saturday, 2012.

(written a couple days later, from Totaranui) After driving up from Chch through a hot hot day, stopped at the Canaan Downs Rd turn off and changed into my bike gear and hit the gravel road in, Jo taking over the driving of the Brava, carrying a sleeping H. 

5.27pm it was, hot as.  A couple of descents and climbs before the true climb, views for africa out over Tasman Bay back round Motueka through to Nelson.  Passed by a couple of dreaded hippies and their van parked up next to a heap of busy beehives, and then was passed by one car going in, met one coming out on my descent from the Canaan Saddle.  Through the Gathering site and when i got to the field we camped in that wet wet festival (G2000), i saw the sign,  "Rollercoaster (Canaan Loop)".  rode across the field and hit the steep wee climb, sheep scattering from my path, their excrement thankfully not sticking to my tires too much.  Rollercoaster it was, up, down, up, down, swoopy fun.  big ring the whole way with only one dab, round and into some bush and fantastic rolling flowing trail in absolutely ideal condition, eventually spitting me out, grinning, in the Harwood's Hole carpark.

Signed the book and clambered my way up to the Rameka track start.  Sat down for a well earned rest and chucked out a couple of txts, then into the trail, about an hour from when i entered the road.  And oh, what fun.  The driest i've ever seen it (in all the 3 or 4 times i've ridden it), supreme conditions.  Flowed, rode, wended, hopped, popped, shimmied my way around.  Loving the one or two wet sections for their back end squirrelling.  taking it carefully on one or two of the stream crossings, including the one i crashed on when the pfmtbc trip rode through.  Bombed down the steeps in the gorsey open section, with new detour, towards the end, then into the climb to the end. 

the Pack Track beckoned me with a nice sign and oh, my!  What a trail.  What a trail!!!  Fast, good visibility, tight in places, excellent grade, fantastic surface.  A new favourite, methinks.  Tempted to ride up just to ride down it again.  Took a couple of pics on the way through, had to stop, the view was so spectacular.  Then the Tomo, dropped a pebble down it just to see how deep.  Onwards, across the road, round over the ridge and down a couple switchbacks to cross over again and into Great Expectations. 

A bit overgrown with grass from above, blocking some of the view ahead and forcing a rather unique riding position.  Once in the forest, however, all was good.  Swoopy swoopy flowy flowy round the outer ridge and back in, views down into the valley of the devastation of last year's storm.  Back and forth across the regen slope, crossing over one or two little brooks a couple times, one of which had become a 2 metre deep 1 metre wide gut from the storm.  All the way down to the bottom of the valley, stepped across the creek and lead through to 2 Klick. 

down the Do option (left, steeper) of "Do or Die" then cleaning the riverbed section and eventually up onto the road to ride round to 1 klick which led me down to the bottom. 

Finally, gravel road top gear cruising out to the seal then down to the main(ish) road where i stopped and txted out to Steve at 7.38, basically having just had one hour of blissful descending singletrack all the way.

Hit the road and made Pohara at 8pm, in time for a burger and fries and a couple of well earned beers.  AWESOME.


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