Nelson picked me up and we noticed it was 7 as we approached Scarborough Hill heading to park at Taylors. Riding around in the carpark my gears were behaving strangely which at the time I thought nothing of. Leaving the carpark, Nelson was reaching up to turn on his light just as he caught a rut, heading straight over the bars onto the grass. We laughed. Then, up the first steep of the 'tail, snap goes my chain. Note to self: Heed those gears-behaving-strangely... I removed the offending link and replaced the hole in the chain with a quicky, and on our merry way we continued...
Steve had raved about the new highway so gave it a look. What a highway. Zipped out to Boulder Bay on it and layered off on the first hairpin there, enjoying the view of the lights on the water and the glow from the sky. Gruntsville, but not as grunty as it used to be, upwards, switchbacking once or twice then took a look and rode upon the first gun emplacement, then down and zig zag up again to the stile and barbed wire fence. Thru the gate we popped down to the big guns and had a look around. Nelson didnt think he'd ever been there before. I was disappointed the underground ammo-store bit wasnt open anymore - its got some pretty freaky cracks in it.
Back onto the trail and we were surprised by the descending switchbacks down to the look out - seemed like a fair bit of altitudinal droppage, then up some steps and on up to the barracks and on up to the carpark. Straight across, over the stile and on up the hill we proceeded to the Breeze Col track, around the Lyttelton side... Not far in we shuffled some big rocks to make a really big rock rideable, then continued onwards down and around the technicalia. Rocks and trail on this southface slicker and sketchier as we went. At the flax we both were off, careful to pick our ways, then on the final grassy downhill both pretty slow cos of the overgrowth. Both of us freaked out possums down here too.
At Breeze we headed up the trail above the road, taking the new left onto the tight narrow trail, which, when we reached the end of we turned around and rode it back to the original trail, and then turned around and rode the tight one again, faster this 2nd time. Then it was the speedy descent to the road again, the whole time me thinking, "hope the light doesnt go out". Onto the singletrack below the road and blitzed it round here, with my light cutting out about 2/3rds of the way along. Disconnect, reconnect, and run on low the rest of the way, constantly worrying its gonna cut out again, making Anaconda a bit slow and painful, truth be told. Nelson had a good run, even getting some sketch out of the damp dirt, something i totally missed. Out down the tail, again, me picking my way in the dimness, and him blazing out front. All in all a good ride. Roll on Saturday morning in the hills.