Friday, July 05, 2013

Friday night meanderations

Came out of work to find a flat rear tire, so got started on it while I waited on Selwyn St for Nelson to pick me up.  Tube out and he showed up so while we drove I patched the snakebite that was in my spare.  Top of Huntsbury I sorted out the tube, tire and air, changed, and we hit it.  5.50pm or so by the time we'd passed the pylons, on up making good time to the top, we crossed the road and headed right, over the walking track, from which someone has very courteously removed the red strip from the bicycle on the sign, leaving it fair game in our eyes.  Neat wee trail, tight as to start with, all overgrown with conifers, but further over some rocky rooty stuff then some steps just to keep it interesting.  Into the next section, still above the road, too mucky and steep to ride for a start, much better further up.  Some real technicalities and dabulations on the descent, a few bits that got me out pretty good.  Finally, the last bump, in the open towards Sugarloaf, over a stile, couple steps, across the road and we were where we used to often stop for a break.

A guy rode past as we were climbing the fence, so we let him have a really good head start (well past the pond) then we chased.  Good pace back round towards Vernon, closing the gap slowly but surely on the guy til he was less than 50m ahead by the time we reached the end of the line.  He turned back towards Cashmere while we continued our merry way over Vernon for a very fast, at times loose and sketchy, blast down towards Rapaki.  Nelson misjudged corners a couple of times and ended up taking ridiculous lines back on track, no dabs.  Cattle all over the trail after the cattlestop, getting out of our ways pretty heftily.

Into Witch Hill, great trail this, rocky, interesting, keeps you on your toes, clambered round, my back just starting to give me gyp.  Road climb past the rock piles below the Tors and on up to Castle Rock where i had a good stretch and received a txt, 6.50 it was here, and then led off into the trail.  Minty fresh, mucky in places, but all good.  Not far down the first stretch I hauled on the anchors to pass a boulder in the middle of the trail.  Nelson carefully manipulated it off the trail, not letting it go far, so's it wouldn't hurtle down and kill a sheep or something.  Onwards again, my balance was off camber a few times.  After the second switchback the wetspots got a bit stupid, so we added our version of drainage to a couple, using rocks or tires, then continued on up and across to the Bridle Path top.  Back up the road from here, through the barrier, and a wee ways up before spotting the singletrack below, climbing down, over the fence, and down, to ride onwards back up the way we'd come earlier.  Both lost forward momentum on the last pinchy top bit, but rode the final corner.

Rest, change, eats, and off down the road, dodging boulders, then round to the Witch again me slowing down a bit now in the climbing department.  Couple of sketchy moments, and weird chain droppage, but a great finale back to the road.  Past the cattle, and back onto the track climbing climbing climbing round Vernon along and down to the road.  Across, back on Summit Traverse, blasting along, then down, dodging tussocks, following and not following sheep trails.  Onto the landing strip, to the end, over a fence, and more tussocks, lots more, and sheep trails, over the top and down, through a gate then followed the jumpy trail down beside the main Huntsbury all the way down past the gate and along the fence line til finally over the fence and back to the car.  Done.  Home by about 8.30.

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