Nelson turned up at mine after work and we Corona'd across to the Pleasant Mount and proceeded to the top of the hillside suburbanisation. There was a bitter wind blowing up there, so once we'd set up our bikes and had a wee we got back in the car to await the others. Warren had turned up while we were sorting, and sat to wait in his car too. Andy and Tony turned up next; then Steve and Robin; then Pete. Then, we hit up the trail. About a third of the way up i was finally warming up, and by the top felt sweet (and sweat). Good cruise up, with Steve setting the pace at the front and us all toeing in behind, tight on each other's rear tires. Most of us got the top corner into the original John Britten trail, then it was around to the gate, over and up Broadleaf, really warming up and having a good regroup at the start of the trail over down towards Cavendish Saddle. Nicely out of the wind up here, and so we yarned a bit before turning the lights on and hitting the singletrack. Nelson in the lead, me next, followed by Pete, and the rest. Good wee blast down, the tussocks making us react, not flow. Tho, groove was gotten the further we got. The last couple of corners before the first long stretch across the slope always get me, expecting the long stretch across the slope to be this one, but no, another corner, maybe this next one, no, another corner, aaah, this one... The final chipped bit down, loose and sketchy, always expecting that final nasty corner that everyone seems to miss and ride over, just before the stile. Over and down, nearly losing it before the bottom.
Next up, up the back and forth trail to the Gondola, cleaning it all this time, first time i havent blown one of the lower corners, and then around the Gondola building for most of us, and another regroup on top, then back down, looking spectacular from the otherside, if only we were filming. All enjoying the down. Then it's up the way we'd come down before, steep to start, and a little loose, but then leveling off, and on round to the first corner back across and up, steadily on and on up, and over, regroup on top again, and then off up the rest of Broadleaf to the top and the excellence that was to ensue.
Down from Mt Pleasant, sketchyish rocks to start and then picking your way, reacting to what is just round that tussock. Second or third place always good, following the leader's mistakes. At the bottom of this trail we split. the usual three off down, the rest of them back out top of Greenwood and over back to their cars. Nelson, Pete and me off down, I off-pisted down to the trail and so had a good lead on them, which i largely kept, with the occasional gain, and loss, and gain, by them. Awesome blast down Greenwood for me tonight. Very few mistakes, i floated and pumped as necessary all the way. Cleaned everything including the usual little mistake-makers, and ended up at the bottom with a big grin, and a bit of a sore lower back (as usual).
Finally, really good pace, all of us just pumping away up the road, grinding out the kms and metres altitude, steady as she goes, all the while knowing it was building base stamina and strength the others need, but we always seem to get. Eventually we made the top of the Britten trail. Nelson pulled up and adjusted suspension, so i ducked into the trail and got a nice lead on them both, which Nelson slowly wound in on the way down. Good flowy blast down here. Ruts wobbling me a couple times, but the tires and wide rims just carry you straight out of the wobble. No wind at the cars this time. Bit of a chat then our separate ways back to the same neighbourhood.
Getting my bike out of the car, the blood lid dropped on my head as i was coming up and in to get the bike and YOWCH! Blood started pissing out of the wound and so i needed help sorting out my shit. No stitches needed, thankfully.