Friday, October 25, 2013

Top of the South, Day 3: Invol(untary Evol)utions

We weren't convinced that the logging had finished in the Barnicoat, so Sunday, 20th Oct, morning we ventured forth.  7.5kms from camp, via Railway Reserve, Bishopdale hill and the Ridgeway and up the Marsden Valley to the start of a very very very long hot climb...  Normal people ride up the forestry roads on the righthand side (true left) of the valley.  Indeed, Stu and i did that last time i rode this.  it took an hour, in granny, to reach the top.  We, under guidance from Mark and Marie, and due to the hotness of the sun, openness of the forestry roads, and shade provided by the bush, decided to ride UP the Involution trail.  Granted, it is officially a 2 way track...  but riding up it?  Anyway.  We made it.  There were only a few corners we didnt clean.  Some cleaned nearly all of the track, indeed, i wonder if Nelson and Mark did actually clean it all...  So, a couple and a half hours after we started, numerous regroups, snacks, breaks, we were at the top.

The top section reminded me of sections of Wakamarina, lots of roots, quite steep.  But once you're down into the forest it's totally different.  Lots of exposure lower down.  Had an awesome run down.  Couldnt believe how fast familiar bits came back to us.  When i'd ridden it with Stu originally, i'd felt like the descent took ages cos nothing was familiar and i never really knew how much further to go.  But it seemed a lot shorter this time because of recognising all the places we'd stopped, or that log across the trail, or there - where we'd moved the log off the trail, etc.  So with one brief stop about a third from the bottom to give the hands a rest from the brake control, away we sped on down and in about the 4th to last corner i was soooo close to losing i really thought i had, til a miniscule weight shift got me back on track.  Nico apparently had at one stage looked down to shift gears and looked up to find himself off the end of a hairpin...

bit of a regroup at the bottom of the main section and most of us blasted off into the lower section, only to be grabbed by the helmets or backpacks by a fallen manuka.  then a couple of wee creek crossings later out to the road.  Blast down, my back tire on a slow deflate.  Stopped about 5 times to pump it up on the way back to base.

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