Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wednesday 15th Jan, Rameka-isation

On our way to Pohara and Totaranui, I was dropped at the turn off to Canaan Downs, pedalled hard for a start, til the heat started getting to me, then just knuckled in for the duration.  Sweet thing was, first vehicle met was when i'd hit the first shade and had already decided to stop.  Dust cleared and i continued on, meeting two more (one each direction) just before the saddle.  Rested in the shade at the top, allowing the inward bound car to get ahead, and then hit the descent.  Two more vehicles before the cattle stop, and a bump in the road nearly knocked my hands off the handlebars just there too.  Easy cruising through the Gathering site and left onto the Rollercoaster.

Grunt of a wee climb then up and down and through, getting the eye in once in the forest and had a nice wee blast through to Harwood's carpark.  Rode on through this, hello to the tourists, signed in the book, and on up to Rameka start.  Big rest here.  Lay in the shade and just chilled a good 10 minutes.

Into the bush, the shade providing much needed relief.  Easy going start, mostly on the level, not pushing like i did last time with Nelson on my tail.  Obviously a fair bit of traffic had been through recently.  Where possible, when their treads had pushed up a mound of dirt on the trail, i rode on top of that to push it down - maintenance on the fly.  Eventually got to the hairpin corner and into the true down, instantly interupted by a recent tree fall over which the bike had to be lifted.  Flow reinstated I started to bomb it.  Into Dozer's section, i took the usual left twisty trail, cleaning it without dabbing the corner that's always caught me in the past, across the Dozer track and across and back round and onto it, the bottom corner newly bermed, railed, flying down and round into the the clearing.  Then down down down the rutty ex-4wd trail, popping, pumping and jumping into the gully.

Clambering up the marble face,off for a second, then back on, finish the climb then the descent began again, rocky, flowy fun, this bit always longer than i remember it, through to the start of the Packhorse Track.  Awesomeness ensued, with me ripping down this, finding it for some reason different, like more hard work, than memory would have had it.  Not far before the road crossing, at high speed, I heard the familiar fish fish fish fish of a pinch flat, (nearly the same spot as on the PFMTBC trip, and it took me a good 30 metres to scrub off all my speed.  Found a spot on the outside of a corner with enough room to swap out tubes (in case someone showed up (at speed)), swapped, pumped and got going again.  Across the road and with more confidence over the jumpy bit before the next road crossing (on account of not having a slow leak like last time) and into the lead in to Great Expectations. 

Another awesome blast down here, hairy outside off camber corners, into the trees, swoopy swoopy, around the outside, biiiig view (and drop) off the side, back into the trees and darkness and pine needles and speed sweet speed.  in and out, back and forth, more times than I remembered, then into the re-gen, bombastic haulin' ass, back and forth, back and forth, lower and lower til finally splashing through the creek at the bottom and stalling...

Into 2Klicks, drops, clambering, tight, popping, Do or Die - took the Die this time, river bed section, and finally onto the road again, speeeeed and squirrelly negotiation into the entry to 1Klick, fanging into here, and remembering the first wooden feature had a back to it, so flew into it, and it nearly faceplanted me, kicked my rear wheel so high i thought i was a goner.  Kept it under control and adrenalin thickening up my blood, i continued on down and out, taking every little bit of trail i could find, before hitting the gravel and powering on down.

Road, all the way to Pohara and a waiting family for 2 nights at the camp ground in our new tent (which has served us very well so far...), before heading into Totaranui (which is another story).

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