Sunday, March 02, 2014

Sunday morning scramble loop

Most of the others met at Steve's at 9.  I left home at 5-to and pushed hard down the length of Linwood and Humphreys, arriving in plenty of time, followed shortly thereafter by Warren and then up rolled the posse - Steve, Pete, Brandon, Andy, Tony and Wayno.  Off up St Andrew's hill we scattered, up Marama, up to and through the park, bumping into Robin just up the road from here, he was out for a quick ride, then up Major Hornbrook, through the reserve and up through to the Upper Major.  Next up was John Britten reserve, Steve took the lead to keep the pace down for the tail-enders, and we cruised nicely to the top, hung a right, along a bit then over the gate and up Broadleaf.  Brief regroup and I led in to the descent.  Brakes were slightly dodgy - having put a new set of pads on the front and switched in the two meatiest remaining (one from front, one from rear) in the back, the back ones weren't performing the best to start with.  First couple of corners I got round okay, but then came one, and I'm leaning into it, round it, and "Whooah!" there's a spiky spaniard seedhead right in my face!  I swerve my lean, then end up over compensating back, and front wheel drops into a tussock and whoomph, right over the bars, spin round and the bike clatters over on top of me while i'm fending it off with my arms.  No damage done, all good, roll on down, putting in good speed and swervy poppy goodness the rest of the way down.  Steve stopping to look for his ring in the grass at the saddle.

Into the ziggy climb up Cavendish, most of us cleaning all nicely.  Round the back of the Gondola building, ignoring the no bikes sign and down the steps.  First few baulked me, but no worries on the rest.  Great wee ride down this hill, mostly pretty clean.  Where the trail peels left to a wee steppy hairpin, i tried straight ahead, bit of a carry down a couple of rocky bits, but then no worries, onwards, ahead of the others, the Pete came rattling up behind me.  Meander meander and we were at the top of Bridle Path.  Steve stopping to look for his ring briefly here.  Then we were into Castle Rock, where Nick Singletrack was having a working bee.  They sure have put in lots of drainage.  Should be good for the winter.  Nick's gonna re open this section soon, and we got the low down on it's legality.  ie, it is legal to be riding it, but being on the road is CERA's lookout and is currently still not legal ($5000 fine anyone??? - not that anybody's enforcing it, much).  Chatted and rode for a bit, then the wetspot between the hairpins, we stopped and carted rocks from up the hill, providing a damned good pile of raw material for the armourers to use, which we left, and got rolling again, cleaning everything all the way up, for a nice change.  Steve had gone ahead earlier to search, in vain, for his ring, and him and Wazza were up top egging us all on.

Down the road under the Tors, and sighted the new trail Nick is building just above the road.  That'll be good.  Into Witch Hill, fanged it pretty good through here then round and into the clusterfuck that is the top of Rapaki.  Man, what a lot of people around, including a bit of honey, mmm mmmmmm.  Up Vernon, at a good pace, up up and round.  Start of the Traverse we had a bit of a break, small feed, then onwards again, around then down.  I took the tussock trails, twitchy dodging back and forth, seeking lines at the last second, flowing pretty well, but twitchily, til coming back onto the road just before the gate.  The others all piling down en masse.  Into the 4wd descent for Old Skool, fanging it.  Absolutely blazed down here, getting to the gate before the others were barely any ways down the track.  Then it was into the old skool ziggy zaggies and shortcuts, all pretty rough these days.  Brandon amazingly sticking to my tail down some of the worst stuff, the rut-hole at the bottom catching us both out.  Final 4wd under the pylon, then onto the Old Skool proper.  Final descent, good pace all the way.  After the stile, Pete was on my tail and we had an excellent run down the rest of it, pumpy pumpy flowy flow, w00t! worthy.

Out the bottom and down Bowenvale Ave, headed for the cafe opposite St Martins New World rather than any other options around there.  Meh.  Somewhere else next time.  Home at 1.10.

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