Friday, April 04, 2014

Thursday into Gloom and Coruscation, there and back.

After a long break off the bike it was good to finally get out again.  Last Wednesday Nelson and me attempted to ride.  I'd ridden the Cotic to work and then ridden to his work after and we'd got in the car and begun to negotiate the absolute shittraffic that abounds near Tower Junction overbridge, and made it half way down Moorhouse Ave when he realises he's left his shoes behind!.  So, a U-turn and back through the shittraffic to get back to his work and find everybody gone and he's no key for entry, so, called off our ride, back to mine for a couple of beersies and a nice long chat and eats.

Last night, usual traffic issues and he collected me on Moorhouse and we made our way to Huntsbury, parking right up the top.  Just below the clouds, quite a chilly easterly roaring through, making me feel cold in my 2 only layers.  Got riding and puffing, warming up nicely grinding on up through the first two gates then up under the pylon and up through the new cattlestop and then hung a bit of a right to find this 'new' track Steve had mentioned (and that they'd played on on Tuesday).  We found it and wended our way up to the fence and then through the tussocks to the left (true right) of the airstrip then onto the usual gravel and on up.  Just before the next gate/cattlestop we headed up the steep rocky to grab the Traverse across towards Vernon.  Weird being on flowy singletrack, I actually noticed the lack of squish in the back, my last ride having been in Vegas.

Across the road into Vernon, stepping aside for a couple of climbers here and there and then downwards proceeding, me on his tail, feeling the flow.  Across the Rapaki top and onto Witchypoo, clambering away, both of us blowing a couple of rocks, but enjoying the rest.  Nice cruise up the road under the Tors, amazing light effects of sunshine glowing clouds and beams on the hillslopes, and neat turbulence patterning in the valley next to Castle Rock, and feeling like we'd made really good time it being only about 7 or so, thinking still plenty of light.

I led into the trail and had some rapidity and some sluggishness, Nelson commenting later on my excellent poise/balance in the descent.  The climb from the little bridge has been seemingly shortened by the quakes, and one of the final corners towards the final sheepstop has a nasty rock hiding behind a tussock right on the apex that will, in future, likely throw someone.  Turned around after watching and listening to the industrialism that is Lyttelton and Nelson led the way back up the trail, cleaning the whole thing, while I muppetted my way round the second hairpin, then spun out on a rock near the top.  First time i've messed that up in a while...

Clouds seemed to be getting thicker now, so we bombed off down the road under the tors, and back round into Witch Hill, enjoying the down, tho, as we approached the final descent I stupidly lifted my gaze from the trail to see if I could see anyone riding from Rapaki-top, just for a split second, looking back to find a massive rock right in my way.  Nearly an OTB, managed to pull it back round and continued down, more muppetty than before, out to the bottom.

A 'hello' to the three people up top before heading up Vernon, clambering away, Nelson leaving me behind from about a third of the way up.  At the beginning of the Traverse bumped into old workmate/boss David, chatted with him for bit as it slowly got gloomier, and finally, across Traverse, then down the rockies, into the tussocks, finding and not finding sheep routes, then into the airstrip following the trodden path to the fence, over, onto the 'new' singletrack and down.  Finding it harder and harder to see as we progressed.  Nelson popping most jumps, me bypassing them all from lack of aforesightedness.  Cloud and darkness making for hard work.  Finally out the bottom to see a dude on a Blacksheep fatbike cruise past, light on.  Back to car, quite damp...about 7.45.

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