Short-ish ride yesterday. I rode to Steve's, at a good clip, for an 8.15 meet, finding Andy, Tony and Steve awaiting my arrival. Wayne rolled up not long after, then we waited a minute or three for Pete, and Steve decided to get rolling, then Pete txtd saying he'd meet us at the Ferrymead bridge. Off we tootled, Garlands, Radley, Marshall, to the river and along the Cut. Bit of grease approaching Tunnel Rd, under the bridge there and onto the tow path for a cruise round the back of industria, finally finding Pete on the bridge.
Off up St Andrew's Hill, Marama, and into Cannon Hill, a new route to me. My new gearing was just fine going up here, mostly sitting in 2nd from low right up til we were grunting up through the park, and even then it wasn't too low a gear. Eventually out the top onto Major Aitken and on up to the very top, through the park onto Clearview, finishing our climbing here.
Into the wee reserve, the rules were - no losing traction. Track down through here was rutted out big time in places, and a good wee challenge on the brakes and speed to not skid. Onto Mt Pleasant Rd bombing down to Craigieburn Lane, pulling in here for-to zig and zag. Grease is what we found, and with extreme skill and finesse, we all slithered our ways down the zigs and zags, the usually wettest spots super wet. One or two wee surprise holes, but successful meandering by all and a regroup on the level after the bridge.
Final descent, steeper and steeper, and more and more potential for slip-out, round the first hairpin, then the second, then letting speed build in places and buttoning off early in others, swooping into the wee climb then negotiating a big new slip, lifting over a poorly placed, and very spikey, rose bush, and then on down for the final blast out the bottom.
From here we had plenty of time to spare, it being 9.30ish, and so we cruised back to the Ferrymead bridge, tucked back onto the towpath trail. I was leading around here and came into the little bridge (behind Kovacs?) with a tad too much speed. Front wheel washed, kinda glanced off the railing supports, and then my back wheel followed and squirrelled too, but I managed to keep it together, and adrenalin kicked in a little further down the trail... yikes.
finally, across Ferry Rd into Waterman Place and into Charlesworth Reserve whereupon to plug plants into the ground for 2 hours before eating several sausages. Home straight up Linwood Ave with Pete