FINALLY time and conditions allow me to get out and ride after 2 weeks of weather and commitments getting in the way. Hit the road from home in the Subie some time just after 12, and was on the bike just up hill from the first gate above "Lake" Janet at 1pm climbing, Jet the happy doggy running ahead or along side. Good climb, thinking to myself at the beginning, "oh yeah, that's right, I always forget how long this climb is", but in the end, not finding it too bad. Made it above the bushline at 1.30, and then probably the very top, in the bitter southerly wind, less than 10 minutes later.
Across a few remnants of snow and straight into the singletrack descent, pausing briefly to switch the shock to Descend. Someone's been down with a weedeater, evidenced by broom and spaniard and tussock scrap all over the trail. Singletrack a little rutted in bits, but the worst of the wetspots has a couple nice drains draining it now. Usual tactic on the switchbacks, foot or feet down, parking the nose, flicking the back-end around and getting going again. Not balanced, but with feet down... Jet did his usual, getting in behind when I was haulin' ass, and scoping out front leading when I wasn't. Met some people just at the top of the bushline, Jet saying gudday to their mutt, and us continuing on down into the switchbacks coming thick fast. A few new lines in here for bypassing the corners, all of which I missed and didn't go back for, one or two chutes to tackle next time. A few stretches of nice long blissful flowy trail between the corners, crossed the stream, a few more stretches and then it goes on for a while longer flowing on, which had me thinking- THIS is what it's all about!, past the turn off back up to the Fire Lookout (and "Lake" Janet), and the turn off to the close Lookout, and on down, trail in perfect condition and then into the switchbacks that become so dense there's one bit you just walk down.
Once these were done we had a nice long section of sweet flow, then left the safety of the beech forest and out into the open, greeted with mud, (not-so-) glorious mud. Mucky filthy soggy treacherous mud. Slopped and slid down through all this and then it was back into a beautiful leaf-littered section of beech again, the mud on the tires fast becoming covered in little beech leaves. One or two more switchbacks and down into lower forest, mud holes and roots, mostly pretty good tho. flowing on down and through and eventually over the bridge, down a bit more and out to the road. Awesome. Now for the climb back up the road...200odd metres over 3-4kms back to the car, Jet obeying me well for good road sense. Half way up, amongst the beehives, a bee collided with my left eye, bouncing right out again, no harm done. Little bit of smarting, but it never got worse than that... so, total of around 700m all up. Felt gooood to be on the bike again, and the Spot is a joy to behold.