Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday solo lap of Forsyth, forsooth

Bit of rain overnight so trails were gonna be mucky, as would Blowhard etc, so went for something different.  Watched the weather radar all morning, and around 12 there was a big lump heading for the peninsula, so timed it right to let it pass through and drove, parked at Birdlings Flat around 1.30pm and headed on bike, for a start, across the gravel beach to the lake mouth, to check that it was able to be crossed.  About a hundred metres I had to walk, the rest was sort of firm enough to ride.  The 'road' was open, so I headed back, passed the car 1.40ish and rode an excellent southerly tail wind to the rail trail, and on up the lake.  The odd cloud of midges once I was next to the lake, and a bastard magpie got me twice on the helmet.  Little shit.  Gave me a fright both times, but didn't make me wobble.  Otherwise a pretty uneventful trip along the lake trail, pumping hard the whole way.  Only met one couple coming towards me.

Avoided Little River altogether, turning right onto Kinloch Rd, past Okuti Valley and on upwards.  Years ago when I last drove this road, it was gravel the whole way.  Now it's sealed the whole way, which was a pleasant surprise, cos it's a long steep road, and gravel would have made it that much more exhausting.  2pm when I started the climb, and I ground away in 1st 2nd and 3rd most of the way.  Occasionally standing in a taller gear for a stretch.  Pretty much an hour from bottom to top... whoo-wee.  600 m altitude in only about 5 kms.  All very scenic. 

So, around 3, I'm up on the top of the road, spectacular views, and a bit of a southerly blasting across the saddles.  Slight descent to Te Oka Valley Rd, then a last wee pinch to the top before a non stop rolling descent through all the altitude over about 8 kms back to the Forsyth mouth, across the gravel, and back at the car about 3.20.  Nice.  Hopefully a good fitness ride.

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