Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Annual Trip, Day 2, Nydia Part 1.

Day 2 dawned a tad damp, quite a bit of rain overnight, but we all gamely jumped in the boats and headed out round Tawero Point and along the length of Tawhitinui Reach, right up Tennyson Inlet to Duncan Bay.  Steve's Stabicraft having only two speeds, stopped or flat-out, another fun trip.  Rub-downs and oilings ensued on all the bikes and we headed around towards the climb out up Tennyson Inlet Rd to the Opouri Saddle.  Mark and Marie headed up the track instead of up the road.  We all spaced out into dribs and drabs on the climb up the road, with Nelson disappearing from my view and me disappearing from the other's view in short time.  About a km from the top Pete caught me up, and we rode together(ish) for the rest of the way to the waiting Nelson.  In no time at all the rest of the dribs and drabbers showed up, all except Alistair, and doubt was had whether he'd ridden with Mark & Marie or not.  Pete was gonna stay behind with Wayne to wait, but possibly just before the others all left Alistair strove into view. 

Meanwhile, Nelson and me had headed off down this track, with, I thought at the time, Andrew or Warren on our tails.  Wowser.  Nice.  But crikey it was greasy and techy up top.  Lots of steepness off the side too with no room for error.  Challenging as fuck on no-travel-forks and fucked-up-geometry, but still a good ride down.   A few bits needing to be got off, logs, or rocks.  Somewhere probably just above the 400m contour we met Mark and Marie having made damned good progress uphill considering, and they carried on up for a while while we carried on down.  Riding got better and better as we got lower, then through some gorse and onto a weird intersection.  Waited here and Pete was the first to show up, followed by the rest for the regroup.  Onwards down, steep clay single through manuka scrub then into an extension (Booth's?) 'link' track that had some climbs in it, but was nice, ending up at the road.  When Alistair arrived he tailwhip-gapped the road and landed with a spectacular lowside slide. 

Regrouped we rode back round the road to Duncan bay and into the Nydia proper.  First section was bits of slippery clay and roots.  Next section was beech leaf litter and roots.  Later, there was rocks and roots.  All mixed with varying degrees of slipperiness and we were all in for some steeeeep climbing too...  Everybody was challenged to pretty much their limits of ability and stamina, and that was just in the first 5 minutes!  Awesome ride.  Took ages, was spectacular forest to be in, and was hard work.  But well worth it.  Eventually we made the top, I don't know how.  We could see it for ages, and every time you rounded a corner it seemed to be about the same distance and height away as the last one, even tho you'd just carried, schlepped, pedalled, pushed yourself and bike up more and more altitude.  Good regroup at the saddle and a feed and then off we went.  I picked my way cautiously with my limited machinery, while Nelson, Pete, Mark and Alistair all just bombed.  Alistair was spectacular to follow.  Regularly catching him up as he hauled himself and bike out of the bushes on the side of the track.  Pete had a pretty epic spill.  I came round a corner to find a several foot drop with angled slickly green rocks as a lip and him picking himself up from beyond it.  He'd smacked his shin pretty good, and (we think) damaged his derailleur a bit...  Later he was plagued with derailleur and spoke and puncture issues...

The track certainly improved the lower we got, with the upper half riddled with sections that had to be walked by most, and some bits that were just plain unpleasant (but rideable) for those with no shock travel.  Whereas lower down there was still the odd clusterfuck of roots or rocks, but less and less the lower we got.  Then, where the campsite turn off is, the whole nature of the track changed to that of the Abel Tasman.  Benched, easy, smooth, clay under manuka or the odd pine.  And quite flat too.  Rolled this smoothly round to Nydia Bay wharf and awaited our taxis.  Back to Wilsons Bay on some beautiful water and dinner at Te Rawa 'resort'...

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