Sunday, October 12, 2014

early Sunday morning along the tops.

Solo for me this morning.  The crew were all meeting at Steve's at 9, but cos my boys had been away all week, SWMBO thought I should do some family time, plus we put a bit of effort into the garden this weekend, so she had me lined up for that too...  So, left home at about 7.40 and ripped across town, beautiful day, and up Ramahana, Aotea and on up, making the top of the tarseal about 8.  Then up the gravel, kept a close eye on the magpies hanging out up near the pylons.  They didn't buzz me, thankfully.  And on up good pace rolling along and up.  Mostly runners around, not that many other bikers at all.  Onto Vernon and a nice wee blast down here.  With the perfect weather and no wind (the Opawa Gib factory steam plume was totally vertical - a rare sight), the roll down here was sweet, sound of tires scratching gravel chip.  Took the old line with the couple switchbacks, and bombed down the lower half, to the audience of a few riders assembled at the top of Rapaki - where I didn't stop and just rolled straight into Witch Hill and cleaned it all up, catching a runner half way round and then bombing onwards.

Up the road to Castle Rock and stopped here for a wee rest, then spotted a rider coming up, just on the first hairpin, so figured I'd wait for him.  In the mean time eating a soft-dried banana and sorting out my sounds.  He rolled past and I rolled in.  Awesome blaze down here, the Spot soaking it all up nicely, and it's been cleaned up a little, just tidied in places, which makes it flow really nicely.  It's still pretty boney, but not as bad as the recent past.  Down, round and up and over, then down again to the Bridle Path roughly 9 oclock here.  No stopping, straight across the 'car'park (no cars up here for a while now!) and straight into the trail for the Gondola building.  I noticed there's a "Mtnbikers Give Way to Walkers" sign at the start now, which makes it all nicely official.  Walked the first couple of rocks, then rode heaps i've stepped over before.  Walked a bit in that kinda switchback bit, then rode a bunch, then walked the long steps upwards.

Back on the bike and up the trail round the back of the building and then over and down the switchbacks to the saddle and straight into the climb up.  Over stile and grunting up the steep, then cruising round and catching a woman runner up near where I crashed due to a spaniard once, all the while in here listening to Trinity Roots song Home Land and Sea, the chorus of which was epicly playing as I crested the top and there was my Home, the Land and the Sea, sun reflecting off it's calm surface.  All very moving...  On up to the top of Mt Pleasant and another wee rest, now Lou Reed came on singing what a Perfect Day it was, which it was, and I thought I was glad I was spending it with my bike, and how my bike kept "me hanging on, you just keep me hanging on" as I rode down the rocky section to the stile and over and downwards.  This trail, I think, is best at this time of day, with the light perfectly picking up the trail and the bends and tussocks.  Awesome blast down here, smooth as, then round and down towards Greenwood, nearly losing it from checking over my shoulder for some reason...  Onto the upper section of Greenwood for a bit of a climb and round and up and down and down to the road.

Steady pace up here, with no sign of the others as I was looking across at the top of Britten, expecting them anytime due to the timing.  Onto the singletrack and down down down, good speed and flow, arriving at the gate and spotting a few riders below.  Recognised, one, then more, and figured time for a break and a snack and a chat...  So, they all rolled on up in 2 groups of 3: Wazza, Mark and Marie, Wayno, Andy, and Tony, then tailenders Steve and Pete.  Brief chat and off I went downwards leaving them about 9.55, down the wee valley connecting to the road, then blaaast down the road and into MacCormacks.  Rather overgrown, but trail in mostly good nick.  Awesome float down this trail too, cleaning it all except the top steps, and brake-free down the final straight, flying, then onto the road and up for the slog home.  At Ferrymead I ducked into Charlesworth Reserve behind Mitre10 and rode the trail through here then along next to the Humphrey's Drive canal, then Linwood the rest of the way.  Home well before 10.30.

All in all a good ride, rode well, lots of good trails, and a fair bit of distance for the old fitness.

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