Sunday Family ride.
For weeks or months, H had been asking to go to Castle Rock, so Sunday afternoon, I piled the bikes on the car, and T, O, H and me headed up Dyers Pass Rd, then round the Summit. O and me got out at the start of Vernon and rode down the singletrack to Rapaki Top, meeting the other two here. We then toodled along the closed-to-traffic portion of Summit Rd, steadily climbing around, with O handling the final climb well, but T and H walking a bit. Got to the top and looked at the views and then headed back down. After the Tors, I got up onto the new walking track just above the road and rode it all the way back round. It's quite neat with one or two wee techy interestingnesses. Then I took the Witch Hill section of singletrack, really enjoying the flow without a bag on. O put the pressure on from down on the road to try to beat me back.
Anzac Day Observed,
The crew were departing Steve's at 9, and he'd let me know we were riding out east, so, because I knew I had to get home by 12, I drove to Ferrymead Bridge and awaited their arrival. Marie, Wazza, Tones, Pete, Steve and Robin showed up, and we headed up St Andrews Hill (via the temporary stairs). Up most of Marama, and on up St Andrews. Good wee slog up here, feeling quite happy and content on my bike, we spaced out a bit, but by the time we regrouped up in the parky bit below Britten Reserve, it wasn't long til Robin and Marie showed and off up the last we went. Over the new stile onto the Britten climb, which wasn't mucky, just dampened nicely by last night's rain. Into the clouds, scudding all over the top of Pleasant, and Jackets on for the descent.
Down the road and onto the lower entrance to Greenwood. Slippery cattlestop, and the odd slickness of the rocks, but the dirt I didn't trust, even tho I never really had any issues with it. Nice flow around here, and a regroup at the 4wd track before hitting the descent. Starting off carefully-does-it, but finding my groove and letting the rear end skitter around as it was want, getting on down the hill nicely, thank you. A few slick spots before gloomy gulch, a dab on the rock just after, and then a short group up at my usual spot - nicely out of the wind. Then the final run, a good one all the way down, no real sketchies. I bollocksed the first of the rocky ups, it's really eaten out, but the second was fine, and the final blast was sweet. A woman runner and dog arrived at the gate same time as me, so she opened it, then I held it open for the rest of the crew as they rolled in.
Next down, das Kapitan. I led the way into a nice rolling start, and round the first corner there's a cyclocrosser coming up... oooops, cheers, squeeze on by and onwards and down, opening the dumbgate and passing the message back, "last one through close it", and onwards again, taking it a little easy. Pete had a front wheel wash somewhere down here behind me, but kept it together. Down the first 'tech knuckle' rock no probs, and then Pete, then looking back Tony's running with his bike, then they all paused out of view. Robin and Marie rode past. Then Steve, with a leaky tire, leaving wee spots of goo on the trail every rotation. Finally, Wazza and Tones turned up and it was onwards down. I bailed early on the second of the rockies, and then watched Pete ride it no trouble - dunno what it was that put me off - the grease I guess. Last blast, down through the hairpins and into the valley and the others all awaiting us at the final stile, all fun and games.
Down the road to Dotcom and coffees all round ('cept Steve, of course). I bailed early and hauled back to the car and was indeed home by 12...