Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mucky Saturday Hanmer trails

Spent Thursday and Friday nights in Hanmer.  Had the 5Spot, and was too busy being dad on Friday when the weather was good, so left with Saturday morning after the exit from the rental house to ride in, with rain having not long finished after a night of it...  Low cloud and mist around the place.  Headed up Chattertons Rd past the camp and up the gravel for a while, then onto the walking track at the end and along this for a bit before hanging a right back up the hill towards, eventually, the pylon.  Walked the steep up under the pylon but rode the rest, with caution within the slick woods.  These trails had not seen much action of late, with no evidence of tire tracks anywhere.  A few nice swoopy bits and a fair bit of climbing and past the beehives and then out to the Jacks Pass Rd and the water tank. 

Across the road and into Tank Track.  Much changed since last I rode it, ie, all the trees gone...  (It's 4 years since I'd last ridden in Hanmer, on the return to Canty on our Westport/Reefton PFMTBC trip - and longer still since last on the Tank).  Lots of fun, tho, cautiously on account of the grease, and the end is different to memory as it turns up at the intersection of Flax, Swamp, and Swoop. 

A couple of dads and their boys were here, chatted briefly then off I went up Yankee Zephyr.  Good climb, young trees in place where last time it was all freshly cleared.  Lovely once up in the Fir forest as it loops into a wee gully and back out into the open.  Then into the swoopy swoops of the Yankee, and a few corners in my front wheel started to behave weirdly.  Ugh, slow leak...  Stopped and made a very mucky extraction of tube and patched it.  Couldn't for the life of me find the perpetrator in the tire, but patched what was probably a blackberry or gorse leak in the tube, reassembled and got riding.  Swoop swoop the rest of it and onto Swamp Track.  Not fond memories of it from last time, tho the surface looks better than when it was first built, but decided to ride back up it to Swoop. 

Down (and up) Swoop, lots of fun, some interesting sketchiness, blasting down the hill and around and back and forth eventually getting onto the flat, and heading across to Timberland for the climb.  Steeper and longer than my memory had made it, but cleaned it all no problem and decided to give Red Rocks a good blast.  This was sweet. 

Nice climb in really dark tight douglas fir forest, then everything else on the rest of it has grown so much since I's last there.  Cool track this, even when the roots and rocks are slippery as shit.  After the Eeny Meeny trail turn off the main track gets a bit boring, but FAST.  Long straights down hill smooth and flowing.  Out the end and up the Dog Stream track. 

All the way up to Detox, then climbed this, again, longer than memory, and then down.  Sweet run down here too, with only one dab out for a super slick sluiced clay section, which wasn't actually as slippery as it looked.  Straight across into Mach1 passing a dad and son here, and then catching up to a family (mum, dad and two young girls) who let me pass and on I went, weaving and swirving and generally avoiding slipping out or crashing into trees. 

From here I took flat simple tracks, Easy Rider mostly, but found my way onto Alligator Alley at one stage too, getting back and rolling into town, mudspleckled and happy, a couple hours riding under my belt.  Wandered into the Hot Pools (as a spectator ($2)) and stupidly didn't have a soak (even tho I could have so easily).

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