They were leaving Steve's at 9, so I left mine just before 5-to and puffed into a strong easterly out Linwood and Humphreys to the bridge. Bit of frost around, but air temp had warmed up nicely with the wind. At the bridge, Marie turned up and continued on ahead up the hill, and then Wayne, Wazza, and finally Andy, Tony and Steve (with only one ear...). Also, Mark arrived on his roadie. Off up the hill we trundled, Warren and me soon getting a big gap on the others, riding up Cannon Hill, whereas we think they stayed on Marama. Up on Major Hornbrook we slowed right down to a rolling stop and soon Mark and Andy appeared, then the rest. In the upper reaches of Upper Major we spotted Marie ahead and then we all regrouped at the beginnings of Britten. Mark nearly joined us on the soft Britten trail, but thought better of it, but a challenge was made, Warren would buy him a coffee if he rode Greenwood. Steve and Marie got a bit of a headstart while the rest of us chatted before putting on the chase. Another regroup at the top and a team of 4 (Wayne, Warren, Andy and me) headed around the original Britten track, then up Broadleaf to the top, while the others all went down to the original Greenwood entry, saying they'd wait for us at the ruins.
Top of Mt Pleasant, hell of a wind blowing, text from Steve saying they were heading down. Rocks slick as a slick thing, more slippery than I've remembered them in a while. Warren got a good start and the whole way down I just couldn't reel him in. I just couldn't get any extra speed on, due to self-preservation in the slick conditions. The gap between us was steady all the way til the lower reaches of Greenwood when he stretched it heaps. Spotted the skinny slick tiretread just below the ruins. Stayed a steady distance behind Warren for a while, and saw as he caught Mark just after Gloomy Gulch as I was rounding the corner into it, then I caught Mark down where he had the flat two weeks ago. Warren must have been flying from here, cos next time I spotted him he was heading into the wee gully and then when he came out of there he was ahead of Steve and one of the others, miles ahead of me. Rest of the run down wasn't too bad, but Greenwood probably shouldn't have been open. Was messy as fuck.
At Evans we split up. I was meeting the family for lunch at Taylor's, so I stayed high and the others took Das Kapitan. Greasy as hell start to the Godley, but I slowly reeled in three riders that'd been on Greenwood behind us, catching them at the highest point where I stopped for a snack and let them go on ahead. Never saw them again. Onwards and the trail was mint. Waaaay drier than anything on Greenwood. Even the usual mucky bits were dry, it was fantastic. Good descent to Livingston, climb out over to Breeze, then above the road around the tight wee track and rocketship down to the end of the road and onto the below-road singletrack back to Breeze, all riding mint. Into the Anaconda and again, perfect trail conditions, speedy buzz round and down, through the whoopdedoos down below, all dry-as. My marsh guard was buzzing a bit so stopped to check that out and let two riders by coming up, then back into it. Best run down here for ages, and same for the Tail. Sweet.
Pushed the bike up the steps to the Joy's place and was cold from my sweat, so jumped in the spa (which ended up leaving my legs really weak feeling...)