Sunday, July 26, 2015

Windy Sunday Morning Meander

Quickly (chain)whipped off the cassette, removed the offending 40t and replaced the 16t with the 15 and 17, reassembled and got the hell on the road to Steve's for the 9 o'clock meeting up.  Was only a minute late, and then we waited for Wayno.  There were Pete, Tony, Wazza and Steve, plus us two late-comers, and we were meeting Marie up the hill.  Round through Hanson's Park and up BananaRamarama-harerama-krishnakrishna-ramaramahana, Aotea and Grunts, getting warmer as we climbed, all delayering at somestage.  Lovely sunny day, and my climbing groove was on, riding pretty much all the way up neck in neck with Pete.  Bloody windy when we got to the top, and Marie waved out from a little further up on Mt Vernon, so we joined her but it was just as windy there.  Once regrouped onwards we cruised around into the wind and down the hill.  Off piste to let some climbers climb, and bit of a regroup again at top of Farm Track, slightly less windy here.  Then the fang, blast down, only one climber met, and he'd stopped for us, then zwoop zwoop round the hairpins and across the Rapaki-top, fair few around, braving the wind.  Straight into Witch Hill, which I cleaned very nicely thank you, climbing all the ups well then cruising around and down to the road and finally a respite from the wind in the lee of a roadside bank.  Steve rolled in and announced a crook-guts departure, down Crapaki before he got caught short.  The rest of us moseyed onwards up, battling the wind across the saddle below the Tors, and then finding the top of Castle Rock to be quite peaceful.

Excellent run down this trail, in mint condition, I put on massive bursts of speed.  Wind was a factor in places, trying to steer the tire off track, but survived to the first switchback, and rolled on through the next and then got pushed up hill and around, and in the face on the last descent before the end.  We regrouped at a very busy top of Bridle Path and then rolled on around the road.  Insane winds just got stronger and stronger as we approached the Gondola corner, nearly stopping us at the corner itself, then completely disappearing about 50m up the road from there.  Then, leaving the closed road section we were all pushed up hill for a bit.  Another regroup at the start to John Britten.  Then I led off down the singletrack, hammering around and staying on the low line, til the curved climb back up to the trees and back into the wind and around to the end.  Here, I peeled off down, having a swoopy fun blast down to the bottom, and then beyond, following what seem like loosely marked trails down to a bath stock drinking trough, over the fence to the very end of Upper Major, and down through the wee steep reserve then a flying blast down the road to Craigieburn Place, and into the switchbacks, first walking the steps, then riding down, a couple of the lower corners very greasy and rutted, but otherwise very fine.  Great waft down the hill to the bridge, past a guy and a dog, then into the next fast bit down to the tight hairpin and in the bit before the next hairpin I randomly lost the front wheel traction on the edge of a rut, coming SO close to losing it that the adrenalin kicked in, giving me the shakes as I was rocketing down the trail below the next hairpin.  Last little climb, bit greasy in here, then the flat out full bore blaze down to Glenstrae.  Took the singletrack around the McCormacks Bay / estuary edge and then after Ferrymead corner got myself into Charlesworth Reserve and rode through there instead of Humphrey's Drive.  Home at 11.30am.  Good ride, roughly 35kms in all.

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