Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday sunset night time ramble.

Nelson picked me up from out front of work, as has become our custom, and off to the top of Mt Pleasant, Upper Major Hornbroke to be precise. Cold easterly blasting through here, made getting changed rather UNpleasant.  Off up Britten we treadled, cold wind pushing us about a bit, and trying to get into our bones, but by the top we were warmed up enough that it wasn't such a bother anymore.  Around below the road, nice sunset lowering the sky, photographers seemingly everywhere.  Onto the road and backtracking to Broadleaf Lane, watching the sun disappear behind the mountains just before we headed up here (which would make it 6pm on the dot).  Considered cutting across to the singletrack just past the gates, but then decided just to climb on up and get it all in.  Still light enough not to need the lights, down to Cavendish Saddle and then up the trail to the Gondola.  Biting wind across the top, we headed down around the front of the Gondola building, through the new gate and onto the No Bikes (is that a new No Bikes sign, or was it always there...  it used to be there, eh?).  Seats down and down the steps, bompity bompity bompity, manualing the last couple and it was starting to get harder and harder to see, but still no lights really necessary - better on the west facing side of the ridge, line sussing, then across the top and down to top of the Bridle Path.

Hit the road here and it was getting darker, but good moon out and still no need for lights on the road.  Sat down for a 1 square at the top of Castle Rock.  Nelson led off down this, lights on, and I slowly reeled him in as we jaunted around the hill towards the first hairpin.  Once I was on his tail I pulled up and adjusted my handlebar light (which was shining up the hill) then got going again.  Around the first hairpin and I could see Nelson had had a moment on the rocky section between corners, and so caught him a little, then round the next hairpin and down then into the climb, him dropping me rapidly.  Clamber clamber and over and down and back to the road.  Moonlight nice and bright on the road, off around back around under the Gondola and into the wind up to Cavendish Saddle, then clambering up the singletrack to Mt Pleasant, me lagging behind.  Up to the towers and into it.  Me taking the lead momentarily when Nelson stopped to unlock his fork, but relinquishing it again at the stile.  Greasy rocks and wind blown tussocks were the order of the descent, trickiness making for a bit of muppetry.  A couple of times I completely blew corners in the tussocks cos I just couldn't see where the track was going!  Final bomb down to above the ruins was okay and we had a breather on the connecting farmtrack.

Into Greenwood, down through the ruins and I had the strange sensation of finding myself riding through clouds of dust, even tho the ground around the trail was damp.  Past the ruins and that first rocky section blew Nelson out of his pedal, squashing is dick on his seat, and nearly crashing.  Caught up to him and off we went again him getting away and me slowly gaining speed.  Seems a hell of a lot more boney all the way down here now.  Winter has removed a heap of dirt, exposing the rocks more and more.  Mostly good run for me and Nelson was on fire.  Round through Gloomy Gulch was greasy as, so care was taken.  I took a wee break at my wee break spot and Nelson was miles ahead.  Got going again and couldn't see his light anywhere ahead.  Down where it flattens off he was waiting, having just had a gnarly near miss.  Off again and this time really fanging down through Dangerous Dave's corners and pumping round into the wee valley, then the last blast down to the rocky ups, Nelson cleaning and me choosing too low a gear, one dab, and the the final swoops down and around above Evan's Pass Rd, where loose gravel on the inside of the corner gave me the shits by drifting both wheels  in a way that had me puckering.  Rolled it out and just about shaking rolled down to the stile.

Onto the road and a steady pace all the way up up up up up around and up, seemingly forever til finally back to John Britten and off down, good blast back to the car.  Txtd Wazza here and he rang back, they were just up top of Mt Pleasant, about to head down Greenwood and the Captain.  Loosely arranged to meet at the Twisted Hop, where we went and had beer and food.  Wazza txtd about when we thought they'd be there saying they'd had a flat and were just leaving Sumner and wouldn't make it to the pub.

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