What a pitiful effort of rides for August. Three whole rides, wow... Hopefully September can do better, and yet it's already the 5th, and here's the first. 9am start from Steve's, me arriving dead on 9 to find a good sized posse, something not seen for quite some time. We had a newby, Johnny, Steve's neighbour Mike's bro. And the rest, Wazza, Wayno, Pete (on the 575), Robin and of course the ever affable Steve. Round through Hanson's and up Ramahana, picking up Andy at the bottom. Meander meander, layers off at the first corner on Aotea, crossing paths with a couple of older ladies treadling up, a couple of times. Big regroup at the top of the seal, then off up the gravel, with a car driving up past us before the pylons.
Another regroup at the top, and the off round the Traverse. Nice spin around here, quite a few items of traffic, including several bicycles and the odd walker/runner. Caught a guy near the pond and passed under him where there's the non- and rocky split before our usual regroup spot. Waited here and he went through again and then all the rest piled on up. Off round again, previous guy in my sights, slowly reeled him in, crossing paths with a few more 2s or so, and then chased him down the faster descent, catching him as I landed the jump at the end, him stuck behind a couple of quite slow rookies. They all pulled up before the trees and off up through the trees to top of Vic we parked here for a bit too.Andy bailed here, a pivot link loose on his machine. Also, chatted to a bloke who'd been leading the rookies (who were bailing down the road, while he was riding back to Diamond Harbour via Lyttelton)
Into Thomson and Thompson, great blast down these, across the Kiwi and regoup at the bottom of the nun. Up the road, around and up to top where I helped out some young ill-equipped guys with their chain while the posse all headed off in their own order. When I finally came to drop in they were all probably at the bottom. Had a great run down here, fastest and smoothest I've ridden it in years. Was happy with lack of pinch flat rocks and floated well over any that might have tried. Second half, my arms were getting pumped and sore, hands tired. Rolled up the end and we were regrouped. Steve had just chatted with someone who said a couple weeks ago Old Dyers was soggy as shit and there was logging mess lower down, so we gave that a miss and headed up the road back to top of Vic.
Dropped straight into the rocky descent in the direction of the see-saw, then down round past this and through the fence and down the rabbit paddock and into the rockies and Gummies. Nice run down here, I hadn't taken the main trail of it for years, previously opting for the more interesting tighter trail that was blocked by logs last time. Kept left tho and got the lower bits and the straight out to the skidder site. In ones and twos the posse arrived, some having kept left and some not. Into Shazza's, back and forth and down into Brents country, keeping left and catching the young chain-broken dudes from earlier, blasted down through the trees, and then all assembled in the trees around the creek bridge. Pete discovered a loose seat, so tightened this here. Off down bridges and flow or whatever they're all called now, fun blast down here, seat dropper really coming into it's own. Caught another couple young guys just at the end, then Wazza and me zoomed down the wide track to the Hidden Valley Link.
I went first, negotiated the creek, I thought quite well, gear selection not bad, and then whoomph! I'm over the bars landing hard on my elbows and knees. Yowch. Untangled myself and walked up to the first corner and discovered my handlebars and stem had turned slightly, so dug the tool out and got to work as Pete, Johnny and Steve approached (Robin having pulled off (and Wayne?)), and Wazza had headed off ahead. Straightened up and got spinning again, messing the next corner, but cleaning up all the rest nicely. Out the top and a massive breather on the grass. Whew! Into Old Skool and a great trip down. Railing the corners and pumping through the middle section nicely. Trail in good knick, no wetness about from last week's rain. Into the bottom and I chose one of the droppy lines in between the two main lines, and it was a narrow 6inch deep tire-width rut, walked this bit and dropped onto the main drag rolling out to the bottom. Regruppage and rolling down Bowenvale chatting.
I split from what was left of the posse (off for kaffee at Kaizuka, methinks), onto Eastern Tce and homeward bound, by 12.10.