Sunday, January 17, 2016

Messy Sunday ride to dinner

Dinner at Joy's in Taylor's so I biked before the family drove.  Left home after 3, and headed across town, weather deteriorating as I navigated the streets.  Originally I thought I might head up Huntsbury, but with the drizzle seeming to thicken I decided cRapaki might have to be endured.  Pretty uneventful climb, usual people out there, running, biking down it(!), one guy just ahead of me all the way up riding too.  Mist/cloud seemed to come and go and I thought maybe it was lightening a few times.  Hung a left and onto Witch Hill.  Trail was in good nick, rocks pretty slick but the dirt was hard enough, even with the water.  Obvious that maybe 2 or 3 other bikes had been through prior and they certainly hadn't done any damage.  Cow poo and hoof prints were another story tho...   Stopped and changed at the highest point, into my jacket and 3/4 leggings, then got rolling again, pin-balling off the rocks, squirrelling being the motion of the day. 

Onto the road and around, sometimes in complete mist with no visibility, sometimes able to see down into the valleys.  Up to Castle, saying good-day to a roady, then blitzing on into the trail.  Once again, the rocks were slick as sheep shit (of which there was much), and the dirt wasn't bad, except where sheep had been at it (as I was to discover a bit later on...).  One or two puddles, but nothing bad, and the recent work down here had really helped with drainage and rock armour.  A couple of dodgy bits, but mostly a good run, down then up then down to the end.

Onto the road again and around into the wind and mist and drizzle below the Gondola, mostly no view to be had below or much around.  Up past the saddle entrance to Mt Pleasant trail, and up through the cutting then decided to give Britten a blast.  Headed around and the rocks were slick and the dirt pretty good, but the wet tussocks and grass really made my feet wet.  Decided to see what all the fuss was about the 'new' route around below the rock outcrop and trees, instead of up and over, and it was a MAJOR mistake.  The fucking sheep had been trotting up and down on this track, and as it was level, their little hoof divets had captured the water along with their shit and my tires were slipping and sliding all around in it and also picking it all up, to the point where they were mud tires shaped like my fork and rear triangle frame profiles...  Got off and walked a bit then rode off the trail for a bit til I was out of the worst of the sheep trodden zone and then tootle, tires clearing in the wet grass somewhat, as I proceeded to the end of the track. 

Onto the road and down to the old Greenwood entrance.  Figured, how bad can it be? and headed in.  Hmm...  not bad.  Slick rocks and good dirt most of the time.  Had a sketchy and slow wee trip around to the ruins, nearly lost it below here where the first rocks are, then had a good run through all the top rocks and switchbacks.  Around across the face before Gloomy Gulch the sheep had had a go at the trail and it was a bit messy, but not too bad, then into Gloomy Gulch and no worries.  Down the rocks after this it was good, cautious-Colin, me, and down down down.  A few mucky bits, especially that shitty clay zone after the cattle stop, and super careful down the blasty bit before the rocky ups.  Totally woosed out on the first rocky up, on account of not knowing where my wheels were going.  Final blast down to the road was a bit specky but no real harm done. 

Onto the road again, and down over Evan's Pass.  Decided against the Godley track, as I just couldn't face the slick rocks whilst climbing.  So, up and around the road, treated with (seemingly) clearing weather and views of Sumner and beyond.  At the launching spot for paragliders tossed up between Anaconda and the walking track, and decided Anaconda would have some nasty wet clay lower down, plus the 'tail would have been slicky too, so chose the walking track down.  This was good.  Super fast blast down the gravel road, then over the stile and a fast wee run down the fenceline, then around and into the hairpins, all good, and the last section down to the fence and stile was nice.  Over the stile and onto the road down to Joy's place and down the steps. 

My legs were brown, my bike was brown.  Everything was dripping brown.  Mucky...  Hosed it all down, including my legs and feet and leggings and changed on the door step into a completely dry set of clothes, then down for a nice feast.  Sweet as.

Mapped up, 25kms, and 740m of climbing...

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