Monday, February 15, 2016

Sunday eastern Posse

Nelson's car was at mine after our collection of a new one for him from Temuka on Wednesday, so on Saturday he dropped the Nukeproof off and then Sunday he left home after 6am and biked down the plains and here, 47kms total.  We headed in his car round to Steve's and found there Pete, Steve, Wazza, Wayne and Tones.  Off round to Ramahana and up the hill, chatting away as usual - for it had been a while since we'd all caught up.  Topped out the seal and then on up the gravel, regrouping again at the Summit Rd.  Many riders passing by while we waited.

Next into Vernon, nice flowy descent, only a couple of approaching climbers, then across the top of Rapaki, with the hoards milling about here.  Pretty much straight into Witch Hill and climbing, cleaning everything, Nelson on my tail pushing me along faster than I'd normally find comfy, but that's good.  Up the road, chatting to a Krampus rider on the way, before watching him and his slowpoke riders pick their way down Castlerock Track.  We dived in, me first, Nelson following, then Pete and the rest, after them, overtaking them part way down the face, then fanging it through to the first hairpin at a mental speed.  Nelson caught me at the bend, then I jetted away again to the next corner, then he was on my tail up the climb, me bashing pedals a few times on random rocks.  Rolled out into the Bridle Path top and regrouped again.

Off round under the Gondola, passing some walking people on the road below the bluffs, and Nelson commented to me about not wanting to be going slow through here...  (I wonder how they fared in the 5.7 shake that hit a few hours later?).  Rather than grovelling up that steep section of track from Cavendish Saddle, we opted to stay on the road a little further, then waited as Pete, Wayne, Steve and Tony rolled up - Wazza had headed up the grovel.  Tony and Steve took Britten, the rest of us up the 'new' climb, seeing Wazza above and chasing him down.  Only Nelson managed to reel him in, and then not until the gate.

Up top and off down the rocky singletrack, trying out the new, very direct, line.  Then over the stile and blazing, weaving and popping down through the rocks then the tussocks and flying round into the top of Greenwood and down to find Steve and Tony awaiting at the ruins.  Snackage had, sun enjoyed, and off again.  Me leading for some reason, and Nelson pretty tight on my heels.  Rolled through most stuff pretty good, not too many stalls on the rough, but a bit muppetty in the top couple of hairpins.  Good rolling down through the tight rock gap and pumping around to Gloomy.  Through here and my usual tiredness here made me slow a bit, rolling rest then into the rocky descent and flowing through and around through Dave's bits and into the valley and down the fast face to the bastard rock-up.  I stalled, Nelson practically ran into me and would have made it were it not for me.  Last blast down and around and finally a rest on the road below.  The boys all rolled in at staggered spacing and a regroup was had.

Into the Captain, Nelson in the lead.  Blasted down it all, cleaning everything nicely, but blowing out the wee climb after the rocky challenges.  Then down the last open spaces, hairpins, taking the Cabbage Tree bonus, and the flat tack chasing down the last two bits to the creek and over the stile.  Everyone else rolled in and we headed down the steps and through Sumnervale then down to Dot Com for coffees.  Andy, with bursitis of the knee, had come out in his car to join us.  Tony taking off early.  Eventually we were all off again, Steve setting the pace all the way through Moncks and Redcliffs and nice tail wind down the Causeway, Nelson overtaking then me, near the end, giving Steve a rest by taking the lead for a bit.  Pete peeled off at the bridge, and the rest of us went round the towpath, dropping Wazza at the roundabout then what was left of us headed back for Steve's, Nelson giving me a lift home from there, and picking up his other bike from mine.

Reasonable sized loop, with surprising amount of climb - 34kms, over 900 alt.  And a couple hours after we'd finished, we were lucky not to be on the trails - I wonder how many rocks tumbled on Capt Thomas!?

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