Friday, March 04, 2016

Thursday Hunts Vern Witch Castle there and back again.

Nelson picked me up from work and we headed for the top of Huntsbury.  Traffic reasonably manageable for a change.  Parked up and an easterly was blowing through, making me cold, but I stayed at 1 layer and suffered til we got riding.  Headed up, over the fence, and up the jumpy singletrack, checking out each jump as we passed, getting warmer as we climbed.  Up over the gate and on up then over and up the airstrip onto the gravel grind to the top.  Feeling alright, but not great either.

Onto Vernon and around a bit, stopping for a snack and air application for Nelson's tired tires.  Breeze very pleasant across here.  A few guys rolled through on their ways ups, and Nelson toyed with them by being super friendly.  Off down, taking the old line, and then bombing down around the hill, my front wheel sketchy from too much air in the tire.  Half way down the face above Rapaki we pulled up to let a bunch of climbers through, and there was one we recognised - Andy Pandy, out for a sneaky solo before having his 3rd knee drained on Friday and not riding for a while after that...  No wind at all here, warm.  Chatted for a bit then on our respective ways down (and up for him), railing down the trail to Rapaki Top, blazing through the masses here.

Straight into Witch Hill on the tails of a couple of guys who immediately struggled with the first tech.  They let us past and we showed them how it was done.  Cleaned it all round and up and over and down, then up the road, good pace to Castle Rock where there were a couple of older dudes chatting.  Again, nicer here than at the car. We jumped in before them and proceeded to braaap down the trail, me struggling to see corners through Nelson's dust, but I kept tight on his tail the whole way.  He would go into corners faster than me, but somehow I'd exit them quicker and be back on his tail immediately.  After the first Hairpin he got a bit of a gap and then after the next one he stopped to apply a smidge more air pressure to his burped out tire.  The oldie slowbos rolled past and we waited for some time before making our departure into the climb up and over and out to the road.

Up the road, to save time, and at the top we pushed the bikes up the ridge above the road to the walking track. I checked a text here, then we were off down towards the Tors, second time down here, nice wee trail, and some super tech at the bottom, which we rode more of this time.  Down onto the road and then up onto the new walking track above it, cruising around this with its ups and downs.  Rounded the final knoll and there was a massive posse of riders all over the road.  We rolled through them, commenting, and into the Witch, clambering and climbing up and around over.  Through Rapaki top and straight into the climb up Vernon, around.  I stayed on Nels's tail til the climby bit above that wee pondy thing, and then he gapped me.  I did catch sight of him a few times from then on tho.  Eventually we got to the end, crossed the road, through another pile of bikers, and onto the Traverse. Bombed it around here and down through the rocks and tussocks out to the landing strip, rolling fast down through the smooth ground here.

Over the fence and onto the single track.  Nelson dropped the big jump, and I bypassed it, and we rooosted won through the tussocks over the gate, and then jumped all the jumps (except the wooden one for me) down to the bottom, enjoying this so much we headed back up the main track all the way up through the cattle stops to above that pond and up the side track towards the watertank.  then pushed up to the single track for round 2.  This time I rolled into the drop jump, stopped.  Eyed it. Nelson came back and I followed him in again, but stopped. Eyed it.  Then he came back again and I followed him in and DROPPED it.  Sweet.  Done.  No problems, will trade again.  On down, tussock speedsville, over the gate, jump, jump, (bypass wooden), jump, berm - jump, jump, jump, ruts, rock drop, rutty corners, jump, double, and out to the stile.  Done and dusted.

Not bad 17kms travailed and 700m climbed...All in all, a very pleasant evening.

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