Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tuesday Night meanderisations

Rode from work to meet Nelson at Rufus's Back Alley bikeshop, and we cruised the busy roads eventually getting to Mt Pleasant and parking up top of Major Hornbrook.  The PFMTB-Crew were meeting at 6.30, and it was 6.07 as we hit the trail. I led off, leaving Nelson faffing with something, figuring I'd get a head start as he was gonna catch me anyway, but he wasn't feeling 100% on form so stayed back for quite a while, catching me at the loop at the top.  Off up the rocky bits on the original Britten around under Broadleaf and on to the cattlestop, sun well and truly set.  Over the road and fence and climbing up to the Mt Pleasant track, hanging a right and skidding down the gravelly chip to the stile and over and then into the Mt Cavendish climb.  I took the wrong line for a start but then found my way back onto the 2nd hairpin in behind Nelson.  Clamber clamber, through the gate then back and forth we went to the top and over around behind the Gondola building.  Straight into the downhill down the steps, boppity boppity bop, and then wandered around on the rocks til eventually we found the right lines down along the fenceline and then along the ridge and rocky trail to the top of the Bridle Path. 

Up the road, and at the top we could see the string of lights on Britten track that we knew were the boys.  I led the way off down Castle Rock, starting slowly and not putting much effort into slowly accelerating til reaching sensible speeds, feeling pretty smooth, but not overly fast.  Little bit quicker towards the first hairpin, but wondering why the hell I was so handlebar-light focussed, and realising my headlamp was only on low, whereas the handlebar one was on med...  Upped the headlight and much better hurtled towards the 2nd hairpin, around, and down, then Nelson caught me in the climb up and around then good flow down to the end.

Along the road, around under the Gondola at a good pace, now 'chasing' the boys.  I didn't think we'd catch them at all, figuring by the time we were on top of Mt Pleasant they'd be on the road heading around ready to climb Broadleaf, so I didn't push too hard.  From Cavendish Saddle, up the steep bastard climb around then up the nice face onto the gravel road.  Through the gate and I could see lights down on the trail below, and Nelson hadn't hung around at the top so straight down the shorter cut and muppetted over the stile and then fanged it, definitely chasing now, able to see a few lights on the trail below.  Flew down through the tussocks to the end of this section and we caught up with everyone - Pete, Steve, Wazza, Andy (on his newly built-up Keewee) and Robin - all in good form as usual. 

Got going down and around the top section of Greenwood towards the road.  I stayed tight on Nelson's tail, had a few whoopsies but managed to keep it under control, eventually rolling out onto the road, regrouping and then riding up to Britten again.  Into the singletrack, and a wee ways around I decided to dive off down the lower track.  Nelson followed, but none of the others.  It was sweet, really flowy and smooth, losing altitude nicely, keeping speed, around below the rocky knoll of the hill, then an easy climb back around to the rest of the singletrack.  The boys were just over the gate heading for Broadleaf as we climbed back up to them, over the gate and were with them before the first corner of Broadleaf.  Up the gravel and here we made a choice.  Nelson and me were feeling like we needed a bigger ride, and the boys all headed off down towards Cavendish to finish.  So, said our goodbyes, and headed up the top and off down again.

Better run down here this time, blazing through the tussock sections, tho still missing a couple of corners.  Brief rest and then into Greenwood, half choking on Nelson's dust.  I had a pretty good run, kept him in sight for a good while, but he was like a rocketship, slowly gapping me.  Into gloopygulch and could see some lights below, but before too long realised they were stopped, climbing.  Nelson wasn't that far away as I descended towards them, and they were well off the track as I flowed past.  Round the bends and eventually through the cattlestop and Nelson was already on the final blast towards the rocky-ups.  I was a bit slow round here and my usual fast section I was really shit, realising at one point i was nearly stopped!  Picked it up a bit, juuust dabbed through the first rock, and then blasted through the rest of it.  As I rolled to a stop at the final stile I turned off my light, had a stretch, then went to turn it on and it was dead - perfect timing!

Up the road, at a pretty good pace, climbing hard for a long time.  I had to slow a couple of times, but we pushed it, figuring it was the last blast and just bashing it out.  Felt like forever to make it up the road, but finally got to Britten and handlebar lights only I had some interesting moments, with the trail vanishing behind tussocks several times.

All up, over 22 kms, and over 800 m climbed.  Bloody good.

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