Sunday, July 03, 2016

Saturday Sunset Summit Scramble.

Nelson finished work around 3 and got over to my place, so we probably hit the road after 3.30.  Parked up top of Huntsbury and got riding, still plenty of sunshine but we had our lights.  Pretty good climb up here, main track for a start but just after the cattlestop above the pylons we headed along the fence to the singletrack, climbing this the rest of the way.  Onto the landing strip and up the gravel to the top.  Next up it was Vernon, getting some flow on down here, a couple squirrelly corners, and blazing down to Rapaki-top and straight through, onto Witch Hill, good climb up here, no dabs.  Nelson put the gap on me, I was starting to get tired for no real reason.  Onto the road, and Nelson rode the singletrack above, while I caught him up below then kept pace with him.  Final climb to Castle and sun was still in the sky, but not far off setting.

Into Castlerock, a little greasy at the top, but good to go below.  I kept good pace down here, either reeling Nelson in or not letting him get away.  Around the hairpin and across, both of us being very cautious on the angled rock through here, then around the next hairpin and Nelson's gapping me again away on the climb.  Clamber clamber and over, taking it easy through to the finish.  Stopped at top of Bridle overlooking Lyttelton for a bit - me realising that O was directly below us at his mate Tane's house.  Then we headed back up the road to about 2/3rds of the way up to the Castle, we clambered up off the road, onto the Crater Rim walkway back towards Lyttelton.  First time around here and it was really cool.  Good wee climb, a few easy steps, one rock outcrop that stalled both of us, and then around further onto the ridge.  Excellent view into Lyttelton from a slightly different angle.  Sun still up, but nearly down, and headed around towards Bridle-top, singletrack really good gradient, a few rollable steps, surprisingly a few patches of permafrost, and one quite techy section that I walked.  Nearly at the bottom I watched as, what I thought was a fly, flew up in slow-motion and splecked me in the eye.  It wasn't a fly, it was mud.  Stopped to clear that and got going again, then we treadled back up the road to Castle.  That was a good wee extra loop to make the ride more worthwhile.

Sun was just down, and the sky was spectacular reds and pinks.  Some asian dude was above the road, photographing the 'set, and we pushed our bikes up past him and got set up on the Tors Track.  Lights on, off we headed.  For some reason this is different every time I ride it.  More techy this time than last, I'm sure.  Easy most of the way then near the bottom there's a few features that are pretty tricky.  I dabbled through these today, just not feeling gungho enough - cautious Colin getting old...  Onto the road, then onto the singletrack above it, going super careful through the bit I crashed on last time.  Rest of the trail was fun, low speed and interesting, and a few patches of permafrost along here too.  Across the road, and onto Witch Hill, climbing well, brief pause at the top and off again down around cleaning all the fun bits and down to Rapaki.  Last climb, up Vernon, Nelson putting a massive gap on me, leaving me to climb alone.  No one else around now, whereas in the daylight there were heaps of peeps around.

Across the road and onto the Traverse, flowing around the hill then dropping down down down to the landing strip, over the fence, and a lot of wind here, whereas none anywhere else.  Around and down, Nelson popping the big jump, me bypassing, and over the gate and down, doing all the jumps all the way down, finishing up back at the car.

I'd left my phone at home, so Nelson mapmyrode it...  17.5 kms, and 720m climbed.

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