Friday, July 29, 2016

Thursday Steep crew again

Met up with the makings of the same crew as last week, more accuracy in name gathering this time, Mark, Phil, Tones, Rob being stalwarts of last week, and another Rob and another guy who's name I didn't catch, plus Nelson and me.  Met them at The Takahe, and set off at 6.30pm.  Headed up Vic Park Rd, hanging a right a little way up, down some steps and through a nice wee forest trail down to the Harry Ell track, climbing this up all the way to the top, only pissing off about 4 runners on their ways down.  I gronked my knee trying to step up the rocky step up just above the road, and failed to clean the steps half way up.  Good run the rest of the way.  At the top we could hear some dumbarse boy racers yelling on the road below, sounded like they'd dropped a wheel off the road or something and were having trouble.  haha. 

Everybody attempted the steeeep loose climb into the macracarpas of the lower Thompson, some with some success, others (like me), not so much.  Up from here then up the road to the top Vic Park carpark, then above the road, climbing up towards Sugarloaf to the carpark.  Some steep in here, and a fence. Next it was off down towards the Kiwi.  Some techy rock steps and drops and right at the bottom some fucking horrible steps that I baulked and walked.  From the Kiwi we rode up the road to the first saddle and headed off down the Governor's Bay track (lower entrance), and within 50 m Nelson had OTB'd; happily with no injuries.  Onwards again and we headed all the way down the switchbacks, ducked through the (VERY) tight shrubbery at the bottom and out onto the driveway. 

Now for something we'd never done...  Down.  Down down down, steep(ish in places), greasy (southern facing slopes), and thankfully (considering the circumstances) not too tech.  But, good blaze down, a regroup half way, and it wends and winds it's way down all over the place.  One super wet greasy section that had one of the Robs (in front of me) off the side of the trail, and caked our tires up something wicked.  A short climb within, then back and forth down a bunch of switchbacks to the end (the last(?) driveway up from Governors Bay on Dyers Pass Rd?).  Regroup here and it was off up again.  Nelson and Rob raced off ahead, by all accounts cleaning heaps, but dabbing and walking a few bits.  I got in there and flailed my way into the first couple corners and spun out and lost balance and dabbed and walked an awful lot of the way up, being overtaken by all except the guy who's name I didn't catch, who was dragging behind worse than me.  Caught Phil and Tones up a couple of times, but they were cleaning heaps more than me.  29er grip????  or just my ineptitude?  (the latter, methinks).

Back at the driveway and regruppo'd and then off up through the shrubs which just ruined me.  The switchbacks above here I've never had much luck on, and I had the power in some but not the balance, or I had the balance but ran out of power in others.  The main track across the face above the road I had more luck on, except for my balance constantly pulling me over to the left, leaving me walking a whole bunch of the top section to the waiting guys. 

Across the road here and into the lower reaches of the Nun, me taking very carefully after last week's shoulder damage.  Across Dyer's Pass and up the road to the top of Vic, dropping into Coffee Break across and back then down into Brake Free for a few yumpies, then around and back into the rabbit paddock and down through the rocks and into the gums, blasting left into my favourite, I had Mark tight on my tail, yelling out instructions "LEFT" to those guys behind him, and Nelson in the lead.  Popped, dropped and wove our way down to the skidder site for another regroup. 

Across towards 19th memorial, like last week, cruising across the top again and down the trails we'd taken last week, but once in the walking trails instead of heading down we continued across and up a bit, past the slide (tho not visible), and down to the Dog Park.  Through this and down to the lower exit into those pines we've ridden up and down a few times.  In the pines, Phil led us on a wild goose chase across looking for a 'cool trail' they'd found years ago.  No luck, but we ended up back near the top of the forest (lower end of the dog park) and worked our way down a not-bad track to come out at the top of Harry Ell Drive, bombing down this around into Longhurst and back to the cars...

over 600m climbed, in 14.5kms

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