Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Solo, Fat snow mucky Jet Grey

Jetty and me, with the fat on the back, headed up country for the "Lake" Janet.  Loads of vehicles at the carpark.  Parked up and got riding somewhere around 1.15pm, heading up the usual grinder.  I've never managed to remember each bit, but as I ride it I always discover how much longer it is than memory would have it.  Snow was in evidence even as low as the 'lake', in patches, and more I found the higher I got.  Mostly it'd been 4wheeldriven through so there was a melted track through it; evidence of a couple of bikes prior too, and higher up in the shaded bits the tire tread had packed the snow down and obviously had had chains on.  The first couple of these proved quite slippery, so I stopped and relieved my rear tire of air, for traction.  Fatty handled the snow quite nicely.  Met a few people walking down, a couple, a group of women, another couple, a woman with a dog that Jet enjoyed playing with, and 2 bikers too.  Roughly 30 minutes til I passed the fire lookout, and the road above here had lots of snow, but muddy and well melted tire tracks  Very wet, melting snow.  Met another group of women up in this section, and as I approached the towers I could see 3 more down on the singletrack, slipping and sliding in the snow.  I wondered on the sensibility of riding that...

2pm here just above the big comms tower , snack,
and a wee rest (that's Mt Grey proper on the right), lovely sunny day, with spectacular views of row upon row of snow clad peaks to the north and west, and smoke on the plains to the west over Nelson's place.

Then, seat down, a bit of air out of front tire, and off down, meeting the first piles of drifted snowpack on the steepest bit.  Down and around onto the singletrack, finding most of it unrideable for the first couple hundred metres.  Walking feet had packed and pushed the snow off piste, and the wheels followed the easiest path down, which meant, off the track, making it quite tricky.  No evidence whatsoever of any bikes prior this way.  One near O.T.B, but I persevered and the bits without snow were basically running creeks, meaning I got pretty splecked up pretty quick.  All the way I wondered if I'd catch the 3 women ahead of me, but I didn't see them til I got all the way down to the end of the singletrack.  Anyway, there was snow in the forest for quite a bit of the first (south facing) section, dissipating at the creek crossing, but it was all good to ride on. I took it easy, on account of being alone.  Jet was pretty chilled out, but reeaally enjoyed his time.  The usually mudy bit in the middle was supremely mucky today.  Quite remarkable just how mucky it was.  Forest sections of good flow were divine.  and the Fatty handled the trails, roots and rocks, very well.  Was even easy to maneuver around the hairpins.

Eventually got to the bottom and looked at my watch and it was onlly 1.10...  hang on.  I left at 1.15...  My watch had obviously caught on my wrist and wound itself back...  Ground my way up the road, this climb proving far longer than memory permits (MapMyRide says 382m).  Big group of women (and a guy?) faffing at the gate where it flattens out, "you're doing well!", and one of whom asking me where I'd ridden "all the way over, heaps of snow", "well, you had the right tires then!"...

Fast section along the road after this, Jet winding up to full speed, 40 odd kph, galloping along oh so happily, down and then finally the last final climb around and about then the level back to the car...

All up 2 hours of ridng, 15kms and nearly 700 of steep altitude.

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