Terrible night's sleep, with a cough that was killing me, the blocked nose from hell, and fevers and chills all night, leaving me feeling bloody horrible when morning came round. I really didn't think I'd be able to ride. Wazza was in a similar boat, also waking from a horrendous night's non-sleep. Plan was Rainbow Mountain and after saying definitely "no" I then figured I'd totally regret not doing it, so I pushed myself into doing it. Wazza stayed behind and we headed the 25kms down there and parked up down at Kerosene Creek.
I started out ahead of the others, very slowly, because when I breathed in deeply it was like someone was pushing a gorse-bush branch down my windpipe and into my lungs. They caught me eventually, and we checked out a look out and I rode on ahead and then got to the intersection and we started climbing. As soon as the trail got slightly steep I'd get off and walk, and just plod away. In due time I think Nelson and Pete overtook. There was a muddy section, and then a lookout at some fumeroles. From here on up it was even steeper. All rode or walked as necessary, me walking it all, very slowly. Eventually the top was gained and I lay down and died. I'm still up there now, my corpse anyway, dead. This is my ghost writing this - didn't realise I'd died and kept riding... Another biker and his very nice doggy and some walkers arrived at the top while we were there. The views were spectacular (hopefully some pics will show up some time).
Then we got going. The top section was quite technical, rough and rocky. It was great. There were a couple of features my sensitive sick-bones were averse to, but I managed most stuff with little more than a dab. There was one 2-optioned corner that we stopped at, Nelson taking the harder line. Then a big droppy rooty bit that I walked - Nelson and Pete rode it, not sure about the others, cos I saw the trail went up after that so I went ahead to get the climbs over with. Not far after that couple corners of climb tho it descended again for a bit and then finished at a corner in the road. End of technical section.
Into the singletrack again, this time in bigger bush, and darker and beautiful swoopy curvy fantastic descent. This section is the type of track that is the reason I ride. It was mint. Enough challenges in the way of tight corners, roots and the odd rut, some grease around making both tires lose traction at the same time, squirrelly, fantastic. All too soon, tho, a reasonable distance, we rolled out through an open scrubland, lush grass either side of the skinny dirt trail, weaving back and forth down the lower flanks back to the start. Nice.
Hot soak in the river down stream and then home.
A surprisingly short 7.2kms with only 325 m climbed (45minutes riding time)... but steeep.