9am meeting at Steve's, and I was on the Commando because I'd only gotten the parts (SLX 11spd cluster, shifter, chain, and derailleur + Blackspire Snaggletooth) to repair the Turner's drivetrain on Saturday afternoon and hadn't had a chance to put them on it yet. So, angry bees buzzed across town to find Steve, Tony, Andy and Wayne waiting on the corner for Pete (who didn't show) and finding me instead. Then I got a text from Paul saying he was 5 minutes away. The boys took off at a leisurely pace and Paul arrived and we chased, catching them just after Grange.
Around Aynsley Tce and then on up Crapaki - busy as always. Reasonable pace up here but Steve was complaining of his guts when we headed into the Full Monty. I stopped to adjust my suspension - ie, let a little air out of the tires. Nice climb up and around with me at the back, then fun bits, with only me taking the 'harder' option, getting in behind Andy and Steve for the next section rolling across the face of the hill. Fat tires gripping so so well on the off camber corners; very sure footed. We stopped and peered down at Glenelg spur (just now realised Glenelg is a palindrome) looking for potential ways up here. Steve, here, decided that he'd be bailing when we got back to the main track. We cruised the climb through to the end, Steve bailed and I led the way up the singletrack above the main drag. Good roll up here, the fat bike feeling pretty good. All the smooth trails were sweet on it, but the rough stuff is hard work. Only Paul and me stayed on the singletrack, the others choosing the easier climb, and I blew up at exactly the same place as last time, just before a rocky steep. Walked that and then rode the rest just fine, peaking before the others, then a regroup at the top.
Up around Vernon, easy riding, and then into Traverse, speaking with a clusterfuck of riders all seemingly taking turns at attempting to fix some guy's tire... Left them to it and had an awesome run around the Traverse.. Regroup at the usual spot, and let some riders through, then on around to Vic Park for another regroup before the trees. Into the trees and down past the see-saw then down through the rockgarden and my favourite gummies trail. Even this was fun on the fatty, tho the roughest stuff was hard, and the seat doesn't drop easily, so it was oldskool stylez. Rolled out to the skidder site and there's a guy under a space-blanket being tended to, blood on his head, not looking too flash. Usual over cooking of the jump, landing nose first and being polevaulted head first into the ground. Ambulance on it's way.
Off down Spazza's, the lower rooty bits bloody difficult, battling the bike with who's steering it. Then straight down between Pono's and Brents and out the ridge straight ahead, and into a new wee one I'd done a wee while back on my own. Sweet steep entry, then a couple of techy features, then more steep and then zigs and zags in an oak forest, then onto Flow (or bridges?). Down this main trail into the lower swoopy zigs and zags and down the bottom of the valley.
Into Hidden Valley Track, I cleaned the creek nicely and was just making my way up the steep bit after it when I couldn't hold onto my balance and started tipping. Left foot wouldn't eject and over I went, landing upside down, bike pretty much still on the trail, with me attached, lying in a big old pile of blackberry. Elbow blooded, and knee must have smacked the bike somewhere, and arm a little shredded by the blackberry, but managed to climb out and get riding, cleaning the first and last two switchbacks but not the second.
Into Old Skool. Mostly a good run, some of the rocks proving a bit pushy, but I reckon I'm getting the jist of this fatbike thing, and quite enjoyed it til the last few corners.
Down Bowenvale, and Paul and I went our separate ways (and it looks like Andy, Tones and Wayno went for coffee).
So, what with all the riding across town and all, totalled 31 kms, and climbed 585.
Replaced the drivetrain on the Turner when I got home, and then we headed out to Bottle Lake for a family ride with Lisa and Tane, and Ollie... Alas, Hugo had a big smash on one of the jumps on the pump track before we left for the ride, smacking his head and scraping up his whole right side. I took him home and the others went for their ride. However, the chain on the fatbike snapped when they were most of the way out and T had to walk back. (my bad I think, I should have checked the click -- click -- click -- I'd noticed on the way back across town in the morning... ooops).
Also. On Saturday, Mark had his first session in the Chch Adventure Park, and Nelson had his first day on Monday...