Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday Avoiding the Drizzle, Packing the Horse

Hills were totally clagged in by drizzle, but I'd been to Lincoln earlier in the day and noticed that the southern end of them was relatively clear, so after picking me up at Moorhouse Countdown we took a gamble and headed over Dyers. Heavy drizzle up top but past Governor's Bay it fined right up... with nearly clear skies overhead at Gebbies Pass.  One of Nelson's workmates, Daniel, joined us with his brand new hardtail, and we proceeded to demolish him.  He's not ridden much, ex roadie, but bugger all mountain experience and I don't think any hills...

So, rode in the road and then onto the trail, the first bit of descent before the forest, you've got a bit of speed up and suddenly there's a diversion to the left because the main trail squeezes straight into a massive clump of gorse!  I hauled on the anchors and piled around it to Nelson.  Dan showed up and we bombed into the forest, nice steep fast rooty down hill.  Dry as a bone around here, mint.  Down and through along the tight fence and climbing up the rooty section to the first stile.  Daniel rolled up a wee while after us, puffed, but enjoying it.  Next up the paddock, climbing climbing, puffing puffing, got to the top and waited for Dan, then down, over the stile and down the road to the turn off into the douglas firs.  DARKNESS.  Quite hard to see, but fine at climbing speeds, through to the steep ziggies Nelson cleaning it all, me walking a bit, same with Dan.  Then sidling up through Nelson held back to chat with him while I went ahead, through the clearing past the wee bach-hut, and back into the forest taking a rest just after the off-camber corner.  Nelson, followed by Daniel arrived, and Daniel decided he'd had enough.  We encouraged him saying we'd only just got to the good bit, and he said he'd follow on a bit but was stuffed and would turn back and if we saw him we'd see him.  So, on we went and as we climbed the drizzle started to set in.  Mostly, under the trees, it was dry, but open sky areas were damp, wetning up the tires and dirt and making the rocks and roots slicker.  Walked a couple bits but Nelson cleaned everything all the way to 10m shy of the last stile.  Out into the open and it was really damp, quite a heavy drizzle falling and on we went, rocks on the sketch, round under the remarkable dikes and on up around to the hut, bit of wind furrowing through the saddle.  Fire was going in the hut, and there was someone in residence, but he didn't show his face to us.

Back on the bikes in the wet and heading back the brakes squawking like mad to begin with, quietening down as we proceeded.  Bit of pinball action over the rocksy sections around to the stile and back into the forest.  Nelson blazed off, whereas I was a little more cautious, finding the low light very tricky and being careful on the damp roots and rocks.  The dirt, however, was very grippy, and I had moments of good speed, and careful maneuvering too.  Bombing down through, one or two sketches but nicely rolling and flowing.  Through the clearing, Nelson in sight, and into the forest again, no sign of him now, the darkness under the trees and clouds making for line picking tricky.  Down the steep ziggies and then it's really dark under the firs again, weaving down through these and finally out onto the road, all drizzled gone, and sky around us opened up again.  Looking across the harbour the drizzle was set in closer towards Teddington though.  Nelson not far ahead, with a freshly broken spoke.  Up this and over the stile and up the paddock, then fast descent down through tussocks and clay jumps to the next stile.  Down the rooty roots, ever threatening barbed wire jettisoning past at elbow level - tight!  Down the and along the really tight bit and then climbing again, ugh.  Burning legs riding then walking and finally riding again at the top.  Over the grassy trail back to the stile and then the road and side-track out back to the car.

Just over an hour's riding (some weird gps jumps on the way in (Nelson's is much cleaner)), 440odd metres climbed, and less than 12 kms.

Then, driving back the drizzle was set in right through to Teddington, and heavy all the way round.  Stopped at the Gov's Bay pub and had a couple beers and a feed, then over the hill, dank-as foggy misty drizzle from near the top all the way over down to below the Takahe.

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