Sunday, July 02, 2017

Sunday a.m. Early Grey

All the tracks in town were closed so I thought getting out might be good. Didn't put the global word out cos I needed to make it an early start / early finish, and the bigger the group the slower it moves.  Paul got to mine about 7 and with Jet in the car and me with the Fatbike, we headed out north, pulling up at Lake Janet just after 8 to find Nelson getting ready to roll.

Off up the 4wd road, 8.17, Nelson on the singlespeed honking off ahead, and me finding the fat tires tiring trying to keep up with Paul.  But, what doesn't kill you and all that, I just muscled on, lagging slightly.  A couple of times we caught up to Nelson having a wee rest, and then we'd all get rolling again.  Detoured and stopped at the Lookout, (9.06 am according the these pics) and checked out the view of the plains engulfed in cloud,

Herbert and Bradley, Fitz and Sinclair, islands where the peninsula is. 

And the rolling turbulence over the Weka Pass limestone country was amazing too, Kaikoura Mtns to the north east.

Off rolling again and up the steep section, then Nelson suggested the walking track.  Nice tight singletrack, not overgrown (like I'd checked out in the past), climbing through broom and scrub then into a nice patch of beech, before rounding out onto tussock below the towers.  Stopped for a rest in the sun (and around, out of the wind) up here, Jet antsy to get rolling again.  

Over and around and down into the descent.  Trail in good nick, having been weedeaten recently, and not too much mud - to start with anyway.  Some tricky ruts (sending Paul off the track at some point), and then the usual wet muddy spots (one of which kinda tweaked my shoulder strangely), and on down into the first couple of switchbacks.  Met a woman runner and her collie down here.  We all rode the rocky-shortcut corner and rolled on down into the bush.  Switchback City, cleaning hardly any but some, and it's obvious Nelson and me have the technique down, cos we put a big gap on Paul who was getting off the bike on a lot of them.  Excellent spin down through here.  Crossing the creek, a couple more switchies then around through the more open forest on top past the lookout turnoff, then down into where the switchbacks started to get a bit mental and you're above the creek again.  In here we ran into a big group of walkers, all friendly.

Out of the bush and into the forestry again, and then into the quagmire.  Greasiest I've ever seen it, it was insane.  No traction, sliding, front wheel taking it's own path, rear wheel following or not depending on how it felt.  It was nuts.  Lots of feet-out as out-riggers and a couple of close shaves, but then back into the bush and rutty clay rooty sections - lots of fun - and around into the nice dry forest again for a few more back and forth legs and switchbacks, and on down into the final reaches.  God these trails are good.  Finally, over the bridge, last couple corners and descending, then out to the road and ford.

Rinsed off the bikes in the river here and chatted to a guy and girl biking through, and off up the road for the final slog back to the cars.  Saw the runner woman and collie again heading to their car, and then Jet disappeared ahead, as we gained on them we found out why.  A group of riders with a female 'Jet', who my Jet was getting a bit humpy with...  Got him moving again, and then on the final climb she caught him up and we had to extract them again.  That group of riders were just riding the forestry roads, having come in from Loburn, and were turning back at Lake Janet.

Great ride, 15kms with 707m climbed, back at the cars 11am.  Went and grabbed coffee at Pukeko Junction before home by 12.30.

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