Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wedknees Night Victoriana Witch Sugar

First off, yesterday saw me ride to Joy's for dinner, 9kms with a good climb up Canon and Pleasant on the Troll (except the stupid MMR skipped me from High St to Cannon Hill, missing my detour around the south side of the river/estuary from Tunnel Rd past the golf place and Ferrymead Historic.

Tonight, usual post work pick up from the Countdown carpark and over to Bowenvale Ave. Rode up the valley, a group of 3 other riders ahead most of the way, grunting up K2, right onto a wee singletrack section, up to the 23footer, then up under the pylon and up to the 40footer.  The other three were tweaking one of their bikes and set off ahead of us again, us following up past rad^sick, around the zig zag and on up to the skidder site.  Climbed more from here straight up the 4wd, thru brake free, up through the fence and then left along and up Worm to the Traverse.

We could see a tonne of lights coming towards us all the way around the Traverse ahead, but set off anyway, meeting the first few just after the dipper.  More at the usual stop place, and then one dick on the rocky drop after the pond, who didn't say anything and made Nelson stop and nearly got me as he came over the rocky jumpy bit.  Obviously oblivious to the general give way rule of thumb....On up and around, I was feeling surprisingly good all the way still, and at top of Huntsbury, just past the Lavaflow, we headed down the new line I'd found a couple weeks ago.  Nice flowy downhill, swooping through the tussocks down to the landing strip and start of downhill into Bowenvale.  Back up the gravel Huntsbury to Vernon.  Again, loads of lights around.  Common as muck these be-lighted mtnbikers...

Good run around Vernon to Rapaki, meeting only a few riders and a couple of runners.  Flew through the top and around into Witch Hill for a good rocky climb up and around to the highest point.  Rest-stop and a bite to eat here, watching Quetty(?) out on ridge between Avoca and Horotane Valleys.  On down towards the Summit Rd, then turned around and back the way we'd come.  The climb starting to get to me.  Flowed around, meeting one on a blind corner, and back down through Rapakitop, a whole bunch waiting for us before they entered Witch.  Up around Vernon, the climbing really getting to me this time, slower and slower.

Instead of across the road into Traverse, we headed up and into Scotts Knob, nice climb up and fun descent, roots and rocks, finishing with steps, then a walk up the next section wet rocky bits, more climbing and switchbacks than I ever remembered, followed by a sketchy techy slicky rocky dropping descent back down the road near the pond.  Into the next section of walk track, open ground, climbing up to a rocky section then descending to the carpark where a couple of fire trucks were packing up after some sort of exercise.  Staying on this side of the road, we headed up the side of Sugar Loaf, carrying the bikes for a little bit (upon later looking at g.maps we probably should have ridden Gilpins Track, and then up onto ridge from it), then getting onto a walking track around the front, fun riding, to the car park, and on down the ridge to Vic Park.

Down through the pines, mucky rabbit paddock and into the rockgarden and gummies.  Usual left into the old favourite, good traction and no muck, down through this and out to the skidder site.  Yet another group of riders here.  From here it was up the secret singletracks towards the top of 19th memorial, and over the back across and eventually down through the blind drop to a walking track, past a 'No Mtbs in this area' sign across the walking tracks, a couple of zigs and zags, and then steep fun down (another sign), into the drop zone, steeeeeeep, and new lines since we'd last ridden in here, dropping down down down into the gulley.  Nelson railroaded the curves, while I lost all traction in both wheels and careened to a halt, having to walk down the insanity he'd just ridden.  Across the creek, short walk and dropping again down to walking track and finally valley bottom just above the bridge that guy died at a few years ago, letting a string of riders through first.  Final bomb down the wide open track to the bottom and we were done.

A struggly 770m climbed, over 17.7 kms...

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