Monday, December 04, 2017

Monday Night Big Hot and Grey

Met Nelson at Rangoon after work and we headed up thru Loburn, checking out Journey's End first, but finding lots of No Entry; Private Property; Tresspassers Prosecuted signs, so back down to Feathers and up Mt Grey Rd to park at the bottom of Paringa.  Had a brief chat with a local and his pitbulls then around 6.15, headed up the road, over the locked gate and up a bit to hit up Banks Rd.  Two wheel tracks, slightly overgrown in places, nice surface, easy rolling, up.  It was pretty hot, but mostly in the shade climbing up here, so not bad.  Then a nice rolling descent down to the Okuku Rd intersection, which then led steeper down past beehives, more beehives, another gate, and down to the campground and ford/bridge at the bottom of our singletrack.  The next and longest climb began...  Up up up to Lake Janet, about one hour in, then, instead of up the singletrack, (somewhat misguidedly) we chose the road to climb (thinking the switchbacks would be in full sun and HOT).  This road seemed to go on for ever nearly killing me, but at least it was shady.  For once I actually used my 'lock-outs' front and rear.  They worked pretty good, tho the rear had weird clunkiness when I stood and cranked.  Had a rest at the turn off to the fire lookout, and then headed up to the singletrack.  This was steep but eminently cleanable til much higher up, in the shade, good to concentrate on, and we made the top of the hill at 8.10 pm.  50 minutes left til sunset.

Into the descent.  I got super skittery on the gravel as we hung a left onto the main track, nearly losing it, but dropped a bit of air out of my front wheel and chased onwards, Nelson long gone.  Was a little careful down here, feeling super sketchy, but after the worst (of only 2) boggy bits, caught up to Nelson and we continued on down.  He was trying out his new gangnam switchback stylez the whole way, getting better (and quicker) all the way down.  I had variable luck with mine.  Nose wheelies with a flick to re-align.  Definitely the way to go...  Down through the spectacular forest singletrack, delightfully rocky and gnarly and the usual cornflakes scatterings.  Near the bottom of the pine section Nelson popped a jump and landed sideways giving massive blowout of goo and air.  From here on down, the lower we got, the more bugs Nelson was stirring in my path and the more I was having to contend.  By the last km to the bottom it was getting really bad, and I was having to ride mouth shut and blinking like crazy.  Made the camp site at 8.50, 10 minutes of sun left...

Stopped and chatted with some campers who'd asked for directions while we were climbing and then got climbing.  Long slog, but nothing on what we'd already done earlier.  Finally made the Paringa turn-off, then followed this all the way up (higher than Banks), and then bombed down.  Gravel road flying, well over 60kph and finally arrived back at the car at about 9.15 - 3 hours, of which 2 1/2 hours was riding time.  Not much mucking around...

A whopping 1115 m climbed, over 28 kms

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