Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Grey

8am at Rangoon, then transferred to Nelson's car and headed up thru North Loburn to Paringa Rd.  Couldn't drive the ford so parked on the corner and rode through it, getting wet feet.  Over the gate and the climb began, still nice and cool at this point, but as we rode along Banks Rd the occasional gust was full of warmth.  We diverted from our path a couple of times, looking for possible ways across the valley to the next ridge to avoid climbing all the way up to the high point of Banks/Paringa before the big descent back down to the river, but to no avail.  However, we did find lots of yummy blackberry goodness which we gorged on multiple times.

Bomb down Okuku Rd past the beehives and over the gate and down a short ways before ducking right, up onto the Mt Grey Nature Walk.  This proved fun, and nicely graded, with a few interesting features of tight corners and short steps.  Stopped and moved a big log off one place too.  Cool descent down to the camp ground.  Through this and across the ford, and up the long and winding road.  Stopped for a rest at "Lake" Janet, then got into the steep clamber.  Once into the zigs and zags it isnt so bad, cleaning most tech features if not the tight corners.  Gaining altitude quickly we made the tower in good time, then headed up the singletrack from here - broom getting a bit unruly in some sections, but a nice climb to the summit anyway.  Sat in the lee of the hill (out of the strong NorWest) and had a snack, before heading off down the trail.

Fun descent began.  Met the odd walker or runner, couples too, and stopped and moved rocks into a boggy bit while still above the treeline.  Cornering seems easier on the Pipeline than the 5-Spot, and I was really getting into the lefthand switchbacks, nose wheelying, swinging the back wheel around then proceeding onwards.  Righthand switchies, not so much.  Most of them I reverted to my fatbike technique of planting the inside foot and doing the nose-wheely then.  Still quicker than any other method of cornering those tightspots.  We stopped and cleared a couple of big logs across the trail too.  Excellent blast down through the forest, into the pine section, then back into the bush.  Was a fun blast.  Landed back at the ford splecked in muck and smiling.

Now the brutal climb began, just after 12pm, sun beating down, luckily some shade in patches.  Stopped part way up to eat blackberries, then more further up.  Finally peaked Okuku and up Paringa for the last climb, before bombing the gravel back to the car.

None of the chasing of the daylight like last time.

Just under 30kms again, with 1105 m climbed... fairly hefty.

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