Wednesday, April 25, 2018

ANZAC Porterhouse Cheese and CoalSpit Pur.

Minty bunch of rides today, it being ANZAC Day, and my family out of town, Nelson and me met just before 11 at Sheffield and convoyed both cars out to Porters ski field road. 

Drove up the 5km gravel road to check out the Porter Lodge (as featured in recent Spoke mag).  Had a coffee then on with the helmets, no bags needed, and headed up their Flow Trail. Twas fun.   A little greasy (melted frost-heave) in places, but drying out.  Climbed about 9 minutes, with two opportunities to cut the loops short passed by, brief look at the view up Crystal Valley, then into the descent:  flowy, a few nice wee jumps, and bermed corners.  One really nice jump down the bottom, and a couple of kinda hip jumps lower down too (the last one followed by a super greasy off camber corner (nearly lost it!)).  Then a wee grunt back up to the carpark. - 2kms, 115m climbed, 13.31 minute spin.  My tires were caked, so I hosed them off and then we had some lunch.  They've only got a couple things on the menu, but they're bloody good - BLT or a Buffalo Mozzarella sandwich.  We had a half of each each.  Then, about to leave, decided to blat round the lower loop to do the three main jumps again.

Back into the cars and around to Cheeseman Rd, driving up the gravel, past Texas Flat, and leaving my car at the ice rinks turnoff.  Headed up in Nelson's to park at one of the entrances to Smegma (aka Cuckoo Creek).  From here we rode up the road past the top entrance to Cuckoo, and further on up to K Line.  Here we met a guy and gal and 3 more young blokes rolled up behind us too.  Followed the couple into this fun rooty steep awesome trail.  Got past them after a couple of stops, then Nelson and me were blitzing out ahead.  It spits you onto Dracophyllum Track just as hit the Flat, so across this and through the usual, but climbing out to the Ice Rinks (rather than all the way to Texas Flat).

Next, we rode back up the road to Smeg, riding past Nelson's car to the top entrance, a steep one, and bombed down this.  It was way more hard work than K-line, just lots of kinda big lumpy whoomps, and heaps of tricksy little roots that'd send your rear wheel sideways, but all fun rideable.  My glutes and quads were getting a hammering.  Finally it finished, on the Draco Flat Track but much closer to the zig zaggy climb towards the Ice Rinks.  So, up this, much harder this time, and out to the Hyundai.  Checked out a wee track across the road, which took us up to Cocaine Alley (a wordplay on Cockayne, I've since realised - Cockayne was an eminent NZ botanist whose name is associated with lots of native plants).  Up and back on this connector track just to check it out then stashed the bikes in the bushes and drove my car back up to his.  Back down to the bikes, chucking both in his car.

This here's the route, cept we accidentally left MMR running til we were most of the way up the hill (so, ignore that bit). About 11.4 kms, and maybe 500 m climbed but more than twice that descended.

Back in the cars and off around the highway, this time to the far end of Coalpit Spur track (past Flock Hill).  Parked my car there, then back up to the start in Nelson's.  Awesome bomb down hill this track, into the valley below, some rocketship rush speed sections, and a whole heap of cool switchbacks that are great to practice the nose-wheelie turning technique (even if not actually necessary), and then a creek crossing.  We both tried different methods  - Nelson riding half-pedals; he stalled and got a wet foot, and I tried to just rock hop, but they were slippery, and not many were out of the water, so I got a wet foot (and damp 2nd foot) too.  On down the valley from here, and then it started climbing.  Didn't expect it to be much of a climb, but it turned out to be, and quite steep too.  Ugh.  Over the top, and then down again, a few more switchies and then down a 4wd(ish) gravel 2-track which eventually forded another stream (dry feet this time) and we were back to my car.

This one was apparently less than 20 minutes (felt like longer, cos of tiredness), and 4.5 kms with about 100 m climbed (again, quite a bit more than that descended)

Tally for the day, more than 700 climbed, and probably double that descended...

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