Sunday, September 30, 2018

Grey Sunday under a Nor'west Arch - Happy 1000 blog posts!

Firstly, let me welcome you to post number 1000.  This is the 1000th post posted to this blog by me since May 2005.  Not bad going, eh!?

Looked to do something a little more interesting than a bash on the Port Hills, so this morning Nelson picked me up at about 8.20 (new time) and we hooned out to "Lake" Janet. Straight into the steep, we rode (and walked) up bastardly steep walking track from the 'Lake'.  We had a wee explore out the recently opened trail to the road that we've always thought must be there, finding and identifying the landmarks as to where it comes off the road.  Turned around and headed back through it.  Future rides will most certainly enter this way up the road first, methinks. Back on to the main singletrack and on up huffing and chuffing all the while, past some guys walking with dogs. Zig and zag, there's always one extra dog leg on this climb that I forget about. Got to the Lookout and looked out. Haze over the city, planes tracking in for the nor'west runway, and massive spectacular nor'west arch overhead.

From here we headed up the walking track, nice climbing now between the broom, through some scrappy beech, with a better gradient than the zigs below.  Usual tussock trickiness higher up and we stopped for a perusal of the view and rest out of the wind.  We spotted some other riders struggling up the scree to the trigpoint top across the way, and they hung out up there for a while.  A few photos

Nelson's bike and foot, Arch, and people on the other summit
Out towards Amberly...
Over the other side, looking west. (trail below)...

Nelson set up his gopro and gimbal and it was time to head off down.  I led the way, and we bombed it... cleaning more of the switchbacks than ever before.  Our new switchback technique is unstoppable.  Made for one of the fastest trips, if not the fastest trip, down, Nelson on my tail pretty much the whole way filming.  Met one walker in the switchbacks right at the top of the bush.  After him, we had a mint trip down, speed carried through so much, and more clean corners than ever before.  Stopped at the bottom of the most numerous pile of switchbacks and rested our fingers and hands, and had a snack.
Got going again, and fanged the rest of the way out.  The (usually) boggy muckhole was pretty good, some new looking drainage finally having been inserted.  Much much lower down near the bottom we met a dog, followed by his people, and that was it for other trail users.  Finally out the bottom, hands aching from the brake control, massive grins on our faces.

Into the road climb, once again, several sections we always forget about before landmarks loom, like, after the beehives, I always think it's just a corner and a straight to the ridge, but no...  and from the bridge after the brief descent, not far up to the level of the car from there?  Nope, way further, lots of corners, and a couple of side roads I feel like I've never noticed before.  Finally onto the level and slight descent back to the car.  Loads of cars in the carpark. We dropped off packs, pocketed phones, and headed up the road (~7 minutes) to the new singletrack entry for a wee bonus.  Another minute or so up this and it was into the descent, steep skiddy section to start, then under the big trees over their roots, across and into an old DH track, a few jumps, lots of loose tree litter / bark and a couple of stops to look at stuff, and after carving a few corners, we were back out to the car.

A sweet 15.6kms looped, with 756m gained.  (couple other pics associated with this MMR).


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