Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday's Blowhard, lives up to it's name

Out to Nelson's with Jet in the car, about 10, and heading out 10.30ish round through a few frost patches to the end of Maori Reserve Rd, parking up to find a few vehicles and could see some hunters and dogs heading up the hill.  Got riding, 11ish, and ground our ways up, blowing bloody hard, what with the fresh start, Jet leading out miles ahead, excited at the smells of the other dogs ahead of him.  Met them pretty much at the high point before the drop to the big mud puddle where the true climb begins.  Also up there was a quad bike with a dog trailer, so obviously other hunters were ahead too.  Jet was great with these first dogs, hello hello, and straight on with us.

Lot of walking up the rocky steep to start, then a bit of riding and more walking and more riding and a bit more walking just for good measure.  All feeling pretty good, Jet bounding around, covering twice the distance of us, up and back, up and back.  Eventually, the sort of avenue along the ridge bit of a descent and we met the other dogs (and their owners), a couple of which weren't quite so friendly...  Jet was good tho, and had no trouble and on we went, a bit more climbing and walking, Nelson cleaning heaps of it, but not able to use his 42t the whole time cos of some gyp it was giving him.  I was certainly glad of my new 40t.  My old 32:36 ratio would have been a bastard and a lot more walking would have ensued.

Awesome descent down the ridge, then the climbing wasn't too bad, on and on it went, not too much muck about, a few bits of ice around, frozen frosty ground in shady sections, but mostly pretty dry the whole time...  bloody good actually.  By the time we were approaching the top, was around 2 hours, so far, and legs were getting pretty tired.  Made the top and it was blowing a fair bit of nor'west up there, not overly warm either.  Chatted to the 'crowds' up there (an older man and a younger woman (father daughter?), and a separate young guy with a foxy called Jack).  Around 1.10pm it was.  1.20-30 we departed.

Off down, and Nelson lost it in the tussocks, couldn't clip out in time and flopped off the bike.  was spectacular and luckily non-hurting...  I took the lead for a bit, finding a good detour round some mucky shit as we re-entered the forest, and bombing on down, smooth as smooth can be, the 5.Spot becoming more and more a part of me.  Jet was never far behind and was really good about stepping aside for us to go ahead on the fast bits, then catching up and cruising on ahead when we were going slow.  Some sections we bombed down and it was glorious.  Past the Bypass Track and onwards down across the ridge.  Sweet flow, a few climbs and downs and suddenly into the steep walking climb.  Took a lot out of me.

Once clear of it we were riding again and not far up there I got a good cramp in my thigh, yowch!  Stopped for a bit of a rest of it, and then once we got going again there was the top...  W00t! down down down swoop and holla, til Nelson got a flat.  Fixed that, and not long after came upon one of the first dogs we saw, injured, fair bit of blood, walking along in a bit of a daze, not fussed by Jet,  but radio collar on (so his owners will hopefully have found him).  Got going again and the last few metres of the last wee climb hurt but then it was into the really rough stuff.  I got bent out of shape on one bit, got going again, cocked up again, then flowed on down.  No troubles the rest of the way with some sections of insane speed.  Bike was superlative in it's performance.  Wicked.  The bottom seemed to take ages to turn up, a couple stops on the way to make sure Jet was with us - he was never very far behind even when we'd been absolutely hauling ass.  One very close call when my front wheel seemed to roll on about 3 babyhead sized rocks in quick succession, tipping me trackwards til i somehow hooked it up and kept it rolling down the steeeeep bits and finally over the frost hauling up by the muddy puddle, the smell of brakes very very hot.  Nelson's were even starting to fade/seize up.  My XT's were cool as cucumbers.

Round the puddle and up over and on down the 4wd.  Careful round the ruts, and back to the car, 2.30 on the dot.  Awesome day.  Weather couldnt have been better, trail was mint, bike was great, and the dog was the best!

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