Had a course to do on my day off (Tuesday 4th or so) and a few jobs to sort out then free about 4.30ish. Cruised with bike etc to the Swtchbckr residence and was met at the gate by a small chap inviting me in, although it was a little odd that we were locked out for a short while to begin with...Anyway after a bit longer Rich arrived and we had another great dinner (thanks again) although I felt a little guilty being uninvited... :)
We got ready and went to pick up Chris from the Holly temple before heading up to the meeting point above the Sign of the Kiwi. The Bongo making good time on the top section once it left the confines of the 50kmh zone...
We came across a nest of slightly inferior white vans containing no less than PFMTBC members Steve, Tony, Marie, Wayne and Warren in that order making a posse of 8 in total.
We exchanged some unnecessary pleasantries and headed up the road with a chilly cross wind. Chris and I seemed to get ahead as the others chatted in the cold air. Once we got to the top of Worsleys and the start of the Nun who flew we regrouped and some adjusted seat heights etc. This is against my religion unless it is on a day that doesn't end in y. Of we went with Chris newly decked out in his knee/shin guards in front and me next wheel in the dust. This was to be a constant problem. Rich was behind and the others spreading out to relieve the dust issue. I was feeling pretty ginger due to not having ridden for a while on that trail and knowing it had been changed/repaired recently so was a bit slow. Hit a few nice jumps and mucked up some other bits too. Got a bit disorientated part way down and took a wrong turn into a short cut and ended up in front of Chris, so tried to get down without holding him up to much and we pulled up to the car park to regroup. Up again for round 2 I decided to ride up in a silly gear (think it was 32/18 but managed that OK, so would be fine for single speeding) and we did the same thing although this time when I mucked up the same corner I stopped and let Rich go ahead as well seeing as I was riding badly still. This time we went down to the Kiwi and headed back up again.
Round 3 I think I went off in 3rd place and Rich did a good job of keeping close to the flying Chris. I was a little better but still making errors and jumped right off the track at one point just past the first 4by track crossing and had to run back up to the track. It was cool at the bottom by the Kiwi again looking back up at all the lights coming down the track from our guys and another big group coming down too. We regrouped and rode back up to the Vans where the others decamped and Rich, Chris and I did a drop down into the Governors Bay track which was super groomed and trimmed making it nice and flowing. We dropped right down to the hairpin at the bottom and turned back to grind our way up. I was in front and took it easy at first to save energy knowing how tough the switchback corners are. I stuffed up the first one along with the others and then when pretty well. I think I only missed 2 more after that. I found the climb out pretty good even though it is pretty steep. We voted on 1 more shot at the Nun so carried on up hill to the top. This time I felt in better form and managed to even make the corner I kept missing and had much better speed. Stuck much closer to the others and we all pulled out at the Van in good time feeling good to finish with a decent. Another quick decent was made in the Bongo and everyone dropped off.