Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mt Grey on a sunny day...

Did this ride a few weeks ago but have been a bit lazy on the write up. Chris had a Wednesday off so we decided to do a midweek daytime ride, which this time of year is a bit of a luxury. Met with another friend of Chris's also called Chris at Pukeko Junction Cafe and had a coffee before heading to the carpark half way up Mt Grey. Due to time constraints we parked a car at the bottom of the hill and drove another back up to the park again. Then we got ready and headed into the little track at the pond/lake there. Made a few wrong turns and stumbled onto a DH track and figured we should head to the east where the road should be. Followed a bit of a forestry track to a clearing but no sign of the road there so we went down another rough track which narrowed to basically a wall of gorse which we rode through picking up plenty of scratches but luckily no punctures. Was about to turn back when I saw some native tree tops not far away and figured they were in a gully below the road so pushed on a luckily I was right and we popped out onto the road. Started to climb the road steadily aware that I am unfit as at the moment and didn't want to over do it on the way up. New Chris was a little slower as he has only been riding a few months and I steadily pulled away. Old Chris stayed with him until I was a few hundred metres ahead and then he started to catch me. He caught up about 5 minutes later and we rode together to the junction with the lookout road is. Had a rest and waited for new Chris to catch us. We then decided to check out the lookout as I had never been there before and it was a really nice sunny day. I thought it was a reasonable distance to it but we were there in about 45 seconds to my surprise. Took some photos and had a good look around and then headed to the top. At the top we hopped over to the lee side of the wind and had a feed and another rest. It was pretty awesome to sit in such warm sunny conditions out of the wind and relax with a beautiful view to enjoy. We then headed to the top of the next knob and then down the single track to the west. Had a great time attempting to ride the switchbacks and managed to ride about 60% of them I guess.

Some we had a few attempts at as well. 1 in particular we tried about 6 or 7 times each before we got it right (me first!!!) as it looked so doable but had lots of technical challenges packed into a few metres of trail, ie rocks at the start, multiple line options, 180 degree hairpin, medium incline, and loose gravel surface mid corner with drop away to bush on the side. Great fun...

After that we continued on and the trail had longer flowing sections which were also great and we eventually ran out of track at the river at the bottom of the hill where we parked the car earlier. New Chris put his bike in the car and drove and old Chris and I held onto the sides with the rear windows open so we could hang on. Was easier and much faster than riding up the hill, but still pretty tough to hold on and control the bike with 1 hand. We swapped sides to rest our arms half way up, and developed the knee against the side of the car technique to help stabilise the bike, making it much easier. We rode the flat section to the carpark flat out and then I headed home and the Chris's went for a beer first.

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