Friday, April 6, 2012

Fun on the Slippery Nun

Tuesday 3 April. The plan was for the PFMTBC chaps to meet Rich and I at the top of Worsleys road and do a repeat of our last ride, only this time under lights more or less all the way. We managed to get across town about 25 minutes early and figured a quick loop up and back would be a goer with the remaining daylight left. We cruised up the 4wd track in good time noting the nice dry trail at the bottom. About half way up though it got damp and was reasonable wet at the top. We re-gathered ourselves at the top of B-Line and I lead in. The half light was pretty tricky and with lights on was not really any better, so we push on carefully. I rode over one of the rock piles and the front end slipped quite a bit with the greasy mud and the slippery rock not being the best combo. We came around a corner into a rocky section and noticed a couple of guys walking up. Once close enough I realised one of them was one of my friends' brother in law. He was doing some last minute training for a hunting expedition in Fiordland. We chatted a few minutes then continued down. After the clifftop section the track was dry again and the grip was fantastic. We took the line above the 4wd section this time and it was well worth the tiny climb to get onto it and it lead us out to the main track without having to climb back up. Rich quickly called Steve and the others and we discovered they were up ahead of us.

Up the track again a little slower this time and we came across the boys (Steve, Andrew, Tony and Maree with Warren up ahead) waiting with some young guys testing out their 4wd vehicles. I don't think they got very far past that point somehow. We all got past them and Rich and I went ahead and climbed the Bodybag section. I nearly made it, but was riding without my light on and didn't see a slight rut and lost traction on the steepest part. I pushed up about 10 metres and rode the rest. We watched from the top and saw the others pike and peel off into the B-Line instead. So we carried on over the top to the Nun. I lead off and was pretty tentative with the lights on and a decidedly slippery surface and greasy slick rocks, I wasn't keen to go for a skate. I dropped into the rock lined dipper and felt both tyres slide about badly, but I stayed well balanced and carried on. Rich pulled up and avoided the risky rocks. I waited a few seconds and we carried on. Felt pretty good, a little slower than usual, but not to bad. By the time we got to the saddle I was getting pretty confident with the grip. We had a good pace on down towards the Sign of the Kiwi and I hit the first of the 3 jumps near the end, a little slower than normal due to the greasiness, and then the next I took off but got crossed up a little and the front wheel landed off to the left of the trail and the back wheel on the track. I couldn't get back on line and the front wheel washed into the grass throwing me off to the left also. I dived head first into the long grass and was thinking there better not be any rocks in there. Luckily there were none, but the grass caught on my light which pulled my head face down into the grass where I rammed into a big clump of grass like a tussock, which stopped my progress abruptly. I felt my head fold under me and my neck took the strain flexing quite a bit and making some unhealthy noises. I felt fine though and tried to get back up but my light was caught in the grass and it took a few seconds to extract it. Rich turned up then and asked if I was OK. I thought so, but tested my neck to be sure. It felt a little strained, but OK and no pain, so we carried on to the end the last 100m or so. On the road I had to re-straighten out my stem as the fall had knocked the bars to the left which doesn't feel good when you are riding, especially when you are thinking you may have taken a head knock or something serious.

We decided against doing another run down the Nun and rode up the Summit Road to the top of Worsleys again and dropped down the Body bag. This time it was pretty slick at the top so we were pretty slow until it levels out a little and we glided down to the old gateway. On crossing the swampy bit I lost balance and nearly fell into the deep muck puddle but manage to stick my foot down on the far side of it and straddle the water. Up to B'line again for some more of the same as earlier on, although this time it seemed even more slippery after a few riders with muddy tires and the surface being stirred up a little. At one stage in a fairly easy left hand bend I ended up sliding out completely and facing 90 degrees into the long grass again. I re-aligned with the track and tried to catch up to Rich. It took a while but eventually I got back on his tail just after the clifftop section. As there on down was dry I had no more problems and we had a sweet run down to the 4wd climb and into the lower section where we explored some of the myriad of lines in the trees and then made our way out to the main track and to the car. No sign of the others there and we cleaned the worst mud off our bikes before Coroning it to Noodle Canteen for some authentic oriental cuisine.