Tuesday evening after work I headed over to Cashmere, fighting the usual traffic woes. Conditions had been wet earlier in the day but the warm breeze was drying things out quickly. The PFMTBC ride plan was to meet at the top of Worsleys Road at 6.20. I was at the base of the hill by about 5.55pm so decided to park up, get changed and ride from there. That way I could catch the Far Side Tracks on the way down. Mark and Maree pulled up in the car beside me just as I was getting onto the flat after the steep first section of road and offered a lift. I decided to carry on riding as there was still plenty of time before the others were due. Lots of traffic was streaming past, almost all with bikes racked on the back. The fumes were pretty bad on the steep section too. Tony also went past but I didn't recognise the car until I saw his bike on the back.
I met the others at the carpark and Maree and Mark carried on up at a nice leisurely pace and planned to meet at the bottom of the forestry. I went back down to where Tony had parked (150m below the carpark as it was full) and waited for the others. Andrew quickly arrived also by bike and then Warren and Wayne and Stevie with Robyn. We got organised and rode up to meet the others at the forest and decided to ride up the forestry track to take the original line down from the cliffs. Wayne having a good fast climb up at the front and Tony riding the whole thing non stop for the first time. I followed Andrew down and we took a few wrong turns here and there as the trails criss cross everywhere now. We all seemed to agree this is a real problem. Then we accidentally took the new retarded shortcut that avoids the first awesome section of fight club and regrouped at the bottom of that. That piece of track would have to be the most pointless in all of the port hills. We carried on with me in front but having problems on the fast corners as my tyres were too soft and were rolling on the rims a little. Not a nice feeling at speed on off camber tracks. I stopped at the bottom and put more air in both before catching the others on the climb out. We headed back up the same way to the cliffs with everyone climbing pretty well. Regrouped and decided to head further up as most of the crew hadn't gone up from there before. They found the going pretty good with a few of us having enough energy to have a few go's at getting up a steep rocky section (but nobody quite making it). Also a few being surprised at how quickly we got to the intersection at the top. From there we went further up towards Tommy's II etc but turned off into the link to Debbies. We stopped at the first ruins to show the guys, as nobody else had seen them. We deduced that it was build by the Chinese more the 2000 years ago. We headed onwards with the intention of turning back up to the left to do Fight Club again but missed the turn off and went straight into Alices Restaurant. This got pretty steep and technical in places before we regrouped on a flat after the first wood bridge. Everyone seemed to love it though, so we carried on down. From there it got really steep but Mark and I managed to ride it all and the others walking a few particularly steep bits below the rock outcrop. Below these sections we got a really good flow on and shot out to the 4wd exit track in no time. A big group of riders from several groups assembling at the same place. We all took off up at the same time and I decided to see how far I could get up at near full noise. I got in front and put the foot down on the steeper section and made it to the last corner before having to back off a little. I waited for the others for a minute or 2 and we headed down to the cars.
I figured if anyone was keen we could all ride down via the Far Side to my car and I could ferry the drivers back up. Had a few takers (Mark, Marree and Warren) with Andrew riding anyway and Robyn being picked up at the bottom by Steve. We had a great run, getting in just in front of another large group. Everyone came out with big grins. The track is really flowy even though it is pretty confined and twisty. Good work trail builders...
Took the drivers up in the car then returned to pick up the bike and gear about 8.45pm.