After work ride with Rich back from holidays but still nursing a broken rib. I drove to his place and we slowly organised our bikes and ourselves before making our way by C'rona to Sumner. Parking on a side street to give a little warm up before climbing up Captain Thomas. I had a good clean run up the whole way, making several pinches I haven't managed for several years (although the track was closed for a few years due to rockfall danger post the 'quakes). At the road intersection we stopped to yabber for a few minutes before heading up into Godley nicely rested but given the steep sections right at the front this normally causes problems due to not having a good heart rate. I find it easier to go into this part with a good heart rate going from the start. I was surprised then, that I managed to clear both tricky steep bits perfectly before waiting for Rich at the top of them for a few seconds. At that stage the heart was pounding pretty much at it's max though.
Once underway again the top came up pretty quickly and riding was good over the rocky sections. The descent giving us a good rest before the next climb, which is also rocky and tecnical so quite an enjoyable challenge. Over the top and the next descent into the PFMTBC rock was good apart from a 2 wheel slide around a right hander sending me to the inside of the track where a large thistle had appeared. I could see my entire right leg was going to smash through it so unclipped and lifted it so to avoid this fate but unfortuantely I still wore the top of it just above the ankle. The feeling was probably like getting a tattoo, I would imagine, but I carried on to the road crossing anyway. After pulling out the copius prickles from my shin and deliberating about which way to go, we decided to take the high route above the road and follow the newer, narrow sheep trail which meant we didn't need to climb so far to take the route around the back of Godley head on the Lyttelton side.
This trail was really nice, if a little overgrown with grass etc, and being nice and dry the grip was much better than our last time around. Even the hidden rocks were pretty grippy. We stopped about 2/3s of the way around to rebuild a rock ramp we had worked on a few years ago as someone had recently decided to roll some of the rocks down the hill. We found those and quite a few more so had a really good ramp built at the end which I tested at speed several times. Works great. After climbing the fence at the bottom I needed a feed so we stopped for 5 minutes for a 1 square before heading down the Anaconda. Nice run as usual down here, catching another rider right at the bottom who diverted onto the walk track. I had a really good flow through the tail too. We climbed out from Taylors at a steady pace catching the other rider who was a Sumner local via the UK. Then we shot down through the park from the top and through the maze of old trials through the houses perched along the cliffs then back along the esplanade and to the car. About 2 hours all up ride time.