Sunday, February 1, 2015
Craig turned up at my place at 9am and we loaded up into my car and headed to the top end of Maori Reserve Road. Parked up under a nice shady tree and headed up the steep grunty 4wd start track. This was Craigs first time up here so he was keeping an easy pace which actually made the ride faster by keeping progress steady and not blowing up and having to stop. The 4wd track had very recently been graded making it loose but smooth. I found it much easier than the old ruts due to not having to balance so carefully on the edge of the deep ruts. The usual puddles where it flattens out for a bit were still there, with plenty of mud which I walked around. The big puddle at the end of the 4wd section was dry for the first time I can remember though. Craig tried the first steep climb until he ran out of traction then had to push. I pushed from lower down, trying not to get too much into oxygen debt. After that Craig started to do the same but was able to ride a couple of sections that I didn't try. The air in the forest was still as and very muggy making the sweat pour off us. I had to change my top at the summit as it was soaked. We pushed and ground our way to the ridgeline before taking a break and having a snack. The ridgeline trail was dry and fast making the climbs a little easier and we got up to the open section in pretty good time. Craig was pretty impressed with the view. Nice blast from here down the scree and further along the ridge, making good progress, passing a walker somewhere along the way. We rode some good technical climbs and pushed up some too steep stuff and made the turn to the very top having made more than I have before. The dryed out mud sections making it much easier. The swamp at the top was also dry so made for a fun section without cloging up the drive train. We hit the top and had a rest up in a nice balmy 23 degress or so with no wind at all. 15 minutes of admiring the view and resting up was enough and we headed back down. Across the root fest, the old dry swamp, the scree slopes the forest sections etc, there is so much variety coming at you every few minutes. We blasted down to the steep scree climb, pushed up that then manage to grind up the other longer climbs before the nice long decents. At the top of the steep rock garden I warned Craig and headed in slowly. Before long the speeds increased and control was lost at certain times before being reined in again, but I got down in 1 shot. Craig also got down but managed to bounce off the track twice on the way. Swooping fast sections and some tight corners before a couple more nearly out of control steep sections before we got to the bottom. Sweet ride in 2 hours 45 mins. Craig continuing another 3 hours back home on the road!!!