Drove via a web of roadworks and traffic jams to the lower end of Bowenvale ave and parked under the trees on the south side of the river to get changed/ready. Saw Craig head up the Ave time trialing it to our meeting point, he didn't hear my whistle due to the traffic noise. I quickly got organised and took off in the same direction.
We met up at the carpark where the usual types on big bikes were milling around. We headed up the valley and into the start of Old Skool and the bright sun/heat. I seemed to be struggling more than the last ride up here, mucking up a few corners that I had cleaned up no problems before. We got to the top of the single track and had a quick breather, feeling pretty smashed already with the heat, then headed back down. As usual a nice run down but not pushing too hard. Craig had switched to some new ultra thick tubes due to punctures recently and decided the huge extra mass was really slowing him down, but he still managed to keep pretty close to me all the way down.
We then headed up the lower valley track and up passed the 'hospital corner' further into the valley. At the first bridge we headed right (left is the exit of Lava Flow) and over another bridge. This is an old trail we used to do regularly years ago and is a sweet old style cross country loop. We kept heading up the valley, further than I remembered until the track crosses to the opposite side and meets another trail heading back along towards the vic park trees. Nice little traverse, slightly downhill to the top of Bridges where we took the usual switchback trail down into the valley before heading up the Hidden Link trail, Craig nailing the top steep section leaving me in the dust. Then down Old Skool again to Bowenvale and back to the car. About a 1 hour ride total.