Thursday, March 20, 2008

Conical Hill, Red Rocks, Detox and the beautiful Bigfoot

Three more days of intense riding followed in Hanmer. We rode tracks that Pete and I had ridden last time we were there, Conical Hill and Flax Gully and it was better this time (no visits to the doctor for me). We went down some scary loose tracks (Pete sprained his wrist), but I managed to ride most of it. We went up a track I'd never been on, Timberland. A straight forward track, but hard work up hill. That brought us up to the lovely Red Rocks. A bit more climbing and we were at the top. I had a really fantastic ride down and only walked the "wall of roots". Yay. Absolutely knackered after a day of steep climbs and brilliant descents.

The next day my legs were not happy campers. Off we went, back up Timberland and this time down Jolliffe. I hadn't been up this top section. Some steep bits where I had to push and then the down. Super tight rocky steep switch backs which I ended up walking after trying to ride the 2nd one and going for a run down the track while my bike went a different way (hehehe). Once down the switchbacks we were into lovely beech forested singletrack and soon back on familiar ground. The boys headed up Bigfoot once more and us girls went off in search of Detox. We headed up a short bit of lovely walking track that made us forget about our screaming legs and then out onto the road and met the boys. After a bit more climbing we reached the top of Detox and some more great views across Hanmer and the plains beyond. Then the sweet down hill. This a track was definitely worth the up, and I rode all of it again, except for one insane rock drop. A brilliant ride, and again I was completely stuffed. We headed back to the holiday house for a cruisy afternoon of napping and doing nothing. In the evening Pete and I went and picked wild blackberries which were delicious.

On the last day it was just Pete and I riding. It was bloody hard getting on the bike. My legs were reminding me that I'd had 3 days of hill climbing without a rest. Even cruising along the fairly flat Dog Stream was horrid. But once we got to the end I thought I could make it up Bigfoot. I've been wanting to do this track for ages, especially since Pete kept telling me how much I'd love it. 19 super tight switch backs and many many rests later I was wheezing at the top. This is definitely, without a doubt the best track I've ever ridden. Beautiful surroundings, lovely flowing single track with fun wee drop offs, beautiful flowing bermed switchbacks and little jumps (for those brave enough, not me). It was the perfect end to the trip and I'm super grateful to Pete for his patience and help to get me up there when I really didn't want to ride.

My skills have improved immensely from this trip and hopefully my fitness has got a bit better to.

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