Friday, March 14, 2008

Kennedy's Bush

Once upon a time, in a suburb in Christchurch called Halswell, there was a wonderful track called Kennedy's Bush. This track is the longest way to get to the top of the Port Hills, climbs about 450m and has some lovely wee bits of single track on it.

It's also the first hill I tried to ride up when I started riding again about 2 years about. That first ride wasn't pretty, I made it to the first tight uphill corner and had to sit down for ages and then go home. The second ride I made it to the top of the first hill (about 50m on from the corner) and same story, had to wheeze my way back to life on the side of the road. After a few more rides and a lot of encouragement I made it to the top of the sealed road to where the actual 4WD track starts! Hooray. The next ride I attempted the first steep, short climb up the 4WD track. What a freekin nightmare. I struggled about halfway up, lungs and legs screaming and couldn't go on. So I got off and then I looked back where I'd come up and burst into tears of fear (no sowing the seeds of love for me that day, sorry very bad pun). I'd never ridden down anything like that before. There were ruts running down it, it was bumpy and it seemed like a vertical face as I stood there clinging to my bike for dear life. Wonderful husband to the rescue. He talked sense to me, told me I could do it, told me to go slow, and put my seat right down. So I gave it a go, once I'd composed myself, and I didn't maim myself in anyway shape or form, and felt soooo proud at the bottom (all 100 odd metres away)! A few weeks later I was barrelling down there at high speed and crashing into the gate at the bottom (oops).

Its a bit different for me up there now. I ride the single track that I swore I'd never ride because "I'm not into that silly dangerous stuff" and I'm get pretty fast. I ride up there at least once a week and sometimes I even go to the top, but I prefer riding up and down the single track. And now, I can hold a conversation with someone the whole time I'm riding, unless I'm really pushing myself hard. Which is exactly what I did last night and it was good. Riding up and down the single track a couple of times was also good, even better in fact. I've got new brake pads so it was a bit hairy in places as my brakes bed in, but it was still a fantistic ride. And best of all, the foul mood I was in when I got home from work was completely blow away by the ride. Tonight Rapaki and the delicious Bowenvale Traverse (mmmmm single track, I Y it so much).

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