Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finally, a Sunny Weekend!

To say I was glad it was sunny when I got up on Saturday would be an understatement. It was a glorious day on Saturday morning and Pete and I loaded up the car and headed out to the sand pit. We were both feeling under the weather with what ever it is we’ve got at the moment, so the plan was for a very cruisey ride, mainly consisting of playing on the wooden structures (skinnies) by the jumps. I’ll have to get some photos next time. It was the most fun I’ve had on my bike for ages. Who would have thought riding on bits of wood a foot or two off the ground would be such fun. It was pretty hard on the old nightrider with its no suspension, well when I went off the edge it was a hard landing. I think the rigid bike was easier to control and the lack of feedback through suspension when braking definitely helped. I managed to ride most of the low skinny and the one high straight skinny, but I was too wussy to try the tetter-totter. Next time though! I also learnt that the nightrider is not the thing for jumps (it’s horrid for that). Maybe I’ll take 2 bikes next time so I can do some hucks. It was really wonderful riding with Pete again, its been a while and its so brilliant spending time with my two loves.

Sunday dawned gorgeous as well. I’d arranged to meet a Vorbette from the North Is. to show her round some of the tracks in the Port Hills. A friend of mine was also coming, turns out this was lucky for me. I didn’t feel too bad on Sunday morning, but I wasn’t right and my lungs were feeling a bit horrid. Still it was way too nice outside to waste the day and I’d made a commitment so I loaded my extremely clean and shiny good bike on the car. I’d spent 2 hours cleaning it on Saturday and it was looking superb (sigh). My friend arrived shortly after me at the base of Rapaki and eventually Chanting (Vorbette) and her boyfriend arrived. It turns out Chanting is an extremely fit young thing and immediately Hails and I knew we were going to have a hard day. Both of us were wheezing away by the time we hit the 4wd track and it only got worse. Chanting and her bf disappeared up the hill and I started grinding. Crikey I felt awful. My head was pounding and my lungs were burning, which meant my legs felt pathetically weak. Amazingly even though my body was suffering my mind wasn’t. I was actually still enjoying it. I haven’t been out on the hills in so long it just felt soooo good to be out again. We made it to the cattle stop where the track plateaus for a while and rested for a bit (which I haven’t had to do for ages). We set off again and I was feeling pretty light headed and full of dread about the coming climb. It sucked a lot, but luckily there was a bit of a tail wind so I made it without stopping.
We regrouped at the top and after a brief rest in the cold wind I pointed Chanting and bf up the Mt Vernon track and Hails and I grovelled up the road. It was nice cruising in the sun above the pollution and the views were stunning. We met up again at the start of the Traverse and I had the dubious honour of leading the way. I was taking it pretty easy as I was feeling light headed and useless, but I still managed to clean the horrid rocky section where I’ve had multiple tumbles so I was really stoked. I didn’t manage to get up the big rock at the end, but no harm done so that’s ok. The second section was nice and flowing and soon we were in the trees at the top of Vic Park. We girls watched the bf ride the tetter-totter over the fence onto the new flow track and he made it look really easy. I was tempted but I’m not trying it till I’ve done the one at Bottlelake or I’m wearing my full face.
We all had a play on Brakefree and I even got some air over a couple of the table tops, only a couple of cms, and it was FUN. Then we headed down the park. It was 4wd tracks all the way down for me and Hails and some of them were a bit treacherous in the wet shaded areas. I managed to fall off twice in the mud because I was going too slow. The first time I had a nasty contact with my top tube which made me glad to be a girl, but still left me gasping on the ground in a ball. The second tumble was just stupid and only resulted in damaged pride as I hit a branch in the mud which sent the bike side ways. What a muppet!
Despite how it sounds it was a really fun ride and Chanting and her bf were really lovely and great to ride with. Hails did extremely well riding the Traverse for the first time and coming down Vic Park in the wet which was pretty hairy in places. I’ve got a nice collection of new bruises and a very muddy bike which needs another good clean already. Ahhhh the joys of winter riding.

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