Sunday, August 23, 2009

Girls go Wild on the Singletrack

It’s been another fantastic week of riding, with a strong roadie ride over the “Pyrenees” , then a fantastic night ride up the Port Hills and topped off with a brilliant road trip to Hanmer Springs.

Thursday night saw a group of 4 of us head up Rapaki in the dark and immediately my legs suggested that yoga and hill climbs should not be done in the same day. Further up the hill they suggested that perhaps I’ve been doing just a leettle bit too much riding lately and not quite enough recovering. Rapaki was a nasty slog that night and the 2 whippets we were with raced off ahead of us. I was looking forward to hitting the Traverse though, so this slight sufferfest was worth it. As we cruised round the road the fog rolled in and gave the ride a wonderful spooky atmosphere, but by the time we hit the singletrack it was gone. Zooming across the Traverse in the dark was fantastic. Again the Anthem was super responsive and if my legs hadn’t been such weak pieces of over-cooked spaghetti I would have been shredding the whole time. As it was I really flew along the second half and particularly enjoyed the new berms towards the end. And then I rode Brake-Free for the first time since the accident, and while I didn’t do any big jumps, I did a couple of small ones and it was fun. It felt good to conquer my fear. Then we headed down Sesame St and it was fabulous, but I did discover my brakes weren’t working too good. In fact by the bottom of Vic Park they weren’t really working much at all.

The next day I was so tired I could hardly move, so did the sensible and thing and planned a roadie ride in the afternoon. Luckily, I guess, my work interfered and I didn’t get to go on it. This meant I was very keen for some riding on Saturday and what could be better than a girls day trip to Hanmer? Well it turns out, not very much at all actually. Yesterday was one of the best days riding I’ve ever had. After a great trip to Hanmer, and the all important ingestion of delicious pies, we headed to Krank to get the skinny on the tracks from Neil. We all (well not Neil, he wasn’t involved in the conversation) decided that we were keen for fun and shiftiness. Unfortunately for me, this meant we were heading for Red Rocks (YAY!!!), via Timberlands (BOOOOO!). Timberlands quickly taught me that my legs were still toasted and that a spin around the carpark is not enough of a warm up for a steep hill climb. The hill climb continued, after a brief pause for important discussions, up Red Rocks, which I remembered well and then we were finally at the top. From there it was a fantastic fast, slippy descent down the old track, which then flowed into swoopy new bermed goodness and then went up a rocky pinch into a great fall-line rock berm. My excitement to be on my bouncy bike had me keen to ride it and a very nice local gave us a quick demo. After watching him I decided to take a completely different line and set off up the track to get a run in. Not far enough up the track because I didn’t have enough speed when I got to the crest so bailed and headed back up the track for a second go. This time I got the speed just right and nailed it. Brrrrraaaaaapp! It was brilliant and I was buzzing as you can tell from the corny grin.

Red Rocks was over too quickly and we pootled up Dog Stream and then up Detox. Anna and I made it look easy (hah!) and almost like we were enjoying ourselves (HAH!), climbing the 4wd track.

Both of us were not loving the climbs. It was worth it again though as Detox was sweet flowing goodness and I was stoked to nail the rock drop without having to scope it first. We sessioned it a bit and Michelle showed us both how to really ride it properly. Unfortunately I’d gotten a bit over excited with the fun riding and further down Detox I got a bit tangled up in a rut. I managed to bear the brunt of my crash on my well padded hip, but I did end up in the middle of the track with my bike on top of me. I yelled back to Anna so she wouldn’t get too much of a shock to see me there, unfortunately she was distracted by my ladylike, spread-eagled, beneath bike pose and tipped herself gracefully into a gorse bush. So then I was lying under my bike yelling “Are you alright?”, while she was lying in a bush yelling “Are you alright?”. We both were and giggling uncontrollably, it was soo funny. Not having learnt my lesson at all I continued bombing down the slippery track at highspeed only to stick my front wheel into a rut and go flying over my handbars. This was my worst nightmare as I landed right on my bung arm, and my dodgey knee. Good news!! My arm is mended and strong, and now I don’t have to worry anymore. Even after being a complete muppet on that bit of track I was still grinning at the bottom.

We were all pretty tired and zoomed down Camp Track and back to the car to take photo’s of alien baby that was now growing out of my knee.

Off to the pub for some mulled wine and sunshine before a well earned soak in the hot pools. But the thrills weren’t over and we braved the freezing evening air to take on the “Blackhole”, the pitch black hydro slide at the hot pools. Insane fun. After three runs I decided that I didn’t want to bash my already bruised knees and elbows any further and so we soaked in the octagonal pools and scared the other pool dwellers by all touching our noses with our toes! I tell you, the fun never stops on our road trip. After a feed of traditional kiwi kai we were on the road and singing hits of the 90s the whole way home.

Today I’ve been completely shattered. My whole body hurts, apparently hitting the ground hard a couple times isn’t something my body likes, even my left ear which may have hit a rock or a bee? But I do love road tripping and riding with the girls and I do love learning new skills, like tipping my bike into berms, and realising I still need to get my knees wider when descending. I love riding my bikes, but this week I’m going to rest for a few days and get my strength back. In other exciting news, I’ve managed to lose a whooping 6kgs in the past 6 weeks so all the riding seems to be paying off. I can’t wait to get out again next weekend, bring on the sun and the singletrack.


DirtDiva said...

I'm giggling uncontrollably all over again just reading about it. Best day EVA indeed!

Sarah said...

Cripes! Sounds like fun, but it's made me all nervous and wide eyed just hearing about it! Glad to hear the arm is better :p