Sunday, 29 May 2005

Sunday 29 May – Old North Road

An absolute blast, no question. Photos here, although curiously out of order…

A small bunch (Doug, Clive, Brian, Steve, Steve and Stephe (Steve’s missing from the photo)) started with high hopes, and were more than adequately rewarded…

Spent quite a bit of time mucking about before starting at the pumping station (had to sort out Steve Hep’s pedals, early on “the Whisperer” had to ‘lay hands on’ Brian’s bike, etc, etc). Got going, and then had a really pleasant grind up the big hill (check out the profile from a previous ride, the GPS carked it today). We were all in the groove by the time we got to the ridge for the traverse to Wiseman’s Ferry, and had a hoot for the first section. Clive came down with the first (and least spectacular) flat of the day, and we spent the next long while having a shot at two bits of rock that were challenging to most, but not to Brian “the new legend” Whelan…. Unfortunately, the weaker riders amongst us (i.e. Stephe) failed miserably, and then had to continue the ride in an entirely shattered state (and, because Brian lacks the basic goodness of his colleagues, we were (I was) subjected to even more humiliation on each occasion that a sprint presented itself).

We passed a stunning number of riders on the track (quite possibly 25 in all?), but it was a beautiful day and the bush was fantastic. Great ride along the traverse with Whisperer and Clive showing moments of individual brilliance to try to catch up with Brian’s early achievements (almost, but not quite), and even Doug was spotted with an occasional smile. Given his experience last week, Steve Hep was unsurprisingly cautious (or was that because he completed a three hour charity walk *before* our start at 6am?), but still managed to climb everything in his way on the way back…

Doug gets points for the most spectacular blow-out on the way back down the big drop, which kinda took the gloss off trying to catch Whisperer and Brian (who had both gone truly mad by that point). Steve “the Bike Whisperer” White was heard to say at the bottom “my best downhill drop, anywhere, ever”….

Ah mountain biking… it’s a hoot!

Some samples from the day:

Sunday, 22 May 2005

Sunday 22 May – Redhill

Not a bad little ride, but not without its dramas! Steve Hep made a welcome return, and we were also joined by Monica and Brad. Steve failed to live up to his ironman reputation, by falling off three times in the first fifteen minutes – until the rest of us worked out something that his hip had worked out the first time (his pedals were aggressively holding on to his shoes, eh!).

Given a complete lack of success with adjustment for the brand spanking new Time cleats, Steve gave up at Wakehurst Parkway. A very sad end (but he has guaranteed a return shot next Sunday).

Steve’s enforced absence gave Monica and Brad the chance to show that, indeed, they were the ironmen, and should be given the respect they deserve! Brad’s attack on the rock face that Richard stuffed last week was elegant and a joy to behold.

Brian was, as always and recent pneumonia bout notwithstanding, a living legend. And Doug was doing some fancy stuff (but being very careful to only do it when no-one was watching!). We *must* have the Bike Whisperer back as soon as possible, as the only person trustworthy enough to carry a camera to get some photos of Doug! Indeed, it will be very good to welcome Chris Hani back, given that he’s even more credible on that front…

Photos here, including this quick selection: