Sunday, 30 October 2005

Sunday 30 October – Forestville to Manly Dam

A new track ‘discovered’ by Whisperer (although there were a fair few mountain bike rock placements on the way, so it looks to be relatively well known, not to mention the occasional walker and rider coming back with us…), which started at Cook Street, Forestville, to Manly Dam, and return.

An inauspicious start: not only was the initial set off advertised incorrectly (Roseville not Forestville, oops!), but as a consequence Ashley Fenton rode his bike from home to Tryon Road in the rain, where he sat cold and wet waiting for a mate who may or may not have ever turned up, about 10kms from where we were… The rest of us (including the two Peters – for their first time out with us, go you good things!), made it in one piece to the wilds of suburban Forestville and geared up in the increasing drizzle. We then set off, with a little trepidation (it being wet, cold, low visibility – and we were relying on Whisperer’s good judgement – scary!).

It turns out the trepidation was well founded – after the initial warm up on a fire trail and bitumen stint, we arrived at the beginning of the track proper, at the back of an oval. We overtook some bushwalkers looking for a peaceful stroll in the rain, then slowed down for a hill (very slow), so they caught up and waited for us, then we got away again, then Doug stabbed himself with a stick (on only his second fall ever!), and we stopped to administer first aid. So, the bushwalkers then strolled past us, never to be seen again. Things don’t come much sadder than that, eh?

After another quick injury up a hill near Bantry Bay (this was looking dodgy now), we cruised along a nice bit of singles track – and one of the Peter’s fell off the edge, literally (fortunately, the ground beloooooow was well padded, but still caused a cut to the eye and a strange manipulation of the ankle). If we were smart, we’ve have turned around right then (it was certainly suggested)…

However, the rain cleared up, we meandered along a great singles track to Wakehurst Parkway, made it to Manly Dam – had a good ride down and around the standard loop, then headed back along the track home. Rees yet again nailed the entire ride on his hard tail, not put off by any terrain and still not uttering a word of unhappiness – this needs to be fixed! Brian was off his game early, but – as always – when forced to lift his game, rose to the occasion and hammered home. Doug put the fact that there was a tree growing *inside* his leg to one side, and rode on…

All in all, actually a very good and enjoyable ride (albeit only 18km long, which took us three hours with all the mishaps!), and Whisperer gets a commendation for putting up with the initial sceptical whingeing. It will be very interesting to see what it’s like in the dry!

Photos here (very limited, given the weather – the selection below is pretty well the lot!).

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