Sunday 6 November 2005

Sunday 6 November – Lindfield to Manly Dam (but not including Manly Dam!)

The day started beautifully, with perfect weather, a gentle breeze and general good humour. Obviously, things were going to get a whole lot worse… (perhaps the lack of Brian should have been some sort of signal?).

Ashley led the troops out of the starting gate at the Tennis Courts on Tryon Road, with Graham in hot pursuit. Whisperer was sitting just off the lead, awaiting the time when he would be called upon… Doug, Rees and Stephe just meandered along behind them. And, then, the second signal that something was probably amiss: Ashley came down for his first of probably three falls for the day – having not previously fallen in living memory. Hmmmmm. The fact that he then attempted to ride the remainder of the track with his left wrist not holding on to anything probably should have alerted us to increased risk, but alas and alack it did not.

The ride itself was actually very pretty – with a lot of up and down into the very nice valleys surrounding Roseville Bridge, Bantry Bay and environs (ultimately covering the areas we ‘discovered’ last week in addition to the area before the Roseville Bridge).

Unfortunately, it also required an increasingly large number of bike carrying stages – which knocked us about fitness wise even more than riding (that is, those other than Ashley and Whisperer who appeared to just laugh it off). The foolishness peaked when we did an extended carry from the oval in the middle of [Roseville?] straight up a hill, instead of taking the fantastic little singles track we took last week… We also discovered that a substantial part of the singles track zig zags back and forth just back from Wakehurst Parkway (something that we had previously missed – taking some of the mystery out of it!).

The upshot of all the carrying and the various misguided attempts at rock hopping meant that we were all pretty happy to skip a loop of Manly Dam, and to execute a quick coup to establish Whisperer as leader for the return so we could cheat and use some tarmac - avoiding the more egregious “walk down into the valley and walk back out” sections. We did play for a little at the top behind Wakerhurst Parkway, which was mildly entertaining, albeit somewhat painful for Stephe’s bike

So, a great ride, with lots of interesting sections and relatively short singles track, but also lots of carry. Useful for technical improvement, but perhaps we need to spend some time stitching together more bits of riding rather than walking. Ashley was very patient with the whingeing (and the coup!), and I look forward to posting the medical summary on the wrist!

Photos here (very limited, given that we were all very keen to ride when possible, and were otherwise walking).


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