Sunday 12 February 2006

Sunday 12 February – Redhill and Oxford Falls

Well, well, well – we’re getting a little bit exciting in our old age, and actually managed to do a different set of tracks today!

Started at the Academy of Sport fearing the worst after a very heavy rain shower earlier in the morning. But our fears were groundless – the tracks were in near perfect condition, with nice clean rocks and sand, and only occasional sink holes… After the climb, and some playing on the pink rock Whisperer suggested that we try another way down to the track which links us to Wakehurst Parkway. We foolishly followed him, only to find a series of near impassable rock faces between us and the bottom. Along the way we also saw the sort of rocks that the downhillers seem to think worthwhile (check this one out), but even feeling brave we weren’t quite that silly… The only footage of the worst of the rocks is a bit rude, and doesn’t show the very elegant job accomplished by Whisperer immediately afterwards (ah, life ain’t fair!).

We crossed Wakehurst Parkway, over to the singles track climb into Oxford Falls – which was a beauty. Unfortunately, Brian continues to be mature and refused to do anything really silly (and even when he did some almost silly things, he was cautious!), so by the time we’d finished the climb to the Aerodrome track he was tired, bored and cranky (we all know he can’t keep this up forever, he just can’t help being a legend and will be back soon!).

In any case, Brian’s less than cheerful disposition gave Rees a chance to once more demonstrate his unbeatable positive approach and he was almost whistling as we dropped down the Little Moab track beside the aerodrome.
Whisperer then led us on another new track back down to towards the base of Oxford Falls, and then linking back up to the Oxford Falls singles track. This time we took the standard Aerodrome track back to the bottom, with a hoot and a holler, much mirth and a good speed (even Brian was seen to begin to smile). After crossing the causeway, we stuck to the road rather than dropping in to Deep Creek, which turned out to be the best decision of the ride…

The hills beyond the Deep Creek turn off were a serious challenge (steep and sandy), but we each managed to nail at least one section – stand out mention to Rees, who decided to charge one hill and actually pulled it off; and Doug and Brian who put in a very solid performance to finish the final sets of hills in a race. While that was an excellent challenge, the real fun was the drop at the end back to Wakehurst Parkway. It turns out that one of the better downhills was just sitting there in our back paddock! Made all the more amusing by Rees’ completely out of control drop down, which he emphasised by singing all the way!

An absolute hoot, and worth every minute of the hills along the way.

Photos up here (but mainly videos, caution re the use of profanity!):


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