Sunday, 30 April 2006

Saturday 29 April and Sunday 30 April – short local rides

Almost, but not quite, right back into it – Doug, Brian and Stephe managed a short local ride on Saturday morning (before the big weekend of the Maitland Music Festival “groovin’ the moo”!). No photos, but a good (albeit wet) short sharp ride from the retirement home, out to Manly Dam for a lap and back home. No injuries, no bike damage. Yee ha. Track etc, here.

Then on Sunday, Whisperer, Doug and Rees appear to have managed to string together a ride from Morgan Road to the Cascades, back to Oxford Falls, a drop from the North into Deep Creek, over to Redhill and back to Morgan Road. Sounds like they did a little ‘investigating’ on the far side of Deep Creek, although (without more information) my suggesting that they were lost might be unkind. Pending a ride report from Brian (or Whisperer) I can say that there appears to be a bush tick problem with the off road excursion… (!). Photos here, with a couple of samples below (cute snakeskin Rees!, and on the satellite picture, green represents the more ‘usual’ Deep Creek track!).

Updated for Rees’ ride report:

Well I have no idea where we went? We started off at sport and rec, got to the top of the first hill and saw a beautiful black and red cockatoo so we stopped and Doug took some pictures, then Brian found a snake skin and so we looked at that and Brian put it in his bag and off we rode. Thinking back on it now I think Brian cursed us for taking the snake skin from the native aboriginal burial ground.

Carried on did the normal red hill track, crossed the main road and started on the rest of the ride and stopped and had lunch at the normal spot.

This is where the trouble began, after lunch there was a lot of debate on which tracks we should do, I think but not sure, Brian and I wanted to go one way and the other boys another. After a long and drawn out discussion some one said (not mentioning any body's name) let just go along this track and Tool around a bit. None of us realised that tooling around meant being lost in the wilderness for several hours.

Thanks to the heroic effects of Whisperer who literally used his bike as a machete to get through the dense jungle and Brian once again showing his great prowess as a bushman and not to forget Doug with his finely tuned tracking skills on the gps we managed to get out alive (all Rees was doing was looking at Doug for the first human sacrifice once we had run out of food). Oh I forgot to mention we heard voices and that gave us a rough direction to go on and then Doug realised we were at Deep creek so we crossed the creek and found that we were at the tail end of the Red hill ride and we rode very, very happily back to the cars.

Updated for Brian’s ride report:

We got to breakfast rock without incident, except for Rees’ classic swan dive over the handle bars when his front wheel dug in and caught him by surprise. Lucky he wore his leg armour.

After breakfast Whisperer’s best laid plan was jettisoned by our Furher Doug in favour of “tooling around” Red Hill.

At the lookout Whisperer, as always, shared his dream of one day finding a track across to the Baha’i Temple, only this time we all agreed to give it a go (tooling defined!). Doug’s GPS indicated a track of some sort running along the ridge on the opposite side of deep creek.

The track down to deep creek was entertaining, some steep leaf littered sections with zero grip, some even steeper rocky technical stuff and two or three ‘undoable’ drop offs.

The valley was a boggy flood plane, trafficable on foot once we pushed our way through the 2m high reeds. There was no sign of a track on the opposite side, only impenetrable bush, so we headed up river. The first 100m or so was easy going – we even managed to pedal a bit. The bush on both sides was closing in inexorably, however, to the point where going in any direction (other than back the way we came) was equally foolhardy. We pushed on! Some time later we shared out the last of Doug’s apple and Whisperer’s Muesli Bar. The ferns were viciously barbed, our legs were lacerated, except for Rees – lucky he wore his leg armour.

The forest and vines closed in until we had to blaze a trail before we could carry the bikes through. Then we heard voices! We altered course and a short time later broke through to deep creek and a sight for sore everything – there was a trail on the other side. Rees shouldered his bike and waded in – lucky he wore his leg armour.


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