Sunday, 24 September 2006

Sunday 24 September - Mooney

Mooney Mooney how we love ya, uh huh.

After an interminable run of misfortune - broken bones, broken bikes – we were certainly due for a good, unadulterated outing and, true to form, Mooney did not let us down.

It was a day memorable in its uneventfulness. Doug, Rees and Brian (who ya gonna call?) set off on time, arriving under the bridge at 08.00. Unloaded the bikes to discover that all three were in good working order.

It was going to be a hot one, thank goodness for Mooney’s shady glades. Dour Doug’s dire bushfire warnings did nothing to dampen our enthusiasm – this was going to be a bloody good ride.

Smartass was a timely reminder that Mooney calls the shots, respect.

We each made a credible attempt at the challenging climb past the dam to the top, but couldn’t avoid the odd foot dab. With no hold ups or delays we got around Oranges and back to the tank for morning tea by 11.00.

We each took a tumble on the way down (Doug managed to launch himself over the handlebars from a standing start) but nothing serious.

Back to the cars by 12.00 noon then the scenic route home.

-- Brian

Full set of photos and videos here (including this long 'helmet cam' view of the drop back to the creek - caution 20Mb file). Some samples below...

Here is the GPS track set up to load in Google Maps, and here is the .kmz file for Google Earth.

Sunday, 17 September 2006

Sunday 17 September 2006 - Oxford Falls, Lizard Rock & Red Hill Ride

Sunday started as an absolutely stunning morning, meeting at sport and rec at Narrabeen.

The hangovers from Friday night had cleared, Ed, Brian, Rees T-Bone and Whisperer headed off on a round trip to Oxford Falls and Red Hill. As a variation to our usual ride, we started off anti-clockwise, heading down the (nice and flat) Wakehurst parkway to the entry into the Deep Creek single track (no rabbits this time!). Headed along, enjoying the gentle gradient and into the bush.

I guess we forgot we had had some pretty heavy rain over the previous week, and the undergrowth was hanging low. Didn’t really worry us, but had to keep our heads down as we wound through that particularly stunning section up to the waterfall.

We headed up the powerlines firetrail past Stephe’s water bar, and dropped into more single track up to the Aerodrome dam. Instead of going right and up the cross country track, to Road to Somewhere, we took a left up to the Aerodrome gates. This was fun, winding along and a deceptive little creek crossing that had nearly everyone catching their front wheel in the dip in the middle…

By now we had realized that the rain of last week had left some serious puddles and running water down the tracks, but our enthusiasm for the day didn’t let it become an issue, just started to contribute to a bit of chain suck now and again.

We headed up the fire road some more, past breakfast rock and up to Morgan road. Crossed over to Lizard Rock and took the track to the satellite dishes down the hill. Along the way, decided not to do the famous 30 foot drop, so took the chicken run down the boards. T-Bone felt particularly at one with nature and decided to do some tree hugging on the way down.

The rest of the crew made various attempts, with Ed doing the cleanest, including a momentary nose wheelie on the way down, but saving it with style.

We wound on down the hill enjoying the technical sections, drops and ladders. Near the bottom, there was a creek crossing with a natural jump. T-Bone declared it doable, and proceeded to show us how it should be done. He made it with ease, but landed with his front wheel slightly askew, and we watched as his wheel seemed to fold under in slow motion into a good impersonation of a taco (or pretzel?)

Tbone resigned himself to the long walk back to the car. Whisperer wouldn’t have a bar of that and declared it “fixable” even though it had cracked and separated at the join, held together by a small bit of remaining metal and the tyre.

After much re-bending and with the help of a wooden splint it was turning again and (just) okay to ride. We rode out to the Oxford Falls weir together with T-Bone, and he took the road down to sport and rec for the drive home while we did a lap of Redhill.

We did a reverse lap in from the pumping station, up to the steps and round to the rock platforms before the sand pit. The view from up there is excellent, and as we were savouring the day once more, a couple of other riders came up and showed us the beginning of new track down to sport and rec.

The new track begins with an off camber rock section that’s “almost” doable…. and leads into a sweet single track that comes out at the dam above sport and rec. The track also went the opposite direction somewhere, but we didn’t have time to explore, so look forward to it another time. A short blast down the hill and we were back at the cars with ear to ear grins.

All the photos are here... (but no GPS I'm afraid).

- Whisperer

Friday, 15 September 2006

Friday 15 September 2006 - Shutup and Drink!

[Ed: this report actually from Whisperer...]

The weekend started well with a social evening at Epoque, Belgian Beer Café in Cammeray.

Most of the shut-up-and-drink crew made it along with their better halves (better two-thirds some might say).

All had a great evening particularly Rees, who became more "friendly" as the night went on….(well the night was officially a celbration of his Birthday)

The only sad note was the absence of Stephe, who as we were drinking happily was on the surgeon’s table getting a plated collarbone to assist his recovery.

Many rounds of Leffe Blond, a few Piraat’s (at 10.5%) and Hoegaardens left us all in a happy way.

A convoy of Cabs ensured a safe trip home!

-- Whisperer

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Sunday 3 September 2006 - Beacon Hill

At around 7:00am a group of 5 keen riders (Doug, Rees, Whisperer, Darrel and T-Bone) met on Lady Penrhyn Dr for the first ride of spring. Nature was clearly showing off as all could see that the day was nothing short of perfect. Sun shining, flowers blooming and the air so crisp and fresh (sigh...ed).

The group made their way to the dirt jumps and admired the amount of hard work that went into building such a playground, and how much skill would be required to ride this playground. After such ponderings and eagerness to start the ride, the group gathered as one to take the obligatory pre-ride group shot and even though one of the crew was missing; Stephe, he was there in spirit.

With the photo taken the group made their way up the first set of hills. Rees’ and T-Bone’s bike’s had a few derailleur problems, so the admired Whisperer gave them “the touch” and not a single gear skipped for the rest of the ride.

The ride definitely had a laid back feel to it as we travelled at a relatively easy pace and spared time to take in the scenery and the superb day. Such wonderful sights reinforced to all group members the reason why they got up at the insane time of 6am on a Sunday.

Rees was in fine form, strutting his stuff as the group came down from the top of the hill. Rees rode off some nice roll offs and drops including the infamous roll off that gave Stephe a split lip only weeks before. Hopefully this new found confidence and finesse will continue. The “coffin” as it is affectionately known did teach Rees a very impressive lesson in gravity (and landscaping). Doug went ahead to take photos and as the group watched as Rees negotiated a very difficult section of track, the forks compressed and the front wheel bit into the rocks hard. Rees launched himself over the handle bars and made a tunnel deep into the bushes. No injury, bike fine and five laughing was the result.


(Hurry back Stephe...ed)

Photos, tracks, profile here , with some samples below - and this video....