Tuesday 19 December 2006

Tuesday 19 December 2006 - Manly Dam

Ah, the opportunity to have a quick lap of Manly Dam proved irresistable this evening to Rob and Stephe (and entirely resistable to the two hundred or so other people who were invited by Rob and Stephe, but didn't turn up!).

There was a light rain, which was good - not too slippery, and cool enough. It also helped to dampen down some of the sand on the new graded sections.

Stephe discovered that the combination of the new crankset / rings with the old chain was not good for some forceful crunching up the rocks behind the golf course (ouch, to all the nice new teeth on the rings!). Rob discovered just how slow Stephe can be when Christmas lunches get consumed...

Rob's profile is here (check out the heart rate when he went for a hoot for the last kilometre or so!). It was a short ride, not too aggressive, but useful for clearing the early week cobwebs out of the system... The Manly Dam profile is also a good 'un.

Just under an hour, for just under 10km - an excellent way to spend the time!

Sunday 17 December 2006

Sunday 17 December 2006 - Redhill

Not a lot of information about this ride (at least Doug, Joe and Rees were there - no idea if anyone else made it along).

The track appears to show a full Redhill loop - but there's also some side tracking which I'm not sure about! Ah well, if ever anyone gets around to sending on a ride report - we'll all know!

The pictures and GPS are here, two samples below.

Sunday 10 December 2006

Sunday 10 December 2006 - Lindfield to Manly Dam (via Forestville) loop

Although we had a few last minute drop outs (Joe / Monty - not good!; T-Bone, I'm sure your excuse was solid), we managed a reasonable little posse of six hardy souls for what was planned to be a local ride with some distance but still back before noon.

Stephe, Whisperer, Richard, Brian, Rees, and Doug managed to start out at the Tryon Road Tennis Courts in East Lindfield (just off Archibold Road).

Doug had swapped tyres with Whisperer before setting out, so it was just up to Brian to do his last minute bike maintenance requests, before we could get underway... Shortly after kicking off, we met a mate of Brian's on the track, who pointed out that someone had left their windows open - so another short delay... Then Stephe discovered that his bottom bracket was toast, and went back to the cars with Whisperer - so another short delay...

[By now, you're no doubt beginning to see the picture!]

In any case, we finally got underway - and did a fairly aggressive pace down from Lindfield to the climb up to the edge of the River - which was a fantastic challenge, with most nailing at least one section of the climb. The pace kept up once we started down from the top section to the River, and then along towards the Roseville Bridge.

Given the lost time, we took the urban route from the Roseville Bridge through Forestville, dropping back into the track behind the retirement homes. Another great blast - unfortunately with a bit more faffing about with gears and things between solid riding stages...

Wasn't long before we were at Manly Dam, doing a fast loop - to the Golf Course picnic rock, where we had a quick bite to eat. We finished off the Manly Dam loop, back across Wakehurst Parkway, and then on to the Scout Hall - where we changed a tyre, and faffed about a bit more (it was truly one of those days!).

Had some fun on the technical bits on the way home, with everyone performing well - even as tiredness set in.

Overall, a brilliant ride - with much less 'hike a bike' than at least some of us had feared (and recalled from previous rides). We maintained a very solid pace - when we were moving, and not faffing about with repairs - and all arrived back at the cars totally buggered. Which can only be good.

Unfortunately, the GPS carked it somewhere around Manly Dam, so haven't got the track for publication - but it looks like around 40kms all up - nearly every bit of which was great fun.

The full set of photos is here...

Thursday 7 December 2006

Thursday 7 December 2006 - Oxford Falls fire trail

Today was an introduction to the joy of mountain bike riding for Mary-Ellen (Mel). Mel was joined by Rob, Stephe, and T-Bone, who did their very best not to be bad hosts...

We set out from Morgan Road at 8am (ish! there was lots of dagging about early on, for no readily apparent reason), and had the pleasure of a good day, with low cloud but no rain.

The ride was pretty straightforward - straight down the fire trail, past the aerodrome, down the hill to Deep Creek, then straight up the big hills at the end. We conquered the hills - you never really remember quite how bad they are until you're back on them, but we fought hard, although no-one can claim to have made the first one, unfortunately. We stopped for a moment at the top of the chute down to Wakehurst Parkway, for a quick view and photo op.

Then we turned around and came back!

All in all, a pretty straightforward ride, but time to check out the various views along the way - and to be impressed with Mel's commitment to giving it a go (including numerous (successful) attempts to kick off halfway up a hill and finish it off).

T-Bone had a flat (because a ride without a T-Bone flat wouldn't be a ride now, would it!).

On the way back, Rob also made T-Bone join him for a quick loop of the XC circuit - although it was apparently relatively peaceful!

Photos here, and Rob's GPS data etc here... Some samples below:

Sunday 3 December 2006

Sunday 3 December 2006 - Redhill (new bits!)

Any ride with Paul Jenzen is going to be a good one, and Rees and Stephe found that this time around was no exception! Unfortunately, a couple of wuss burgers (you know who you are) figured that rain the night before meant that they would get their mountain bikes dirty - so couldn't join us... (as it happened, there was no rain on the day, but the track *was* very, very wet!).

Paul showed us a new track starting out from Lady Penryhn drive - dropping down into the valley below the playground. A truly excellent single track drop with great (challenging) technical sections (and with alternate routes where necesary!), a bit of a climb and then a great little meander to finish underneath a huuuge block of units.

After a short road transition stage, we dropped back into the bush - to emerge at the fire trail cross roads early on the standard Lady Penryhn / Redhill ride (just at the bottom of the second hill down from the playground). The obvious thing to do from there was to climb up and across the top of Redhill, and check out the Rim Ride, which was excellent fun. Then - given that we were riding so well (!) - Paul led us off to Itchy and Scratchy (above Sport and Rec) - which also turns out to be a really good technical drop, with a very satisfying finish...

Of course, now that we were back down at the gate above Sport & Rec, we got to ride up the old creek bed track to the top again - filled with technical challenges, and challenging but do-able sections (which, once we'd gone up, Paul insisted on going back down again - it was at this point that Rees first started to wonder if we planned to finish before nightfall).

Once we'd made it to the top again, we sauntered over to the famous Redhill rocks technical section - again, with some stylish work from Paul and Rees, and some dodgy and scary looking moments from Stephe.

At the bottom of that section (once we'd made it to the 'intersection' above the pumping station on Wakehurst Parkway), we decided we needed to head back to Lady Penryhn, so followed the old fire trail track (now a challenging, water gouged single track) back up the hill and across the top to the firetrail, up the big old hills to the playground, and to the safety of the cars.

Although we took longer than anticipated, it was - yet again - another fantastic day to be a mountain bike rider in the Sydney region.

Unfortunately, no photos or GPS - we need to take Doug and Rob back along the route as soon as possible to get it marked out properly!