Sunday, 14 January 2007

Sunday 14 January 2007 - Coba Point

Although it wasn't quite the old saying "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone" (they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot), it was still good to be back to Coba Point to see what we'd been missing all this time (primarily, because we followed Doug's negative reviews of the place!).

In short, it's a hoot - and should be one of our regular rides. Lots of loose rocky bits make the technical sections challenging (up *and* down), there's quite a bit of just riding on good quality single track, and a good selection of up hill and back again to keep everyone guessing. Add to this, the fantastic drop which is Smuggler's Ridge, and you've got a seriously good ride...

However, as Doug, Brian, Rees and Stephe found out (and only them, given that a bunch of folk who had asked for directions never quite made it... (Justin??)), Coba Point is *not* for the faint-hearted when the sun comes out! Particularly not with the hills at the end - check out this profile:



All the photos, profile, track etc (221 of them!) are to be found here, some samples in the following notes:

We kicked off around 7.30am, from the 'not really a car park' at the end of the road, and headed off out along the 'out and back' ride to Coba Point itself. An excellent warm up, with the odd bit of technical fun thrown in for amusement (although Doug was not amused).



At the Coba Point end, a local property owner had put in place ever more extreme obstructions to try to slow down motorbikes, so we actually pulled the pin about 500m before the Point and headed back. By the time we came back past the cars, it was clear that it was getting hot, and there was some element of trepidation about the next bit...

The ride along Smugglers Ridge is initially a firetrail, merging into single track at the end with plenty of speed and smooth enough riding. But the fun started with the drop down into the valley below, with lots of spectating and some interesting opportunites:



Tragically, though - it wasn't long before that behaviour, turned into this:



Which ultimately, of course, led to this - the single most spectacular mountain bike 'off' we've seen in recent times (yet another Brian special, again with no real negative outcome!):



(did we look appropriately concerned?).

In any case, we made it to the bottom in essentially one piece (albeit with a few bruises, and battered bits), cruised out to the Orchard to show Rees - and then started the hill climb out (remember the profile?!). Stephe made the first water bar on the first hill, and then walked the rest, Rees did marginally better, Doug had a good shot as well, and Brian probably rode about 30% of the first hill. After that, Brian pretty well rode the balance of the hills, Doug did a similar job, Rees was a legend, and Stephe kept walking.

We'd all finished our water by the time we started the hills, the temperature had hit 35°C with the sun blasting off the white gravel, and we were knackered:



But - we made it out, we drank a lot, and a few days later - we were happy! If you haven't done this ride: do yourself a favour!

All the photos, profile, track etc (221 of them!) are to be found here.

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