Sunday 25 February 2007

Sunday 25 February 2007 - Redhill / Oxford Falls / Deep Creek loop

Although the potentially wet weather (and a birthday party) kept the crowd away, Doug, Paul and Stephe had a great Redhill / Oxford Falls loop - and the weather (of course) remained perfect the entire way - nicely overcast, not too muggy, and most of the rocks relatively clean from the recent rain, so not too dangerous.

We started at Sport & Rec, did all the Redhill technical stuff, across the road to Oxford Falls and up the single track, then along the cross country track, down to the dam, taking the firetrail to drop into Deep Creek, and along the creek back to Sport & Rec.

All in all, a short 16km blast with much fun along the way (check the profile here).

Given the earlier rain, we were a little circumspect around some of the bigger drops, but did give the run into Deep Creek a good nudge (failing to roll through the rocky gorge, unfortunately!), but Stephe did finally manage (on the second attempt, the first one almost ending in tears) to get down Wimp Rock - but no T-Bone around to goad him into trying it again.

There are a couple of short clips of Paul climbing the rock half way along Deep Creek - for example, this one (the others are not quite so elegant!).

A great little run - and one to remember for an evening blast perhaps?

Photos, short movie clips, and profile etc all here, with some excerpts below (but, sadly, none of Doug):

Sunday 18 February 2007

Sunday 18 February 2007 - Mooney (Oranges)

As a wise man once said "Oh, Mooney, how we love ya!".

Another Mooney ride, another series of learning experiences. It's just fantastic, even when it's treating us mean (no doubt, with the intention of keeping us keen...).

A good little turnout, with Doug, Stephe, Whisperer, Rob, Rees (obscured), and Brian visible from Doug's camera. Or, in the alternative shot from Rob: Doug, Stephe, Whisperer, Rees, Brian and Rob...

Brian was on form on the day, taking on a couple of challenges in a way not matched by his peers, but also - true to form - spending some time off the bike. With Rees, of course, being treated badly by Mooney *again*, this time breaking a chain, not once, but twice!

The climb was a challenge, as ever, and - despite some valiant attempts - no-one managed a zero touch run. But Whisperer did manage to look good along the way, both on the initial climb, and then the run up to The Oranges:

Rock Brian had its usual challenges, perhaps enhanced with the greatly washed away surface, but still the troops took it on:

The track was a beautiful as ever, and it's unfortunate that we missed getting some shots of the Wedge Tailed Eagles, they too were pretty spectacular as we watched for a while).

There was a degree of caution on the descent, given that the recent rains had again removed a large quantity of top soil, leaving just dangerous, loose rock - but that didn't stop it being fun. And the creek crossing allowed plenty of time for (ineffective!) challenges to Brian's crossing supremacy:

Check out the profile (below), and the rest of the photos, track, profile, and some short movie clips are to be found here. Of the clips, this one is ok (the top of the climb, on the way up), this and this are disappointing (Stephe failing, Brian succeding on the creek crossing), and this one is excellent!

Sunday 4 February 2007

Sunday 4 February 2007 - Old Great North Road (short run)

An excellent ride, despite what turned out to be a very hot day, with a bit of disjointed riding... Doug, Rees, Whisperer, Stephe and Darrell set off from the pumping station at around 8am, and the sun was rising even as we started our own climb up the hill to Ten Mile Hollow.

We were thinking about doing Spiders, but ultimately the pace was too slow to allow us back home at a civil hour. Whisperer took a responsible approach to playing silly buggers (in the absence of Brian, who - of course - is the best person to play silly buggers with), and led the charge up and down any tricky looking bits, while Darrell demonstrated new found confidence on the new bike, and gave the technical sections a fair shot (but we didn't get any decent photos of him doing so!):

There was a lot of 'wheelie dropping' off the excellent OGNR ledges, but - inevitably - we managed a pinch flat on Rees' beast, and while we were fixing the bike, Doug was off with Darrell taking in the view:

All in all, a good solid ride, with the heat making even the normally relatively staid technical bits more challenging...

Rees' run of bad luck continued on the way back down the big drop to the cars, when he collected a stick in the rear wheel (in the same way, and at the same point as Doug's recent spectacular dismount), and managed to break five spokes (a new record!), but was still able to (slowly) ride out.

On the way out, Doug checked out some of the old walls / roadworks, including a cute 'stitched together' version of the site, and this 'standard' version:

The 500m vertical bitumen track at the end was a sign that it was all over too soon. But, it was still very good to clear some of the cobwebs out from the recent even shorter rides in any case.

Profile and map snapshot below, and here's where you can find the full collection of photos for the ride...