Sunday, 24 June 2007

Sunday 24 June 2007 - East Lindfield to Seaforth / return

The weather continues to maximise bike wear and tear, given that today was another very wet day out... But that didn't stop it being a fantastic ride!

Brian came up with the proposed route, and Matt P and Stephe joined him for a very entertaining, albeit exhausting, blast.

We parked at Tryon Road tennis courts at East Lindfield, and dropped in through the pathway to the fire trail, which is always a hoot right at the start before any real warm up or bike 'conditioning'... In a sign of things to come, Matt P was elegant and in control, Brian was very competent and looking dangerous, and Stephe was crudely attacking things and then wussing out when he got frightened.

Running gear malfunction reared its ugly head on Brian's bike fairly early, which meant that his flamboyance was at least somewhat curtailed along the ride. Perhaps some bike maintenance is in order...

The first uphill and downhill technical sections at the end of the the fire trail from Tryon Road were an excellent warm up challenge, with some fine efforts being put in all around. Matt led the blast down the hill along the river, to the car park on the South of the Roseville Bridge. After a quick check that T-Bone was not making it (ah, T-Bone), we 'hiked a bike' up on to the trail to Bantry Bay, and then rode along in the misty rain and clingy, wet scrub. It wasn't really too wet, and the technical challenges were mostly doable (even if we didn't 'do' all of them!).

By the time we'd made it to the track behind the houses of Forestville (Magazine Gap track? Natural Bridge track?), we started to come across the first of 7,372 Oxfam trail walkers (all of whom were instantly recognisable by their very flash walking gear and new camelbacks etc). Although a few of them managed to witness Matt in full flight, or Brian and Stephe in half flight, most just saw us carrying our bikes up cliffs, over trees, or whatever... (ah well).

In particular, the section from the Retirement Village fire trail down into the gully and back up turns out to be not bike friendly, just as Doug has constantly told us in the past.

From the Natural Bridge track (?), we rejoined the 'standard' route from Roseville to Wakehurst Parkway (where Matt was spotted by some adoring fans - unfortunately for him, just as he attempted a novel (and tragically unsuccessul) approach to a rock face! They still loved him anyway...), and then on to Seaforth Oval.

By this stage, our short local ride had taken around three hours, and we were yet to start the return journey (apples and bread at Seaforth Oval at around 10am - at around 18kms or so (as measured crudely on MS Live Earth)).

A much faster, and more focused return trip followed (Brian leading the way on anything that let him 'open up', with Matt simply cruising along behind looking stylish and Stephe panting slowly in catch up mode). We cut out a big chunk of trail in the middle (emerging at the Retirement Village, and taking the road to Roseville Bridge), and then we were right back into it.

Had the classic embarrassment of catching some runners along Two Creeks Track, leaving them behind, getting caught at the next tree, leaving them behind, and then worrying every time we hit a hill and ran out of energy. Fortunately, we managed to get back to Tryon Road before being caught again - and finished the ride at around 12 noon, absolutely knackered, filthy dirty / muddy, and very, very happy!

No photos, no GPS - but a great outcome. A total trip length of probably 30 - 35kms or so.

Yee ha!


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