Sunday 8 July 2007 - Lindfield to Seaforth Oval / return
Ah, the reason this ride feels like a proper 35km ride, is because it *is* a proper 35km ride! [ed: Matt, can you please confirm the actual final distance?]
In any case, on a beautiful, albeit somewhat chilly morning, only Matt and Stephe managed to front at Tryon Road, Lindfield for a good little local ride (Whisperer pulled out due to ill health the night before, Paul dropped an SMS at 6.05am, and Doug and Rees have become roadies (hard to imagine...)).
It was a hoot - cold for the first technical section up the climb to the river, and didn't quite pull it all off. But then Matt got in front, and hurtled down the downhill technical section, with Stephe struggling to finally catch up at Roseville Bridge - where we made a valiant attempt at the climb back up to the road.
On to Roseville boat ramp, where we climbed up to the track and cruised along the Magazine Track, up behind the houses and down the excellent drops (again, not quite doing it all! Scary moment with Matt over the bars at one point, but all ok (other than a scary swelling to the hand, which came up real fast).).
For those cynics who think that five hours is a bit long for 35km, it's worth noting that the "hike a bike" sections are part of the charm of this particular ride - but they *do* take a lot of time! As does dodging the inevitable "OxFam"ers along the way...
Anyway, back on to the track [will insert real name here, as soon as I think of it], across on to oval and along the track beside Wakehurst Parkway to Seaforth Oval. Back across Wakehurst Parkway for an absolute blast along the Manly Dam technical section (Matt on fire by this stage, the good news is that he finally got tired as we crossed back across Wakehurst Parkway for the journey home, so Stephe got to actually stay in touch for a while...
A great ride back, marred by the bit alongside the Bantry Bay section (two million downed trees were just a little difficult to get across).
Stephe fell at the end of the ride (at the bottom of the stairs back on to the Lindfield fire trail), but otherwise a superb ride, there should be many more of them!