Sunday 30 September 2007

Sunday 30 September 2007 - OGNR

Fantastic. Superb. Excellent. A great day's riding, with excellent company. Hard to argue with really.

Doug, Matt, Whisperer and Stephe set out a little after 6.32am, and arrived at the Mangrove Mountain pumping station around 8 (well, Doug and Stephe a little later, having done the scenic route!). Got our act together and set off - sky blue, sun shining, birds calling. Glorious.

The climb was a beauty, as always - and we were well warm by the time we met up with about 1000 campers at Ten Mile Hollow. We then met a fellow rider on the climb up from Ten Mile Hollow, but he went down the Western Commission Track as we went along the ridge line. A few other riders out and about, and three or four sets of walkers.

Matt and Doug were feeling a little off colour, and Stephe had a plane to catch, so we skipped Spiders and had a bite to eat at the lookout along Finches Line.

The ride back was slow enough for Stephe to remain in touch with the group, and generally fantabulous.

Saw a couple of black snakes (gorgeous). And generally had a great time.

The profile continues to be a classic!

Photos now up (here), including a couple of (silly and relatively pointless) videos...

Sunday 23 September 2007

Sunday 23 September 2007 - LCNP

Ah, once the wusses had pulled out (Mark sms'd around 10.25pm saying he'd been out too long, (about 4 1/2 hours before Stephe got to bed before the ride), and T-Bone is studying (again!)...), Whisperer and Stephe decided to change course this morning, and rode from home through Chatswood to LCNP.

The day started inauspicously, when Stephe (perhaps short on sleep?) managed to ride all the way to Whisperer's house with his bottom bracket coming apart, and no helmet... A quick "whisper" on the bike, back to get the helmet, and finally underway.

The ride was going fairly well (it's amazing just how good those little sections of single trail are -yee ha!), until just short of the mid point - when Whisperer's rear tyre succumbed (despite all the Stan's No Tubes in the world) to a sidewall tear.

Much amusement (for Stephe) followed, as Whisperer discovered that (a) there was no rim tape, (b) he therefore couldn't fit the spare tube, (c) the Stan's wouldn't seal the leak, (d) the hand pump was a disaster in trying to get the tyre to re-seat as a tubeless affair in any case, and (e) life was grim... Much 'whispering' followed, with ultimate success (he's clever, that lad!).

Taking off for the back section a little more gingerly (it would be fair to say Whisperer was a little dubious about the longevity of the repair), Whisperer then managed to do a serious bar/groin rock impact injury - so we had another little pause while he regained his composure.

At that point, we decided it was probably best to generally trend towards home - and, perhaps, Whisperer and Stephe might just give the ride another chance, another day....

Sunday 16 September 2007

Sunday 16 September 2007 - Redhill (playing!)

In the absence of Doug, we thought we would be mischevious and go out and do the silly stuff around Redhill. Following a few weeks of rain, it wasn't clear that we wouldn't be underwater, but it appears that the last couple of days of sunshine were beneficial - and the tracks were in pretty good nick overall.

As the day dawned, it was crisp, clear and on the way to being very sunny! Paul, Stephe, Matt and Mark arrived at 7am to kick off a great morning's ride:

We set off straight down the hill behind the Redhill main playground, with some early tentative rock playing (well, tentative from everyone but Matt who was - of course - straight into it out of the gates!). The first OTB was Stephe discovering that 'the little rock ledge covered by leaves' was in fact 'a large hole covered by leaves', but he was quickly joined by pretty well everyone else in various stages of 'in motion dismounting'... (other than Paul, who appeared to remain solidly connected to his bike the entire day).

In any case, we completed the drop (yee ha, mucho fun - including Mark demonstrating that he was as happy to act foolishly as the rest of us, with just a little provocation from Matt (who always seems so sensible when Doug is around?)), and came out at the Retirement Home units, to wind our way up the bitumen.

The drop back in was accomplished without taking out any of the star pickets (still scary!), although the following section of rocks did their bit to take out the odd derailleur. Then, on to the climb back into Redhill proper - up the classic, clay track - accomplished with varying degrees of success (some) and panache (none). Across the top, down Whisperer's single track and into the technical section - all generally completed with gusto and amusement (read: stupid actions, involving lots of challenges and some 'active dismounts').

After playing in the technical section (with only Matt doing the silly roll off, everyone else turning mature suddenly), we climbed back *up* the technical section. Which, for the record, turns out to be a jolly difficult thing to do!

Then, off to the Rim Track, which was by far the muddiest bog hole of the entire day, but still a fantastic bit of track, with plenty of entertaining challenges. Much fun again. Up the channel at the end, back on to the main Redhill Track (backwards) to the top of the Sport & Rec centre. After the obligatory roll down Red Rock (again, still scary), we climbed up the track to the top of Itchy & Scratchy. Then, apart from Matt showing us all up (although, Paul showed no hesitation in doing the same stuff, followed pretty closely by Mark - maybe it was just Stephe being shown up), Itchy and Scratchy was just plain brilliant. Hooeee.

Back down to the track from Sport & Rec, up the climb (riding 90% of it - clearly, it's all "doable"(!)), and then grinding back up the sandy track across the top back to Lady Penryhn Drive to the cars, and out by 11am.

While not a huge number of kilometres, and less free flowing than most of our rides, it was a hoot! Glamour shots at the end, for the little black book of great looking mountain bike riders:

When all was said and done, and despite the occasional "Redhill sound of money being ground down the drain" noises, the bikes didn't come up too badly... Here's Mark's beast, showing very little in the way of wear (and hiding quite well the nasty dent in the main tube incurred at Menai last time out):

Sunday 9 September 2007

Sunday 9 September 2007 - Mooney

To quote Brian from a long distant post... "Ah, Mooney, how we love ya!"

So, it was time for a post rain return (that clip was from the last time we were there), as it turns out - it wasn't all that dry this time either...

Doug, Johnbo, Whisperer, Brian and Stephe all met at Mooney at around 7.30am, and we were back at the cars by about 12noon. And we had a stonkeringly good time. Yes, that good.

As always, it was dry when we arrived, so we were able to kit up and set off, happy as can be. The amount of destruction along the edge of the creek (river?) was amazing, and - as is often the case at Mooney - an awful lot about the track had changed, bringing with it a whole new series of challenges. Everyone was feeling chipper, but Mooney was having none of that, and brought everyone down to size very early on.

A sample of the destruction, with a counterpoint of the always awesome beauty:

The good weather continued all the way out to Oranges, allowed us to inspect the quarry and its tailing dams (we think?) and have a bite to eat, and then look carefully at Rock Brian - and walk down it!

We then made back to the water tanks - when the heavens opened up. We put the spray jackets back on, and had an absolute hoooot blasting back down the drop from the water towers in the rain. Those with glasses on were fairly stuffed (it was funny watching Whisperer (with water on his glasses and in his eyes) trying to pick which deep, water filled pothole to avoid at high speed, while a massive Wattle branch overhead was lying in wait, and then cleanly removing him from his bike etc). Even the creek (river?) crossing at the bottom was a hoot...

Much amusement on the way back (as there had been on the way up), and everyone back at the cars, muddy, tired and very, very happy. Glamour shots of Doug, Whisperer, Johnbo and Brian:

Ah, Mooney, how we love ya!

Photos are all here, including video of the little dam, with a heckofa lot more water than we've seen in some time...