Sunday, 14 October 2007

Sunday 14 October 2007 - Menai

Well, well, well. Who'd a thunked it? Ed, Richard and Ashley back for a ride finally - and perfect conditions down at Menai in which to do so!

[Ed, having finally built his new bike (very flash!), Richard having finally got his frame break repaird, and Ashley finally recognising that we're nice people to ride with!]

Joining the triumphant (well, not entirely triumphant - but more on that later) return of the prodigal riders were Whisperer, Matt, Nicole (out for her first stint with us) and Stephe.

We arrived early, to allow some time for "bike whispering" on Nicole's brakes - but it turns out that the adjustment was minor, and very quick (and highly successful), so we then had to hang around for another 20 minutes waiting for Ed and Richard to turn up... Ah, the best laid plans, and all that.

Finally, we were off - starting with the fantastic intro track on the Eastern side of Old Illawarra Road, and then across the road to do the Northern loop of Menai proper. The form for the day was quickly evident with Whisperer, Ash and Matt all champing at the bit, and Richard, Ed, Nicole and Stephe taking a more sensible approach! After the loop, we dropped down the standard sandy sniggle to the creek crossing at the Southern end of the main bowl, climbed up the other side and headed out along the perimeter fire trail toward the Western edge.

For a variety of reasons (none of them related to the lack of any navigation capapility on Stephe's behalf!), we dropped back into the main bowl a little early instead of cruising the perimeter track, and then headed off along the track on the Western side of the creek and cruised the tracks up and back along the creek, before it was time for a quick bite to eat back at the big central track meet point...

Unfortunately, by this time the consequences of Richard's hangover had become pretty evident to all of us (including, finally, Richard), and he decided discretion would be the better part of valour and made his way out gently back to the car.

That left the rest of the crew to explore the valley over the North Western end of the main bowl, where Matt executed the northshore drop with his customer poise and elegance, while the rest of us looked on admiringly (and with only a tinge of jealousy). The locals had done a fair bit of work on the structures (and we were careful to try to minimise any harm in checking 'em out), but it's fair to say that none are likely to win engineering safety awards any time soon.

After a bit more general playing, we began the meander out, coming back along to the original path in, where we came across a couple of track sentinels (some very dusty water dragons):

Up to Old Illawarra Road, across for the fantabulous blast back along the sniggle to the car park (always a hoot, no matter how tired), and out.

Another excellent day out - plently of nice track, albeit with a bit of fire trail / stop / start action in between... Menai remains an entertaining diversion (indeed, Ashley has since said that "it's right up there as one of the top rides", and Whisperer thinks similarly...), but it's still clear why Mooney and Old Great North Road have their special places in our hearts!

(very limited) Photos are all here...


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