Sunday, 4 November 2007

Sunday 4 November 2007 - Smugglers, Coba Point

The day dawned wet and drizzly after dumping many mm of rain overnight... fair to say there was a little trepidation from the limited number of folk (Paul, Nic, Johnbo and Stephe) that managed to make it along for a quick ride out along Smugglers, and back up the three big hills.

As we pulled up at the starting point, the rain came down again - we had a quick discussion about sitting in the cars for a little while, but were on a tight deadline to get Johnbo back in time to organise his afternoon tea party. As it happens, ten minutes was enough for the big rain to blow over, and we set out with nothing other than a pleasant misty drizzle.

By the time we'd made it along the fire trail to the beginning of the Smuggler's Ridge single trail, the rain had disappeared and we had to stop to take off our spray jackets as the sun came back out to heat us up. Thereafter, the sky was a brilliant blue, and it was hard to argue with the quality of the day...

The ride along the top was excellent as always, the view of some note, but the abundant moisture on rocks etc meant that most of the tricky technical stuff was not worked too hard... Paul shone, as always (both he and Johnbo will be scary when they move to lighter, and dual suspension bikes).

After completing the final drop, we meandered along to the Orchard, where Nic's lack of sleep started to catch up on her. Even so, the short rest break was very pleasant, enhanced with an abundance of nut choices from Johnbo and Paul.

With sustenance under the belt, we headed back off to the hills to begin the long climb out, but it would be fair to say that no-one made a serious fist of the Hill One (maybe 30% of it by Johnbo, and less than 25% for the rest of us - and everyone was off by the end of the first segment). Hill Two was marginally better (indeed Johnbo may have done the lot?), and by Hill Three we were all looking like we were credible contenders.

The ride back along the fire trail to the cars was uneventful (we did spot a potentially interesting looking side track at the top gate, heading down and North?), and the whole trip was done and dusted in three or so hours (allowing for plenty of down time along the way). And, the hills were merely a memory - yet again proving that it's worth waking up for a mountain bike ride, in all circumstances!

No pictures etc - we're getting a bit hopeless, eh.


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