Sunday, 9 December 2007

Sunday 9 December 2007 - Redhill / Oxford Falls loop

Another great day at our 'local' track - kicking off on an overcast, but generally cool and dry day at the Academy of Sport at 6.50am, and back at the cars at around 10.30am (because of a couple of minor mishaps along the way we were about 30 minutes later than we should have been).

As always, a couple of wusses pulled out very late the night before (I don't know how to explain this Richard : if you pull out the night before because of rain, it will never happen!)...

But, Ed, T-Bone, Matt, Caro, Phil and Stephe all managed to actually turn up and have fun.

The ride up the first climb out of the Academy of Sport was a bit wet and challenging, but that didn't stop the legends (Matt, T-Bone and Phil) from all making big efforts, and then executing the roll down RedRock once we were up. While we were there, we attempted a group photo - tragically, in the absence of Doug and Nicole, our photographic skills are very poor indeed...

[group photo: Ed, T-Bone, Stephe (obscured), Matt, Caro (obscured), Phil]

We then wandered on to Whisperer's single track, and down to the Redhill technical section (where Caro made the most impressive initial entry to the section, but we didn't catch it on camera (sorry!), and we had a range of minor stacks - some of which we caught!).

More fun on the way down, by going down the left track to the Wakehurst Parkway pumping station, with the silly folk again doing a wet and slippery roll off...

Then it was off across the road, and along the bitumen (where Stephe's one attempt at silliness all day meant that he fell off the back of his bike onto his elbow, with lots of subsequent whingeing), and up the Oxford Falls single track to picnic rock (for a quick snack break).

Lots of fun on the way, and some very credible attempts at obstacles, generally coming unstuck in the wet conditions.

Unfortunately, the journey from there along the XC track wasn't exciting enough for Matt, who suggested we do the Road to Nowhere, and then drop into Deep Creek.

Came across a bunch of bush walkers who thought "multi use / sharing the environment" meant they were able to think up multiple insults about mountain bike riders and share them with other users... Phil attempted to counsel them, albeit potentially a lost cause.

The drop down to Deep Creek was wet and slippery, and most of us opted to walk the bikes, but T-Bone and Matt did their level best to entertain us on the way. Unfortunately, we have no footage of T-Bone's spectacular successes at Wimp Rock, and the subsequent roll / drop at the foot of the track up to Mona Vale Road. Bumma, it was good to watch! (did I mention the two pinch flats that T-Bone managed to create with his silly antics? And just how *slow* a tyre changer he is?)

Another great ride - geez it's good to be a mountain bike rider!

Full set of photos are up here (but still no GPS or whatever - please come back Doug, we need you!!).

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Sunday 2 December 2007 - Mooney

Mooney, ah Mooney. Fair to say that it remains one of the best places we go to ride, but this was not one of the best rides! Lots of start / stop action, lots of water, but not as much fun as is often the case with water, and a couple of DNFs along the way...

Still the environment was beautiful!

We met at around 7.30am, with a bunch of dropouts the few days before (missing T-Bone, Matt (with a good excuse!), Ed, and others - mostly scared off by the potential for rain I reckon).

But, we did have the pleasure of Donal and Phil joining us, making the Scottish contingent stronger each week - with Doug, Rees (he's baaaack!), Richard (nice new bike, see first pic below), Whisperer, Johnbo and Stephe making up the numbers.

We had a beautiful clear day, with no rain and excellent light cloud cover - so it was not too cold, not too hot, and nothing to complain about.

We headed off in high spirits, with Smartarse Creek taking some early victims, but generally all good (lots and lots of water on the trail). The group shot has (L to R) Donal, Phil, Stephe, Johnbo, Rees, Whisperer and Doug (with Richard behind the camera). Unfortunately, after this set of photos, the camera failed...

The riding was pleasant, although the creek crossing was right on the limit of passability (lots of people getting very wet, as they carried bikes across and slipped under etc). The climb to, and past, the dam was harder than ever - with no-one even looking like doing a dab free run, and with much falling into gutters and water holes!

Very early on, Stephe went into (the first) water covered rock garden and managed to bang his knee on the headset (leading to much sadness for the rest of the ride - and a DNF before we got to Oranges), and Richard was forced to pull out at the water tanks with his torn calf not yet fully recovered. As the bodies started to fall, the group decided not to push on for Oranges, or The Bucket, but turned around and headed home after a quick snack at the water tanks.

The ride down was again more dangerous and difficult than normal, albeit with much entertainment and no serious injuries (which has to be a good thing).

In all, it was under a 20km run (wow!), but the profile still looks good (limited photos and profile are up here):