Saturday, 23 February 2008

Saturday 23 February 2008 - Oxford Falls

Our continued run of poor planning leading to piss poor perfomance continues...

After a range of stuff ups (including late night 'texting while under the influence' withdrawals - you know who you are!), Donal and Stephe abandoned an early morning Menai plan, and went with a midday Oxford Falls ride.

Unfortunately, beautiful though the weather was, the Gods were not on our side. We started with a meander down the Lizard Rock side of the road from Morgan Road, across to the fire trail and up the single track - which had us almost warmed up, when Donal had what could best be described as a catastrophic chain ring failure. We struggled up the balance of the single track, made it to the fire trail in from the top of Morgan Road and called it a day...

Ah well. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. At least we got out for an hour and worked up a sweat!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Sunday 17 February 2008 - Middle Cove to Hunters Hill and back

Another day, another great (albeit short!) ride. Whisperer, Phil and Stephe managed to get out for a quick blat from Middle Cove to Hunters Hill and back.

Was fantastic, and very funny along the way as well. Ah, mountain biking, how we love ya!

A quick 'group shot', and then the much more elegant "Two Turners at Hunters Hill" photo for the record!

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Saturday 16 February 2008 - Two Creeks Track

Much confusion followed the novel introduction of a Saturday ride (we got at least four confirmations from folk who then slowly worked out it was a Saturday and not a Sunday, and then pulled the pin - slackers the lot of you!).

In any case, Brian, Phil and Stephe set off from Middle Cove at the leisurely time of 7.30am (ah, the luxury) - wandered down the roads to Tryon Road tennis courts (via Whisperer's place to grab a glove!), and then along the Two Creeks Track, to Roseville Bridge, and then the track along the water to the fire trail at the top of Bantry Bay.

Unfortunately, we then realised that we had taken just a little too leisurely an approach, and with impending domestic deadlines, made a bee line for the road and raced back home.

Everyone safe and sound, brownie points intact - and a great and enjoyable ride under the belt, to boot! Loved it. Should be more of 'em.

Waiting for Doug's return for a proper 'album' of the photos, but here's some samples.

A couple of shots at the climb under the Roseville Bridge (yes, we know it looks easy - it's just that we can't do it, eh!):

And a couple of bits of "hike a bike", but fun nonetheless!

And, finally, for amusement this very short video demonstrating Brian's special skills, and this one, demonstrating Phil's continuing elegance... (they'll take a while to load - and, of course, the really good bits weren't captured!).

All photos etc are here.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Sunday 10 February 2008 - Bulli

It was a cold weekend, following a rainy week, and a last minute confirmation from Doug (relying on Rees) that we should do Bulli rather than a local ride - so no surprise that we lost a few people at the last minute (Brian, Whisperer, Nicole and Richard all spring to mind - with a variety of excuses and timing, including three post 9pm withdrawls!).

[We also managed to be quite rude to Graham who had proposed a local exploratory ride and got no confirmation of our intended plan until this morning: again, our public apologies for such dodgy behaviour... we trust that we can still prevail upon you for a future exploratory ride.]

In the end, Doug, Rees, Donal, Phil and Stephe managed to brave the elements for what turned out to be a brilliant day (weather wise, at least). Arrived at Bulli about 8am and pretty well straight on to the bikes and up the hill.

The profile and google earth snapshot tell the story well: essentially, we climbed from the bottom to the top of the Bulli Escarpment and then cruised back and forth along the ridge, with some very entertaining single track downhill sections and a couple of ancillary hills along the way (and, of course, pretty well all downhill from the lookout home).

Unfortunately, following the long wet period, the track was either boggy with clay, and deeply rutted from run off or - and much worse - long sections of the fire trail have been basically paved (extensive gravel laid down to create a road surface).

Energy and confidence sapping where we had to claw our way up through the mud and ruts; and dullsville where we were cruising along the 'paved' sections (although, to be honest, a bit of a relief as well!). The final climb (Rixon's pass?) was actually now a full concrete road...

The track along the top to the North was still quite fun, including the single track at the end - and the return journey to the Southern end of the Escarpment was a fair challenge in the conditons with pretty well everyone coming off at one point or another on a tree root, or in a rut, or just into a bog.

Despite the adversity (!), we did eventually make it to our turn around point, at the lookout over Wollongong, replete with great views, a couple of kindly locals (oops, failed to get their names...), Broadcast Australia tower, and the obligatory team shot (Phil, Donal, Stephe, Rees, Doug):

And, with all the water, there was lots of new growth everywhere - which is always good to see:

While we failed to get any photos of Doug or Rees, and only limited shots of Donal, and despite the mud everywhere - there was quite a bit of fun in the ride:

Occasionally leading, tragically, to this:

All the photos (the good, the bad, and the downright ugly) are to be found here. We have also managed to get the helmet cam pointing in the right direction now (a big step forward!), but the footage is nausea inducing as it bounces around - looks like we need a competent rider like Matt to come back and join us to provide a stable platform...).

Looks like we may give Bulli a miss for a while now...

Monday, 4 February 2008

Sunday 3 February 2008 - Redhill / Oxford Falls loop

Ride report from Whisperer (with an initial reference to the very sound decision to call off the ride because there was more rain than any sane human being could possibly deal with(!) (yes, we all regret it)):

On another note, I got your ‘wimpy’ text yesterday morning, but when I got up at 5.50, the sky was clearing and patches of blue were appearing.

So, on the basis that I was going to be busy in the afternoon, and there may have been another hardy soul that may have turned up, I went on down to sport and rec. No such luck, so did a solo loop. Was wet, but draining surprisingly well for Red Hill & back-of-the-aerodrome.

Main issue was the wet foliage, so I was wet for most of the ride, but not really a problem given it was warm. Met up with a guy at the Deep Creek waterfall; and he rode with me out to the road.

Google Earth route image, courtesy of Whisperer's brand new GPS (Garmin Edge 305 with heart rate monitor).