Saturday, 26 April 2008

Saturday 26 April 2008 - The Oaks Trail

It was supposed to be the end of the big wet in Sydney, but lots of the usual suspects were caught up one way or t'other, so we arranged a little persons ride!

Brian, Gabbie, Joe, Hugo and Gus joined Sue, Stephe, Cooper and Ethan for what turned out to be a great adventure along the now famous Oaks Trail - leaving Middle Cove in the late morning, just in time for the slightly late train at Glenbrook (whew!), up to Woodford and then on to the track.

The photo below snapped half way along the fire trail shows: Ethan, Sue, Gus, Stephe, Gabbie, Joe, Cooper, Brian, Hugo.

It was perhaps not the fastest trip along The Oaks, but it was a goodie - with lots of tired folk at the far end, particularly when they discovered that the ford at the bottom was merely the beginning of the long ride back up to the cars. But the quality of the last section of single track left a few happy memories to help the climb.

That said, everyone was feeling pretty justified at having big smoothies, nachos and dessert at the Bluetongue Cafe at Glenbrook by the time we finally got there...

Another great mountain bike ride!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Friday, 25 April 2008 - Garrigal / Cascades

A late call by Donal, but we managed to get a few folk along, for what turned out to be a very cool ride indeed...

Donal, Phil, and their mate "Scots Doug" were joined by T-Bone, Brian and Stephe (Brian back after a long absence running, and T-Bone back after a long absence of being slack!) Photo below shows T-Bone, Stephe, Donal, Phil, Brian and Scots Doug.

It was pouring down at 4am, but by 6.30am all was right with the world, and we didn't get any rain until we were safely back in the cars at the end of the ride.

Headed off past the electricity substation, wandered about the little single tracks here and there and had some fun on each of the diversionary technical sections (with Scots Doug not used to the mountain bike and doing lots of walking, but no whingeing!).

We crossed over the creek / river? / ford - with some amusing diversions while T-Bone went for a swim...

... then climbed to Acron Oval, St Ives - and then figured out that we were running late, so hooned off down Douglas Street, back to Cascades, climbed the big hill to the sub-station, and jumped into the cars just as the rain arrived.

It was great!

Photos are up here, and there's a very brief video of Phil not quite looking stylish... (!)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Sunday 20 April 2008 - OGNR + Spiders

Magic, brilliant, and fantastic. It was *great* to be back out on the bike on a 'real ride', after an absence of a couple of weeks...

After more than a week of bad weather, and ominous portents overnight, the day started with what looked like a light sprinkle - but was clear by the time we arrived at Mangrove Mountain, and stayed that way throughout the ride - other than a brief shower on the road section at Wisemans Ferry (where it could do no harm, and - indeed - was probably good for cooling down!). That said, there was plenty of water around, and we all had wet feet within about ten minutes of kicking off.

We had an excellent complement along, including a rare guest appearance from an old time mountain biker, Weeties! The obligatory group shot shows Doug, Weeties, Stephe, Richard and Whisperer just before we started the first climb...

Doug's GPS carked it along the way unfortunately, but it's worth showing the profile of the last "Spiders" ride - it's a beauty, and shows just how much fun that early warm up climb is:

The climb was also made more challenging by the boghole at the bottom (bigger, badder and smellier than we've previously seen it - unfortuante for those that put a foot in it!), and the fact that the road had been graded and was soft clay, and very slow... But then we made it to the ridge line and the single track, and we were into it with much happiness.

Spiders was well covered in both spiders and vegetation, but remained a technical challenge and - more importantly - an asbolute hoot:

Even the best of us found it hard (albeit immediately recovering for the next tough section):

The rocky creek garden at the bottom was well slippery, so there was no chance of a zero dab ride through there, then it was back around the road to Shepherd's Gully (where a downhill bunch forgot that it's polite to give way to the folk coming up!), and time for a quick snack at the top of Devine's Hill. On the way back we had a quick chance to play on the mound of death (with nothing spectacular eventuating), then Whisperer blasted back to the cars as the rest of us cruised slowly back - happy but buggered.

The full set of photos are up here...

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Saturday 12 April 2008 - The Oaks

A last minute suggestion from Paul J, and we were up at an entirely reasonable time on Saturday to catch the 8.23am train from Glenbrook to Woodford, to ride back down the Oaks Trail.

Joining Paul were Mark, Phil, Richard and Stephe - a fairly good turnout for less than 24 hours notice.

And it was great - perfect conditions, great company, and a superb, fast ride. Lots of fun on the top bit, including the few hill climbs, even more fun on the long high speed blast section, and even more fun than that on the single track at the end - which just rolls on and on, and is more fun than you can poke a stick at.

Quick 'action' shots below (Phil, Richard, Stephe and Paul):

No real incidents, just good clean fun. The only remaining issue is that we have to get Doug up there one day!

Photos are up.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Sunday 6 April 2008 - Morgan Road / Garrigal tour

Ah, has been a long time between drinks, with nothing but an occasional Manly Dam lap to sustain us...

Donal, Whisperer and Stephe met up at Morgan Road, at around 3pm Sunday afternoon.

Headed off up the road to cross Forest Way, and then along the fire trail at the top of the ridge from the power substation. We then cruised around the little sniggle loop, and dropped down the single track to the Cascades. Much fun was had - lots of interesting little technical bits (up and down) along the way. Even the long grind back out from the bottom of the valley up the firetrail to the power substation seemed to be a good thing (perfect conditions - blue sky, not hot but sunny, a light breeze in the air, and even some urban bird twittering!).

The cruise back to Morgan Road was a blast (having managed to get past the abundance of horses at the top of the Garrigal fire road), and we figured we should head down the powerline fire trail and check out Little Moab (or Moonrock?, I can never remember - in any case, the little track off the fire trail to the right at the top of the road just past the turn off down the hill to the model plan aerodrome). Only, we couldn't - there's a big National Parks sign saying "bugger off losers, aboriginal site here", or words to that effect - which puts paid to that long argument around whether or not the sites (which we always studiously avoided anyway) were in fact genuine, or really from the late 1950s...

In any case, we then did a quick loop of the cross country track (again, avoiding any possible impact on any aboriginal sites along the way), and headed home.

Tragically tired (given that it was such a short ride), but very happy....