Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sunday 14 September 2008 - Menai

The day before was bright and sunny, and at 6am things were looking pretty positive, but by 6.32am, the sky was dark and foreboding... A call from Paul confirmed that it was already raining further South, but we figured we were up and had to go and check it out anyway.

T-Bone and Stephe arrived at Lucas Heights Community School at 7.15am as planned, having driven through fairly vigorous rain showers along the way, and Daniel turned up a few minutes later. As we sat and waited for Paul, we contemplated pulling the pin, but by the time he arrived it was a little more clear, and off went Daniel, Paul, T-Bone and Stephe, being brave and taking on the elements...

Which was a jolly good thing indeed - the ride was fantastic (albeit harder than usual, with sickness and lack of sleep affecting at least some of us!). We did the now emerging 'standard' loop - with a visit to the adventure playground thrown in for good measure.

The ride across to the main road was good, with some puddles around, but the sandy loam soils were draining pretty well, and so it was all 'doable' and not too wet. That said, some dirt bikes appeared to have recently gone through, carving up both the track and vegetation on the sides of the track - not good for any of us to see that sort of random destruction about.

On the other side of the main road, we headed North, circled around the ridge to the East, and dropped down to the sandy track on top of the leachate pipe, back into the valley to drop into the centre of the 'main bowl', then along the north eastern ridge to the ford on the fire trail with the car wrecks. There were a few showers along the way, nothing too challenging, although Paul was by far the most snug and warm inside his very fancy, lined, spray jacket....

We bumped into a couple of dudes (all riding Giants, go team!), who had just come down from the adventure playground, and we climbed the hill to go and check it out. Had a couple of runs at some of the roll offs (they're getting less scary, but still...), and then went on to check out the Rollercoaster of Death. Now, clearly, no 13 year old worth his salt would be in the least bit concerned with the Rollercoaster of Death, but we were sitting around getting a little nervous, and contemplating just how much the rain had made things even more wet and dangerous (and, more importantly, giving us an excuse to pike it!) - when T-Bone took matters into his own hands and did a Nike (ie, he just "did it"). Bugger, for the pressure was now well and truly on.

Daniel then (after a couple of warm up approaches (!)) nailed a run, and so Stephe (after a couple of warm up approaches (!!)) had a run of his own... Which left Paul, the insigator of the nonsense, to get on with it - and off he did, with 100% class. After a couple more times, and some slippery attempts at the following boardwalks (which nearly ended in tears) and some further random playing about, we meandered on down the run to the bottom (much fun).

Crossing the ford, dodging the broken cars, and climbing the ever more eroded hill was all good - only marred by the increasing strength of the rain showers and a chain break on Daniel's bike. A quick repair (quick being relative to the wet conditions and Paul and T-Bone's skills with gloves on in the rain), and we were off for a fun but uneventful ride back along the fire trail, into the second bowl, around the ridge line from one bowl to the other and then back up to the main road.

The last section on the other side of the main road to home was pure bliss, despite tiredness, soreness and illness! Home by noon. Yee ha.

No photos, no track profile - bumma!

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