Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sunday 29 March 2009 - Mooney

Ah, Mooney - how we love ya! Just NicMcVic and Stephe for a late morning visit.

We have never seen conditions quite as perfect for Mooney - it was cool, but sunny, dry but with the creek flowing, and just generally really pleasant all 'round.

The rock sections and climbs were challenging, as ever, and Nicole discovered that the best preparation for such an effort does *not* involve limited sleep, poor diet, significant stress and multiple tick bites... Despite these challenges we managed a very enjoyable 15kms or so, at a relaxed pace, checking out the scenery, saying hi to the group of walkers jumping off the ledge at the big rock crossing on the creek, and generally having a nice time.

One of Nicole's photos of the environment (all photos (such as they are!) are here), and a snapshot of the route (with the original .kmz file here), are below:

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sunday 22 March 2009 - Ourimbah

Another great day at Ourimbah - perfect conditions, and the late start (11am) did no-one any harm... Akis, Cooper and Stephe met with Nicole in the Ourimbah car park, to discover that Nicole had managed to put in a quick lap before we arrived!

We headed off for a comfortably paced warm up lap, and were very happy indeed - Cooper getting used to the new bike he and Stephe had built up the day before. Unfortunately, Nicole had technical troubles at the top of the main climb (before The Rollercoaster), and retired down the firetrail to the cars and home. Cooper had been asked to cruise on ahead, and Akis and Stephe were most surprised to find that he had not only completed the climb to the top of the rollercoaster, but had also finished the down hill run following - scary just how fast youngsters with no fear can go!

With all the mucking about, we managed to do the approximately 10km course in 75 minutes (hmmm, no world records there), but we got back to the cars pretty happy. Akis and Stephe decided to try on a second, faster lap - and managed to get back in 50 minutes for that one (still a loooong way from race pace, but more than enough to get them breathing along the way).

It was great, and I continue to marvel that for a long time I was not a fan of Ourimbah.

Photo of Cooper preparing, and a snapshot of the second lap track (the original .kmz files are here (lap1, and lap2)):

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Sunday 15 March 2009 - Redhill / Oxford Falls

Oooops... Continuing the great series of "Introduction to rides around Sydney for Tim", Matt and Stephe joined Tim outside Sport & Rec near Narrabeen Lakes for a quick lap of Redhill and Oxford Falls - avoiding, of course, any area marked as off limits for mountain bike riders. Tim insisted on bringing along his old and trusted steed, rejecting offers of a slightly higher quality bike for the ride. This might have proved to be a bad call.

Started well, with near perfect conditions. Tim was keen as, and we actually had to stop him as he started his way down the Red Rock drop, following Stephe and Matt, at the top of the climb out of the Academy of Sport! We made it to the technical rock section of Redhill and, with keenness still intact, Tim tried a couple of the bunny hops, discovered that his front forks were perhaps less than ideal, and OTB into the ground with an attractive dash of claret forming on his chin for completeness.

After a wee rest, so that his sore head came back towards normal, we set off with a slightly more subdued Tim for the journey across to Oxford Falls and up the single track to the access road. Matt was, as ever, on fire - floating over all objects like a professional, and looking good at the same time.

It wasn't until we ended up down near the aerodrome that Tim's confidence started to kick back in, and unfortunately disaster struck - as he came a cropper on the loose gravel, coming down hard on his elbow. We had the obligatory sit and look at his semi-prone body for a while, before he recovered enough to sit up - but it was clear at that stage that he was a bit too sore to be riding out... Bugger.

Matt and Stephe alternately road and walked their bikes and Tim's out from there, to the top of the fire trail / powerline trail, making jokes at Tim's expense as we meandered along. Matt dropped down the chute at the end of the trail (to Wakehurst Parkway), getting at least some benefit from the long trudge carrying the extra bike - and had a big grin at the end, so it seems that it's still fun!

We bundled Tim into a car, and dropped him off with his medically qualified father in law (so as to avoid feeling guilty about leaving him on the side of the road!), and wrapped up the morning.

Latest reports from Tim's specialists are a probable bone chip (Ulna), hopefully not a fracture, but a sling for a little while.


[Update from Tim 16 March (Ooops, indeed): X-Rays came back, arm is broken about 1cm up from end of radius - no displacement otherwise would apparently have been a tip replacement job - who'd have guessed? As it is, painkillers, + sling 4 6weeks. typing w left hand bloodu diffic.]

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sunday 8 March 2009 - Coba Pt (Marramarra National Park)

As part of the ongoing mix up which is Sundays and children, and general SUAR / MTB community laxness (!) a couple of people pulled the pin the night before, and Nick wins the award for the 'latest pulling of a pin', with a call to ask where he was finding that he was stuck at home with no babysitter, and no contact details... Ah me, oh my.

At least Tim had some more of his 'introduction to Sydney rides' activities enhanced, and was joined by Stephe at Coba Point on a cool and cloudy Sunday afternoon. After some basic bike maintenance, and a discovery that yet another bike didn't quite fit him, Tim was up and ready for a ride. Off to the top of Smuggler's Ridge, and then back to the cars, and out the out and back section.

All good, although with *lots* of erosion and sand on the track (thank goodness it was damp, or the sand would have been a nightmare). Back before dinner time and the world was at peace (with only a few minor scratches and strains keeping Tim up at night).

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Sunday 1 March 2009 - Appin

What an excellent start to Autumn, with a very enjoyable ride at Appin, and starting at a civilised time so that we got to do whatever we needed to do in the morning!

Although, that said, the fact that we didn't plan to start until 10.30am didn't mean everyone actually managed to arrive on time (Paul gets the award for last in, letting those of us there not much earlier off the hook for now - kudos to Mark (and Akis) for being there on time though - photo belowing showing just how proud Mark is of this award!).

In any case, Paul (eventually) joined Akis, Mark, Nick, Tim (on only his second ever mountain bike ride), and Stephe, for a ride departure around 11.00am. The bike that Tim was forced to ride (having been told that his own bike was unacceptable) turned out to lack some basic gear changing functions in the pre-ride warm up, so it's fair to say that he was up against it for most of the ride - although he made up ground on downhill sections when the gears were less relevant...

The track was great, albeit a little sandy (some rain the night before would have been useful), and everyone was having fun. Photo below shows Mark, Nick, Paul, Stephe, Akis and Tim) just after Section 1...

Akis had a nasty fall when pushing the pace a little, but was happy enough to show the new folk the line of the roll down to the wooden bridge - and demonstrate his ticker everywhere else on the track. A second lap was intended to be completed a little faster, but suffice it to say that we're not proposing to post the eventual time as a 'hot lap'... (!)

Generally, a great ride, just the right amount of heat, and a good opportunity to compare Appin with Ourimbah. All photos are up here (but, in the absence of Doug, they continue to be no good I'm afraid).