Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meremere Merriment and Madness

This could be quite a long posting as it has been a while. I wont mention the last two awesome rides we have had, especially last weeks to the trig and down Upper Paerata Rd when the Boss face-planted on that mean downhill before the trig, or my hurtle through the air to end up upside down in the manuka, or Jared's role modelling to get a few of us (Destry, myself and Grant) to successfully ride the tank trap. It was an awesome day. I wont mention my road cycle on Tuesday with one chain ring when I rode my fastest time (23.40) - not bad for an old fella with a big lump of steel for a bike. I wont mention the Thursday night MTB when I rode my heart out over the High course and successfully managed the hairpin on the hill side only to finish last across the line to hear Leigh say "What happened to you? Where have you been?"

I haven't posted recently because work has been flat out.

But this posting is about today's great ride into the Blue Mountains and down Meremere Rd. The Boss, Hedley, Teleri, Destry, Kate, Dennis and Brian met at my place for coffee at 6.15 am and at 6.45 we headed off to pick Grant up at the bottom of his drive. Since he wasn't there Hedley and I biked up his long and steep drive to find he wasn't there either! We pressed on and found him and Hilton waiting at the gate at the top of Block Access.

We tackled the first climb and made our way down Valley Station Rd. I got to the mud hole and waited with the camera and tried to encourage the others to ride through the middle. They were too clever. As I was packing up I saw Dennis arrive, and without any encouragement he rode the middle, came to a rapid halt up to his forks and parted company with his bike. While making sure he was OK the Boss turned up and did exactly the same thing. Check out the photos which show the whole ride.

We then took on the Dip. The track was in great condition and it was great to see most people take it on successfully. See previous posts of Grant and Teleri taking it on. I think the Boss and Dennis may have had a wee walk.

We arrived at the creek and Hilton and I attempted a tricky crossing which came to a wet end. He and I and Grant were able to find the bridge in the creek and lift it back into place.

We climbed out of there and ground our way up the forestry road to the military track which we tried to navigate but the forestry bastards had clear-felled the area (natives as well) and a lot of it was over the track. We continued climbing the forestry road and Hedley sent us down some bush-covered cliff face (Hilton rode quite a bit of the top bit very skilfully) and we ended up back on the military track.

There was a tricky log to jump over where I took some photos. Once again most people managed it. Just after Teleri completed her successful manoeuvre Hedley arrived and tried to leap it with both wheels off the ground and came to grief. Just watch Teleri, Hedley, and learn how to ride skilfully!

Once again we hit more tree fall and had to scramble up the hillside in the hope we would find the forestry road again. The photo with this posting shows the start of that journey with the chain gang getting the bikes up the first bit. The other photos show the rest of the tough climb to the road.

After some more tough climbing and some awesome downhill with the occasional large pothole to leap we arrived at the start of Meremere Rd. I jokingly suggested I go ahead and when I catapault over the side I would stop there and take photos of the others doing so!

The downhill was great and speed was high. Unfortunately the tight right hander had a left sloping camber and my trip through the scrub was halted by a manuka which caused me to leave my bike and land on my back at great speed several metres away entwined in more scrub. I recovered from the winding and realised no bones were broken. As I was emerging I was met by Hilton skidding out of control and attempting the same manoeuvre as me. He was able to stay attached to his bike.

The mad cap dash to the bottom continued and the highlight of the creek crossing was Dennis pitching into the water so that he could wash the mud from his previous unexpected dismount off himself and his bike. One bruised bum!

What else could happen? As we were hurtling down the Motu Rd there was a loud explosion as Hedley's tubeless tyre exploded off his rim and he came to a clattering halt almost bringing us down behind him.

It was reasonably uneventful from there so 5 hours after we departed we made it home at the same time as Leigh, Lucy, Shirley, Marg, Sarah and the young O'Dwyer girl arrived from their Tablelands jaunt.

There we feasted on coffee, juice, beer, muffins and crackers and cheese while some soaked in the spa pool.

What a great day!


kate said...

Great photos, Maurie! We look just like real mountain-bikers. Got home and fell asleep under a tree in the garden, still with bike-kit on. Was a zombie for the rest of the day, but by crikey it was soooo worth it. Now we can do anything!

Hedley said...

It will be remembered as one of the great sobbs rides of 2008. bring on 2009.