Awesome Winter CURD biking mission
Today was a good day for a Carry Up, Ride Down (C.U.R.D) mission. Foggy and frosty in Christchurch when we left, but a beautiful winters day out in the foothills, so off we headed with our bikes.
The target for the day was Mt Oxford. Altitude start = 350m (1148.3 ft), top = 1364m (4475.1 ft). A difference of 1014m (3327ft). It was frosty starting out, but we soon warmed up.
There was only about 15 minutes of riding before the hill really started and we were hike-a-biking.
There was still a fair bit of snow in the shady patches. All pretty hard and icy, which was not too bad to climb up! It took just over 2 hours to get to the top of the hill, and we were all commenting how unfit we were feeling, with many of us not getting much riding in over the last 3 weeks.
The trig station at the top of the hill was a welcome sight. It was time to put some warmer clothes on, eat some food and start smiling knowing that there was a whole bunch of single track down the hill to get back. It was a loop that we were biking, and we had just carried up the steep face and were taking the long way home! There was a shelf of snow for us to start on before heading off down the ridge line.
We soon dropped off the open ridge line and into the beech forest. While the ridge was fun with chunky rock and swooping corners getting into the beech forest was the start of the really good track. In my mind this piece of track is totally worth carrying a bike up a hill for a couple of hours!! The beech forests winding trail and rooty challenging drops and corners make a fantastically fun piece of track, and with a 1000m of altitude it goes on for a long time!!
Whenever we gathered on a little uphill the enthusiam and joy at being out riding these trails was pouring out of us. You can’t help but be grinning from ear to ear being on an awesome trail with like minded people on a beautiful day!
It took over an hour to get down the steep ridge line track with one puncture, a crash, a dismount and a number of photos. From here there was a nice technical piece of single track that undulated along another ridge to get us back to where we started. This track had some lovely flowing corners with challenging roots, holes and creeks to keep us entertained. Then we were back to the van, 5 hours after starting out. As you can see from the last photo we were pretty happy with the days outing!!