Double Ridge-line – Sans Heli
We had the van stuffed full of bikes, gear and food and were 0ut of town by 6pm on Friday to drive for a few hours. Stopped about 1km short of where we were supposed to be camping for the night to play on an adventure course in the dark (awesome fun!!) and ended up sleeping under the trees there. Farmer came past in the morning and got all nasty at us, which lead to calls of “THIS IS MY LAND” with much hilarity for the next 2 days.
In the morning we met a bunch of bikers from the other direction and were off and wandering up a lovely beech forest ridge. An hour or two later we were enjoying the view from the top before blasting back down the hill. Super fun techy sections. Started out rocky, and got more rooty and loamy as we descended. Big smiles on the dials of all the boys.
Some beers were stashed in the river while we had a look at another trail, but with fading light and energy (and the lure of cold beer) we turned around and were soon yarning over beers. Off to camp for the night (up past Mr “THIS IS MY LAND’s” land). Many more beers were consumed along with a variety of food. Some rain drizzeled on us for a bit, but the stars were out before I went to bed.
Clouds were a bit low in the morning, and some of the crew from the other direction were not keen to ride it wet. This lead to the helicopter that had been organised being cancelled. Having not been heli-biking before this was a shame, but not all was lost as we were still very keen for a mission up one of the ridges were had planned to ride. The climb was up through some fantastic forest, and the evaporating moisture in the sunshine made for some wonderful lighting and contrasts. Lots of photos were taken, and some almost capture the mood.
2 or 3 hours later we were at the high point, basking on the sunny rocks like lizards. Everyone stoked to be out in the mountains with their bikes, and really looking forward to the descent back down the ridge-line track. The ridge started out with nice flow and a couple of little techy testers to make sure you were awake and on your game. This warmed us up nicely for the main course, which was super fun (and a bit skatey after the rain). Lots of rooty and rocky steep downs with curves and corners. We had to have our eyes well ahead, as taking any drop meant instant acceleration. A section without too many slippery roots or rocks needed to be spotted to bleed the instant speed gained. We had grins wide enough to split our faces in two a lot of the way down.
Damn fine weekend away. Bikes, beers and big mountains with fantastic trails through lovely forest. Next time we will organise the weather better for helicopters, and will get even more grin factor riding in!!
Images (careful, thumbs link to full size images).