a whole week of busy nights and crappy weather. so. along comes sunday. early start, 8am at Steves. woke up to a fog-bound city. visibility about 20-30 metres, got quite damp riding through it across to Steve's. Steve couldnt make it on account of his guts, so it was just Pete, Hubby and me.
headed up rapaki, fog starting to clear a little and as we got into the trees on Rapaki we could already see the sun shining on the hillsides above us. looking back over the city, all you could see was the tops of the CBD buildings and the 4 light stands of Jade Stadium (where there'd been a fogged in rugger game the night before). over the course of our ride we watched the fog dissipate.
up into the sun, nice gentle ride up rapaki, cept for the last leg i switched to a 2:1 ratio a la singlespeeding and cranked it up, just to see what it was like. hard. but doable. but man, you gotta have yourself a whopper set of lungs, standing in that gear and honkin' it up that slope. at top of rapaki the harbour was beautiful, a cauldron of fog, hills ringing it in basking sun.
we turned left along the summit trail. the first section i walked cos it was so muddy, my back tire spinning and digging it up, so i gave it a rest. further up tho, the trail was in good nick, our tires barely marking it... got to the end of the first section and hopped over the fence and down to the craterrim walkway (not strictly legal...). it was very very muddy, and technical, slippery rocks (and one clump of Urtica ferox, native stinging nettle (which took a swipe at Hubby)), singletrack, cow trodden. our bike tires doing much less damage than the pugging and pooling of cattle hooves. if anything, we provided channels for the water to actually drain off in...
then from the tors the last bit of road up to the Castle Rock section of bike track down it, which was in surprisingly good nick. cleaned it all nicely, slippery rocks being the only major technical issue...
then down Bridle Path. i bombed it for a change. seems to be quite nice after wetness, well packed, not too loose. we stopped next to the Morgans Valley track, and headed the other way. there's a sign on the gate that said something, but its unreadable now. (i suspect it was something to do with Property?? cant imagine what tho!). headed along the farm-4wd track that follows above the bush thats above the Tunnel Rd Motorway, great wee spin, medium to big ring rollin', with a couple of little climbs, nothing major, then at the end, a gate, hop over it and there begins the barely followable 'secret singletrack'. down to the first of 2 big watersupply tanks, all under a treelucerne and various natives canopy. this trail snaked down and down and around the lower of the two tanks and then sidled down to a turn off that is adjacent to Martindales Rd on the Motorway. We skedaddled across the motorway, and then made our way down to Martindales Rd.
from here, we travelled along martindales, under the railroad, left down Truscotts Rd to Ferrymead historic park, past that to the lower reach of the Heathcote, and then along the true right bank of that, up stream to the Tunnel Rd bridge. This section of riverbank is great, its walked by people with dogs quite regularly, so the trail is sweet, twisty, well defined. and of course, like all the trails today, muddy in places.
once done with that section, we made our way to a Trees For Canterbury planting in Charlesworth Reserve. at this stage, it was a beautiful sunny day. planted a heap of natives, and i biked home along Linwood Ave after 12... later on, the fog rolled back in.