Was gonna ride to Steve's but went to Pete's instead and we cruised Linwood Ave to Ferrymead where we caught the posse of Steve, Andy, Tony, Wazza, Dallas and Marie. The 8 of us then headed up McCormacks, steep little fucker that it is in bits. I spun out at one point and used some dogshit as an excuse, flicking it off the track so's the others wouldn't encounter it as first Pete then Andy rode on past. On today's ride Andy astounded me with his climbing prowess. Several times he just kept on chuffing when everybody else, including me, had spun or gasped their last out. This was the first occasion. A brief regroup above the 2nd hairpin (which nobody got), and on up through more steepness and a number of sodden clay bits, cleaning most.
Into the top hairpins and Pete and me (and Andy) gave them all a damned good go, with, i think, Andy getting the most, but Pete and me doing pretty good too. Varied results for the rest of the crew, but thats fine, Xmas is nearly on our doorsteps and the chelibrations are already piling their insidiousness upon our insides... Out the top, up the road and on up Longridge to John Britten Reserve. Brief stop and then as i headed onto the singletrack i realised my rear tire was nearly flat, so, a quick change of tube ensued as all but Andy and Pete headed on up.
The three of us followed on up, gasping for air and struggling with traction to catch the others. Once again, Andy methodically plugged away at it and cleaned bits no one else did. Marie put in a good effort too, and by and by we all got to the top via various digressions, regrouped and relayered before enjoying a newly trailed alternative line that rides above the previously rutted version of the trail, to the road, and to Greenwood (which had a big fat OPEN sign). Top section of this was great, catching and passing a group of 3, two of which were running inappropriately tyre'd bikes (well, one had a slick on the back, the other was on a hybrid-commuter-29r-cyclocross bike with Rohloff).
Discussion was held, and several werent keen on all the way, but Warren, Marie and me were on a roll and keen to continue that roll, so we blazed on down Greenwood while the others pampered themselves off down Richmond. Greenwood was excellent. Trail in perfect knick, way overgrown in places, but firm and good traction, with a single puddle down below that jump before the valley in the bottom third. We had an excellent run, all of us overtaking at least the two inappropriately tyre'd guys (before gloomy gulch), Warren and me taking the other dude too in the lower, hella overgrown, switchbacks.
Then, off up the road, good plod, and down Richmond, taking in the new G.Effect trail which bypasses the top steep rooty bit very nicely, then down and across to Richmond on REALLY overgrown track.
Blast down road, Dot Com, then home. Excellent sunday ride and much needed to combat the excesses of this time of year.