Out on my own this morning. Battled a howling southerly across town, the length of Wilsons Rd, injecting myself into the bottom of the hills, and up the Farm Track. At the Crescent-top gate i changed down to one Icebroke layer and my dhb jacket and plugged my ears into my randomsound track to climb by. Surprisingly, considering i havent climbed the farmtrack for aeons (ie, 2009!), i cleaned it all, bar 1 dab and 1 re-establishment of direction, howling gale pushing me from the side, and throughout the journey up several showers of drizzly rain coming in at me horizontally. Barely anyone around. Passing one walking lady near the bottom with whom i shared a "What the fuck is that?!?" moment. As i approached her, both of us beheadphoned, a chopper noise resonated through the valley, startling me at least into wondering if any rocks were going to tumble down on us. Passed two more older women walkers at the top too, the usual "Great day for it!!" exchanged.
Headed up onto the heinously 'cleaned', lowest common-denominated Vernon singletrack, climbing it steadily, no difficulties as it used to have. All the interesting technical rocky sections gone, nothing left to challenge anybody, barely even the noobs. oh well.
Onto the Traverse and round into the wind. A fair bit of sitting water, oops, but no damage (i checked, honest!), splattering me all the way. Met one other bikeloony enjoying the trail like me - he had the wind behind him. The stretch down towards the pond was probably the worst, with the rain and wind right in the face. In the lee of Sugarloaf was sweet, balmy in comparison.
Then it was into Vic Park, and dry as a bone under the trees. Mint! Elsewhere not so much, so avoided the seesaw and bypassed brakefree, picking my way carefully into rockgarden then nice and dry again under the gums. I took my usual little favourite lefty swooping through the corners back and forth, then round over the wee log jump then back round to the skiddersite.
Into Twazza's, not overly dry in there in spots, meandering back and forth, then hung a right at the 40, up to an entrance to Rad^Silly, getting off that before anything too much for me, into Brents, taking the right hand downslope option, slipping into a sweeping bend near the bottom of Rad, finishing off with a nice sidle before crossing the crick and into Flow, annoying puddle off the bridge, then in the open but still plenty of traction, transitioning into nice dry Nubridges, pumping thru, out the bottom, pausing to decide against the Link to OldSkool, blitzing it down valley meeting, again, a single female jogger. Where were all the men?
Tailwind down Bowenvale, and across town. Starting with Eastern - completing a loop at the deceased Waltham Pool lacing back into the noose; the Wilson's, Nursery and Stanmore junket to my door rolled a cold, wet and muddied rider. Coulda stopped, put on warmer layers, but the urge to just get home and save it til then kept me pushing.