Got to Pete's for a lift with him and Bernie(visiting from Waikato) to Slumner, where we met a good sized posse of Wayne, Warren, Andrew, Steve, Dallas and Marie (and Mark who was not riding having only had new-artificial-disc-in-the-neck surgery on Tuesday). Off along the waterfront, Pete and me stopping for him to oil his squeaky jockey wheels and pump his tire, then we headed on to chase the rest up Scarred-borough, not catching them til the very top at the intersection of Godley Drive.
Regrouped, we treadled together up this surprisingly steep street to the very top of it and a rather large locked gate, to which Steve had a key. Gravel road, climbed to the next gate-requiring-key, off the private land strip onto Council owned and on up to the road, passing where we came out a few weeks back. Around the road a little then up the wee grunt of an access track to the mtnbike track. Here, a rider turned up and said "there's about 7 more to come", so our posse waited while their posse accumulated, then it was into the singletrack bliss zone. Pete, Andy and myself all blitzed it nearly all the way to Evans, stopping just shy of the GunBarrel, damp dirt covered tires skittering damp dirt covered rocks all the way there. Here we turned back and had an excellent climb back to meet the others who'd stopped midway down (so's to avoid all the nasty climbing back). Good cruise back to where we'd begun our singletrack thereby completing the first of the three prongs.
Descent began in soft dirt ruts, not sloppy, just soft, over the boardwalkythings then onto the Teddington Chip which was living up to its Shit name, the top layer just sticky, caution required. The U shaped channel of the rest of the way down to Livingston was railed and I had one of my best runs down here in a long time. Another regroup at Livingston and we got going again, me noticing a bit too much sponginess in my rear tire so stopped to re-tube. Pete stopped with me while the rest continued on. Quick change and off we went again, blazing up the hill and down again to meet the rest at Breeze.
Off round the sweet dry trail below the road to Godley end, prong number 2, out and back, thinking to myself on this section how much I've enjoyed it lately, and harking back to riding it when it was the first or second purpose built trail ever. Back to the start of Anaconda and confronted with a big DOC fence, which we duly bypassed and bombed on down, popping some sweet air then desperately trying to avoid the sloppy mess in those lower ruts between the big berms... Out the bottom, climbing round another DOC sign and into the valley, ready for the nasty climb up the road.
I powered on ahead, needing to work the legs and lungs after so long off the bike, and keen to get a message out to T before too late. Managed to get it sent in time for the others to catch up and we rocketted down the Scarborough Rd (thereby completing Prong #3) and along the waterfront back to DotCom.
I snarfed a well earned feed and T came picked me up with the boys and we droved back over to Taylor's for a spa...