Friday, 30 December 2011

The Southside Epic

Well finally it's done and dusted. What started out as an idea to link up a few of the MTB parks on the southside turned into an 82km Group ride of Epic proportions.
The idea was to go from Capalaba thru Daisy Hill, Cornubia forest, Bayview, Mt Cotton, Scribbly gum, and then back to Capalaba. Going via as much as dirt and single track as possible.
First major stop was Daisy Hill where we picked up a few stragglers leaving the park with a total of 26 riders. I took the group down Stone Henge, Turning Japanese, Tunnel of Love, Joala Trail, Ripley's and Gillians. Before heading up the big red hill.
Next on the list was the untamed wilds of Cornubia Forest. Where we wound our way down Stupidly happy and then on to West MT Cotton Rd for some tarmac riding thru to Bayview.

Bayview was always going to be hard work. Due to its exposed tracks and the heat starting to hit. We made our way up Bensons and down Grass trees. Then up a rough climb and onto the killer climb of Doom Hippy ( hard after 40kms and some heat thrown in) Then we regrouped at the top before a split up decent down Blow and Fluffer ( probably my favourite tracks) and thru some rough stuff out onto Days rd and Lunch.

My lovely wife Michelle was good enough to put on a spread and deliver down to us for a quick lunch break and much neeeded rest before the real climbing begins.
Next challenge was the long climb up to the Mt Cotton Summit for the Eastern Escarpment "Granny Ring King Challenge". This was always as I feared the hardest part of the ride. Due to the long slow climb of around 10km along the road and the up thru the MT cotton Gardens.

At the top of the hill those with the will and the lungs to do so attempted the EE. Very Technical and steep climb which only the bravest and gutsiest of riders can make it up. As expected only Jason and Jim were up to the challenge where Jim smashed it up followed closely by Jason. Who made with only putting a foot down once. Hell of an effort for his first attempt. Althought some parties will argue that they didn't complete the true EE challenge as they only did the top section. But anyone who can make that section with 60km's on the legs is dam good in my books.

Picture does not do the hill justice. From there we hammered dwn the track past Karingal and onto Thornlands. There we ducked into Scribbly Gum for some more single track and thru to the Bike path and Home for a much needed BBQ and drinks.
Huge thanks to all who turned up to make this a Great ride. And to my wonderful wife for getting up before the sun and getting me and the food organised.

Otago Update: 8 days to go. New bike bits have arrived- New pedals flats with clips. New shoes-A lot more grippy for running when needed, New cassette, rear deraillieur and have new Cranks on there way. Going to change to a 2 X 9 setup with a bash guard. hope it to be a bit more reliable.
NZ here we come!!! Forecast for Wanaka on the day we land is 5-16 Gunna be cold!

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