Monday, December 21, 2009

Rock & Roll



It was Thursday Night again.
We've had the official Dark&Dirty Year-end party ride, but with traffic between Joburg and Pretoria calmed down a little, I nagged Oupa Gerrit for a ride.

He agreed, and I dragged Gadget and Agteros to the ride to show them what REAL mountain biking is about.

Oupa Gerrit was the competent leader.
Herman (whom Oupa Gerrit poached on a Sani2C ride) was the sweeper. Between them were
- William, who forgot his light so bought a Pick&Pay emergency light
- Gadget, the x-freedom-challenger and my Joberg2C partner
- Agteros, an x-roadie whose conversion to mountain biking is almost complete
- Gideon, not a newbie, but because I haven't been there myself for almost the whole year, whom i've never met

We sped off to the top of Big Dipper. Searched a little in the grass for it. It was far gnarlier than I remembered it - only at the bottom did Oupa Gerrit confess that we weren't on Big Dipper at all - we found the right track, and then went on to the Cornwall RUSH. The last time I was there, there was still a gate and the downhill was all powdery. But WOW - all the sweetness and gnarly-ness of THAT downhill is back! Then on to St Georges, up Roetter's Route, then down on the Shebeen-Queen track to find the turn-off to the light-chase, where Gadget did some emergency-repairs to Agteros's brakes (it was HIS excuse) while the rest of us caught our breaths.

Then down Mine Shaft, through Blair Witch, and back to Roetters Route, this time down. Up that heartbreak hill koppie, then on to do Quadbuster, down Look-Ma-No-brakes at break-neck speed (this is why i cycle!), up Python, and on to Tour d'Tar.

I never wanted the ride to stop.
I never wanted the evening to end.
I wanted to be nowhere else.

Roetters Route has never been this fast.
Blair Witch was never this pretty.
Cornwall Rush hasn't been this gnarly for years.
Quadbuster was as tiring as I remember, Look-Ma-No-Brakes was FAR better than I remembered it.
Python has never been sweeter! The mud dried out a little, so it grips the tyres on the corners; I just wanted to go back and do it all over.

Has Tour d'Tar always started right at the bottom? And has Joburg always had THIS little oxygen?
Up Big dipper where William had an unfortunate incident with his bike and his cycling shorts and a rock and his bike's seat.



On to Cruiser and then back to the Moo Mall for some hot chocolate - a perfect end to a perfect evening.

Champions for the night:
- Night Light Chase: Oupa Gerrit
- Quadbuster: Herman
- Tour d'Tar: Agteros

Stats for the night:
- Distance: about 30
- Mechanicals: none
- Involuntary dismounts: William: 5; haven't seen any others - which is amazing considering what the wannabe-Big-Dipper looked like - not to mention Cornwall RUSH.
- Total vertical ascent: about 400
- Smileage: LOTS

THANK YOU to all involved - when can we do this again??
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