Started off this year with a One on One tour for Ross from sunny Queensland, Ross was used to Australian temperatures and so although I was riding around in a short sleeve shirt most of the time, Ross usually had his merino base layer on!
Started out with some excellent riding on the Craigieburn trails and as the weather turned bad on the West Coast we stayed an extra day and rode the trails we had missed on day one, lots of pictures because of the great weather on that side of The Divide.
Zipped up through Arthur’s Pass and cut back inland to Reefton for a late fish-n-chips and a late start the following day to let the rain subside and the sun to come out so that we could tackle the long climb up Kirwans Track. The track was very soft after the overnight rains and so the climb was very slow with us not arriving at the top until 4 hours had passed.
Found ourselves a friendly Robin at one of the snack breaks; didn’t see him on the way down as we made up for our slow climb with a one hour twenty minute return run.
Up onto the Denniston Plateau the next days to see how the track network is there, fortunately the good guys from Habitat Sports in Westport are busy improving the tracks and upgrading the signage.
There is even a gorge up there full of trees amongst the otherwise baron landscape.
Again after overnight rain we headed back through the Buller Gorge and stopped off in Lyell for a there-and-back to Lyell Saddle Hut on The Old Ghost Road, the rains had made the track pretty damp which wasn’t a problem on the slow climb but we ended up wearing most of the track surface on the way down!
Nelson was our next port of call where we took on Involution and the Dun Mountain loop in warm dry conditions.
Dun Mountain, (The Coppermine Loop):
Ross enjoyed the unexpected company at ‘Windy Point’…
Stopped off in St Arnaud to ride the Teetotal Trails on our way to Hanmer Springs where we managed to get most of the ride in before the expected rain finally caught up with us on our run back to the car. Got changed into dry clothes down by the lake with those ever present sand flies for company…
The forecasted ‘weather bomb’ then began to develop as we headed through Lewis Pass in torrential rain but broke out into sunshine as we approached Hanmer Springs only to then hear on the news that the pass was closed by flooding and land slips.
After Hanmer we opted to try out the new Adventure Park in Christchurch with its chairlift bike shuttle options.
Great way to finish off a trip with 1280 vertical metres of descent and the chairlift taking care of the up. After all that riding I packed Ross back off to Queensland so that he could get back up to his regular temperature!