Playing late on a school night

18 10 2011

As we pushed up the GNW towards Sugarloaf Range Road, the sun slowly set over the valley in a magical finale to a sensational day. We had yet again drastically underestimated how long a ride was going to take and with one car parked in Killingworth carpark and the other at the Pines in the Watagans, we were pretty committed to getting this one finished.

Earlier in the day I had pondered taking lights for this ride. I don’t really know why I didn’t in the end, but I was starting to regret it now. Thankfully B-rad had a single set of Ay-ups on his helmet which was going to have to be enough. We rode side by side along the range road as I leeched his light and had several interesting moments when greeted by sudden darkness while approaching downhill waterbars at speed.

We fumbled around looking for a neat bit of single trail across the ridgeline and finally found it with Brad leading and me following. This soon failed miserably as I needed to memorize what was ahead on the trail between his light and my front wheel as it plunged into darkness between the two. The less you could see, the faster you had to ride or you got dropped and left alone in the dark.

Swapping positions meant I was riding in my own shaddow but at least I wasn’t being dropped so it was good enough for me. Coming down the old Killingworth downhill trail was an absolute riot. Everyone needs to ride a rigid bike with no lights down that trail in the dark. I hit so many rocks it was ridiculous and decked it once when I rode straight into a large branch in the middle of the trail that I had no idea was even there. God I laughed.Having sledged anyone who rode the firetrail instead of single track on this descent earlier in the day, I didn’t have much choice but to suck it up and get to the bottom.

Somehow, despite every indicator suggesting I was going to break some bones, We made it to the bottom, to the car and eventually home. Far later than I had anticipated but feeling simultaneously completely alive and yet half dead after the toughest 75ks I’ve ever ridden. Gee it felt great to be in the great outdoors again.

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