I managed to get out of the nice warm bed and go for a ride this morning. It was seven degrees in the house again this morning and I ate my toast in front of the heater. It took quite a bit of willpower to tear myself away from the heater and venture outside. There was frost on many of the cars down at the bottom of the hill. The tunnel under the airport was nice and warm – I didn’t want it to end. Once I got going though it wasn’t too bad. There were only few high clouds, which were pink in the early morning sun. Coming around the point after Lyall Bay, I could see the Kikoruas all covered in snow.
When I finally reached the gate at the bottom of the Tip Track, it was open so I rode right through. I stopped at the second gate, which was also open, to peel off a layer. I checked the time, it had taken about 35 minutes to get here from the house (I need to leave a little earlier next time). The start of the Tip Track is pretty blood steep. I was in my granny gear and had to slide forward on the nose of the saddle to keep the front wheel from popping up. The first third of the track is like this. It just keeps going up. The second third levels off and has a few rolling hills. The last third gets very steep again and the nastiest corner has quite a bit of loose gravel on it making it completely diabolical. The last bit of it shallows out some so that by the time you hit the top you actually feel pretty good again. It took me about 35 minutes to get from the second lower gate to the tar seal at the top. Simon Kennet can do it in less than 20 minutes – amazing!
The tar seal rolls along the ridge to the windmill. From there I jumped on a track called Car Parts. This is an awesome track that sidles along the side of the hill. It is gravelled so it doesn’t to mucky and has a nice gradient – not too steep either up or down. This track takes you down almost to the start of Roller Coaster. This was the first time I had been on this track, which is mostly downhill and has lots of little jumps both dirt and wooden. It was really fun and I look forward to riding it again now that I have seen it.
From the bottom of Roller Coaster there is another track that would have taken me down to Aro Valley, but I was running short of time and need to get to work. Next time, hopefully.
It is a really fun way to get to work, but a bit tiring. Almost two hours of mountain biking with a 500m climb along the way. By the time I got to work I was ready for a nap!