Saturday, November 3, 2012

More Dirt

Following my earlier exploration of the route to Brokers Nose, fellow rider Shane shared his experience on the route and reckoned that I was in fact pretty close to the Rixson Pass turnoff when I retreated. With that in mind we arranged to head out and ride the route again this morning.

Prepped for an early start, the morning dawned dampish with a light mist falling. Cloud base was pretty low on the escarpment at about 300m annd once we confirmed that neither of us minded getting wet, we proceeded with our meet at Wollongong Station and set out for Tarrawana.

 The route up wasn't too bad and Shane showed me a thing or two about mountain biking, so I was learning quickly.  Before long we passed my earlier turn around point and literally 30m away was the intersection in the path and the beginning of the long and murderously steep climb up Rixson.

In the steepest part on a switchback the trail is actually concreted over, it's a fire trail after all, but the slick conditons saw me lose traction so I was forced to walk the rest of the way up. Once at the top we jumped another gate and made easy progress on a variety of fire trail, narrow track and sandy/rocky ground before we got to the nose.

Despite the low cloud and mists the view was pretty good.

Brokers Nose

Brokers Nose
Shane on the nose

Brokers Nose

While we contemplated our next steps and munched some banana bread, another rider happened by and we engaged in some conversation and she offered to show us some other tracks and point us in the general direction of more. We retreated down the fire trail and then turned off down a single track which she described as rocky and scary. It was rocky for the most part and only scary for a few sections of abrupt drops. After a while she pointed us towards Picton Rd and tracks on Keira and we continued our descent through some lovely forest, skirting tree ferns and Hakeas on our way.

when we emerged on the Highway interchange we set out in the general direction of her instructions but didn't manage to find anything that looked accessible so we rode up Picton Rd to the Mt Keira Road intersection and then followed some tracks that showed on the garmin.

It was tough going in places and the paths didn't seem designed for bikes so soon we hit the Mt Pleasant fire trail and ripped downhill before turning towrads home in increasing rain. It became clear early on that the V brakes on my bike weren't up to much in the rain and the longer we rode and the dirtier and muddier my wheels became the less effective the brakes were. So I'm thinking now of converting the Montari to Disc brakes. It has compatible wheels and mounting points on the frame and forks so shouldn't be too big a problem to overcome.

It was a great mornings ride and I'm really enjoying the variety of off road riding.

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