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With some trepidation we headed to Riverhead Forest for a Mountain Biking session. We have not been there since the "mudfest" training session last year (http://www.theta.co.nz/news/return-riverhead-mudmonster ). Surely it can't be like that this year after such a long dry summer?
The gravel 4WD trails we started on were bone dry of course - but what would the singletrack be like? Amazingly, everything was dry, making for a very different experience with the main technicalities being the rough ground caused by horses trampling through the mud and it drying like concrete. As usual we were navigating by map with Alan showing off his professional map board and everyone else managing with a piece of real-estate sign.
The map showed a minor track to take so we ducked through a tiny gap in the bush to drop down to cross a creek and then steeply up - time to get off and push bike up through the gorse - all great training for Adventure Racing.
And that's how the afternoon progressed, more gravel roads, more twisty singletrack, more hills in both up and down flavours and lots more gorse. The highlight was when we found a bridge made of a disused pipe, great fun for riding through but we decided against using it as a half-pipe. And we did find some mud but as we could ride around it we completed the ride with clean wheels still spinning.