Ladies in the Forest
I doubt that Alana, Kathryne and Ceridwen would call the Para Forest paradise but they were there on the Sunday morning Rec ride along with Keith, David, Andrew, Craig and the writer. It was great to have them along. The start was a cold, damp, two degree Celsius moment from the corner of SH1 and Para Road as the sun struggled to break through the remnants of the fog. The easy tar seal road soon turned to gravel, some mud and a much less friendly gradient raising the body temperature quite quickly.
Up was followed by more up before the gradient eased in Stagg Road (spelling is correct!). We sidled around the hill on a good surface for over a kilometre before another serious up doubled back along the hillside to come out on an old skid site on the ridge. A great view from here was obtained up the Koromiko Valley toward Picton. The total altitude climb was just over 400m according to gadget guru Andrew.
Morning tea was taken without coffee or tea and then it was down on what started out as easy. That soon graduated into a steeper and rougher challenging ride with randomly spaced, very spikey gorse that kept one having to deviate from the selected line. A bit of claret was evident on bare legs at the bottom. We still had a surprising amount of altitude to loose, so a whizz down the road was followed by a long slower downhill ride on a grassy track with a bit of mud. Finally it was doodle along the railway line to arrive back to the cars by around 10.40. The 12k ride was a good and short workout, well worth doing again.
Browny points gained for being home early! Thanks to Merrill & Ring NZ Ltd for access.