I woke up in the middle of the night and it was raining. Not the sound you want to hear when you are on a bike trip! It was 8am when I woke up again and the rain had stopped. It was a little overcast and quite windy.
I got up and had some yoghurt and muesli, cleaned up the camper and then did the dishes. Mark had to pop into Dunedin for a bit so I cleaned my bike and just chilled out. When Mark got back you could see spots of blue skies and it looked like the day may be turning into something good! We decided we would go up one side of Mt Cargill and ride down the other to Bethunes where we would do a couple laps and then go back up mountain and ride down the other side back to the car. We had a big feed for brunch – roasted chicken and vegetables and then packed up the car and headed to the base of Mt Cargill.
Mt Cargill is a steep, rocky walking track. Mark has ridden it before and raved about it so it sounded like it would be a good ride. We had to push our bikes up as it was too steep for us to ride. The rock gardens were pretty intense and I kept thinking, ‘he wants to ride this on our bikes back down?’ After about 45 min hike we reached the top and it was snowing. I was loving it! We rode down the other side. It wasn’t as steep as what we just hiked but still pretty damn rocky. It was a great ride and fast. We were probably at the bottom in about 10 mins.
We then toured around Bethunes, which is mostly single track. Definitely recommend riding there if you plan on riding in Dunedin. It has some amazing tracks that you can link together. There is one section in a red wood forest where it is just turn switch back after switch back between the trees – very cool! We did two loops of the track and then it clouded over and started to rain. Looking up at Mt Cargill I could only think of how gnarly it was going to be coming down that track in the rain – little nervous! You couldn’t actually see the peak of Mt Cargill. FUCK! We then decided we may as well do another loop as the weather couldn’t get much worse. Luckily enough during that loop the skies cleared and the sun was shinning again. The weather was so nice we rode Bethunes one more time before the push up Mt Cargill again.
At the base of Mt Cargill I was knackered. We had been riding for 5 hours and the most difficult part of the ride was upon us. I think I may have been a little dehydrated, as I felt light headed on the push up. We took a break at the top. I ate some chocolate, drank some water and then it was go time. My plan was to stay on Marks tail and follow his lines as he new the track. We kicked off and were flying. I am not sure if it was because I was tired but I was laying off the breaks and ripping… dangerously so! I loved it and was hitting everything. With only 3 switchbacks until the end of the track I clipped a tree and was sent sailing! I landed on my right knee, the same knee that I partially tore my mcl earlier in the year. My initial thoughts were ‘fuck I just injured myself again.’ I got up and dusted myself off, bent my knee.. it felt ok. Phew I didn’t fuck myself too badly.. it just a scrap. I jumped back on the bike and finished the track. That was probably the best run of the trip. It was crazy steep, fast and super rocky and I was nailing it… well until that tree made me its bitch. At the bottom of the track I was pissed that I crashed.. I was doing so good ahaha. We packed up our bikes and headed to the grocery store for some beer and food.
Once back at Marks we had a good feed, drank a couple beers and it was time for bed. It the best ride of the trip. Bethunes is so much fun to ride and Mt Cargill pushed my limits on the bike.