Oz’s big night out

Tuesday night's foray into Tai Lam Chung was phenomenal says Oz Wilde

The anticipation was evident as two van loads of the usual Saturday morning riders showed up at the usual ferry pier/ As this was our first attempt at nightriding Tai Mo Shan, there were plenty of takers. Rather than the usual start from the Route Twisk carp ark, we started at just above sea level on the Gold Coast and rode up to the Tai Lam reservoir.

Gearing up posed its own problems - if you didn't have a head torch or were conserving battery life then you had to put on your pads using the beams from the vans. In the confusion we had our first casualty, Bains stepped on his camelback spilling its valuable contents. It turned out to be an unfortunate mistake as the night was warm, still and sauna-like. We were all drenched in sweat by the time we made it to the small stone arched bridge at the entrance to the Tai lam reservoir trial.

You soon figure out that a night ride isn't the time to experiment with unfamiliar equipment; constantly having to adjust anything in the dark requires stopping and blindly fumbling.

I had something plinking in my backup light that sounded like the glass lens was about to fall out, but in the darkness couldn’t find it’s source, it turned out to be a loose screw inside.

The reservoir section was fast rolling and the antithesis of the wonton downhill, in reverse. A light bike would prove to come in handy on this section spinning in granny gear. We lost our first rider on this uphill; succumbing to the heat and the humidity.

We continued on the Wonton trail in reverse, losing another couple of riders due to lack of water. As we neared the reservoir we were suddenly aware of helicopters circling overhead with beams searching the ground below. Across the reservoir in the distance we could see the flashing lights of emergency vehicles.

One helicopter appeared to be dropping off or picking something up from the top of the mountain, while another seemed to head our way and search the hillside. A prison break perhaps? Or maybe searching for II's? We made it to the end of the Wonton without any detection

Suddenly my lights mysteriously died after an hour and a half so I switched to my backup. From this point on I couldn't see beyond my front tyre and was riding blind,which made the last part of the trail particularly nerve racking.

After a quick stop at the village store to wash the bikes and to cool down with the help of the hose, we headed to the Gold coast for a well-earned slap up meal and rounds of beer. Well fed, the vans picked us up and we were home just after midnight.

The consensus was to ride TMS from the top next time. Any takers?

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