Hi. I've been lurking for a while now (probably a year or so) with only the very occasional post. Some of your posts have motivated me over this time, others have been informative and many have made me chuckle. I thought maybe I should start contributing too. Had a fun ride last night. The usual riding buddies, Warren (the careful conservative one), Herman (the young apprentice) and I met up at six in Tokai Forest for our usual ride. Ordinarily a fairly uneventful hour and a half "up-and-down". - Up the contouring jeep track for an hour or so and down the steep and windy single track. I rode my wife's little hardtail bike as mine is in the shop having the rockshox rear shock fixed after it blew up on me last Friday (I have read the reviews and realise this is pretty common) We rode up for about fifty minutes to the start of a single-track switch back section that we call "Giant Hairpins". Warren opted out of doing the "giant hairpins" section as he was in a rush to get back down and home. Herman and I rode down the radical switchback stuff through (what used to be) forest. Very narrow and very steep off the side. Eight or nine 180° switchbacks with a total drop of about 300 meters. Fell off a few times. Nothing serious just on the more sandy, washed away bits of the trail. This area of the forest has recently been logged out and the resulting soil wash-off has caused parts of the trail to erode quite badly. I did notice that there have been attempts to stop this erosion with logs and stuff like that. Herman, however, emerged all bloodied and shaken up at the bottom babbling stuff about the trail being so narrow and so steep and bikes flying and body parts being dragged rudely across spear like branches, flinty rocks and rusty nails (okay, I put in that bit about the nails). A quick slap and a "pull yourself together man" calmed him down. We regrouped and decided to try and beat Warren to the car park. Rode like maniacs along the jeep track towards the last stretch of single track. This is a fairly fast routey 4-ish km stretch with a couple of jumps and berms. Herman went first and disappeared in a cloud of red dust. I went after and almost instantly got a puncture on a rootey drop off. (those xc tyres are too skinny for me) Replaced tube. Fiddled around with the little presta/schraeder conversion thingy on my pump. Lost it in the dirt. Found it again and carried on down. Just as I was setting off a guy came past me and asked if I had a pump as his girlfriend had a flat and was stuck further up without a pump. I lent him mine. Forgot to warn him about the silly presta/schraeder thingy. We arranged to meet up at the bottom. Got to the bottom expecting to find Herman, but he was nowhere. Waited about 20 minutes and was starting to get a bit worried when he came limping along with a flat tyre, a bleeding body and a broken rear derailear. It turns out he had mistimed a jump and taken a bit of a spill. I must have ridden past him, but didn't notice. He says he was walking down the jeep track to the right of the single track we had been on. I waited a while for the pump borrower to arrive, which he did, with pump, but sans girlfriend. By this time it was dark. He said they hadn't been able to fix the puncture, but he was taking a spare tube back up to her. "Good luck. Ride safely.", I said as I drove away and made a mental note to always carry a spare tube. All in all a fun evening ride.