Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sunday 3 Lapsa th' CAP

Nelson had 3 uplifts to use and I had a couple left on my card and was needing to buy a new 10 lift before they ran out.  We met at the park, me quite hungover from a Camel Cottage party, and not having managed breakfast (dropped it, breaking the plate on the way out the door, and spilling hot coffee all over my tum-tum) and barely drank any of the coffee... 

Up the lift we went.  Taking it easy first run, straight into Yeah yeah nah, which was okay, then into Lord of the Possums.  Mostly a good run down here, good jumps on most, clearing them smoothly, tho one nearly toppled me over forward.  Bottom of this and we were into Handle the Jandal.  Handled this very nicely, excellent boost on most jumps, tho one close call where the jump landed me into the inside of a corner rut/drain that I just managed to not quite get into.

Straight into the next lift, me wanting to puke on the way up, but managing to keep it down.  This time trying out the tech.  Into Throw the Goat, Nelson doubling everything, me taking bunny lines.  I thought there was an 'escape route' from Throw the Goat across to Swingers Party before Yoda, but no, there's not (only the 4wd part way down) and so we ended up dropping down Yoda, which proved to be actually extremely fun.  Cleaned everything, albeit all the "easy" lines (they're not that 'easy' but all rideable).  Then across and into DOHC for a boosty fun blast trailing in Nelson's dust, but keeping him in check. 

My ticket had run out so went and got some kai, Nelson kindly shared some of his free burger with me, and I managed a hangover-curing smoothy (oats, banana, ginger... good!).  Down to get a new pass, and we hit our third lift of the day.  Took Summit Connector, and dropped into the Nun via the bottom droppy section of Gnarly Nun, excellent blast down here, and then a speeding Choir Boy / Old Dyers, overtaking a couple down here, and hoofing up to Capt Cooker, and straight into Shredzillaville for an excellent trip down.  I cleaned everything again, and stuck to the non-'easy' lines, no problems! 

All up a nice run, and didnt bother with MMR, so there's no proof other than my memory.  Estimating about 1200 or more metres of descent.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday Night, Overgrown in the Gloom

Biked home from work, jumped in the car to Nelson's, traffic delaying me somewhat.  Hit the hill just on 6pm, up Parklands, into the second cul-de-sac and up the steep steppy walk track to Huntsbury Tce.  Climby McClimbface.  Up the gravel, onto the grassy singles up, all getting overgrown, and up the sheepshit paddock, finally and up the gravel.  The climbing hurting me; probably over-tapped-ness from previous day's ride.  Gloomy skies were above us the whole ride.  Creaks from the bottom bracket not evident today, for some reason.

Into Vernon, chasing some runners, overtaking much lower down, and bombsville to and through the Rapaki-top, straight into Witchypoo.  Slow climb for me, single dab on usual pesky rock, good climb from there tho, to regroup and snack on the usual high point, before the drop through the end.  Across the road onto the singletrack, - been mowed since we last rode it, but the long cut-grass on it was sappy of energy.  My tiredness made it really hard.  Out of this and up the road to the Castle.

Hadn't been down this for a while, and it was fast.  We were bombing through it and approaching the first hairpin I was hot on Nelson's tail when he jumped, landed, and POP, hiss, hisss, hisssss, hissssssssssssss, goo spraying everywhere.  Bloody bacon-strip and dislodged from his rear tire.  15 minutes later, he's attempted to continue with bacon, failed, and resorted to put in a 29er tube, squeezed in.  I dont think it was bulgey at all...  Onwards down Castlerock, the climby section nearly killing me cos I's cold, and off up the road.

Before the top, we lumbered up onto the 360 walkway, to climb up to the Tors Track.  Then it was an awesome blast down this, me cleaning the one little rocky-over that usually catches me out.  Yippee.  Back onto the trail above the road, around to where a fenceline comes in from the right, where we climbed over and headed across through the long grass, onto the climbing track to get to the top of the Mary Duncan track.

Into this, picking our ways down, bit by bit, cleaning lots of the rocky-droppy bits, Nelson taking at least one extra bit (wooden droppy bit), then up onto the fun razorback ridgeline, down down, techy goodness and fun, under the pylon eventually, and through the gates, and around into the trees, a new way, skirting the top to the left.  Followed down through some droppy sections, a couple of bits of flow, and around then pushed back up and checked out one or two other features, re-riding the droppy flow again, and then out.

Back around the road, the nasty climb around Glenelg Spur and speedsters down Centaurus, around to Parklands and back up, to the car.

We managed 18.43 kms, and 807 m of climbing.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Sunday Posse to- and in- the Park

Met Andy, Wayne, Robin and Paul at Steve's (he'd left at 8.30), and we chased Steve up Ramahana, Aotea and Huntsbury.  Hot work, with Robin struggling in the heat and all of us feeling it a bit.  My bottom bracket area was having a whale of a time, creaking away on every pedal stroke.  After the grind up the gravel, we found him (and his old flatmate VJ) at the top.

Into the Traverse, a good pace apart from getting stuck behind rookie slowbos, who (being the lead) I'd stop to let get ahead, and my team to catch up, before setting off and reeling the rookies in.  At the usual sugarloaf pullover they pulled over and I was chasing another semi-rookie again, catching him in the dipper, where he struggled with the 'tech'.  I got the lead then and blasted the rest of the way round to Vic.  Regroup in the shade.

Up and into the Thomson and Thompson, freaking some walkers in the 2nd one.  Then into Choirboy/Old Dyers, good blast down this, tho lost my chain part way down (first time on this bike).  Treadled around to top of park and when the others rolled up Paul was showing signs of a crash - front all dusted, knees and elbows scraped...  nice.

Into Captain Cooker, and we split up a little, with Andy, Wayne and me taking Shredzilla, the others Loess Rider.  Excellent bomb down Shred, with me in the lead for a start, then Andy stealing it and leading the way, quite fast, down the rest.  He baulked slightly in the steep rocky, which I cleaned for the first time, but kept the lead and I followed him at speed the rest of the way.  Awesome fang, with our rear shocks quite hot at the bottom.  The others all lagged in in dribs and drabs, then up to base, VJ bought a pass, and off up the lift.  I sat with Andy, Wayne and Robin.

Andy, Wayne and me hit Swingers Party, my first time down here.  I led.  It was fun.  I enjoyed it profusely.  Then Robin and Paul and Me hit DOHC (while the others hit Jandal), which was also super fun.  And I did it fast.  It's heaps smoother than last time.

Twenty-five after 11, so Paul and me decided to bail, but the others all headed up to the lift for another go.  Put me home about 12.15...

28 kms all up, with 975 m climbed (albeit, (a smidge under) 400 of those on the chairlift).

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Tuesday Night Rambling Sneaks and Climbers Before the Squall

Met at Nelson's after work and we rode around Centaurus not really knowing quite where to go yet, but formulating a bit of a plan as we rode.  Turned left into Rossmore Tce, riding up this with my bottombracket creaking like a mo'fo.  Pushed up the steep steps and then rode out Whareora Tce, across Dyers into MacMillan, and up the Whisby 'Rd' walky-steep.  From here it was up Dyers Pass Rd, left into Hackthorne and I grabbed a drink from the fountain at Takahe (cos I'd left my backpack at home).  Up Dyers around a few bends, and we dived into the Sneaky-35 trails.  Last time I kept right, this time we dropped into the left (which proceeded to swoop across the right hand lane).  Back and forth we dropped, swoopy swoopy.  I lost my front wheel momentarily in some loose loam, but kept it together.  A couple of quite greasy spots were interesting.  We travelled further down and to the right than I did last time.  Eventually tho into the lowest section I'd experience then, and finally across the bottom of the valley, over the log, and up onto Loess for a flowy fun finishing descent.

Across the bottom of the park and straight into the bastard Uphill track.  Nelson motored away, as usual, and I just plodded away as good as my legs could handle.  The whole time we were in the park, from 35 through to this climb and beyond, a helicopter was hovering over (probably) Lord of the Possums.  Cleaned all the zigs and zags, no dabs, and by the time I got to the easier 4wd section, Nelson was miles ahead.  He waited at the top, before the quick speed down then climbing again as the chopper flew over and away.  Around and up to a locked gate, so we pushed around the fence, and on up Worsleys.  Nelson totally gapping me again..  Ambulance and CAP quad came down the road while we climbed.  Up the Body Bag, a couple of guys ahead.  I managed most of the way up, whereas Nelson obviously cleaned it.

Up to the Nun, and we decided on Gnarly Nun.  First time since the scorched earth of yesteryear, was vaguely overgrown, but we picked our way down, cleaning everything very nicely, including some good rocky droppy sections I probably wouldn't have on the Turner.  Then across the 4wd track and onto the super gnarly rocky dh descent down to lower Nun.  One non-rollable, pop-the-front-wheel jump that I mastered perfectly, and we zoomed through the first swoops of lower Nun.  Nelson pulled up with a flat, leaky pig of a tubeless tire that wouldn't seal.  Pumped, rode on down, up road above Thomsons and pumped again at top of Vic.

Could see a big squall making its way across the city towards us from the northwest, so we bailed quickly, straight down to the rabbit paddock, rain and wind howling in as we flew into the rockgarden, and around through the gums.  Felt like trees could come crashing down with the wind thrashing around us, and indeed, a couple had lower down before the last sweep across to the skidder site.  Straight into Shazza's and bombed out the bottom of that straightlining down to Sneaky Ridge, bombing the rocks and through this, over the jump to Bridges and straightlining across and down to Hospital Corner, before fanging it down the valley bottom and out.  Road wet with rain as we made our way back around to Nelson's whereupon the weather fined up again.

Lots of climbing, for not a lot of downward rewards.  19.6 kms, and 712 m climbed.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Soaking Sunday Drenching

O was gonna mow the lawns at Joy's again, so we headed up into the clouds, and had arranged to meet Nelson there.  The clouds at that end of town had actualy droplets, and it was quite wet.  No lawnmowing was to ensue so he ended up walking their dog and doing some painting for them.

We decided to ride anyway, and headed up Mt Pleasant Rd, then up the steep wee park, and up onto Upper Major Hornbrook.  Checked out the singletrack on Britten, but it was so greasy and lots of poo around, so we just hit the road.  It wasn't cold, but it sure was wet.  Up to Summit Rd, hung a right, around down under the gondola and across the top of the Bridle Path, and on up to Castlerock.  Very low visibility, IN the clouds, and wetter by the minute.  Soaked to the skin I was. 

Turned around at Castlerock and bombed down the road, eyeballs washed by the rain, back around under Gondola, meeting the odd single or group of roadies out enjoying the wetness.  Final climb up through the cutting, standing and cranking it up.   Then, blast down Mt Pleasant Rd, left into Upper Major Horny, down through the byways - Ridgeview and Clearview - then down back onto (the real) Major Hornbrook, across Madeley, and back to Joy's.

Drenched, 13.1 kms, 534 m climbed.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday Night Hunts the Vernon Witch Tors, with a Skooling for the boy.

I'd, inclusively, asked O if he wanted to come riding while he was mowing the lawn.  Initially he'd said no but then said, "actually yeah, okay". 

So we drove to Nelson's through painful traffic getting us started quite late (6.20pm).  We rode up from there.  Steep bastard Parklands, then steep section Huntsbury, O struggling away like a trooper in his not very low low gear.  Up the gravel, and a right-hander across the fenceline, then up the singletrack.  Next, up the old landing strip, sheepshit everywhere, then up the grovelly gravel to the top.  O was stuffed, and didn't want to continue, and he was happy to wait for us, out of the wind and in the sun, so Nelson and me headed off down Vernon, pulling over for quite a few climbers, before bombing the descent to Rapaki Top.  Through here and into the Witch, climby climb, both stalling in the same place, tho he kept rolling while I foot-downed outright stopped.  Oh well.  The rest of the climb was good, and then we hit the descent, seats up for some reason.

To save time, we took to the road, heading for Castle.  Met the boys on our climb below the Tors; Robin, Wayne and Wazza, and couldn't convince them to turn back uphill to ride the Tors with us.  Castlerock was too wet, so we climbed up and headed down a very overgrown Tors track.  Hard to find the way.  Fun descent, with a couple of dabs in the usual spots.

Harder still was the singletrack above the road back towards Witch Hill.  SO overgrown was very slow and therefore more technical than usual.  Back into the Witch, me slowing on the climb, but racing the descent, and then off up the road around Vernon, legs tiring, back to find O, roughly 40 mins after we'd left him.

About 8 pm now we headed across the Traverse, and straight into the jumpy fun descent.  O doing well to keep up with us mostly, me hard on Nelson's tail.  Down the 'landing strip' attempting to avoid the crap, and then struggling to find and see the trail off to the left.  Well overgrown, bloody tricky, but we got to the stile alright.  Over this, and down, all the fun sections more difficult on account of not seeing the trail, and thistles smacking needles into our knuckles all the way.  Owie.  Dropping over the rocky sections, all good and fun, then in the off camber corners below, thistles of last time all cleared off, nice - what a relief.

Into the Old Skool, all breathing a sigh of relief at the lack of thistle action.  Good fang down this, O keeping up pretty good.  We'd gapped him a bit, so after the dip (after the back and forth pumpy section) we stopped and watched him proceed to jump, then crash into a rock and over the bars to disappear down behind/into a gorse bush!  Yelled out, "you okay?" "Yep." "Injured?" "Nope." I went back to him and his knees were a bit garked and the blood proceeded to trickle down his shins for the rest of the ride.  His hoodie was all full of gorse needles too.  Brushed him off, joked a bit about it and off we rode.  Good blat for the rest of it, then down the road and back around to Nelson's where he cleaned up under a tap a bit before heading home, 8.40ish.  LATE!

18.8 kms for Nelson and me, with 705 m climbed.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday Hunted the Duncan

Parked and rode again. Parked off Centaurus on Hillsborough, and headed around and up Ramarama and Aotea, and on up Huntsbury.  Gravel grovel, into an uneventful (but fast) Vernon and a good clean Witch, catching up to some guy on the road (on a mtnbike), across the road and riding on the singletrack up to the gate.  Over the gate and the grass is very long, up the steep arse farm track to the bit of fence you climb over, then up through the tussocks to the top.  Everything super overgrown and hard to find the trail.  Kinda stayed on it most of the way. down the Mary Duncan steeps, cleaning lots, and taking the more technical version below the rocky knob.  Kept the flow on all the way down, and cleaned stuff I'd not before.  Finally the steep arse slope down to the pylon, new signage here talking about the Summit Road Society ownership and that it's public land and there are no trails but cautious transit is acceptable.  Never seen it so overgrown tho.  Into the trees, and there's new jumpworx in there, fun descent weaving down through these and then out to the road and the tarmac return to the car.

The view from half way down. (trail sightly off to the left of the bike and ridge)

Only a 13.7 km loop, with a nice 588 climbed.