Thursday, October 24, 2019

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Blue Monday, Spurring On

Wet night and morning, but cleared a bit, so Nelson and me headed south of Greymouth to Hoki and up to the Station carpark for Blue Spur.  Had a doozie of a ride in there...

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Sunday Designated Denniston Denizens

Loopy, Rocky, Sullivan's, Lunar, then Lunar, Miner's, SOB

Saturday Heaping the Heaphy

First ride of the annual trip...

Monday, October 07, 2019

Sunday Quick Dog Loner Juggle Tings Proper

Didn't know when I'd get to ride.  Was told 5pm would be fine.  Then, at about 2 T said Vanessa had cancelled, so I could go earlier...  Drove across with Jet in the car and parked on Eastern just over the bridge from Bowenvale.

Jet on the lead, headed around to Major Aitken, and up.  Kept him on for a while, cos he was kinda giving me a tow, and cos the road narrows a bit further up.  At the hairpin, quite a way up, I let him off and he ran free from then on, right til the bottom of Bowenvale at the end.  Up Kenmure and up Huntsbury to the top.  Up the gravel, climbing pretty good, my own pace, not too hard, not too soft.  Up onto the singletrack and up the landing strip then up the gravel, and before the top cattlestop we peeled right onto the wee climbing singletrack, walking a stretch, then riding the last zig and zag to the top of Four Pause.  Schlumphfed down here for a rest, small snack, and took a pic.

Onto the bike, Jet in behind, and away we rolled.  Good fang down this favourite trail.  Better traction than the other night, and I did the jumps a bit better too, even with the easterly blasting across the track.  Waited for Jet after the final jump, and then down through the tussocks, weave weave, and dropping off over the left down to the gate, Jet not too far behind.  Over the stile, and blazing, down, drop, weave, pop, drop, sidle.  Skipped that one bit that has the blown-out rocky ledge, using the 4wd briefly instead, then back into the rocky descent down to the water troughs, where I stopped and encouraged Jet to have a good long drink.  Off again, back and forth on the off-camber over-grown corners, and then onto the Old Skool proper.  Bomb bomb bomb, jumpy, pumpy, flow across and back and across, and from where we watched O's crash (almost a year ago!) I stopped to wait for Jet, and then when I got started again, couldn't clip in, making those rocks tricky.  Got clipped, and bombed on down the rest, stopping a couple times for Jet to catch me.  

Bombed down the gravel to the end, and waited.  Jet got straight into the creek opposite the jumps, and soaked and drank, then off down the road, he took his sweet time sniffing and peeing on every. single. tree. down. Bowenvale Ave.  Felt like it took longer to get down this than it had to ride Old Skool...

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Thursday Night Groupies

Hit it with some new peeps.  I met at Nelson's and we rode round to the bottom of Crapaki, meeting there George, Glen, Jackie, another Richard, and another whose name I dont recall.  We headed up the Crapaki, climbing at a nice pace, talking all the way.  Glen was sporting a brand-new first-ride-ever Yeti SB-something with 29r wheels.  It was spanky a.f.

At the Taramea we regrouped and were joined for a stretch by an older guy on a 'lectric contraption.  Headed up into the singletrack.  George OTB'd almost immediately, which was amazing considering it was on the climb.  Regrouped again at the rocky techsession bit, then Nelson and me blasted ahead of them down and around and across and all uppy downy as it is.  The climb back around in the sun was pleasant and not at the same time.  Straight into the singletrack climbing above the maindrag, and then Nels and me stuck to the main drag for the straight and up around to the top.  All the rest of them took the singletrack.

Up Vernon, and Nelsie and me seemed to have the lead, but George wasn't far behind me, then Nels met someone to talk to, so we continued on, me following George at his pace.  Regrouped again at start of the Traverse.  Sun was lowering (half hour to sunset), so we decided to show them Fourpause and 'the' way into Old Skool. 

Around the summit and no mucking around, straight into the descent.  Dirt was damp under overgrowing grass, but grippy enough, and we blasted down the rocks and over the jumps and as per usual now I cleaned that last jump.  Regroup and they all arrived with shit-eating grins, not having expected so much excitement...  Down through the tussocks and over the edge, down, again, the rocks catching some of them out.  Then the real descending began.  Most of them didn't clean the steep rocky droppy sections, and Jackie bailed out and rode the 4wd track.  Glen was wary of destroying his brand-new ride, so was careful Colin all the way.  But mostly they enjoyed it, and now they know the way, they can come back and practice.

Into Old Skook and it was a blast.  Best flow I've had, chasing Nelson tight on his tail, for ages.  With all the regroups, I was still feeling pretty fresh, and so pumping through the flatter bits was easy and good.  Out the bottom, and FREEZING cold in the valley.  Ice-cream headache making.  Regrouped, and then down the road.  Most of the group stopped in at the Brickworks, but I needed to push on so Nelson and me headed back to his.  I even had enough energy to clean the wee alleyway next to his place up to the car.

Not a bad 17.86 kms, and 526 m of altitudation.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Saturday Solo Jet Grey

Nelson organised to ride Mt Grey on the weekend.  We (and I invited Derek) were going to ride and Kirsty was going to run.  Then she pulled out.  Then Derek said he couldn't make, then Nelson decided he had too much to do at his old place, so I decided I'd just go do it myself (with Jet).  Left home just after 9 and took about 45-50 minutes to get to the "Lake." Only a couple of months since last time, and a year (almost to the day) of the previous to that

Left the car at 10 and cruised up the road, not detouring to the singletrack this time, just sticking to the gravel climb.  Met one woman riding down.  At the Look Out I stopped and took a couple pics

 and then walked the steep singletrack to the road above, crossing over and riding the upper singletrack sidle across what, if it isnt, should be called, Sunrise Face.  Gorgeous day up here.  Warm, sunny, windless - mostly.  Tight in the trees, fun climb.  Wind over the top was howling in the towers, but so sheltered on my side.  Fantastic views.  Got to the top at 11.

Took the immediate descent track to the saddle, a few very steep techy rocks to start, then the wind was absolutely blasting across the saddle, nearly pushing me off the bike.  Quite tricky.  Around into it, dropping down the guts to the singletrack the other direction, around the face, wind lessening a little but still strong in places.  Wetspots were still wet, but not bad.  Met a quite a few couples walking/running up this section.  Switchbacks, then rocks, and then into the trees.  Jet on my tail, happy as anything.

Switchback City.  Cleaned some, didn't clean some.  Usual percentages.  Awesome descending.  One corner I went round, quite quick, and there's a woman down in the forest below the track.  "Hello!" I said, and was onwards cruising, popping and weaving downwards.  Creek crossing, more switchbacks.  Met someone I knew (Rowan) and her partner(/friend?).  Descendy McDescendface.  Another couple in the thick of the busiest switchbacks, then good rolling cruising down into the pines and then into the open usually very muddy section, was a bit muddy, but there were greasy 2-wheel-slidey dry enough bits to stay on.  Passed a couple of young girls walking up here.  Blasty lower sections, stopped to move a few branches off the rutty rooty part, and flowed out the lower half no probls, no more punters.  Big drink for Jet in the river at the bottom.

Time for the road.  Grindy McGrindface, climbing climbing up and around, met one guy riding a bike down hill towards me at some point, and finally back up to the car, just after 12.  Hit the road, and was home by 1.

A very enjoyable 14.14 kms of country riding 729 m climbing

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Thursday Night Eastern Struggling Singletrack Goodness

Met Nelson at Slumnervale... Traffic on Linwood Ave getting there was a shocker. 

We headed up the Captain.  I felt weak and useless.  Either not recovered properly from Sunday's ride, or I was suffering from too much sugar during the day at work...  Either way, I felt bad.  Once above the switchbacks tho, everything gets a bit better until the trail heads up again near the end.  We paused for a bit at the (crappy) gate to let an XC Yeti woman through, then got going to the top. We watched some lights coming down Greenwood from here.

Through Evans and onto Godley.  Cleaned the first rocks but then was so wiped from that effort that I buggered up the next lot.  Managed a bit better further up, still struggle street though, while Nelson powered off ahead.  I'd totally lost him by the time I was up the top, tail wind pushing me a long.  At the ridge, he was crouched down out of the wind.  Brief stop here and the 3 Greenwood lights climbed up the 4wd towards us, then continued on down towards Livingston.  We gave them a headstart then headed in.  Nelson chased hard, but I just rode my own buggered pace.  Once on the down, I was a bit better, swoopy swoopy fast through the lower descents.  Past the 3 boys at the col and straight on up the climb, up and around.  Nelson was waiting at the top, and we headed down the same triangle of paddock to the road, and over to the new Anaconda entrance.  Brief break here.

Into the descent.  Lots of sheepshit and the dirt still unused since I was through on Sunday, I reckoned.  Bomb bomb bomb, then fast and airy through the original lower Anaconda.  Then around and climbing again, stopping to watch the 3 followers descending, making lots of noise and 'aaaaah!'s as they swooped.  They ended up following us up this walking track.  I was starting to struggle more on this climb. 

Then from Breeze, up the singletrack ever more.  Struggle struggle struggle, then fun descent, then reeaally struggling on the final climb.  Rain started to fall a little bit up top.  We put jackets on and headed around.  Good run down to Evans, me taking the high walking line at the end. 

Then into Captain Thomas.  Excellent downhill.  Feeling sore, but enjoying the down.  Blasty blasty, cleany cleany.  The tree root at the start of the Cabbage Tree track nearly stopped me...  then the final blast into the bottom of the valley was gooood.  So glad to be done.  I was aching all over.

An expeditious 17.15 km, with a quite thorough 713 m climbed.