Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wednesday Windy Windy Ridge Ride


That's both pronunciations of windy...

A week out in the bush, walking 10-15 kms each day off-track through usually wet forest.  Nice to get out and ride again, and all that walking seemed to helped my stamina, or something.

After work last night, Nelsie picked me up usual Countdown Carpark and we headed and parked at top of Huntsbury, Headed up, and hung a left, over Vernon, through the clusterfuck that is Rapaki-top, around Witch Hill, onto the walking track above the road (they cant actually put No Bikes on that, cos it's in the Public Road Reserve...  Up to Castle Rock and a good run down this, me in the lead, then from Bridle Path top took the singletrack climb up around the knoll, then down to the saddle and up around to the Tors track.  Bombed down this and cleaned all the droppy bits but not the up-and-over bits, then back onto the walking track above the road, excellent cruise down this and back onto Witch Hill.  Tiresome climb, good bomb down.  Straight through Rapaki-top again, no stopping, and into the Vernon climb which hurt.  Then across Traverse and into the new descender down to Old Skool 4wd start, across landing strip, over fence, down jumpy Huntsbry and back to the car...

15 or so kms with 620 m of gain

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Sunday Jet Loop

Jet and me parked in Bowenvale Ave, headed down to Major Aitken and upwards... I only remembered MMR halfway up and then it didnt actually kick in until I was much further up so its altitude and distance are a wonk - add a couple hundred metres and a couple kms..

Hot day so was a tough climb, but got up and around the summit and Jet was a bit of a slow poke around the Traverse, holding up one tosser of a rider...  Further around near the pond, he was in one guy's way for a few metres, then he jumped in and had a good swim and big drink, and from there on he was fast.  Cautious on the cattlestops.  Into the top of Vic and down to the Rabbit paddock, then into the gums, nice blast down through my favourite (i notice a new trail off the left of it at the start), then through skidder and into Spazzer's, deviating some shortcuts and then into Sneaky Forest, fun drop down through this and onto Bridges etc.

Bottom of NuBridges, I hung a right and clambered up the steps onto the sidling walking track across to Hidden Valley Link, up this, huffing and chuffing, then into the Old Skool for a great blast down and then a long slow cruise with Jet along the footpath back to the car.

So,'d be 13 kms and ~461 m climbed.

Off to Lake Poteriteri on Tuesday for a week, so the Turner and the Troll's back wheel have gone in for some fettling with Josh, and there'll be no riding for me for a whiles.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Wednesday Evening Mt Grey(tness)

Knocked off work early and met Nelson at Sefton at 4.30.  Transferred to his car and headed around and up the hill.  Got riding at 5, up the steep bastard singletrack that climbs up the front. Not quite so bad once you've pushed up the steepest bit, it starts to do these biiig long zigs and zags, progressively shorter til we hit the Lookout tower.  Then I pushed and he rode about half of the singletrack up from here to the road, and then we were onto the singletrack that sidles along the eastern side around and up to the summit.  Awesome techy interesting hard and fun climb.  Took about an hour to the top where we had a rest facing the sun out of the wind (once we'd cooled down a bit) - and noticing a stickiness collected on our left arms from the broom on the way up.  This way up is only 4.3 kms, whereas the usual way

Into the down, brakes honking(!) to start with. Trail basically dry, but some deep ruts, and the usual wet bits were sloppy.  Awesome riding, down through the few switchbacks on this open section, then into the bush, and Switchback-City.  Native Clematis was in flower the upper switchback section, with sprays of it visible in the canopy of the forest - quite beautiful.  Cleaned a some switchbacks, and getting well practiced in the foot-down,-nose-pivot,-swing,-roll-on- ones we weren't cleaning.  The open boggy section was still pretty boggy, but starting to dry a bit, and the forest below this also had a lot of soggy wet bits, but also starting to harden up.  Lots of fun tho, techy rootsville.  Finally out the bottom, before 7.

And the climb began back up the road to the car, which I reached about 7.10pm. Nice 2 and half hours spent damned well.

13.8 Kms, 679m climbed, mostly steeply.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Captain Ridge Green Captain

Nelson was working til 3 and picked me up afterwards. Out to Scumner, parking in Slumnervale, and off up the Captain we trundled.  Not a bad climb, once I'd gotten over my wheezing, which took until about the short downwards bit, and the two rocky ups.  Rest of the way wasn't so bad.  Made the Summit and headed up to the Greenwood exit (or entrance, for us).  Here multiple people turned up down Greenwood, every last one of them having come up Rapaki and across.  Nelson knew one guy so we all chatted for a bit, then the two of us headed up the steep-ass ridge track above Greenwood to above where they're blasting for the Lyt-Sumner Rd.  Peaked along here then down to a small saddle, where we popped over the fence for a look.  Wouldn't be that hard (or stupid) to put a trail from here across to Urumau Reserve.  Could be quite a nice gradient with a couple switchbacks here and there below the cliffs.

Back on the bikes and up the walking track to the copse of pines and stinging nettle, then over the fence to top of Chalmers Track, and then walking for a bit, up the steep bits (where we met a mum and some boys walking) towards the gun emplacements.  Rode the last few hundred metres to the concrete embattlements, Beasterly wind howling across the tops, and decided here to head down to the singletrack that wends it's way across to the Richmond Hill corner pines.  Nice blast down here, with me pumping well having played at Kyle Park BMX track on the fat bike with Hugo in the morning.  I seemed to have much more easily gained speed than Nelson.  Once we hit the ups tho, it was another story.  Up the singletrack to the original Greenwood entrance (exit for us, today).   Around Summit Rd to Britten Reserve for a repeat of the long grass tricksy-ness we did on Tuesday.  Around the front and back to the cattlestop then up onto Mt Pleasant climb.  Peaked this and had a bit of a rest in the wind (or, out of it).

Off down, for the final blast.  Good flow down from the top, then around and down onto the Greenwood proper.  Feck it's boney.  The winter has made all the rocks bigger and it was haaarrrd work getting down.  We played good speed, but it was just such damned hard work.  Hardest damned downhill I've suffered in a long time.  Into Captain Thomas, and good run down here, not as bony as Greenwood.  Part way down we found these two indian guys, one of whom had crashed off the trail, and his bike was halfway down to the bottom of the valley.  We all had a good laugh and the two of us continued on.  Rest of the way down was fast as usual, but both were pretty knackered by the time we made the car.  

18 or so kms again, with 614 climbed

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tuesday Night Overgrowth and New Places

Countdown pick-up and down Ferry to the mead. Parked in the park and rode around to McCormack's whereupon we trundled up the hay-feverish asthma-inducing hill - me walking more than usual but then getting all but one of the upper switchbacks. Up the roads into steep under-the-pylons Britten.Up top, long grass overgrown round the top front trail; long grass up to our ballbearings.  Not much better once we were below the road with hidden rocks jumping out to catch us multiple times.  Up, across the road over the fence and quick zig to zag up to the Mt Pleasant trail, flying down this over the stile and across Cavendish Saddle, to climb the zigs and zags up the back of the Gondola building.

The signs up here now say that Mtnbikes are allowed on this section of the 360 trail, including the stretch down back to the Major Hornbrook track and Cavendish Saddle...  Anyway, down the steppy bits and on down the rocks cranking and clushing through to the Bridle Path.  From here, climbing up the walking track (Crater Rim / 360), up, up and around, brief jumpy-off-rocky descent and into a grovelly climb up towards the ridge above the Castle Rock.  Bit of a break here out of the (blasting) (b)easterly, and then into the fun descent below the Tors, cleaning the techy descent rock bits near the bottom, but not the poppy-over bits, which required small dabbages of foot on rock.

Down on the saddle, horrible wind powering through, and just before the walking track above the road starts, we jumped over the gate and headed up the ridge up a cattle track for the top, eventually pushing through the tussocks to a high point of rocks, where I found 'the track'.  Started off, a nicely scratched singletrack heading off down to the right side of the ridge, progressively exploring more and more interesting droppy features over natural rock.  This is Port Hills mountain biking at it's best.  Sketchy, techy, steep and interesting. Down then to the left of a rocky knob, with Nelson checking out a super sketchy wooden feature up on the right.  On down, a little further finding the trail to the right which took us down more techy drops, and on down the ridge.  Super long descent, at surprisingly low speeds, arses over back wheels.  Nelson rode most of the super techy stuff, while usually I found ways around.  Eventually, we got to the bottom, a big pylon, and fences and gates.

Proceeded over these, and followed a singletrack around towards the block of pine forest on the right, in which we found an insane number of trails and jumps, yuge jumps.  Down we meandered finally cruising out along the bottom edge of Mary Duncan Park, onto Port Hills Rd, under the motorway, then Martindales, Trustcott and through the park to the car.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Labour('s) Day Short Sinclair Fatty.

On the way home from the bach in the Fiat loaded with kids bikes (T had the kids in the Hyundy) I stopped for a quick blat up Mt Sinclair. Parked on Pettigrews Rd and rode, strategically ignoring the "Closed for lambing and calving 1st September to 25th October", on account that that was only 2 days away, and how 'sensitive' could lambs be by this time?  I did however abide by the No Dogs sign, leaving poor little Jetty in the car.

Climbed up the farm track keeping an eye on some magpies who were croaking around above.  Over the first stile into a paddock with some sheep and (quite big) lambs, then next stile and climbing to the next stile, into the bush, over another stile, climbing up to another stile, and then climbing again, this time to another stile.  Up through bush and open, amazing views all around, to, you guessed it, another stile, nope, actually, a gate that was open, through this and on to another stile.  This was the top of Sinclair and as I'd remembered half way up that the rear passenger door of the Fiat doesn't lock on the Central Locking, the car was therefore unsecure.  Damn.  Was kinda planning on peaking Fitzgerald too but felt I should get back to Jet.  So, turned around and bombed.  Quite wet under tread, cos it'd rained heavily maybe an hour before I parked, so I was duly spattered all the way back.  Lots of downhill, over all the stiles, and eventually a fast blat down to the car, untouched, and a happy Jet.

Short and sweet, a measly 9 kms, with 381 m climbed...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Gondola Gonzos

With Pete's broken wheel and Robin's broken frame we decided to head to Queenstown to play on Skyline. Twas fun. Not sure of exact order but started with Hammy's and Thunder Goat. Then Vertigo and Singletrack Sandwich. Then I'm not sure, Vertigo and Huck Yeah (with good drop to start), and Thunder Goat with a detour off to the right down something interestingly tech, and Singletrack Sammie again but with Jungle Adventure. Then we stuffed up thinking we were gonna find Thingamajig off Hammy's but it wasn't then I've no idea exactly what but included Original, some of Battle Stag, and other laps included Rock Garden, and Coal Pith, and Armageddon and repeats of others. At 12.55 I was at the top, the others were getting coffee, and I reckoned I couldn't just maybe get one more run, so Nelson and me hauled ass down Vertigo and Thunder Goat making it into the gondola at 1.01 for my last uplift. Pete was a couple cars behind so once back at the top the 3 of us did my final run, Vert, Thingy, Single, and Jungle. 8 uplifts in total for me.  Nelson and Pete continued for a few more laps of their 4 hours while I went and caught up with Bex at Bespoke, just down the hill. 

My mapmyride went a completely mental, but overall I must have descended over 3 kilometres.  Nelson's rode pretty much the same, but has 2 or three more laps on it.,