Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Ashley Forest Clubbing

North Canterbury MTB Club had an open day (organised by Committee member Darryn (of Chainreactioncycles, Chch). Total sausage fest (pic, me in the back, Nelson running late) - 40 or so guys (and one woman...)

Headed up Mt Grey Rd (which we'd not entered on before (much easier!), and then up to the top of the jumpy 'bypass' track at the 2km mark.  Then the group split into two, with a bunch of us heading down Sam's downhill track to a skidder site.  I got stuck behind a couple of XCers who were fast on the flats and climbs, but bloody slow on the downs. - mildly annoying.

From the bottom we sidled/climbed across a singletrack on an Access Rd to the bottom of the main one we've headed down a couple times (called Stu's according to Trailforks) and climbed up this (meeting the other group on their way down), out the top to the Tires on the road, along and into the flowy extra trail (that was covered in thinned trees the first time we were here).  Then across the top part of Stu's sidling singletrack and back out onto the road.

Crossed to the Tires and headed into what they were calling Rally Sprints.  Fun blast down this and then back up the road and into the flowy trail around to the sidling single Stu's and all the way down the way we'd come up earlier, and then continuing on down to the bottom on Single Track One, ending at Thomson's Rd.

Headed up this and onto the skidder at the bottom of Sam's, and up the (NCCC) zigzag climber to the top.  Parted ways with the group here as they were just gonna head up to do the Bypass again, then down Rally Sprints.  Nelson and me hit Sam's DH again, then around the singletrack Access sidle, climbing up a slightly different climb (spotting Jack and Jill on our left) up to the Tires and headed down Rally Sprints again, jumping and flowing better this time.  A few of the group were still at the gates.

14kms with lots of up and down resulting in a measly 350m climbed (also a few crappy MMR straightlines action due to lack of coverage and phone in pocket for the first half). Weird that.

Saturday's Parking Slot

Took O across to the Park and we met Nelson there, with his DH rig.  Uplift, and into Swinger's Party.  O handled it all bar one little rocky drop steepy.  Was good.  Then into the Jandal and we leaped and grooved our way down.  O got held up by a couple of grommers who'd slipped in front of him on the last newly finished section, which annoyed him a bit. 

Next uplift, took the Connector around down Nun, Choirs.  Nelson snapped his gear cable but managed to salvage it and dropped into 3rd Base, while O and me headed round and did Captain Cook and Shredzilla.  O was going to bail into Loess at the first meeting but I convinced him to stay in to the next bit (just on the super steep rocky bit) and he ended up following me down Shred all the way, and cleaning the steep rocky section.  Nice one!

Third uplift.  Nelson headed down the GC for an explore, while O and me hit Swingers again, and at the midpoint, I headed down DOHC, which was a bit shit, and he headed down the Jandal again and enjoyed the bottom end more.

Didn't bother with MMR...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday Eastern Excellence

Mint ride tonight. I started off slow but warmed up pretty good by the end.

Met at Slumnervale and moseyed up the Captain.  Usual gasping for air and my legs just had nothing in them.  Seemed unable to put any power down.  I put it down to lack of sleep and massage yesterday and insufficient nutrition through the day, but maybe it's just 'getting old' or some weird pre-diabetes bollocks.  Anyway, moseyed up, and was starting to get a bit more groove towards the top, tho still walked a tiny bit before that last sprung swing gate.

Into the Godley, cleaned a surprising amount of the early-stage rocks.  I never stopped moving and at least one foot was always clipped in, such were the dabbages that propelled me through the few tech spots that I blew out on.  It got easier towards the high point, where we took a brief rest:
and then we blazed on down the blastzone, speed and lack of traction our friends.  At the squirrelly swoopy bit towards the bottom, we stopped and Nelson set up his phone to film. 
(overlooking Taylor's)
Then we rode back up the trail a bit and dropped back in, whooshing past the camera and swooping back and forth below.  I bombed out the bottom and Nelson turned back to collect his gear. 

At Livingston, headed out around the CraterRim/360 track, nice bit of tech to start, then steeeeep bastard steps and a couple of hairpins that Nelson cleaned and I didnt.  Brief respite at the top:
before dropping down to the stile, over, and on down.  A few tech-steps and lots of nice rolling, droppy, interesting trail to enjoy, with spectacular views and stunning light out across the harbour and heads.

Across Breeze Col to Breeze Bay track, climbing on the pea-gravel, up, up, up
(me looking stuffed, as usual)
and around,then nice roll around to the stile with a hawk cruising the currents above us.  Around to the Lookout bunker where Nelson did the wee gap jump a couple of times, and then into the tight narrow long-grass sheeptrack around above the road back towards Breeze Col. 
Awesome in this direction with the tightness easier to handle.  Nice blast down to the col and straight into the Snake.

Shitty gravel on the first bit, but once into the Anaconda proper we were going a nice pace.  Not quite as fast as last time, but still pretty quick, and it was nice not being dropped by Nelson and also not being too far back through the whole tail section.

Up the road and into the Sumnervale Track, climbing up steeply (cleaned it all) to the deer fence which Nelson rode the whole length of, but tired legs as usual got the better of me - making me walk maybe 50 m.  Up the gravel Scarborough track to the parasailer launch spot and around and back up onto Godley.  Awesome blast down this, my chain coming off about half way down the techy-est rock sections towards the end, but I kept my flow and pace and made it all the way through to the end.

Finally, the blast down Captain Thomas.  Very fine it was.  Cleaned everything bar the usual climb, and had lots of fun doing so, tight on Nelson's tail the whole way too.

A rather respectable 19.3 kms, with 765 m climbed.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday Night Huntvern Witchduncan

Cool ride tonight.  O and me drove over to Nelson's and parked, and together we rode up Parklands, into the 2nd cul-de-sac and up the alleyway, onto Huntsbury, to the top.  Bit of a grind up the gravel and singletrack and gravel, but made it to the top in one piece.  O on the back of his win at the highschool races the day before.

Into Vernon and the first couple hundred metres we pulled over about 10 times for climbers, but from there down it was the bomb.  Straight through the staring zombies at Crapaki-top and into Witch Hill, clambering through the technicalities and around the front.  Down, across the road, over the gate and up the steeeeep dry grass farmtrack, over the fence, and up through the rocks to the top.  Phew, most of the climbing done.

Picked our ways down, with O following us down the steepest most tricknical lines, and bailing off over one of the steepest cliffy sections...  He was okay, and got straight back on, and we picked our way down the ridge.  Awesome fun times.
O and Nelsie somewhere below me on the ridge here:

Down the final steeps, under the pylon over the gates and around into the forest.  We dropped down into the jumpy trail, jump, followed by drop, followed be me nearly bollocking myself and nearly going over the bars stalling in the washed out corner.  On down, pop over jump, around and down into drop through to berms and another jump to finish.  Nice.  Moseyed up to look at the Dreamtrack line - mental!  Then off down below and out the bottom, and flashies on for the haul back around the roads back to Nelson's.

Excellent 14 kms, and 600 m climbed.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Saturday Mounting Mt Lyndon, and Looping The Luge and Dixon's

Biiiiig day.  Nelson got to mine about 7.30 or so and had a coffee then we were off.  Got out to Lake Lyndon after just after 9am and hit the trail.  Across the lake edge and into the the climb...  What a climb.  I carried from the get-go, but Nelson pushed his heaps.  I pushed a bit, but then carried more.  We carried for a good hour or more,
(zoom in, I'm down there pushing somewhere)
eventually riding bits of the ridge, and pushing a bit more towards the top.
(Nelsie riding the wrong way!!! overlooking the Castle Hill Basin)

Fantastic views off the top, 360 degree magnificence.  Gorgeous day, no wind at 1500m, calm as calm.
(Lake Coleridge, Rakaia River, and various icefields in the distance).

Then it was into the down...  Explored bits around the top a bit and found the trail, jumps, drops, weaving back and forth, steepness, looseness, sketchiness, fun, exposure...  all good.  Kinda not hard to lose your way, but kinda loads of options you wonder if you should have taken.  We stuck to the main route all the way but where we ended up we weren't 100% sure where to go next.  Took a slight wrong turn following our noses across to an exit track, but that was fine and a nice blast out.  Looking back up, we could see several options we could have chosen.  Oh well.

On the flat, and gravel road, back around the most of the kms back to the car.

Over 760m climbed, in less than 9 kms.

Then bikes back up on top of car, and off round the road to Broken River carpark.  Straight into the Sidle73, climb puffing me up as usually, then down around to the Craigieburn Rd and up this to the Anti-Luge, clambering on up this.  Nelson cleaned the whole damned thing, whereas I was so toasted I walked more than I've ever walked before.  I just had nothing left in the tank for the climbing...
(me looking stuffed)

Eventually we made the saddle.  Phew.  What a wreck.

Into the Luge, what a trip.  Awesome blast.  I held onto Nelson's tail most of the way, until that seat half-ish way down, and then he just vanished.  I tried to speed up but couldn't.  A slight moisture on the roots kept them bloody interesting.  Passed a girl, and then a guy, nearer to the bottom, and we blazed out the end and hung around til they arrived.  They'd bitten off more than she could chew, and so were heading back down to their car.

We headed off up the road, a slow grind for me, but not too bad.  Along above the Envt Ctr and then up around the new(ish) sidling trail climbing onto Bridge Hill and into the new Dixon's entrance.
(me looking stuff'der)

Awesome blast down this, jumping jumpies, or not, and then I lost my chain just before the one little uphilly bit, putting a bigger gap between us.  He'd stopped in the bush part for me to catch up, and from here we had an excellent run down to the finish, roosting and railing and wailing.  Singletrack along the fence to the 4wd climb track, and we hopped the gate and headed back along the road to the car...  Me?  Toasted.

Total 13.2 kms loop, with 490 m climbed.

Grand total, 1250 m climbed for the day.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Thursday Night McBritten, Pleasant Green Godsnake

Pretty quick one tonight... Met Nelsie at McCormacks Bay, and we headed up the valley.  Grunter always gets my breathing badly, so stopped at first opportunity to puff some anti-asthma, and we managed to scrounge a few blackberries too.  On up the valley, scoffing on more blackberries a couple of times a bit further up, then into the hairpins, me dying on a two.  Up the road, and then up the reserve to the bath and over the fence.

Up through Britten for a well earned rest at the top, before heading around the top of it, and over the stile and up Broadleaf to the towers.  STraight into the descent, boff boff boff, super quick and super smooth with a bit of a tail wind the whole way.  The corners were railing!  Meandered into Greenwood and the bombed it too, both on record times for the descents, methinks.  I slowed a bit on the traverse to Gloomy Gulch, but beyond this we bombed.  Nelson flatted jumping off the jump to flat, so stopped for a good while while he fixed that.  Then off again, fresh and fast, stayed on his tail til the pumpy bit into the valley and so he'd dropped me for my usual favourite bit before the two rocky ups. 

Across Evans, and into Godley.  Cleaned it up to the first break then bollocksed a few rocks then less so further along, even cleaning something Nelson bollocksed.  Good go most of the way til i crapped out on the rocks before the first boardwalky thing.  Brief break at the usual ridgetop,

and then we were off again, fanging down the way to Livingston, some of the fastest ever we reckoned.  Good climb from here, and then fastness down to Breeze.

Into the 'Conda, cruising to start then nailing it lower down.  Nelson got the drop on me on the 'Tail and was rolling across the paddock at the end while I was still above the houses. 

Finally, ugh, the grind up the road.  Luckily I'd brought my flashies, cos she was pretty dim light (heavy nor'west cloud cover).  Made it to the top though, and we headed into Nicholson Park, dropping down the steepest lines (over rocks and roots) and into the top of the Flowers, cleaning all the switchbacks with our switchback technique (except the last one for me), and then flying down the narrow alleyway to Whitewash Head Rd, down here, jumpy jumpy flow to the Esplanade and a nice cruise along this before the increasingly fast slipstream back through Redcliffs and around to the car.

A tiny smidge under both 24kms and 900m climbed

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Sunday Post-party Car Pick-up

Band gigged at Joy's party on Saturday night, and we left our car behind, so, my job was to collect it.  Was rather tired, but got two-tired and got rolling. 

Usual route to town, funnily, at Heaton St I ended up a few metres back (far enough not to slipstream - cos that would be lazy), from another mtnbiker dude, who was keeping the same pace.  I was behind him all the way to where I peeled left on Disraeli, where I zigged and zagged to Wordsworth, then on through Opawa to bottom of Rapaki, where upon he was exactly the same distance ahead, all the way up Rapaki.  Back was killing me on the grind... We both turned left onto Taramea Loop, and I started to catch him a little.  Then, on about the 5th switchback he stumbled slightly, and I over took him.  I dropped him a bit on the down, but then he caught me again a bit further round, but never quite kept up.  Back at Rapaki I kept on up the Full Monty, and he was gone - I can only assume back down? 

Up the Full Monty, steep bastard that it is higher up, but got it all bar one steep rock I stalled on.  Phew, the top of Rapaki, and left onto an easy going Witch Hill, stopping for a well earned break at the usual high point.  Off down to the road and then stuck to it around and up to Castle-top.

Awesome descent, usual rocketshipping to the first corner, good between hairpins, and then not bad start to the climb.  The top of the climb was a bit of a drag, then okay to finish.  Onto the road and around under the gondola, bumping into Connor and Jade along here.  Then climbing up to the cutting, past fire engines, ambulance, and the contents thereof up on the hill carrying a stretcher down from the bluffs, with the ambo repositioning itself as I rode past. 

Into Britten, and out around the front of the top.  Nice roll this way, and last of the climb nice and easy up towards the main entrance, before descending at sometimes ridiculous speeds down the fun, yelling at the sheep to get out of the way.  Around and back, under the pylon and across the front, bombing down into the descent down the rocks and under the last pylon, over the fence and down Longridge onto Mt Pleasant Rd for the bomb do the car.  Ambulance passed me as I was getting in the car, not in a hurry either...

Long and tiresome 29 kms, with 722 climbed, and a smidge under 200 less descended.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday Night Hunting Witches, Castle Tors Duncan

Met at Nelson's after work and we headed up from his, taking the first cul-de-sac and up the steep bastard steppy alleyway to Huntsbury Ave and on up from there.  Hot and tiresome work up here, into the gravel and on up, me getting a fucking sore back and having to stop several times to stretch it out.  Nasty.  Up onto the singletrack, through to the landing strip then up towards the gravel.  At the bottom of this, Nelson did the new jump (which he skipped when I did it cos he was on his XCmachine). 

On up to the top, and into Vernon.  Awkward start to this, but got the roll on lower down towards the end and it was good.  Straight across the Rapaki summit and into the Witch, climbing well, cleaning all the rocks where Nelson bolloxed it first time round.  On round and on the descent I lost my chain, so had to stop for that.  Onto the road for speed, up to Castlerock.  Chatted with a couple of guys here before they took off and we rested a little longer.  The in we went.  Rockships on.  Flying down the trail, it's smooth, wide and fast now (til lower down).  Good run all the way into the first hairpin, then back the other way, not quite as fast, and then around the next, down and into the climb, where Nelson powered away and I just plodded my way up.

Up the road, climbed up onto the summit walkway and up to the Tors track, Nelson cleaning almost the whole climb.  Brief snack with the view... 

and then down the Tors, all the good tricksteriness, down onto the singletrack above the road, and good run along this to the fence-corner where we climbed through and climbed to the peak for Mary Duncan. 

Into the descent, hard to follow, and super super dry.  Ridiculously dry in fact.  Found our lines, but some were really hard to see, then, down the ridgey bit towards the rocky knob.  Bit of a look for what I thought I could see from the Tors track - nope.  And then Nelson did the tricky board drop thing while I took Nana's line, down and the up onto the razorback ridge.  Excellent ride down this, one of my smoothest, and lower down the I swear I could smell the grass burning on our brake disks.  Dropped on down to the pylon and under, over the gates, and around into the forest.  To the left, and dropped into the jumpy droppy track.  Checked out some of the new (stupid) lines, and then out the bottom and out the exit track, meeting a couple of (jump building?) young guys riding in. 

Final blast around the streets, standing cranking up Centaurus and down and back around to Parklands up to the car (which had been tampered with by Wazzaaaaa).

Finally a proper ride... Over 18 kms, and 820m climbed.