Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wednesday Night Solo Hunting Castle Tor Witches

Doctor's appt after work, so I'd parked there and ridden to work.  Then hit the traffic across to Huntsbury, up to the end of the road.  Changed in the car and got riding.  A couple of guys had ridden by while I was setting up the lights etc, and so they were my target.  I gained slowly on them.  Just after I'd passed the pylon a fast dog sprinted past, leapt the cattlestop ahead, and bounded on ahead.  Caught up to the guys, turned around and bombed back down as I approached the cattlestop.  It looked confused, like it was looking for owners.  I turned right just after the 'stop and climbed the trail up to the singletrack.  Stopped for this pic...

Above the other guys briefly.  Then they were further ahead.  Ended up catching them at the top, as they turned around and rode back down.

Across onto Vernon, and between the first tech rocks I dropped the front wheel off the track and crashed.  Quite randomly, just landed on the ground.  (following day, a couple of bruises, hip and elbow).  Handlebars were crooked, so I had to adjust them, then got riding again, letting a few climbers through, had a good bomb down to Rapaki-top and through, 3 rider lights ahead of me on the Witch.  Didn't catch them, but they remained ahead of me on the road all the way up to Castle, waiting at the top when I got there.  I said my Guddays, had a wee stretch, and headed straight into The Castle. Excellent bomb down, remaining contained within the track sides even tho I nearly de-balanced a couple of times.  Fast through the rocks and onto the 1st hairpin.  Across and through then climbing quite nicely, tiring towards the top.  Out onto the road, and climbing again.

2/3rds of the way up I climbed up off the road onto the Tors track, clambering up and riding around to the usual stopping point.  Suspension and light adjustments made, off down.  Wetter in spots than last time, and the first of the techy droppy bits were pooling with quite a bit of water, which made them super sketchy.  Dropped down, cautiously, quite a bit of dabbing, but rode out the last descent well.  Strong wind across this saddle, coooollldd southerly, straight across onto the above-road singletrack, enjoying the tech but contending with the wind.  As I approached Witch, a group of 4 guys were approaching on it.  I pulled up, said my guddays, and they took off back along Witch.  I left a pretty big gap and then followed.  Caught up the last couple and passed the rear one on the rocky climb, chasing the 2nd to rear one (on a Honzo ST - nice).  On the descent, he nosed up and so nearly went over the bars.  I gave him more gap then.  

Across the Crapaki-top and climbing I tucked in between the last two of these guys, with the dude in front going nice and slow, all the way up.  Kept me in check and we chatted as we climbed.  Quite good really.  At the old line up near the top he peeled left, while I continued straight, putting on more speed and cruising out to the end.  Passed by the other two waiting and hit the Traverse, around to and then into Fourpause, excellent blast down this, jumping ALL of the jumps no problem, then on down the new next-to-the-landing-strip section, following it better this time, then over the fence and onto the final singletrack.  All the time looking for the left hander to the new Rock-Up track I'd spotted on Trailforks.  Good couple few switchback low gear climb, then up onto the rocky top ridge, barely able to follow faint bits of green spraypaint, but finding my way.  Fun descent down and back onto the singletrack, jumps, wetness up top there, then terrible wetness lower midway down, and the final corner before the last couple of jumps is blown to shit with boggy soggy shitmud.  Back to the car, before 8.

A minty fresh, poppin' 14.6 kms with 662 m climbed.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Wednesday Night Uplifts and Downdrafts, 1080

Good spin tonight. Left Nelson's place and headed around to the Park. He'd bought a Winter pass, and so had 7 (of 10) lifts left on a card, which they kindly transferred to me and we headed up.

First round, into Yeah Yeah Gnah, weird in the dark, and pretty rough in spots, but fun.  Nelson put on speed but I didn't trust tires or myself and kept mine on the lowdown.  At the mid point a couple of guys he knew pulled up on DH rigs.  We led them into Handle, and half way down my battery strap snapped dropping it into the front wheel.  "WTF is that!?"  Pulled up; Nelson taped it onto my stem and off we went again.  Good blast the rest of the way and we made it to the lift just in time to be the last uplifts at 7.  Johnny accompanying us for the up.

At the top we went our separate ways from Johnny, him down the park, and us down Slummit Connector, new bits to play on (big doubles), and then all the way out to the road.  Puffy up this to top of Nun. Fun Down, quite greasy in spots, so I's watching out for myself all the way down; pumped and tired as at the bottom.

Across Dyers Pass and up the Scummit Rd into the top of Vic.  Took off for the Traverse, and the first rocks biffed me all over the place, nearly dropping me.  Continued on and failed to chase down Nelson who powered off ahead, leaving me to struggle up the ups and ease into the downs.  Regroup at the midpoint, then again, he slowly left me behind as we cruised round the rest.  Brief discussion whether Lavaflow as the go, but decided against it, and headed for the Huntsbury Downhill track, apparently called Fourpause (in Trailforks).  Nice bomb down here, though I wasn't overly trusting of the greasy dirt, then I bailed on the final jump.  New section through the tussocks beside the landingstrip, and then all the good lines from there down to Old Skool.  Took off into this, and around the first face I rolled up and find Nelson off the track grasping his knee.  He'd clipped a pedal on a rock that'd thrown his knee into the stem and him and bike off the track.  Yowch.  I was tired, so a bit slow on down, wary of all the little rivulets of stream across sections of the trail.  Final blast down, all good and out, then back to his down around the river.

A worthy 29.03 kms, with a grand total of 1133 m climbed...  (obviously, 800 m of that was on the lift)

Just noted, this is auspicious post number 1080.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Sunday Orton Fattley

Met Pete, Steve and Nelson in time for the 8.50 am ferry.  I 'adjusted my suspension' (pumped some air into the tires) and we headed up and had a coffee at the cafe.  Then we hit the road, cruising, up, down, up, down, around to the park. Up the driveway, to the end of the 'park' bit, and met Ian (manager) who told us where to go for the planting.  Lucky for us it was pretty much at the top end of the MTB track. So, off we cruised, mucky and puddly in places, with a bit of dynamic straightlining (squirrel factor on high).  Fun little climb up and around. Stopped and helped water off the track a couple of times and then down, and we parked and climbed the fence and planted super quick, given the easy digging soaking wet ground and good sized crowd of people.

Back on the bikes and down, enjoying the cruise, to another site where we put in a totara forest - 150 totara trees planted in no time, all up a nice corner of hillside.  Will be amazing in a few years. Then off down again, brief stop at the loo, and on down. Steve tootled off ahead while we raided the Krispies and Gingernuts before the rest of the punters got anywhere near them, decided time was too short for a cuppa, so set off in chase of Steve.  Nelson ditched Pete and me, powering ahead, catching up to Steve, then Pete and me caught them eventually just after the fire-station.  Down to the wharf, and 12.30 ferry back to the cars..

Mildly respectable 20kms, and surprising 443m climbed...

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Tuesday Night East End Triangle

Parked at Slumnervale and in no time Nelson turned up.  He had is XCWhippet, I had the Rocky.  I changed and we headed up the Captain.  Mucky in spots and beautifully dry in others.  Stopped for a dose of Asthma below the cabbage tree trail exit, and continued on, hoping for relief from the lack of air.  A worthy climb, I chuffed and huffed my way, feeling weak in my legs and gasping for oxygen through the lungs... 

Crossed Evans to Godley and started climbing.  Nelson cleaned away the whole damned thing.  I struggled and dabbed and walked and then lost my light and fixed it and was miles behind.  Regrouped at the top and then headed for Livingston.  Teddington Shit section annoyingly bad, but the rest of the trail sweet as.  He let me past on the lower swoops to the bottom, and we headed up for Breeze.  Around and down, the last paddock below PFMTBC Rock a sucky mucky quagmire piece of crap.

Where to from here?  Lets go check out the new section that leads into Anaconda from above.  Back up the road a to the second corner, and found a wee solar light marking the start of the new track.  Hmm, lets come back via this way.  So, back down to Breeze Col and into the climb for the skinny track.  Again, gasping, but once on the narrows I was okay, around, tight, then up to Breeze Bay track.  Huh, another couple of lights.  Oh, gudday Daryl.  Stopped for a chat with Daryl (Ex-Cactus GM) and a mate on road/cross bikes.  We carried on, bombing around the Breeze Bay trail, fun descent, a couple of wee climbs, but all good.  Finally over the stile and back down to the road.

Up to the new entrance, and into it.  Barely built, lots of nice swoopy corners down the sunny (dry) ridge, til they ran out and it was off camber, just sketched into the hill, but leading down to a natural entrance onto the Conda.  Good blast down here, mostly dry, tho a couple of sections with running water, and in the lower wobbles, one or two bloody awful bits, but no damage, and onwards down the 'Tail.  Nice, and then across and I really needed a snack at the Carpark.

Final Climb, ugh, somewhat of a second wind towards the top, dropping down a couple gears and standing and cranking for a bit, made the top and into Nicholson's Park we headed, down the steeeeeps, slightly slippery on the rooty, and then down onto the Flowers, and down the alleyway out to Whitewash, bomb to road, and ride back up, picking our way back to our cars.

Ended up being 18 kms with a very respectable 763 m climbed

Monday, July 29, 2019

Sunday Jetting the Mucky Tops

Jet and me parked up the bottom of Britten, usual spot, and headed up.  I was surprised how wet everything was, with water pouring out of the hillside.  We climbed over the fence at the bath, and boy was the hill wet, with water flowing across the track just up from here, but once up on the actual mtnbike track, it wasn't so bad, with recent drainage additions having done their job well, and only one or two spots with water soakage.  Higher up had some sogginess too.  Around across the top, I figured the out the front trail would be greasy as given it's quite flat, so I just headed for the trees, then over the stile and up Broadleaf.  Good climb up here, missing the Track Closed sign, but figuring against heading down to Greenwood, and so hung a right towards Cavendish.  A couple of really mucky spots up here (muckiest I've ever seen it, not just bikes mucking it up too), and a few walkers including one grumpy old lady who was just looking for something to hassle "You know this track is closed, don't you?"  "Nope, didn't see any signs" Ride ride ride...  No biggie.  Mostly it was dry enough, and a good blat down the last to the stile and bottom. 

Then onto the Summit Rd, down under the Gondola and ahead I see some familiar helmets heading towards me.  Andy, Pete, Wazza and Wahayno out for their jaunt, on the roads.  Short catch up and we went our separate ways.  Jet and me up the road, keeping him in check all the way due to fast roadies heading down, then we were at the Castle Rock track.  (also Closed, but it didnt need to be).
Tiny bit of wet in that first descent, then very good condition for a long way around, fun descending, til that rocky section (close to the road), which was running water, but no mud so all good, down into the hairpin and back across, usual wet spot (now in good condition), next hairpin, and down, bit of moisture work needed, then climbing, dry as a bone and good to go.  Across and back onto the Summit Rd, back around under the Gondola, and up, up to Cavindish Saddle, and climbing the first section of singletrack before taking the trail down to the road crossing.

Into Britten, (closed, but I wasnt using the mtnbike track), dry as across the first section, and then I headed out onto the point, and straight down the ridge, off piste, and eventually finding my way down to the very very mucky traverse section in the lower middle of the hill.  Once out of that, it was the sweet bomb down under the pylon back to the car.

Only 11kms, but over 500 m climbed...

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Tuesday Night Muck a Duck

Messy as. Met at Nelson's and it was drizzling after quite a few days of rain and wet.  We headed up the steep bastard that is Parklands Drive, onto Huntsbury Ave, steep to start, then up up up to the top of the seal and onto the gravel.  Climby climb climb, weather thickening then improving as we summitted.  Felt like a long way up to me.  At the top, the view was quite awesome, with visible patches of muck across the city and hills, but we were in the clear.  Hit Vernon which had a few puddles, but was good.  Blast down to Rapakitop and then into Witch which was a bit muckier but not so bad. All the way to the end of that and then turned around and headed back.  Better run back, slick rocks not being too slick, and then we headed up the road below Vernon.  Into the Traverse, mucky as mucky gets, so at the top decided not to continue, and headed down the steep fun trail.  This was dodgy as.  My tires gripped surprisingly well, but Nelson's XC tires were caked up and all over the place.  Then we bailed off down the main Huntsbury, and once on the road took Kenmanure and the Major down, speed and seal clearing our tires very nicely.  Bikes got a good hosing when we got back to Nelson's.

15.3 kms and 600 m climbed.  Not bad for a non-event.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday Short Dog Hanmerer

Took Jet out for last day's ride.  We headed across to and straight up Timberland, into Jolliffe up and over, not feeling nearly as long a climb as it had the day before, over and down, continuing on down past the bridge, down Dogstream, a very nice wee section of trail that I haven't ridden many times, and crossing over onto Mach1, passing a family before the road.  A good hoon down here, climbs not feeling much, then into and back round Basecamp and Western Link home. 7.8 Kms and a tiny 175 m

Then half an hour later or so, Tra'y (on O's bike) and me went for a short cruise, around the Woodland, onto the Western Link down to Basecamp, looped around the far end of it and back mostly the way we'd come. Would have been maybe 5 or 6 kms and 50 m of alt, if that.  Nice wee spin tho.

Wednesday, Extended Hanmering

Out on my own yesterday, no dog, no boy.  Toodled through town and on the road around to Chatterton's, up the valley to the single track.  Up the steep pylon track, into the forest and across to Tank.  Great bomb down this, then for the first time ever, headed up the back of Conical Hill - stopping to answer some directional questions from someone at the C-Line/Eagles Nest juncture.  Continued on up to the top and had a rest and small snack. 

Then off down Eagle's Nest for some technicality, and straight across into C-Line some extra (walking some of the corners on account of not trusting myself on the steep-head-angled rigid Fatty.  Into the rest of Swoop, swooping through the turns, and then across the flat to Timberland.  Grunty climb up here then straight into Jolliffes, gruntier still, with a break at the top.  Into the descent, bomb bomb, corners steep and handlebars nearly scraping.

Across the bridge and up into Bigfoot for the nice slow meandering climb.  Great views from the top and off down, slightly faster than the day before.  Next into Detox, climby climb climb, and bombing of the descent, around the top of Mach 1 and across the bridge and down half way down Dogstream,  hanging a right up the road to Red Rocks, good run here and finally back round to the house.

20 kms covered, and strangely only 575 m climbed.