Wednesday, November 30, 2005


nigel no mates sunday, everyone else either away or off pissing up watching petrol and rubber burn at ruapuna. so, drove myself across to bowenvale ave, rode round to worsleys, up up up, nearly puked at top, but dabless all the way. then over marleys, down dyers, up into vic, down dazzas, back up the nationals track down to my 'favourite' down and out to bottom of valley. down to car. nice. didnt feel too bad. but at top of worsleys some xcgeek pulled up while i was still getting my breathback. on some light ass xtc with SID forks, and slightly older, but of the mega multisporter variety, the guy, not the bike. anywhoo, he rode off and i sat on his tail up the marleys track, tho he was fresher than me, for some reason, and i let him go. was gaining on him on the descent but never quite caught him and he went up at the kiwi, whereas i went down... dyers trail is sickypants bumpy. makes ya want fullsuss. once back at car, went and got veges, then we cleaned up the garage, new space now wilson's gone.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

sunday and tuesday...

quick ride sunday afternoon, due to other commitments. drove across town. parked on a little known side street near the hills, and the Heathcote river, and headed up Farm Track. steepest puppy in the middle of the hills. relentlessly steep, i love it. caught up with some grommits, one of whom was on a nice full susser, a spec i think, but the fools had their seats too low, thereby making their ride up hell. they had another mate, further ahead, caught and took him too. rode the whole lot, they were walking bits. then on the summit two guys just flew past as i was just crossing summit road, so i hooked onto their tails and kept with them. one guy on a Heckler the other on a Jeckyll i think. good pace, i was pushin it. said as much to them too. we chatted at the road crossing, and then i stayed with them all the way round to Vic where i shot straight down, hung the left on the doubleblackdiamond just before the gums and dug it. then down dazzas and then out the nationals (pylon, rutsville) track. caught some niiiice air at the bottom on the jump, near the end of the valley track.

then tuesday night, assembled at Steves, to be told no pete, no steve, so just andrew andme and tony headed up rapak. tony's doing a bit better. had a mellow ride up, middle ring, and biggest in back, slow easy cruise... then round the summit to vic, lots of speed, and down i did the doubleblack diamond again, met the othertwo at the skidder site and we headed down dazzas and on down into the gulley. then out to k2 and down the rest. niiiice strong tailwind back across town to home, southerly, quite chilly, was wearing double merino and windproof vest most of ride. so. good couple of wee rides. i'm dying to get up Worsley's... sunday hopefully.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tuesday nights standard

No sunday ride for me, on account of being at the Bach... Ah, Little Akaloa. took an old dunger bike over and left it there, its a Phillips Roadmaster, probably from somewhere in the 60's or 70's, but possibly older. anyway, its got 1 3/8ths tires, which i got two new ones of, and its well lubed and runs pretty good. i used to use it to commute, but its a slug. and its a singlespeed, quite a big gear, so nigh on impossible even to ride up the drive at the bach. took it for a spin up the road, into a howling southerly, and then coasted / sailed back down...

Tuesday night, the usual suspects(steve, tony, andrew and me), minus Pete, assembled at Steves at 6. we headed up Rapaki, i explored a little side track i'd been wanting to check out for a while, between the Manuka and the chute, there's a cattle track that leads up onto the bank, and near the manuka a drop down onto the track which has always looked rideable. with just the tiniest bit of work it could prove an interesting interlude to the rocketship ride rapaki usually is. then further up on the midlevel flats i rode every little rocky sidetrack. then, i raced up the last section, got to the top ahead of the boys, especially tony who was lagging waaaaay behind, and so i took off round the summit trail to the left to the first highest point, turned back. nice. so, well and truly warmed up. Andrew and me hit the single track while steve and tony dawdled up the road. the next section was fun. met a guy at the sign on the saddle next to sugarloaf who was on his new Reign. nice looking bike, and light. a LOT of bike for $3100... very nice. i'd caught him, he wasnt too quick. then we blitzed it round the next section, bombed down through the gums, down dazzas and on down the next bit into the gulley, with Tony riding nearly all of it, which is really really good for him. the final sidle track round to the trees and down to k2 was fast and messy. i took the drop of the nationals track where the sidler meets k2. then we bombed the rest of the way out. i was very tired riding home. got home and just crashed! hot bath. food. brrrr... couldnt shake the chill of the easterly from riding home. the bath fixed it tho... now i'm dying for another ride, and i think im wanting more and more an evil sovereign.
to me this would be an ideal "structure" upon which to transport myself at breakneck speed up and down the hills... at US$800-something, we're talking $12-1300 NZ at the mo. droool. then again, for $3000NZ i could score a pretty nice full susser?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sunday Tuesday...

Sunday, bit of a southerly through, dampening things a little, from Steve's we rode singletrack along Heathcote to Mt Pleasant and up that road. not bad tarmac climb, steady as she goes. then onto the Richmond Hill Singletrack, oh, blissful joy. tight and well used, and not muddy like earlier in the year. i bombed it, leaving all in my dust. Pete filmed, caught some good footage of me leaving him behind. then down Capt Thomas, i cleaned for the first time EVER, Every single trickyspot. 100% of the track ridden. normally there is one or two spots i just dont ride, but i hammered it all. then out to Dot Com for a coffee, a Bundaberg Sarsaparilla and a date scroll. yum, then a lonnnng slog back home across causeway, humphries and linwood, with pete and Al.

then last night i rode across town to Rapaki, i over took most people, but this one guy overtook me, be in is late 40's, obviously a multisporter, competitive type, spinning fast and easy. i was choking, been a bit sick so not 100% at all. then round the summit, had a good spin round there, to Vic Park, then down and just as i entered the gums hung a hard left down the double black diamond that me and pete have only ridden once before, takes you out to the skidder site, its steeeeep as, ass hittin' the back wheel almost, then from skidder down Dazza's, then up the Nationals track and down to "my favourite" which i just bypassed and hit the mega downhill chute, out to the sidling valley track and down bowenvale. caught a guy in the private land spot, took him a bit further down. then home across town.

rode hard, got home pretty stuffed.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Okiwi, Nelson, Linkwater, and since...

so much to cover... so many rides done, so many trail miles completed, and soooo much altitude gained and lost. Nelson and me rode ~150kms, and climbed and lost over 4 kms of altitude...

The journey began, departure from the smaug city bout 5.30, dropped my dog off at Surrey's and carried on to Okiwi Bay, north of Kaikoura, just south of the Clarence River mouth. Found the carpark which is on the landward side of the railway tracks, which at this point lie on the landward side of the road. small driveway off the road over the tracks into a nice and newly crushed limestoned carpark, from the corner of which the Okiwi bay track leaves... this pic is from on the way up the track, and is the pic that alerted me to the existence of the track. It was about 11 pm when we pulled in, so pitched the tent under these old Totara trees. Pretty heinous sleep, cos of trains and trucks hauling past all night. and the crashing of the ocean, and then at about 3.30am we heard a vehicle shifting down through its gears, and obviously pulling off the road into our wee driveway... then heard the engine running for ages, and then this flashing light... "what, is that the cops?" poked heads out of tent and there was one of the Railway workers little Suzuki jeeps equipped to drive on the tracks, heading off. phew. Got a little more sleep then once light, got up, had breakfast, and rode the track. Steeeep. UP. 0 to 600 m in about 5 kms, with a couple of small downs, took us about 2-2.5 hours up. rewarded with WICKED views. and then an incredible downhill, 20mins back to the van.

On up to blenheim, dropped some stuff off to N's Dad, and then on to the town of Nelson. Arrived at the house to find the boys, and a nice backyard.

Saturday, rode up Fringed Hill, 793 m, then down the Devils Tail to the Dun Mtn Walkway, then up it to the Third House and back down. a hoot. Devils tail is ALWAYS sweet, with a couple new lines experienced this time, including Nanna's, which was a sweet wee section of trail. i utterly bonked on the way up to the third house. was TOTALLY out of steam, and had no boost to get me there, so just had to persevere and plod up the trail to the hut... had aleppin off steve and lots of nuts and raisins off others. fixed me right up.back down we went, speedy speedy, steve and me ahead. what a blast. back to the house, and lots of beer and bourbon'n'drys.

next day morning up to Tantragee, up Fireball Rd, down a new track, then round to the Dogs. the new track was steeper than some of the boys had ever done, but was no worse than the Devil's and no where near as long. fun. only dabbed once i think. forgot to mention, we'd hooked up with this local guy, a friend of Tony's. Bloody good bloke he was too, riding a Spec. Enduro. good rider too, especially for someone who's only been riding 2 years and is in his early 40's. the Dogs, i think there's the Tired Dog, the Lazy dog and one other, are a selection of wee trails that traverse and drop in some wickedly steep ass pine forestry, down to the Maitai. we had lots of fun, including Steve who crashed right in front of Pete filming... alas, pete wasnt actually filming bah! oh to have seen steve go down again and again. ne'er mind.
that afternoon we went up Sharland's Rd, up Bob's Fern Rd, to the top of the 506 trig, then down the Doublehappy into the Scotswoods. NIICE. i did this last time i was up in nelson, back at PHoenix's birthday weekend.

Sunday, we went up the Grampians, but took the wrong way up. ended up walking alot, up a very steeeep pylon track to the lookout. but then we went down Fuschia, and down Kahikatea, beautiful trails in there. That was good.

That night, we rode with lights up the Centre of NZ, then round Walter's Bluff and down the zigzag. it was here that Mark had us all trained in the art of quick-cornering. a method that will disturb hardcore XC'ers, and trail makers, cos it involves: unclipping your inside foot, hanging your leg down, and skidding your back wheel around the corner. it makes for very fast and controllable cornering, but it skids on the trails. we promise we wont be doing it too often!

Nelson times over, the next morning we cleaned up, and Nelson and me took off in the Van. on the way to Waikawa Bay, we stopped up the valley behind Linkwater, at the site of Cullensville, a town that had over 600 souls at its peak, and is now just paddocks and trees, and a few indentations in the ground. one gold nugget pulled out of there was 26 ounces! and rode up at track that was built by goldminers between 1888 and 1893, hand cut into cliffs, a nice sidling benched single track up the valley. DoC were blasting a section so on the way up and beyond we heard a couple of really loud bangs... this trail is called the Linkwater Long Cut in the Kennett's 'guidebook'. rode til we were in beech forest, and then turned back. 2 hours up, will have reached about 720 m, and 20 mins down.

Then had a week in Waikawa with T and O. lovely. orca. paddling in canoe, little fishing. suntan. then since i've been back, i've only managed to get a friday evening quickspin round bottle lake, and then last night steve, pete andrew tony and me rode up round Halswell Quarry, up Kennedy's a ways, and back down the newish singletracks. down the crocodile and out. quick.

Post Script:  This would have been the third Annual Trip we did.  The very first was just Pete, Steve and Andy, and was on the Queen Charlotte.  The next year, 2003, my first, those three and me went to Lake Kaniere. The following year, 2004, Nelson tagged along and we did Naseby and Alexandra.