Tuesday, May 30, 2006


so... here's a comment about the proliferation of bike blogsssssssss

Monday, May 29, 2006

foggy start sunday morning...

a whole week of busy nights and crappy weather. so. along comes sunday. early start, 8am at Steves. woke up to a fog-bound city. visibility about 20-30 metres, got quite damp riding through it across to Steve's. Steve couldnt make it on account of his guts, so it was just Pete, Hubby and me.

headed up rapaki, fog starting to clear a little and as we got into the trees on Rapaki we could already see the sun shining on the hillsides above us. looking back over the city, all you could see was the tops of the CBD buildings and the 4 light stands of Jade Stadium (where there'd been a fogged in rugger game the night before). over the course of our ride we watched the fog dissipate.

up into the sun, nice gentle ride up rapaki, cept for the last leg i switched to a 2:1 ratio a la singlespeeding and cranked it up, just to see what it was like. hard. but doable. but man, you gotta have yourself a whopper set of lungs, standing in that gear and honkin' it up that slope. at top of rapaki the harbour was beautiful, a cauldron of fog, hills ringing it in basking sun.

we turned left along the summit trail. the first section i walked cos it was so muddy, my back tire spinning and digging it up, so i gave it a rest. further up tho, the trail was in good nick, our tires barely marking it... got to the end of the first section and hopped over the fence and down to the craterrim walkway (not strictly legal...). it was very very muddy, and technical, slippery rocks (and one clump of Urtica ferox, native stinging nettle (which took a swipe at Hubby)), singletrack, cow trodden. our bike tires doing much less damage than the pugging and pooling of cattle hooves. if anything, we provided channels for the water to actually drain off in...

then from the tors the last bit of road up to the Castle Rock section of bike track down it, which was in surprisingly good nick. cleaned it all nicely, slippery rocks being the only major technical issue...

then down Bridle Path. i bombed it for a change. seems to be quite nice after wetness, well packed, not too loose. we stopped next to the Morgans Valley track, and headed the other way. there's a sign on the gate that said something, but its unreadable now. (i suspect it was something to do with Property?? cant imagine what tho!). headed along the farm-4wd track that follows above the bush thats above the Tunnel Rd Motorway, great wee spin, medium to big ring rollin', with a couple of little climbs, nothing major, then at the end, a gate, hop over it and there begins the barely followable 'secret singletrack'. down to the first of 2 big watersupply tanks, all under a treelucerne and various natives canopy. this trail snaked down and down and around the lower of the two tanks and then sidled down to a turn off that is adjacent to Martindales Rd on the Motorway. We skedaddled across the motorway, and then made our way down to Martindales Rd.

from here, we travelled along martindales, under the railroad, left down Truscotts Rd to Ferrymead historic park, past that to the lower reach of the Heathcote, and then along the true right bank of that, up stream to the Tunnel Rd bridge. This section of riverbank is great, its walked by people with dogs quite regularly, so the trail is sweet, twisty, well defined. and of course, like all the trails today, muddy in places.

once done with that section, we made our way to a Trees For Canterbury planting in Charlesworth Reserve. at this stage, it was a beautiful sunny day. planted a heap of natives, and i biked home along Linwood Ave after 12... later on, the fog rolled back in.

Monday, May 22, 2006

sunday cruise

so, sunday afternoon, al and me cruised to Hugh's, then up to Pete T's and then up rapaki. it had dried a bit since wednesday, pretty mellow cruise as Hugh doesnt get up much, but that was cool. then up singletrack to the right, where there were still some quite mucky bits, but mostly dry. after crossing the road the muddy holes that were there on wednesday were gone. the odd wet patch further round, some good flowy sections, so much flowier than at night when you cant see behind tussocks. hit the top of vic, and headed down thomsons to kiwi, up road to lower section of Marley's, bombed down that, down dyers track the start of which has been newly surfaced and is like a road, the longer flatter section still bumpy as hell, and then up into vic. i peeled off there and headed down to my folks for tea. not sure where the others were heading, down into bowenvale i think. was getting pretty low on light by the time we split...

Marys: performing better still. am getting used to them still. but did enjoy a certain laidbackness they gave. allllmost wonder if a slightly shorter and slightly angled up stem might position them slightly better... but. still getting used to them.

Friday, May 19, 2006

two rides, back to back, muckymucky wednesday, misty forest bottle lake thursday

first night ride Wednesday night, with the lights.

cross town, looked at watch on Wilson's Rd, was 17.31. cruised up rapaki, muddy in places, we've had a fair bit of rain lately, and there's only been a couple of days since, so its still all pouring off the hills. top of rapaki, was 18.06 (i know that cos i txted Nelson that i was there cos he'd txtd just as i was on the last leg). turned right, along the summit trail, first section to the first switchbacks was fine, then the steep bit from them was disgusting, rutted and greasy and wet and muddy... once it flattened off it was alright, the rocks being decidedly slippy, and then the bit round the front of Mt Vernon above the FarmTrack was nice and dry (in the sun all day's why), and actually it wasnt bad the rest of the way up to the road. next section, a few divets with sloppy mud, but mostly dryish. caught a guy on a Marin fullsquisher, i'd been gaining on him most of the way along the summit. and mostly trail was good except the odd spot all the way to vic.

thru the pines was soft, then down to and thru the gums was soft, new berms on a lot of the corners in the gums, gonna be sweet when they're dry. from the skidder site i bypassed dazzas, headed down that firetrack, hung a left down the Nats track, then a right before the 40footer down the valley track, then peeled left on the singletrack that goes into the Darkness... there was two streams in there, running clean fresh water that have never been there before...

crossed the little bridge, rooty section, sheepstop, bridge and onto the sidling track, which was disgusting. mucky, soft, running water, gouged and rutted. front wheel slid hit a hole and sent me over, rolled and tumbled down into the tussocks... unrideable, even with some speed. then down through the trees carefully, and bottom of k2 was its usual gouged out squidgey slippery rutted mess, then the main track down was fine. out, and home. bit of smog. 19.09 i noticed at home, some time after i'd gotten there...

cooked up a delicious feed, after the requisite shower. and hosed off the bike, which left the discs noisy. will lube everything before tonights ride.

Mary Report: good. excellent climbing, and standing out of the saddle pumping, and general singletrack control and comfort. Extremely steep, ass almost on the back wheel, descending, excellent, but middle steepness terrain i'm not so sure about. it might be something in the way i'm holding them, or maybe they just need another slight tweak. tonights ride is bottle lake, so will monitor and adjust accordingly.

Bottle Lake, Thursday night.
Al and me ended up biking out there, meeting up with Steve and Tony and Andrew, and eventually Pete (who got a speeding ticket on the way... hence making him even later. i hope his demerit points havent topped out!!!)Spun round the usual inside loop. checked out the leg towards Spencer Park, but it was closed due to them pulling out all the logs in the burned areas. shame, cos that burned out area was pretty spectacular, would have been cool to leave it the way they do in the states for natural regeneration... but then, this forest is far from a natural system, being a working plantation. mostly pretty good ride. one fun thing was when we stopped for a break, i managed to balance my bike all by itself. just hovering there, then Al and then Steve and tony all got theirs going too. was cool just standing around with all these bikes just floating there... heh.

Marys performed well. they really do excel when standing in the pedals cranking it. i'm still feeling a little crowded by my elbows... but am seeing if my body will respond by developing the appropriate muscles thru riding like this for a month... otherwise, i might return to the Azonics and put Mary on the singlespeed i'm gonna build with my 18 inch frame.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Craigieburnin', Marys first ride

Fresh and early saturday morning, first frost of the year pretty much, al and me split town about 8.30, headed up the plains. gorgeous sunny day unfolding in front of us. crested Porters Pass and rolled down into an icey valley fog, quite thick, which engulfed us all the way through to the Day Shelter at Craigieburn Forest Park, and filled the valleys most of the day.

parked up, rugged up into the appropriate clothes, and headed out onto the road, rougly 10am, low visibility. i was wearing my new Hoodlum, which proved very good for these conditions. my windstopper gloves (Krapmandu) were very good too. then we headed up the gravel road that is the access to Craigieburn Ski Field. starting altitude, 800m. this road winds up the side of this steep sided valley, through beech forest. there's a couple of major scree slopes that cross the road on the way up. its relatively steep, middle chain ring, second or third down on back. and up towards the top you have to slip down into granny and haul. snow on the ground from around 1200 m alt. there were a couple of vehicle tracks in the snow on the way up, and a few people working on the skifield, two on the roadside 50m from the carpark and then a 4wd with chains, heading up.

Mary bars first ride, felt that they made the front end a little lighter, but felt good in general, on the way up.

we got ahead of it and so were riding on virgin snow, apart from some Hare tracks. snow provided pretty good traction. then onto the singletrack descent... fun. had to layer up tho, cos there was snow dripping and dropping from the trees. the track is in and out of the trees, crossing a few big scree slopes. very good riding. swoopy and flowing in parts, then technical and dabby for a bit then swoopy and flowing again. couple of sections with a lot of roots, but mostly fantastic.

Marys very comfortable on this descent. good control, natural hand position, thought they needed rolling back a smidgen.

then a wee climb up to Lyndon Saddle, where we had a wee stop with a small hike up for some view and eats, then onto what they call the Luge... all down, nice rooty drops, swooping singletrack, down down down, all in forest. beeaauutiful. worst roots, slippery and dodgy in the lower third, then out onto the road and quick descent down that back to the car.

found the Mary bars very very comfortable on the steep technical stuff, and in general, i like their feel. still a little bit of getting used to to do, and i've tweaked their position slightly for next ride. i think there'll be a couple of tweaks and i'll be loving them

Total ride, 2 hours elapsed, rougly 600 m alt up and down in about 18 kms.. broken down: 8.5 on the road up 500m alt, ~4kms sidling down 250m alt, just under 1 km up 100m alt to saddle, then almost 3 kms singletrack descending 300m, then around 2 kms down (80 or so metres) hill road back to car, 12ish. had a feed, loaded up car and drove home, arriving around 2. still plenty of day left.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


so... roll along to bikeblogs May06 and you'll see yours truly rollin' with the other bloggahs...

might just get out thursday night. provided promised rain doesnt hit. and then saturday, longrange looks good, Al and me will Craigieburn it... yeah drop in episode one, thats us.

Monday, May 08, 2006

septo de mayo

Al collected me and we rode to Steves for 9am start. hubby, andrew tony and steve were already in attendance, and pete turned up shortly thereafter. we headed up rapaki. good pace all the way up. i was a little ahead of the group when i turned and saw a guy passing them, so i took off at a slightly faster pace, just to keep him on his toes, he eventually caught me and overtook, but i stayed on him the rest of the way up. i was feeling a bit overhung, tired, from two shortnights sleep. cold and windy up top, overcast day, from the south. rode left along the summit trail, donned my jacket on the road section. bombed it down the castle rock section. interestingly greasy down through there, with just slightly damp dirt, which carried from tire to rock so's to make for a more technical ride. good pace along road to Britten Reserve, new section in there needs a wee bit work, it just doesnt quite flow yet. then breezed down road onto Richmond hill singletrack... fun. greasy. quite a few dabs, one near shoulder barge with a rockface when the rocks i was skittering on got too skittery, then most of the way down, i feel like i've bent my brake lever, but no, slowly my handlebars are twisting back (the other day when i tried out my mary bars i obviously didnt quite torque the clamp up enough and now i'm paying for it...) riding got harder and harder as my handlbars became more and more swayed back. levers getting more and more horizontal. we stopped in the Macrocarpa at Evans for foodsnacks and pete's twisted chain link removal and my handlebar reallignment (i got to test out my new multi tool multi5 received as gift for subscribing to Spoke magazine last month).

then off out godley trail. after first climb pete's chain pin had started to poke out so we stopped again and they used a proper pin. then it was fantastic downhill, trail drier out there. next climb and then down to breeze col. decided just to drop it down to taylors.

Anaconda... wickeeeed. couple of other riders had taken off ahead, we'd given them a bit of a head start, but me in the lead soon caught one of them, and on the first right hand sweeper i caught him after a jump and juuuuust about lost the front wheel, washed out a bit, and i found myself heading off the track, so i just held on and cut out a big corner, taking my place ahead of him, and just let it go, screamed down popping excellent air on every jump. caught the next guy on the big long sweeper that i crashed on another time, sat on his tail a bit but he wasnt moving over, so i paused to watch pete and the others behind catch up a bit, then i hammered on and caught that guy again before the bottom. sweeeeeeet spin. then the grind out of taylors. nichelson park, coffee at .com and the long slog home...

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy birthday Blog...

One year old today.
a whole year of rides contained herein...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

finally, after a week and a half...

just getting more and more antsy, finally last night i managed to get out. split work early, home quick, changed, jumped on switchy.

Left home at 16.32, was somewhere on Rapaki Rd at 16.46 (cant remember quite how far up but well before first gate), made good time up Rapaki. passed a couple of guys between first gates, then caught this smiley youngish but greyhaired german dude on a kula deluxe (same colours as Nelson's) a km up from the second gate but then he caught and passed me 200m from top. made the top at 17.08. me and the kraut exchanged friendly words at the top, what a great night it was etc. then he went towards the Bridle Path whereas i turned right. when i got up to the upper switchbacks (just above Farm Track) i caught up to a dude on a Santa Cruz (Blur(i think)) who managed to keep ahead of me, so i tailed him until i peeled down the oldschool Bow'nvale, took it a little easy down there, as bits were slippy, lovely descent, tho, i bailed on the worst of the rocky outcroppy bits, cos of the minor greasiness issues. then the singletrack was bliss, just cruised it down, hearing voices, til finally i came upon a couple of walkers..., and was spat out the bottom and on the Avenue at 17.35... quite possibly my best time ever for home to Bowenvale Ave via that route. .

no riding light needed either, just the flashies across town home.

so, i feel much better.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

mary mary, quite contrary

so, mary arrived this morning. popped home to see her. eyed them up, and thought i might juuuuuuust be able to install, but got grips, shifters, levers all off the olds and got them lined up and just as expected, the angular bar just pushes the brake hose too far to be possible. it was always a little dodgy since i got the 20inch frame. so. have to wait til i get the cable lengthened. Kris said $75. must get that organised.

too wet to really ride tonight. havent ridden since last sunday, week ago. am seriously jonesing for a ride, as the americans used to say. might just go anyway. bah. will see how she's looking. do the responsible thing, go home, cook dinner for the girl and bubs, and then decide...

oh!, and my Hoodlum is SWEEEET... all good. wear just it and basically a teeshirt in these climate. water beads on the outter and its snug and toasty.