Tuesday, July 25, 2006

sunday sunday

Caught up with Kris on saturday, have set the ball in motion on my singlespeed. he's getting what i need together, and i guess will do most of the build. will catch up next week, pay week etc, and be rolling the following weekend... looking forward to spinning like crazy on the flat and not worrying about chainsuck on the hills... sounds like i'll have a 38 tooth front ring, meaning i'll run a 17 or 18 on the back, but i might get a smaller one i can get onto for bottle lake, either than or another chain and bigger ring.

sunday, cold frosty start, rode across town to Tony's, steve pete and andrew turned up and we headed out cashmere road to the quarry. across the field was icey, crunchitty crunchitty crunch, then up the croc, cleaned all the switchbacks, rode the greasy mud section, then on up the rest... a few dabs, here and there, cos it was so damn slippery. then up kennedys, hard work that. Steve experiencing bad chainsuck in granny, had to run middle ring all the way up, good for him i said, pete and me both ran middle ring most of the way too, in sympathy, tho, i'd been running it anyway. then i started getting a bit too, later on, bastard bastard chain suckkk...

then along summit road, bit of snow up there on the sides and clearly up top of marleys, which we avoided, speedily rolling down road to ride the lower marleys section along to kiwi, sweeeeeet run on that lovely track, then up road to top of vic. along first section of summit trail below Sugarloaf, then up onto road due to the trail just being too messy, and us messing up the trail... round to Mt Vernon, we got up onto the single, which was a quagmire... greasy and mucky, rode it down to rapaki, its holding together surprisingly well, then we BOMBED it down rapaki... lots of other users, walking, biking, dogging,,, slow to manageable speed on approach then kick it down and bomb it again just as you're passing... lotsa fun. a couple of times i was catching beautiful air right next to punters, musta looked grand. then the final bomb down the road, and the slog across town home. later than i should have been. pretty munted for rest of day too.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fog bound, for a bit...

amazing up on the hill last night. up the wee valley below Rapaki. that involves quite a bit of scooting, getting off, walking, pushing, and granny gear pedalling. it was about the same fogginess/low cloud as the rest of town, not too bad. when i got up to where my track met the Rapak i got onto the main track, cos my valley track was actually a bit muddy, the fog got thicker and thicker and thicker as i ascended. the headlight just glowed up the whole field of view, no visibility, barely even see the trail, anyway, got to the top, completely engulfed in fog, it was other-worldly, spectacular, light off and there was no glow from anywhere, just dim fog all around, it was 7 when i was at the top. another cycle headlight started to appear in the fog on rapaki, so i headed off up the single track... up the first two switchbacks and along a bit and suddenly i could see the lights of the city, and there behind me was a wall of fog, a tongue of it rolling over the saddle that is the top of rapaki, the suburbs at the foot of the hill were clear of fog by this stage, and the ridges and hill i was on were clear too. but out to the western side of the city, and north of about the square was completely under fog, with the city lights below making the fog glow, it looked beautiful...so, when i got to the road, i turned back along the summit trail, then down Farm Track. about half way down i deliberately left the track, and just rode sheep tracks most of the rest of the way down. that was fun. then home across town. good ride.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Turd'sday night...

relatively short but strangely long ride. rode to pete's, drove to pick up steve, then a roundabout way to Halswell Quarry. rode up the Crocodile, drier still, and wonderfully cleaned all of the muddy section down to the bridge, and every single switchback. up Kennedy's track to top of single, then back down.

muddiest sections were on the flat riding across to the bottom of the track., and one small section just before the frogpond and square log down off kennedys.

all in all, nice night to be out, bike needs a hose and a lube. thinking it might be time to change out my fork oil. and perhaps pull down my wheels and re-lube the hub bearings and probably pull apart the pedals and clean everything and of course force some grease into the headset...

no riding over weekend as i was sole charge of Otis.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


well, i went for a quick ride last night. it was beautiful on the hill. the moon was nearly full, tho partially shrouded by cloud, practically rode all the way up rapaki without my light on. it was warm and the air was fresh. whereas town was disgusting, smoggy and freezing cold. the moment i got up Rapaki Rd a little ways it was easily 10 degrees warmer. nuts.

had my mp3 player, GOOD sounds (Prefuse73 Security Screenings, Department of Eagles, Tunng, Burial, Open Souls) on random all the way.

trails are in good nick, no muddy bits anywhere, and a lot of repairs done on them where they were damaged earlier.

so, alls i did was ride up rapaki, here's Switchy at the top, looking down the Avoca Valley, Montgomery Spur the dark lump above the seat..., (gotta love that low res phone pixt schwag) then from here, rode round summit trail to Bush Head then turned around and rode back and back down Rapaki...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Greeeaaaasy sunday

FREEEEZING start, huffed across to Steves in the early frost of sunday, just pre 9 am, fingers and toes going numb in the process, but merino hood and Jetson windfleece keeping the core temp good... tony, hubb, andrew, pete, steve and me, assembled, pete realising he'd left his helmet took off home to get it while Andrew set up the camera on pete's bike.

headed up rapaki, warmed up enough to shed some layers by the first gate. on up, good spin, tony only lagging a little. tons of bikers around. turned left along single track, only that first little bit was mucky and the rest was sweet. then up road to Castle Rock, hit the single track there and it was grreeeaaasy. not muddy, just soft moist dirt, and slippery rocks. the odd patch of muddiness, til maybe 30-40 m before the first hairpin, then things started getting a bit sick... then after the first hairpin there was this trench forming, best to stay in it as at this point the hillside is steep and getting out of the trench means you're cutting up the rest of the dirt around it. but, one hole was almost up to the disks. pretty much dab-scooting along through all of this. then trail tidied up before the next hairpin and was good rolling from there... Andrew and Tony had sped down the road and were waiting for us at the top of Bridle Path. Andrew because he wasnt wearing clipable shoes...

then along road to johnbritten reserve, singletrack through there was sweet. i really enjoyed it, cleaned all the rocky bits with only one dab. then down to Richmondhill trail... first off the road the trail is very very nasty. the hillside is very boggy and where the trail should be is becoming a quagmire, so everybody's skirting it, thereby widening it. this section should probably be avoided and people should be entering from the old 4wd track down by the trees. anyway, once past the worst section the rest was sweet. stopped for a top up at the ruins.

the descent... i led, got away ahead, slithering and drifting all over the place. again, the singletrack was just greasy, with rocks a tad slippery, and only one or two wetspots. bombed it all good, round the corner to the native trees (ribbonwoods or lacebarks, never can remember) and stopped just after the wee ups that get you out of the tree's gulley. everybody caught up and we all laughed at what a wrestle the riding was. then i took off again, pete relatively close to my tail, and not far below our stopping point i had some wicked speed on and my front wheel just waaassshhhhed out, and i started scooting then lept off and was running alongside my bike for a second, thinking all the time "i'm losing it, i'm losing it!" and then remounting and carrying on, to shouts of encouragement from pete on my tail... stuck in and got more speed on and bombed the rest of it. it was sweeeeet. the traction was just marginal with drifting and slithering and greasy being the best descriptors. bombed the last section down to the road, trying out some body positioning as read in the latest NZMTBR mag. low, and more forward than in the past. feel quite perched in the middle of the frame, not uncomfortable, and the bike seemed to relish speed in this position... regrouped above evans

and hit the Capt Thomas. i bailed on three of the trickier sections, due to the apparent slipperiness of the rocks, but pete cleaned them all. out to the bottom was great.

then i hoofed it round the road to Joy's, she gave me a lift home and then Tracey and Otis, Mary, and Joy, and me went out to bottle lake and rode some trails out there. Otis in the kiddy seat behind Tracey. he enjoyed it for a while, but ended up kipping a little and then grumpy.
all up, about 4 hours on the bike...