Friday, December 28, 2007

three days of christmas...

so. Sunday the 23rd, met boys at dot com 9.15. Derek and his friend John had biked out making the group pete steve matt wayne tony me and them. good bunch. up capt thomas, and at evans the others decided they needed to just go out godley, whereas derek john and me wanted more, so we spun up the road to top of greenwood and bombed down that. lots of fun. then out godley. missed the first rock up, but cleaned the second. good spin all the way out to end, tail wind back to breeze, then down anaconda and up over down nicholson.

boxing day, rainy wet mucky, we were going to G G's for lunch, so i biked across town, up rapaki, which was extremely soggy and power sapping, then left round the summit, first section good, castlerock section awesome, but the hail and wind were mildly off putting. then up road to John Britten reserve, hoofed down it to top of mt pleasant , found Kenton's track round western side of the houses to the stepped trail down to heathcote quarry, i popped up the last steps up to major hornbrook and down through park and down cannon hill cres... cold and wet

yesterday, dinner at my folks, so i biked across and up the new oldschool bowenvale, cleaning all of it except the one steep rock bit and the few steep steps just after the fence. then all the switchback 4wd section in one go no stops... then round summit to vic, down through gums, all the way to road, down road, up to slide down next to dog walk areas, to bottom of them, then through the lower of them into the pine trail down round on my favourite secret track onto longhurst... then haul up the road to my folks.

Monday, December 17, 2007

scorchin'!

scorcher of a day. probably already up in mid 20s by 9am when i headed over to Steve's. rocked off, andrew, tony, wayne, matt, english mark and steve, across town to bottom bowenvale. up the recently constructed additions to the singletrack. cleaned all the first bit. new second bit is good, blew a couple of the switchies, but cleaned the rest. then onto the old single. couple spots are really gnarley, but mostly cleanable, and then the real punisher, up the bulldozer zigzags. hefty. rode it all bar one corner. got to the landing strip and there's a bunch of 4wds, one of which was a DOC truck (mitsi L200) which was stuck on this pile of dirt... funny. continued up huntsbury track to summit, then hit the single traverse around to vic park, good spin right across there. the heat was exceptional. stopped in the nice coolish dark shade of the top of vic. while sitting there lots of bikers came through, including one guy who crashed right in front of us! then, a couple of us hit Thomson's track, both bits to kiwi. fixed waynes chain there, grabbed a sarsparilla, water etc, then up summit road to top of worsley's. down body bag, and up paddock to 'secret singletrack'. the boys like it. its come along a bit, some of the berms are better. still a bad bit just past the pylon, good run down to wallride (broken) and then out. then i showed them the switchbacks and new singletrack into that dam park, then back through to road and down, mark peeled off there, then tony peeled off, then i peeled off, grabbed some beans from C1 and home by 1... wiped out. heat stroke material.

Monday, December 10, 2007

sunday muggy sunday

picked up Al, and we drove to sumner. met up with the boys, Steve, Andrew, Tony, wayne, Matt and his english mate on a Merida, Mark. we tootled round the corner to Mulgan's Track for their first time up... Al was on his 29r SS with its new 80mm Reba's. so he was hauling on all the ups, or walking. anyway, up to panorama, then up to singletrack. humidity was a killer... up singletrack into mistiness to the pines, then on up road to top of Greenwood, sun starting to shine through. nice cruise to the ruins, where we thought about a food stop, but then steve suggested the macrocarpa at the bottom, so off we flew. i took the lead. kept and put a good distance ahead of Andrew, then when i stopped further round Al was behind, waited. then once we all regrouped, headed on down, again, putting a good distance between me and them all. cleaned everything nicely, flying well. quick break at the mac, then pop down to evans and tackle Godley.

let Al go first, cos he cant do anything but go fast. got a good ways up the nemesis, but didnt clean it, got the next bit tho. then, trying to chase Al i just didnt have it in me. that big gear, those big wheels, he was just flying up the track. regrouped up just before the first of the boardwalks. then Al me and Matt took off first, cos we'd decided there that we'd go further, ie, mechanics bay trail round and back, whereas the others were just gonna head straight down ana. so. i was chasing Al, which was fine til the rutty section then a tad annoying on the downhill to the first of the cols (livingstone, i presume). stuck behind him i definately would've gone faster, and couldnt see trail enough leading to some near rut-catcher stacks... anyway, he got enough distance on me on the next climb, tho i was catching him again on the descent to Breeze Col. then up walking track, nice wee climb round, bomb down to singletrack, then ass-haul back round to breeze. flew it. then excellent run down Anaconda, fantastic berm railing and some very nice air... to meet the boys and observe the massive surf pumping taylors. then the 'tail, nice hoof down there. tired on the climb out of taylors, fun spin down nicholson, trying that new line again, and back to cars 12pm ish... they stopped for coffee but Al and me headed off.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

two in a row

Monday night. after O was in bed i drove over and parked on centaurus. headed up rapaki, was about 8.45pm by the 2nd gate. headed up and up, turned right, round mt vernon, crossed the road and turned the light on, 9.15ish. single track round to top of vic, dusky light and headlight dont mix well, so visibility wasnt great. then Thomson's to Kiwi, up road a bit, then tried to turn light on but it wouldnt go so had to stop and tweak it. got it running and didnt wanna risk it again so left it on from then on. up to lower section of Flying Nun, back to kiwi, back up Thomson's, both sections, then down through gums, down dazza's, down into macrocarpas, taking a new line in there, very dusty, poor contrast on trail, then down valley track, cleaned the 'washout' bottom of k2 and then bombed it down to bowenvale, back round to car. home about 10.05...

Tuesday night. rode home at lunchtime and grabbed bike gear and mtnbike. left work at 4.30, across town to meet Jo from work at rapaki centaurus corner, got there at 4.45, she turned up at 4.53, headed up, hung a left, along singletrack, then up road to Castlerock. bommmmbed it down there, beautiful run, waited for her after 2nd switchback, before climb. fire at top of bridle path. first of the season. then down bridle path, start of morgans valley track, exit off that down to gunclub/bridlepath road. she peeled off, i headed for GG's.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clifton Greenwood Godley Anaconda

Awesome ride with Nelson last night. we drove out to Sumner, parked at bottom of Clifton Hill, rode back round to Moncks Bay and headed up Mulgan's Track. Switchback city, steps on some corners, concrete walking path, steep as. connects two or three times and ends up going round the water tanks and up York's old driveway to Panorama Drive. We then headed over the park to Clifton Tce, tho going up Panorama would lose you less altitude, then up clifton to a trail described by Laurence Mote of Ground Effect in the current Spoke Magazine. blissful rooty rocky singletrack that leads up under pine shelterbelts into tussocky Greenwood Park to the Richmond Hill pines. then up the road to top of Greenwood. Bombed down that. me catching Nelson on all the rocky bits, down to Evans at an awesome pace. then out Godley. Nelson was powering away on all the climbs. but i lead on the first descent and left him behind. reckoning it was the 5 inches travel and its slacker head angle that makes my bike smoother over the rockiest bits. then up last climb and i was on his tail again for the descent to Breeze col. then down anaconda. i took the lead. railing all the berms and flying all the jumps, watching out the cool easterly wasnt blowing us off course in the air too much. by the last leg above the baches to Taylors my back was getting really sore. then the climb out of taylors my seat was too low making the the pedalling inefficient. Down through Nicholson, found a new wee line, then nelson's chain blew apart, so fixed it with my quicklink and we treadled back to the car round the waterfront. awesome ride.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bottle Lake spin then the Bach

Two thursdays ago went out to Bottle lake, did a quick inner loop spin, then met the boys, Steve, Matt and two friends, and Andrew (i think) at the carpark, and we did a bigger loop. good pace, not stopping too much. Pete was out there too, but he was hanging with his son Alistair who was yumpitty yumping heaps...

next day was show day, so went to little ak. got a ride in on saturday. up the usual Chorlton, then View Hill road. cleaned all the gnarley steep bit, on up the paper road to a point above the old house, then i cut down across a freeflow paddock, down a wee gulch then up to the old house to have a look in. last time i was there would have been with York and Nigel back in about '90. and prior to that with Doug Claridge in 85 (his name is still in charcoal on the wall upstairs). then clambered back up to the paper road and bombed... down down down then down into the bay and back to bach.

have just returned from 7 days at Lake Poteriteri Hut counting birds. spectacular place, as usual, shame about the sandflies...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Vegas, volume 2

(see here for vegas volume 1...)... So. I'm at a conference of fellow GIS geeks for three days in Rotorua... Thursday morning the agenda doesnt look all that interesting, so i turn up in my bike gear, helmet strapped to my pack, pedals inside, and at 9am i walk out and up the road to BikeVegas, where i take possession of a Steel(is real) Jamis hardtail. the frame isnt a bad weight, the brakes are Avid BB7 (cable disks), and the gears are SRAM... unfortunately for me, the forks are Manitou Axels, supposed to have 4 inches of travel, which would be great, but these things were so blown that they sat right down in their travel and at best gave an inch. in short, they sucked... plus, handlebars too flat, and stem too long, putting way too much weight over this screwed up geometry's front wheel...so, i leave the bike shop, head along a gravelled bike track that leads through this scrubby zone between town and the lake where there's all these bubbling mud puddles and fumeroles steaming their sulphur stench and then makes its way following up a creek for a while, across and past the local DOC office (HI!), then on up towards the Redwoods.

i ride in the entrance by the bottom of the Exit trail, up the hill, then up Tokorangi Pa Rd, over GunnaGotta which i took really carefully cos of the bike being new to me and cos of the lack of travel, lotsa new bits in there that weren't there last year... then onto the ATrail, linking into the Tickler to the water tap at the bottom of HotXBuns. from here, i headed up Direct Rd, up up up up up past sidewinder and onto the FrontalLobotomy upon which i snapped the chain (legs are THAT strong, hah), removed the bad link, and replaced it with my quicklink, then continued on up to Tawa Rd taking me to BillyT which TOTALLY ROCKED! it is sooo mint. i loved it. packed in beautifully since we rode it last year, bombed down it and hung a left and headed on into the wilderness to catch SplitEnz (a brand spanker). overtook some soundingly australian chicks who were gunning along good, just before the descent, so made some good time on them and never saw them again... Split Enz leads to PondyDH, which would have been SOOO much fun with some shocks that worked, jarring my gammy thumb all the way down, from there to PondyNew (nice twisty climb and descent) which joins the bottom of the Roller Coaster which leads into the Chinese menu- ChopSuey ChopSuey, Spring Roll SpringRoll finishing with Sweet&Sour. then down the beautiful B-Rude-Not-2, peeling off that and hitting the LionTrail up to Katore Rd, then a quick flit down to the ExitTrail which is always fun. then back downtown to the bikeshop, returning the bike almost exactly 4 hours since i got it... exhausted, sapped, drained... wicked...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sat Morn Worsley Marley Dyers Vic Runnings

nice wee spin saturday morning. rode across town, up worsley's, hardly a soul around. spotted some guys heading up the body bag as it came into view, so hustled a bit and was catching them. they were mostly walking it, i cleaned the entire thing, tho, i did stop for a rest just before the last slog, where it kinda veers left before the final gut eating ascent.

headed over Marley's, down flying nun, flying. didnt even hit the road, just continued on down below Dyers, all the way out, across road, up into Vic Park, up single track to jumps/skidder site, then up to top of Cool Runnings, the steep left hander just after the wooden structure caught me out, and even with a back up i baulked again. cleaned out the rest of the trail and then headed round sidle trail to the washout at bottom of K2, cleaning it, and bombing the rest of the way out bottom of Bowenvale

at the bottom of the Old Skool, heade up the new trail, rideable in middle ring, then turned and enjoyed it down. chatted to a dude on a new Enduro... cruised across town home by 10.30...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday spectacular evening, Capt Thom Godley Taylors.

finally got out of the house and over to pick up Nelson. We were supposed to meet the boys in Sumner at 6.15, but was only just collecting Nelson then, so rang and told them to leave without us and we'd see them if we caught them. Got out to Sumner after 6.30, hit Captain Thomas, rocking up it, me blowing near the top, fighting to not puke. Still, made it up before 7. The boys were waiting (hadnt been there long) for us at top, and we continued the rest of the ride with them...

exhausted, blew the first rocky bits of godley trail, but rocked the rest of it. excellent descending to first col, me tight on Nelson's tail, not giving him any leeway, and Pete fast catching me and sitting on mine, clatter clatter. put a bit more distance between us on the descent into Breeze Col tho. then down Anaconda, Pete first, then nelson, then me, and andrew steve and tony following. managed to keep ahead of Andrew and even managed to gain on nelson nearer the bottom... still not used to that final corner, and still not used to 'the tail' down to the end.

tried a new zigzag from carpark up to first road hairpin, not good. showed nelson the Sumnervale track, which we're still to explore, and had an excellent flight down through Nicholson Park and down scarborough. back to DotCom just after 8 or so

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunny Easterly Sunday Arvo

My parents dropped in, so i grabbed a lift up to their place sunday afternoon 4.30-5ish. biked from there, up through Vic Park, dropped down to Old Dyers Pass Rd Trail, and on the big corner, decided to explore down a 4wd track that heads west. fun wee hoof down that to the end where lies a mattress, a dead bmx and a dead scooter, as well as someone's illegal dump zone... grannied back up out of it back onto the main track (the trees in that wee valley are plenty open now, so some sneaky trails in there might be the go...). on up old dyers, bit of air in the back tire, 5 or so riders coming down, to kiwi, then up road to top of Worsley's, over marleys and down Flying Nun, nice wee new side line been build off just at the top of where it becomes 4wd track half way down, then on below the road fun fun fun. crossed pass below Kiwi, headed up summit rd to upper thomson's, then round summit trail, into the cold cold easterly. bumped into James (angrywadder) just before the Lava Flow, stopped and chatted a bit, then continued round and bombed it down to Rapaki, then bombed it down there. home 6.30-45ish i guess, battling the wind all up Wilson's Nursery and Stanmore Rds...

Friday, October 26, 2007

thursnite rapaki witch vernon old skool...

shortish ride last night. nice to finally get out with the lads again. Nelson andrew tony wayne steve and me left steve's bout 6.15. nelson on his single. cruised up rapaki. bumped into James (angrywad ) on rapaki, and at the top was jeff and roly. nelson and me and them hoofed it round witch hill single and back, then chased steve et al up vernon singletrack. met up with them at the road crossing. huge group of riders were riding at same time, saw them on rapaki a couple times and at the top and along single and where steve etal were waiting. we took off ahead of them, and hung a right down old skool. somehow wayne missed the turnoff and continued, which made andrew go look for him, he didnt find him. meanwhile, i'd bombed down oldskool to the first gate, stopped to see if others were following, they never showed. was about to head back up when i heard a funny voice behind me, which turned out to be my phone (otis saying "doctor foster went to gloucester in the pouring rain, stepped into a puddle right up to his muddle and never went there again")... steve. so, i rode back up to him and nelson. then we decided wayne could find his own way down, and we bombed it. nice trip down the rocky bits, then singletrack beautiful flow. one gorse bush got me bad in the knuckles, yowch! tony flatted near the bottom, then while we were waiting with him Wayne showed up, had realised well round the traverse, and turned back and come down Old Skool... rode home as dark was falling, flashies on.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

PFMTBC Inc, WELLINGTON, 2007. junglevision

Mark Hubby, Tony Andrew Steve Pete Nelson and me flew up friday, 12.15 - van, covered trailer, motel downtown with mt vic just up the road. so, put bikes together and headed up Vic. found our way to the top, got a tip from some local riders and started to explore down round singletracks. if you got to know these they'd be a fun wee blast but searching our way round we will have missed out on lots of nice stuff, plus, it'd be raining all week so the tracks were all mucky mucky and rooty slippery...

Saturday, Drove to Makara. Tucked into Koru (gentle and nice), bit of a play in the skills area, then up Sally Ally (cruisy), Missing Link (cool), where i started to hear my pedal doing the crunchy thing. continued grinding up Aratihi eventually stopping nearing the top to decide that it was poked and i's gonna have to give up on it. so, walked up to the top of the peak, howling wind, and we tookoff down the 4wd track to the lower Ridgeline trail, and into Swigg (towards the end of Andrew crashed right behind me (i heard a swish, whump) garking his knee) and starfish (upon which Hubby dismounted right in front of me, garking his shin on this wooden bridge), and me not really enjoying myself much cos of the pedal concern. headed for town to get the fix for the pedal. Mudcycles, no rebuild kit. On ya Bike, no rebuild kit. Penny's... yep. so, got to work trying to get the outer bearing race from the pedal. it proved impossible so i gave the rebuild kit back and got me some Shimanos. much better. So, that afternoon we went back to Makara, and rode to the top of Sally Alley, then up the 4wd track to the peak, then down Aratihi to Leaping Lizard and all the way down that out to the end. Wicked descent, sketchy, techy, rocky. through the stream at the end, and back up the road to the car.

Sunday. parked-up in the Karori Sanctuary carpark. headed down to creek and began walking up the switchback trail to the fenceline, up the fence track to scoutden, then up to top of wrights hill. riding and walking. riding at the top. a chance meeting with a guy Nick who i somehow knew (we'd ridden somewhere sometime) convinced us we needed to do Deliverance and Salvation. so, down deliverance, proving too techy for some, relished by others, then lovely pedal back up salvation, and back to the fenceline track. i was the only one to ride up the grunty steep to the top, then me and nelson got talking to some other locals who suggested Carparts. the others had continued on ahead and didnt bother to wait, so missed out on what i would say is one of the best little sections of singletrack around. starting from the windturbine carpark, it goes not that far below the road for a while... twisty, fun. then crossed the road and back onto the fenceline track, which diverged at that point and had a jumpy section next to it all the way down, then a couple of weird downs and ups and then into a little singletrack section which ended up on the concreted switchbacky stepped in places walking trakc back down to the carpark.
later on, Mark, Nelson and me, went back to the sanctuary carpark, and rode/walked up again. over and down Salvation, back up it, and back down to sanctuary... nuts. down salvation was fantastic. slogging back up it wasnt so bad, down the top section to the scout den was cool, and so was the fenceline, but once it enters the tight ass trees again, yowch, i just lost my flow and had to dab around nearly every hairpin. then one last little climb to the van.

Monday, we headed back to Makara. barely anything left in the legs. rode round to and up Salvation (again) just cos it is so nice, to carpark, then back down we went (mark took Deliverance), awesome descent, pete filming it, then back into the park, huffed up Koru, messed about in skills, on up sally alley, Tony Andrew Steve and Pete all deciding to bail and just do the lower ridgeline etc etc down (then on into town on their bikes), Nelson Mark Hubby and me continuing to missing link, then up 4wd road, into a gale, then down aratihi, upper leaping lizard, Nikau, upon which i crashed, let it go a bit trying to go faster and just lost the frontwheel and over i went onto some rocks, jumped straight back on, hammered, and on up to missinglink. bit of a break there and a local guy (on a Switchback!) showed up. ended up seeing him over and over again, whenever he caught us up stopped, wondering which way to go, kinda..., anyway, up missinglink back to sally alley, blasted down it to the swigg/starfish intersection, down to magic carpet ride, then down livewires and back to van. hussin' it down livewires nearly caught me out too, i was so exhausted i was starting to make mistakes, and i was just about over the bars into a tree, dunno how i saved it... cleaned the stream crossing tho.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Saturday Climby Solo.

Got my jobs done (painting deck, vege shop and bikeride with Otis - Tagalong Spencerpark loop) so was allowed out for an afternoon ride. Drove across and parked bottom of Rapaki/Vernon Tce. Realised as soon as i set off that my (new) rear tire was a bit low in the air department and that i'd left my pump at home...(d'oh!), and how heavy and hard work the Nevegal is to push along... still, climbed farm track, middle ring to first gate, then granny 2nd/3rd rest of way. hit the road, turned right, up to top of Huntsbury track - spotted a guy on a white bike, white rims, white fork, looked like a Cycleway sign on the hillside, asked him if i could borrow his pump, put more air in my back tire... then i got onto Vernon singletrack, back towards Rapaki. Blitzed it, new tires gripping nice, me getting some good flow on and going really fast on the fast bits. past all the riders stopped at top of rapaki, on round the witch hill singletrack, up road to Castle Rock, beautiful flow on down to Bridle Path where i stopped for a OneSquareMeal bar. while sitting there, 4 supermotard style big bikes came FLYING round the summit road, one pulling a huge wheely as they passed the top of Bridle, nice.

Headed back up Castle Rock track, cleaning all but a small spin out just near the top, then onwards down summit road back to Witch Hill, past rapaki and all the bikers stopped there, up vernon single track, deciding to bail to the road at top of Farm Track, road to Huntsbury, round summit traverse to Old Skool Bowenvale descent, blitzed and cleaned all, tires gripping a beaut. then onto the newly made section at the bottom, which will (when finished) be pretty cool. then back round bottom of hill to car. beautiful day too.
Sunday, Otis and me tagalonged to Andrew's place and back... quite a number of kms for a wee fella, and he did really well. howling norwester, heavy headwind home.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

bottled

too wet to hit the hills, cos of heaps of rain over previous 12 hours, so a quick spin round bottle lake last night with nelson, on the singlespeeds.
pretty un eventful spin. The odd small rabbit about. from main entrance we turned right, took the southern loop, then in after the landfill, up the middle all the way up to Spencerpark, then back to main carpark. surf was noisy, popped out to beach for a look. trails were wet, and any new teddington chip layed was soggy... all in all, not too bad a spin. cold in the open low bits, mild in the trees...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Moony Thursday Sunny Sunday

Thursday night, drove over to Nelson's, we hit the road, him on the single, me on the newly transformed 18 geared bike. was good cos i kept up with him all the way up rapaki. wicked full moon, no lights required. then we stuck to the road round to where the single crosses it, then we thought we'd mix it up a bit and headed up into Scotts Reserve. MINT singletrack to be had, with a gentle climb into the macrocarpas then a techy wee descent to the first wee saddle. then into the next section of reserve (all crater rim 'walk'way), walked up the first switchbacks then rode onwards, more techy descending. fun. then onto the summit trail round below Sugarloaf, then down through gums, top of cool runnings, too greasy to ride first section past the wooden dropjump, then down and through and out funstyle. me leading all the way cos my bike handles better than nelson's singlespeed.

Sunday. daylight savings morning. rode to Tony's for a 9.30 meet. matt arrived by car, steve and wayne arrived by bike. toodled off to Worsley's. good ride up, middle ring the whole way to the body bag. watched some 4x4s go up the bodybag, then tackled it ourselves. i blew it right near the top, but then managed to get going again and cleaned it out... then over marleys, to kiwi, fanging it, then up thomsons, round summit, lotsa oncoming traffic, then down old skool bowenvale, cleaned all the offpiste lines, but blew the second to last rocksection, got re-started and cleaned up the rest. nice. then swung by Steve's and grabbed a nevegal for the front, which i'll match with the new Maxxis Advantage i'm getting this week for new rubber side down.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thurs single, then non ride-ish

Nearly forgot about it... thursday night, Al 29ed and i singlesped, up rapaki into the cloud and drizzly mist, bypassed vernon to singletrack below road, around to top of vic, thomsons to kiwi, down dyers, up into vic, then down zig and zag to 40footer, then down Nationals dh k2 valley and out... nice spin tho i was pained going up rapaki. 7.30 to 10ish...

sunday, otis and me went out to bottle lake and had a quick inner loop spin with the tag-a-long. was good...

monday night, i swapped the 20inch with the 18inch, mountain to town to mountain... all my own work. headsets and bottom brackets inclusive... just gotta get some shims for the rear disc now and i'm good to go. town bike handles nice as a 20inch.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday Morning Worsley's explorations, Marley's Dyer's...

T had taken O and H to story time at the library, so i drove to Nelson's around 10am. we rode across to Worlsey's and up. when we got onto the dirt, we detoured onto the the 'secret' dh track, riding up it to the dodgey 'wall' then up the forestry track hidden away in the woods there. instead of turning left off it above the pylons, we continued up it, only to find it spat us out at the top of the cool cliff top thats up there. we explored around that for a bit getting into the forest a bit. its all wide open in there and the potential for more trails is incredible. the pollen is going off a the moment. the forest floor is practically fluoro green, and after walking about for a few minutes our shoes were the same colour, little puffs of pollen at every footstep. back to the bikes, we continued up the 'secret' track. the builders of it have done more work on it, with some sections getting more and more flow, even upwards. kept an eye out all the way up for a side track across to worsley's proper too, to no avail. hit the paddock, bombed down to bottom of body bag and boosted up it.

Hit Marley's, bombed down that, flowing very nicely. half way down nelson's seat clamp came loose, then i took the lead, bomb bomb bomb... down old dyer's trail. then up into vic, singletrack from 19th batt. memorial, over and down to lower cool runnings, trying out the righthand line for a change just after passing the top of Dazza's... good flow all the way down there, feeling excellent through the 'darkness', over the bridges, round the side, through the next trees, bumpy bumpy bumpy, down the 'washout' bottom of k2, then out bowenvale. stopped to examine where that guy died..
all up an excellent ride.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Single Haul...

Al turned up to my place at 7.30ish on his new rigid 29er singlespeed, and we spun across to Nelson's. headed across to Rapaki, and up. ugh. i had great difficulty, tho, with a couple of rests, managed to ride all the way up. the 29er has a lower ratio than Nelson and my 2:1's, making it a bit easier on the climbs... had a go on the 29er on the climb around witch hill. swapped back for the descent. then continued around summit road to Castle rock. let Al cruise off down there, nelson and me watched him go, and the light looks amazing. then honked into it. nelson on my tail all the way down, pushing pushing... bombed that til just after the second switchback Nelson's chain jumped off, then by the end of the climb i was just catching Al as we rolled into bridle path. waited up for nelson then headed down it to Morgan's Valley track. headed round that, i walked a bit of that climb up to a horse, then nelson got a flat, pumped it up, rode on following the fence, thats a blast that section. then he changed out the tube cos it was getting too low again. then hit the single track, me leading. mint trail that, absolutely mint. except for the pesky sheep with lambs scattering left right and centre... switchbacks down, then into the scrubby stepped section, then beautiful cruise into and through the quarry, and then down the steppy switchbacks to the bottom. rode all of them, nelson had one off, Al stepped off a couple times... then, ferrymead singletrack to Tunnel Rd bridge, then new trail along to the cut, opposite side of river to usual, potential for mintiness... then up the cut, and along the singletrack on southside of the bank to Radley St. then ferry road, nelson departed us at nursery road, stanmore, home... 11pm.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

saturday cruise...

saturday, left home at 11am, rode across to rapaki, up, then right. round summit trail to top of vic, thomson's to kiwi, then up road a tad to the Gov's Bay trail. dropped down it, nearly losing it big time on a soggy patch near the bottom, then turned round and attempted to ride back up it. got a lot of it, but walked a bunch and dabbed heaps too. she's a steep wee trail. then, on up the summit road to the lower section of Marley's / Flying nun, back to the kiwi. then up road to top of Vic again, back around the summit trail, hesitantly at first, thinking "can i really be bothered?", "aren't i tired enough already?" but continued on and then bombed it down the old skool bowenvale, having some interesting times on the rocky sections, cleaning them, but losing momentum on the very last gut-drop onto the main track. the singletrack section was sweet, but then the last zig and zag had soggy bits on it, tho cleared them and out bowenvale home. 2 and a half hours all told.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

sumner twice

friday. biked from a meeting at work, 1204 i passed C1. headed out ferry barbadoes waltham, wilsons centaurus, up rapaki. easterly blowing so figured i'd go into it along the top and that way i'd have a tail wind home from sumner... at castle rock i figured i'd explore the tors reserve. carried the bike up to the top along towards the 'actual' tors, and then headed back round the trail i'd ridden in the other direction previously. not nearly as rideable as i'd remembered. lots of rocky offy bits i wasnt game to ride due to the enormity of the descent that would entail should i off... anyway, 15 minute detour done, i rode back up the road to castlerock and down the singletrack.. bombed it. pinned everything, looking where i was going, ie, looking where i wanted to go, and the bike just flowing. nice.

then up road to Greenwood. flew down it, again, bike going exactly where and how i wanted it to. flowy. sweet. then down capt thomas nearly losing it on one of the techy sections, then dabbing at the bottom of the upper of the two ex nemesises,

then the slog back, tail wind tho, which was helpful and faster, and home, ride duration 2.5 hours


then, today. cos it was father's day, pete steve and me rode from sumner 1.30 in the arvo. headed up capt thomas. good haul up there, nice not to have any waits. (spotted a new singletrack (running probably) across the other side of valley... mental note to explore next night ride...). then out godley. stuffed up the first techy, but cleaned the second. then all the rest. rutties out on first downhill were interesting. from breeze col we headed the lower above road route, then back round below, and down anaconda (SMOOTH!, good jumpies). lots of dumbass boyracer action going on over taylors and sumner way... spotted track off taylor's road that said "sumnervale" which to my reckoning will be the trail we'd seen from capt thom... down through nicholson and coffee at dot com... ride duration 2 hours. nice.

both rides on the geared beasty.

Monday, August 27, 2007

sunday night scopesville.

tag-alonged with Otis on saturday, southern loop at bottle lake, were intending on playing in the sand at the beach for a bit but he wasnt keen once we got out there...

sunday, couldnt get out any earlier, so i drove to nelson's and we hit the streets at about 7.45pm. headed straight into cashmere, up dyerspass road, hit the (notso) H.Ell trail to the kiwi... then up road to upper marley's, up the zigzags, down body bag then stealthmode to the new 'dreamtrack' which turns out aint so dreamy afterall, specially not at night... oh, and we decided that it aint a motocross trail, its definately a dh'ers trail... anyway, its pretty wicked, twisty through trees near top, across this clifftop rocky section, then back into the woods. lots of kickers with no run-in so we took pussy routes, and lots of constructed rockgardens that 6 or more inches of travel would soak up, but that hardtails just get eaten on. still rode most of it down, some lovely swoopy sections, found the lower section, which had some wicked (rideable) drops and then some ridiculously wicked (unrideable) ones. scoped out where it might go lower, but it doesnt, but it should. then we headed back up onto the lower section of the 'wallride' trail out to bottom of worsley's, then over to the watertank, down a 'used once or twice' 4wd trail following road down to new subdivisions, then on road down to new westmorland valley park trails, bombed them and then back out. nelson's light was getting pretty orange by the bottom. cross town to his and then home. 10.30 by the time i got home... heesh.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

single track gold.

awesome ride. explorations, discoveries... amazing. so. parked up down near princess margaret hospital. headed up worsley's, but instead of going up road, explored new trails that went undivulged with nelson and my night ride the other week... up where we came down, then down where we went up, then back up that, then on up to the worsley's road. then up to the track... then, where i'd discovered new homebuilt trails up there i thought i'd explore a little further... well... found a motocross trail that is being worked on, followed it to the top, discovered its secret entrance and will ride down it next time, with nelson, and or steve et al.

then headed up body bag, cleaning it, and over marley's to kiwi, up thomsons, down gums, lower cool runnings, across and down washout, and out bottom of valley. excellent ride, mainly cos i'd discovered this dreamy singletrack, even tho i didnt ride up much of it,...

Monday, August 20, 2007

tag-a-longing and proper ride...

saturday and sunday went out to bottle lake with the single speed and Otis (aged 3) and the tag-a-long... google it. anyway, he loves it. the seat is as low as it can go, and he can pedal, and he laughs and chortles the whole way. i go "pedal hard, pedal hard, pedal hard" as we go up hills and we come whooshing down them.. saturday was with dad, who couldnt keep up, and sunday was with mary and gigi who were marginally better. gigi did pretty good in fact... anyway. more of that will definately be on the cards, and the tagalong attachment will be a pretty much permanent fixture on the single from now on...

today, before picking up O from preschool, i parked up in Sumner and headed up Capt Thomas. bit sticky in some places but mostly pretty good. then headed out Godley. my gears working less and less and finally on the last descent to Breeze Col they gave up completely, middle ring, and it dropped down to small cog on back. flew down anaconda, railing all the berms, launching all the jumps. then along the 'anaconda's tail'... at the bottom i checked out my gear cable and it was totally snapped. just as well i had my spare. so, threaded that up and headed up out of taylors, checking out Gigi's rental property in taylors that burned down last thursday... i'd never known which house it was, now i could just tell from the blackened bushes surrounding where it used to be.
good descent down nicholson park and out to the car.

my thumb is still giving me gyp. wearing a neoprene brace now, which is good, but i probably should have strapped it. hurts most on the bumpy downhills gripping the bars and braking...

who knows when my next ride will be. hopefully wednesday, again, before picking up the boy.

new baby disrupting sleep greatly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

first post new baby ride!

welcome to the world my new son, Hugo, brother for Otis. he was born on saturday, so has been hangin' with his mum in the hospital. so, before dinner on sunday up at my folks, i took the bike up and headed out for a spin from theirs. Up through vic park to top. thomsons to kiwi. up road round top of marley's, down flying nun, one close call near kiwi, then on down below dyers, up into vic and back down past the tv tower above the folks and back. bout an hour... good to get out. hand still in plastic braceysplint thing. hurts to ride with it, cos my hand gets crammed into it, feels like bruising...
dunno when the next ride will be.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

explorations, then kennedy's slog - singlists

drove over to nelson's, singlespeed in the back. he'd spotted some new trail whilst out walking, so we went up to have a squiz. its in a valley (whose location i shan't divulge) that's been sitting idle for a long time and i've always wanted/wondered about trails therein... anyway, the council has cut some new track in, so we explored. up up up we rode/walked occasionally, til we reached the top of this valley, us being the first bike treads evident. at the top we discovered trails that have been there a lot longer than this new one, making us wonder if there was secret singletrack lying un-ridden for years, known only to the local walking brigade. anyway, zigged and zagged up this track to a road(that i wont name) and then back down and down to the bottom of the valley again. basically, the newly cut track we went up, we should have gone down, and where we came down, we should have ridden up. we'll do that next time.

then on round the bottom of the hills, found a little more singletrack a long a section of stream that kinda runs through people's front gardens but doesnt, and then on round to Kennedy's. wandered up through park towards bottom of croc. very soggy in there, as always. crocodile is fully shut, “respect the dirt” (dan van asch), so we headed up the backside of the quarry park thru the un-lambed lambing paddocks to the final zigzag onto kennedy's bush road. then up the track. rode lower new tasty, then hit the main track up.

no dinner, getting late, howling cool wind, i walked a lot last night. was running out of steam by 8pm, half way up kennedy's. even nelson walked the top section, legs of titanium needed up there... then round summit road to worsley’s rd, and down Flying Nun/Marleys which i must say is in absolutely MINT condition. its hard packed, no ruts, not even remotely soft, and i only counted one puddle the whole way down to the kiwi.

Then, because nelson’s light was getting orange, mine was starting to fade a bit and my back-up had all but run out, we coasted down the walk track just above the dyer’s pass rd (harry ell?) all the way down to the takahe. then down hackthorne, right into dyers and on down. back to nels's along the lombo around 9.30.

Monday, August 06, 2007

sunday

pissed down all saturday evening, and all night, but sunday morning dawned fresh and clear.

cruised over to Steve's. like a revelation being on the geared switchbacker. fox plushness all the way... met wayne, hubby, tony, pete, steve. toodled through streets to heathcote cut waited on tony with a flat, on to Mt Pleasant Rd, slog up to summit road (not nearly as bad as on the singlespeeds with nelson the other week). turned right, round into the howling southerly and fog/cloud strewn tops. sunny valleys glowing below, spectacular. sticking to the road the whole way. pete, tony and me rode the witch hill section of singletrack. Castle rock and Mt Vernon singletracks were closed. then we headed down Huntsbury Track. gravel not as bad as it has been, fast and a little boring... then cut through to Major Aitken, i pointed out Nelson's section, and down we went, humming down the smooth tarmac. then home before 12...

stilll no baby. due date was the 1st.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

fiiinally... rapaki, road, traverse, thomsons, old dyers. singlespeeds

finally got out last night. singlesped over to Rapaki, hooked up with Nelson, headed up. haarrd work. a few stops for rest. 13 days off the bike due to injury does not a happy singlespeeder make. anyway, nelson pulled away, got past some guys so didnt wanna stop and wait, meanwhile i plodded on. got to the last climb, strong headwind, just starting into it and weight too far forward, back wheel spin, oop, i'm going over, fell left, feet didnt unclip fast enough, smack on my knee and landed left (damaged) hand out. jarred it but didnt tweak sore thumb, but fuark it hurt like hell. considered giving up then and there and heading down, but cos nelson was so far ahead, i had to go, so walked all of that straight, up round corner, then rode the last bit to the gate, struggling... rapaki is full of scour and ruts from all the weather...

vernon trail closed, so headed round road. thick thick fog and strong southerly blowing up on tops, hit Huntsbury gate onto Traverse, spun round there, being careful, greasy, but trail in good nick. nelson had a nice tumble on the rocks just above oldschool bowenvale, then another later, i was ahead at this stage so just caught the first and missed the second. good spin round to vic park, down Thomsons to kiwi, then down Old Dyers Pass Rd. first bit below kiwi with good chip on it is in perfect condition, but then that runs out and its dirt/mud. then creekbed pretty much... man there's been a lot of water up there, and there still is, the trail was running clear water its had so much all the silt has washed away... huge scours and gulches eaten into the 4wd track before the road...

finished off by heading up onto the walktrack above dyers pass rd, and coasting it down to the takahe, then rolling down dyers pass rd to the bottom of hill... then tootled down colombo and home.

oh yeah, night before, took new switchback frame round to nelson's and we pulled the kona townbike to bits and loaded them all onto the new switchy frame...
my whole stable of bikes are Switchbacks now...

Monday, July 23, 2007

no ride weekend...

alas, hand needs to rest. but, here's my leg!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thumbsday night Mcleans singlegraze

a whole week with no riding, crappy weather and other commitments... finally, last night, nelson and me, van, Mcleans island, singlespeeds. drizzly, track in good nick, unchanged if not not as wet as last time was out there the other week, tho a bit splecky in the eye a couple times. first lap was sweet, spun round in good time, taking turns leading, getting to know that track pretty good now, tho some sections still seem to go on longer than i'm expecting.

second lap, decided to ride the trail backwards, as in Wrong way (not as in sitting on the handlebars...) anyway, all good, some corners obviously dont flow as well as they do the right way, but no matter. anyway, nearing the end, chasing nelson, probably 2-300 m from the finish, blazing round this long sweeper, frontwheel starts to slide...oop, i'm going down...i'm down, land on my right side, sliding on my knee and shin, handlebars spin, left hand thumb poking into the ground and sliding bending ...that...doesnt...feel...right... cant...do...anything...about...it... let off a nice swearword as i come to rest, oooshh. sure it was broken, it looked all wrong. picked up the bike, chain off, other than that, no probs. limped final distance back to van, drove on. nearly home i decided the pain was too much and it wasnt right so went to afterhours, check, xray, and cashectomy later i'm strapped and have landed some 75mg diclofenacs for the taking. got home, shower hurt like hell on the leg, then sleeping was tricky cos bandages only fit one of the graze spots.

Friday, July 13, 2007

rode road... to mist mud and muck and a revelation

had a task to do, ie, load a trampoline onto a trailer at the top of Clifton Tce... so, nelson and me vanned with the singlespeeds to McCormacks Bay, rode up Mt Pleasant Rd (relentless, standing, working all the way), entering the drizzly mist about a km from the top, jumped onto the Greenwood singletrack, all spatial references removed by blowing mist and fog, all traction removed by mud and slippery rock, riding along totally lost suddenly i'm at that tree thats around on the eastfacing slopes, whereas i was thinking i was miles further back... we headed down farmtrack to the big pines on Richmond Hill, water and grit flicking high, barely any visibility still in foggy mist, then over road and over stiles down farmtrack, more water and grit to watertank then on down to gate to meet a sign saying "Private Property. Track --> ". so, carried bikes up hill to another stile, which if we'd been able to see anything we would have ridden straight to. then down this wicked singletrack (with several options) beneath old man pine shelter, roots and rocks and mud but fun. ending up on Revelation Drive... quick blast down road to trampoline house, met with Andrew, carried biiig trampoline down off lawn onto trailer, then headed on down the Zig Zag, two lots of steps, the rest tight rideable switchbacks dropping at least 100m alt straight down into Sumner. tootled back to the van all mucky and wet and smiling..

Monday, July 09, 2007

sunday frostbitten muckfest

possibly the hardest frost of the year, so far at least, rode across to steve's just before 9, shins burning with the windchill, hands freezing even in my Chippolatas, and feet going solid even with thermal socks. headed up rapaki, hung a left. any dirt there was on any of the singletracks was sticky and mucky, splecking, flicking, spraying, coating bikes and riders alike. control was marginal, two wheeled steering round bends, glancing off rocks, technical. except the shadiest bit of Greenwood, which was frozen solid like a very grippy concrete, perfect. (we shoulda been riding 2 or 3 hours earlier, and the whole trail would have been frozen solid like that) but this mud, it was just no good. and bad for the trail too. Nick the singletrack ranger will be most unhappy with us...

anyway, castle rock to bridle, not bad going, cleaned first hairpin, section between hairpins was dabby out of control, second hairpin i just had to stop and laugh... rest of it was sweet tho. road to JBritten's, sweet. J Britten's reserve trail was fine, greasy, but fine. then Greenwood, diabolical. still managed to clean most of it, but dabbed in some bits you'd never normally dab. crazy. then we discussed riding down Capt Thomas, but bailed and took the road. cold and fast. T, O and GG happened to be in Sumner, so picked me up. bike needed a damned good wash and lube once home...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wednesday Foggy rapaki - vic, cashmere, hollis

Nelson and me hit Rapaki about 6.30, both on the geared bikes. hard work to the top, neither of us feeling 100%, me cos i'd been up since 5am, full day in wellington (meetings etc), him cos of a cold. and i think the dirt was just a tad soft, coupled with a head wind, made it all difficult. Lots of funky fog up rolling over saddle at top of rapaki and on round first section of Mt Vernon. Decided to give the single track a go, and found it in surprisingly good nick. The summit trail is holding together beautifully, with the stretches of teddington chip hard as nails. There were probably 3 short sections from rapaki to vic park that were mudbaths, only short tho, and the rest of it was sweet, no damage, no harm done. Nick Singletrack the ranger is being very protective with notices on vorb warning us to keep off. I'd be keen to get up there with him and fix those few sections that need it, and then rapaki to vic park would be clean and ready to roll in all conditions. The worst bit was just before top of farmtrack, there's two small gulchy (kinda ex-slips) bits, one of which they filled with good sized rocks not so long ago, that was really bad in there, cos there's never been any tedd chip put in, and the only other standout bad bit I can think of was below sugar loaf, not far round from where we often stop at that sign.

Anyway, got to Vic Park, floated through the pines, then down through the gums, which were in good nick, ie, the trail is soft but we werent cutting it up, and the gum leaves provide exce;;emt binding material and traction (surprisingly). then down the wee singletrack from jumps to 19th Battalion War memorial and on down past the ranger centre, then *ahem* down through the dog park, down the side of the pines above cashmere, riding the roots and trying not to gark our arms on the barbedwire, overlooking bowenvale ave, then down the funky ass singletrack to Longhurst Tce. Cabbage tree leaves also make excellent trail binding material... then we explored a walking track (that was 80% unrideable due to steepness and steps) which connects through a wee reserve into Hollis Ave. yeah, we were a bit spleckled with mud at the end of it, but we did very little damage to the trails because they're holding together very very well.

Monday, July 02, 2007

thursday and sunday singlespins

Thursday night, lift with Pete and Matt, to Taylors, met up with Steve, Tony, Wayne, Andrew, and Nelson. Nelson and me on the singles, headed up new section then round to boulder bay. then up steep (walked), to top, then out to gun emplacement on the end (at top). sat and all imbibed a beer each we'd brought. i had a Wigram Dunkel, which was really tasty. everyone had something different... as we were leaving the gun sites Nelson pinchflatted on a concrete lip, and as he pulled out his back wheel he broke his single-ator, meaning no chain tension, so in the end he pulled off his whole chain and just scooted and rolled all the way back. even like that he was 3rd fastest down Anaconda... brilliant flight down.

Sunday, morning. had been raining all friday into saturday, so we gave the hills a rest and got out to McLeans Island. spun round there on the single too. two laps, about 1 hour. even on the singlespeed i'd get miles ahead, slow and rest til i saw them again then get going again.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

quick tuesday bottle lake - Singly

spun round to Petes, climbed into the TFC van and tony, pete, steve and me headed to bottle lake. spun round the quick loop, no detour out to spencer park. short. no real dramas. popped nice air on my two favourite jumps. singley doing good.



intention is to do godley head, me on single again, tonight... post that tomorrow...

Monday, June 25, 2007

sunday a.m.

crisp frosty start, but was hot by the time i was at Lancaster Park. met Matt at Steve's, no one else was in, we hoofed it up Rapaki, turned right, around summit trail, to Vic, to Kiwi, up road to top of Marley's, bombed it down to Kiwi, back up into vic park, down through gums, Dazza's, macrocarpas below dazza's, round the side, down the k2 washout, out the bottom, home. nice ride. trails were in immaculate condition. i felt headachey and tired, but still managed to bomb it all. fanged the downhills something wicked.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

quick night bottle lake single

Nelson picked me up in the van. out to bottle lake, car park chokka, ah, wednesday night racing... they'd already started so we figured we'd meet them somewhere. headed in, turned right, cruised through to the beach, following the race course for most of that. nelson was tired cos he'd given blood that day, which gave me the edge even tho i was feeling tired from lack of riding. no racers, but evidence of their track, which we avoided, headed in after dump, then around usual trails, popped those jumps nicely, then when we were at the point where you head for Spencer Park we could see the racer's lights nearer the beach, headed through and they were crossing in front of us. i had a low rear tire, so chucked some air in it and nearly everyone in the race said "y'all right?" which was nice.

rather than chasing and having to overtake them all, we headed right and through to Spencer Park, where the rain started lightly. we were hanging around and nelson said "how tight a circle can ya ride" whereupon i turned too tightly and fell over, not clipping out in time. D'OH!

figured time had passed so headed on back. a way's through, before the Macrocarpa dark section there was a racer with a flat, running. chatted a bit and carried on. then told the organisers about him. one of them was WELL keen on my Mary bars... and the other, Tony i think poss. ex of Bike Biz, said 'nice bike'... he's got one too. cool.

Switchback's rule.

Friday, June 15, 2007

quarry poach number 2.

Picked up nelson at nearly 7pm. checked out craig's khs steel 29er singlespeed, fully rigid, made me want one.

anyway, drove out and parked at Halswell that ends well quarry. headed in, up round top of quarry, then up through switchbacks to new slobdivision, then on up kennedy's track to gate, then over singletrack to next gate, then back up kennedy's to original gate, then down singletrack to New Tasty, then croc, back into quarry park, up a left hand steep across and over quarry again, then a couple more little explores and back to car... good ride. nelson had trouble cos he forgot his riding gloves and so was wearing his snowboarding gloves he'd chucked in for the cold.

Monday, June 11, 2007

sunday sumner greenwood godley taylors

to petes, drove to sumner and met up with the massive. Steve, pete, matt, andrew, tony, wayne, plus Anton and a friend of his, and me. up capt thomas, greasy slippy but cleaned lots, up road to top of greenwood. then flew down to evans. only a few dicey dodgey bits. then out godley, down anaconda, steve got a flat, gave him a tube cos his spare went flat too. new section into carpark had been worked on on saturday, and is brilliant. then over scarborough to dot com. mostly good riding. i was hot on andrew's tail all the way down the 'conda. no one else could hold onto us.

Friday, June 08, 2007

rogainers, ThomGreen singlesped

cold night in town, nelson, al and me, van to scumner, nelson and me on singlespeeds, hoofed it up capt thomas, passing the odd group of night time orienteerers, or rogainers as they're called i believe... then up summit rode, nighttime hills lit by little groups of lights roaming. then hit the Greenwood park/Richmond Hill trails from top, bombed it down, wind howling norwest over the tops, blowing us off course on some tacks,and pushing us fast on others. then flying down the lower half. then down capt thomas, cleaned everything, nelson and me absolutely flying. great ride. back home in van, through smog in linwood to mildish norwest nighttime at home.

some time around now, i think prior to this ride, i'd swapped off the wheels from my old (socalled) Schwinn (as seen on the cover of this (thats me by the way)) onto the single... they're Mavic rims, with funky coloured alloy spoke nipples, and are lighter and quicker than the deep V rim i was running on the back, as well as having no deep wear in the braking surfaces.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

sunday long godley

steve's at 9. hubby, andrew, tony, steve, wayne and tony's neighbour Jeff. up rapaki, left, castlerock to bridle, road, single round john britten's, greenwoodpark, evans, godley trail to breeze col, down anaconda, over scarborough, nicholson, dot com too busy, so onwards, steve and me slipstreaming eachother across the causeway, to WAC, then the linwood ave slog for me to supermarket shopping... crisp clear day. warmish norwest. trails in immaculate condition. everybody seemed to ride really well. bombed greenwood to evans, the slats were slick and nearly lost it there, chased and caught some dudes below that. steve had a rocket run down. then the col before breeze i had my fastest smoothest ever. and anaconda, i was chasing a duded on a Cove G-Spot, he was hummin'!, but i was right on his tail. crashed weirdly on the new taylors track that's above the walking track, back wheel dropped into a hole and my knee slammed into the ground hard. WAC has C4 coffee and their food is good value, we'll stop there again i think.

Friday, June 01, 2007

quarry poaching

parked up at halswell quarry gates. rode in, up round top of quarry, grunty wee climbs they are. mark, hubby, steve, pete, tony, matt, wayne and a new friend of tony's, warren, and me. over quarry, to gate, up hill towards houses, round and up grunty zigzags onto new subdivision road, up kennedy's track to singletrack over to gate and back up and then down singletrack. new Tasty bit, awesome, then crocodile down and out. all took turns leading, well, mark, pete and me. pete crashed nicely in the lower pines of croc. then out bottom of croc, left down through wee gulley, up to big picnic field, then up little valley track and back over top of quarry and back. all poached, but all so so good and wickedly fun to ride. the ccc really needs to open that place up as a night riding play ground. have it only open to bikes under the hours of darkness...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

before whitsundays...cleaned the bridlepath...

didnt get a chance to post this before heading off to the Whitsundays... nice break there, cept no riding to be had. only saw one good bike there the whole ten days, it was a S.Cruz superlight i think, obviously a tourist's. all the other bikes i saw were crappy warehouse type bikes - repco's, blade's etc cheap rubbish...

anyway, back on the 19th of May, i had to get Joy's jeep back after borrowing it previously, so, from her place, i rode up bridle path road, up a side track next to the gun club, which joined the Morgan's Valley track, under the gondola, then up the Bridle Path. my first time ever to actually clean it entirely. i stopped for a few rests, but i rode the whole thing. unbelieveable. then, i rode up the singletrack to Castle Rock,

from there headed above the road and down around to the left for a start, then up around to the right, above Cass Bay up to the Tors, on walking tracks, with a few steps, and mostly rideable. i didnt feel bad riding these because a) there was no one else on them, and b) if you saw the damage cattle have done to the trail, there's nothing a mountainbike is gonna do thats worse than that... startled some climbers hanging about below the tors as i descended very slowly lots of steps, a lot of which were unrideable, but with some practice might be.

then, poached the usual craterrim ahem walkway to witch hill, then onto legal summit trail to top of rapaki, and bombed down rapaki.
nice ride all up, nearly all singletrack off road. nice..

oh, i'd fixed my pedal before hand too. and i got my pedal back from whworralls for the singlespeed too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Third time to Taylors in a week...

Quick ride last night. round to Pete's. matt, him and me drove out to Taylors, met up with Steve and Tony. grunted up Anaconda, out the trail below the road, i flew it, the wheel eater's been taken care of (in 5 days). then headed up the hill to the 'secret' trail. 2/3rds way up, my right hand pedal blew off. and the lock nut had unwound and the bearing was toasted, due to lateral load, blown into lots of little shards and bits... item #4 reasons not to have Crankbrothers pedals... anyway. fished the locknut out of the endcap, slid the pedal back on, did up the locknut and was able to pedal carefully, exerting pressure to keep the pedal pushed in towards the crank as much as possible. anyway, continued down 'secret' trail back to Breeze col. Steve and tony had ridden back round the lower singletrack rather than over the 'secret' trail, and due to pete, matt and my pedal delay, the others had ridden up some of the rest of the main trail, and were coming down towards us as we arrived. Steve had run over a rabbit. Tony's light was a very very dim orange... it was practically out by the time he got to us, and from then on he had to follow Steve down. so, not a huge ride at all. Fricking pedals... i'm untrusting of them all now. i'm always gonna be afraid that my mallets are gonna snap a spindle, and now this eggbeater issue. next one to go will be the left hand eggbeater spindle again, i bet.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Capt Thomas - Godley squared, Thursday AND Saturday

Thursday night, 6.30ish- Nelson picked me up and we vanned out to Slumner. Rode up Capt Thomas, cleaning way more than usual. Spotted some riders ahead, by the lights, nearly on them by Evans. Once there, they were down on the road, and we stopped for rest at top of Thomas. waited til they rolled off. gave them a bit of space and then headed out Godley after them. caught the first of them just past the first techy rocky section, and took the rest of them before the top of that first climbing section, before where it opens up. never saw them again. bombed the trails, which were in excellent condition and most fun. the descent to the first saddle was hairy, with contrast very difficult, due to rock, dirt and dust all being the same colour. good next climb and then a wicked blitz down to breeze col. next up, headed round singletrack below the road, to the godley carpark. first time we'd ridden that trail that direction for a long time, was sweet, cept for a hunka tunnel erosion that's blown out, i just spotted it in time, popped it, but nelson blazed through it. then up the hill back towards Breeze but left out to the walktrack. nearly all downhill, beautifully carved into the hill, cliffs below, view into lyttelton, awesome. back to breeze, then down Anaconda, flying, and then right, and around walk track to Boulder Bay and back, then back up out of taylors, down nicholson, to van.

Saturday, 9ish, round to petes, out to sumner again. parked up and stopped for coffee @ dotcom, cos tony'd forgotten his helmet and had gone from steve's to get it, meanwhile steve rode out and had time for a coffee too. once tony arrived we all hit capt thomas. tony had chain issues, ie, it broke. they repaired it, i tuned it or it would have broken again, and off we went. cleaned heaps again. then out godley, cleaned neeaarrlly all of the first techy section. blitzed the rest. bombed it all awesomely. running short on time cos of initial slowdowns, so headed straight down Anaconda. over scarborough, nicholson, popped some sweet air on the garage lips down from the lowest scarborough hairpin. back to dotcom, more coffeeeee...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

d'oh, Happy birthday SWTCHBCKR

This blog is 2 years old as of the 5th of May. happy birthday my blog...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thursday single, Sunday solo.

Thursday Night got out on the single, it'd been wet all week and i didnt have much time, so i just spun across town and blasted up rapaki, up summit road and down farm track. good spin. greasy and slow and careful down farmtrack. went off piste on lower section, followed some grassy sheep trails through the tussocks which was cool, but then found myself on a sheep highway, which was a rut and really really greasy, nearly lost the front end, saved it, kept going...

Sunday morning, on my own, with soundtrack of New Flesh, Distance, little bits of Pavement, Prefuse73 and Kitsune Maison, cruised across town, up Worsley's, over marleys to kiwi, back up road and down new Gov's Bay trail, not all the way down tho, back up it, which i walked a bit of, then back down to kiwi, up thomsons, down through vic, gums, all of Cool Runnings, usual out and down and through. home. excellent. beautiful warm day, tryed out my new NZo top with the trike. cooool.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

mucky tuesday, broken pedal AGAIN

'sbeen wet most of the week. had to remain horizontal on sunday due to a world of beers on saturday,

so nelson picked me up last night in his truck, with singlespeeds we ventured to Bottle Lake, light spit from the sky... about 5 minutes in my fricking left hand pedal (mallet) BROKE AGAIN! so i limped back and we headed back to my place where i grabbed the geared switchback and changed shoes. he saw matt heading for the forest when we were driving home, and when we got back there, there was Pete and Graeme and Matt, so we had some more riding buddies... i stuck the geared machine into the 32:16 and stuck to it the whole way. little bit of chain suck, cos it was well mucky out there.

we rode right, to top of hill lookout thing, then back down that round the backside of the landfill, then back in to the pond/lake thing, then back on the normal trails round out to Spencerpark, and back through to Waitikiri. nelson had an amazing near crash just before s'park, he did an entire 180 no brakes no carnage... sounded like front wheel lost it, back wheel lost it more and spun right round in front of him... wicked tire marks on the trail. anyway, mucky and fun, cept for the fricking pedal... will change cleats on my old spec. shoes and put the old spd's on the singley

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tuesday night dustbowl...

met at steve's: Steve, Pete, Andrew, Matt, Nelson and me. up rapaki, right. along traverse, down through gums, all of cool runnings, and out. nelson and me leading along summit. matt with an LED set up that fits in the halogen socket, good light for climbing, but no good at speed. i gotta look into one methinkks. nelson had a good spill along that new section above the trees before K2/washout. from behind it looked like he'd gone head first into a tree. i rode the washout drop.. all good. dusty.

Monday, April 23, 2007

sunday funday

met at steve's usual time sunday a.m. Matt, Tony, Steve, myself, and a newby - friend of Matts, Grant, on a new XLT jamis, same as Tony. headed up rapaki, misty and very very slightly drizzly. just cruised. then along summit trail towards kiwi. thompsons, kiwi, up road to lower marleys. nothing too slick or greasy. then down dyers pass trail, up over to lower cool runnings and out. home by 11.50. nice ride. mellow. felt good the whole way cos was never pushing it too hard.

Friday, April 20, 2007

witness the fitness...

excellent ride tuesday night... singlesped across to Steve's. Andrew and Hubby headed off ahead while i waited for Nelson who was running a little late, also on singlespeed. we caught them just after the first gate on rapaki. huge clusterfuck of bikes riding up rapaki road, so we had some people to stay ahead of once we'd passed them down there... kept seeing their lights in the distance behind us as we were climbing. most of the way up we didnt use lights, there being enough diffuse light from the city reflected off the cloud cover. made good time up rapaki, only a couple of rests, man its hard work on the single, using a totally different set of muscles to geared cycling, my forearms and chest taking a heavy load due to the standing, leaning forward cranking. also, the muscles in the lower torso, bracing the whole body against the torque of the legs on each revolution. anyway, topped out, then hit the singletrack, lights on. cleaned the whole lower section, walked the little steep bit above the top of farmtrack, then the first hairpin above that, rode the rest. then the real fun began. me in the lead, flying round the traverse track to vic park, down through the gums to the skidder jump area. A and H headed for the lower section of Cool Runnings, and nelson and me went to the top of it, met them where it crosses, and continued on down. mint condition, funtimes descending, then into the valley and on round the side. instead of dropping down any of the first tracks through those pines, nelson and me continued along the top of the pines, me dropping down sooner, but him continuing all the way til he dropped straight into the 'wash-out' (which isnt so washed out anymore) at the bottom of K2... then we all regrouped and bombed it down the valley, with Hubbster getting a snakebite flat on the rocks just past the slippery cattlestop. good tail wind home after that.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hanmer 12 Hr race.

AWESOME. one word sums it up. team mates were Clare and Eric from nightlightning, plus a friend of theirs Dale, and (i think, another ring in) Kathy (who featured in Feb06's Spoke magazine). Nice people to meet. and we were all a pretty well matched team i thought. in the Mixed category. looks like we got 4th. My lap times ranged consistently between 26 and 29 mins. our team polished off 23 laps all up. Eric and Clare did 4 laps each, and us other three did 5. All up there were apparently 755 competitors, in 126 teams, and 26 12hr soloists, and 30 6hr soloists... i ended up only taking the geared switchy.

Here's the course description, extracted from the organisers website

From Startpoint...
Turn right onto Pawsons Rd (shingle road), Left onto Camp Track (4WD), Left onto McIntyres Road (shingle road), Follow McIntyres Rd all the way up - it will then become Mullans Road(shingle road & dead end), Turn right onto Fir Trail & then Natures Trail (single track), Come off Natures Trail & cross back over McIntyres Road & Onto Dog Stream (single/4WD/single track), At the end of Dog Stream turn right onto Red Rock Track (single track), Quarter of the way up Red Rock turn left which will take you into a skidder site & then right to take you onto Pawsons Rd., Ride along Pawsons Rd & turn right onto Timberlands Trail (single track), Left off Timberlands Trail, cross back over Pawsons Road onto Majuba Track (single track) then left back into the Horse Paddock.

I took the first lap, managed to squeeze my way up to near the front third of the field for the start (looked at my watch, 10.08), but as is usual with these events, everybody gets spaced into their relative positions pretty quick. started off with a 4wdish softish dirt track up to Pawson's Rd, where it descended, around to the Camp Track, a widish singletrack (ie, a few passing spots), across to MacIntosh's Rd, where everybody really juggled into the appropriate positions... good steady easy climb up MacIntosh's Rd, then around up steeper (middle ring, 2nd or 3rd down on back) climb up to the first real singletrack - the Fir Trail, this drops and climbs in dark fir forest, with some sweet rooty sections, twisting and turning through til the Nature trail which climbs up one side of a creek, easy going, sweeeet trail, then descends the other side, the odd rocky rooty bit ready to pitch you off into the creek (as far as i know, no body did tho), then across MacIntoshes, down across DogStream and onto the DogStream track, wide track, good down hill fast, for passing too, then it veers up onto another singletrack again, with only the odd place for passing, then hard right up a rooty steep section (middle ring, biggest on back), hopping and popping up the roots, this bit blew so many people out, including me twice because of someone else losing it infront of me. then left and down to Pawson's again, fast bit there, wide for passing, then another rooty but wide climb followed by the home straight, ish, which swept through open trees round to the timer station, make sure your transponder beeeps, then down, round, up, round and changeover. from changeover went down round, up, round, down, round, down, then final left round out to the original startline to do it all again...

My first lap got stalled up behind quite a few people in the more techy sections.
Second lap, good flow, passing well, but then got behind a guy near the bottom of the course who was slower than me on anything technical, or downhill, but when i went to take him on the road bit he bloody pedalled harder and kept ahead, and i didnt wanna blow it on the next climb, so i buttoned off and stayed behind him, but i was thinking "Prick", especially as he was making me ride slower than i would have if i'd been ahead, so i definately wouldnt have been holding him up... bah.
Third lap, i think was my best, had it wide open and clear on nearly all the track, no one really slowing me down at all that i can remember. i think it was this lap that a faster dude caught me up before the road crossing, so i let him by and then tailed him all the way down the fast Dogstream section, but then we got bailed up behind a long string of slowbos, (exchanging a couple of jokes about them being so slow), and then on the rooty uphill a whole bunch of them lost it, he took off, and i jumped off and ran like mad past them all, getting through quick. it was a great lap bar that bit.
4th lap, first lap with light (kindly borrowed off Nightlightning, a beautiful Lithium Ion battery (660grams 16.8volt 7odd amphour) powering a basic 20watt halogen (making it as bright as my usual 35), which wasnt really needed except for a couple of darker sections in the forest... was another good time, especially cos i tucked in behind a guy i know, Daryl, who was on the winning team, on the road section, drafting him all the way up the road, and i kept him in my sights all the way up Mullans to the Fir Trail (where he totally lost me), with only one or two holds ups.
my 5th lap, fully dark, was a scorcher. i honked it, i think cos i knew that it was my last. hardly anybody in my way, all of them moved over quickly to let me pass. had one wee incident with a guy in the middle of the track messing with his chain, i said "can you get out of the way?" and he took offence (probably cos i didnt say please) and said something like "cool it!" and then "i'll probably pass you on the downhill anyway"... to which i replied "that'll be nice"... anyway, he DIDN'T! Ha! no one was gonna take me on that lap, i was hauling! rode every bit of the rooty section, passing people in the process, then cleaned it out. not having gone any slower in the dark than in the light...

Here's me towards the bottom of Dog Stream just before the corner leading up into the Red Rocks trail...

Longest post yet? anyway. a damned good day, finishing with me winning a wicked spot prize, a whole outfit - roughly $375 worth of GroundEffect gear... ankle-biters socks, a cadence top (blue), these chipolatas winter gloves, pair of montezuma shorts, and something i've always wanted, a submerino top (in orange)... choice!

Friday, April 13, 2007

chilly, windy, dusk, to sumner

left home at 5.25pmish, thursday, cos i thought that www.nzride.com film The Pusher 2 was sposed to be on at the Hollywood, and was gonna meet Nelson and his lady out there by 7.15... cross town, up rapaki, made good time up there, passed a every other biker. then left, along summit trail, road, turned on light at castle rock, it felt really dim, cos it was just on dusk, too dark to see without it but kinda still too light to see properly with it... anyway, onto the road again, to be passed by some kid on a mtnbike before the Gondola, then just after the gondola by a roadie... skipped the JohnBritten Reserve section of singletrack, cos i wanted to make some time, and then hit the top of Greenwood park. i might mention here that it was a cold blowy southerly, had rained a lot overnight, but been fine all day. so, Greenwood park trail was in good nick, the workparty work done the other weekend (by steve etal) had created lots of good drainage spots, so was a good cruise down to evans, with only an occasional greasy bit, caution was used on the rocky sections too.

Then, onto the Capt Thomas... two riders coming up, both got out of my way, which they didnt have to, but neither of them returned my 'gudday', rude bastards. anywho, cruised down capt thom and nearly lost it on the very first of the rocky technicals, which blew me for the next one, the trail was wet and greasy, the two 'nemesises' i walked, due to the greasiness. then further down on the flat (usually) fast bit i was all over the show, but cleaned the two rocky bits before the bridge, and then in the lower sections i got a few blasts of speed, (altho blinded in one eye by mud) and ended up out the bottom splattered head to toe, almost wishing i'd ridden the road from Evans...

met nelson and trudes at Hollywood to be told they knew nothing about it... went to Dot Com and looked online. they'd not posted to the mtnbike.co.nz forums, but we found on nzride.com that it was postponed cos it wasnt finished yet!!! that is just plain slack. if you're gonna advertise an event as being at a location on a certain day, and then can it, the least you could do is tell the location, AND update the notice at all the places online that you advertised!!!! SLACKERS

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter: Good Friday Eve SS, and Easter Monday

so, Thursday night, drove across and parked in Buxton Ave, with the singlespeed, headed around to and up Rapaki, then right along summit trail, and down through vic park. met a guy top of Vic on a bike same as Nelson's. talked a bit. was the only other rider i saw out there. it was like a friday night, cos of good friday, so there were heaps of hoons on the summit road... this dude followed me down through gums and then Dazza's and onward into gulley, and out. his light was dying by the time we were down in bottom of valley.

Yesterday, Easter Monday, got out about 3. rode geared switchie across to rapaki, and up, along summit, to kiwi, up road to top of marleys, down flying nun, dyers, up into vic, down to lower section of cool runnings, which was greasy, lost it slightly in 'the darkness', continued out and down, and home... good spin. excellent soundtrack, with some absolutely stunning moments of build up and crescendo in apt places, music fitting the trail perfectly. battery died on mp3 player just as i was riding down Bowenvale Ave. so that was good timing too.

Trying to get all this in as training for the 12_hour race i'm in on Saturday. i'm on team nightlightning. so, hopefully i'll manage one more singlespeed ride before the event. i'm thinking of taking both bikes up, so i've got the singley as a back up if there's a mechanical on geary.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

hot saturday afternoon..Pleasant, Greenwood, Thomas

back from my work trip to fiordland, 11 hrs in the car on friday. nice to be home. managed to get a small ride in the Eglington, moslty on the road, but included a little bit of singletrack from Deer Flat.

O had a kiddies birthday party in the afternoon in Heathcote valley park, so they dropped me in Ferrymead, i headed around to mcCormacks bay, and up the singletrack in the valley. mostly climbable, it is very steep in a couple of spots, including the switchbacks at the top. granny gear. walking. then onto Mt Pleasant Rd, and up to summit, hot hot hot norwest day. really takes it out of you. fighting a little bit of a cold too, which never helps.

anyway, peaked, and got onto the singletrack, Greenwood Park, which had seen some maintenance that day, Steve and Wayne had helped... BOMBED down the downhill, the wind was difficult on the north bearing stretches, but once over the brow it was sweet. felt like i was riding very nicely. as i was coming down the rocky bit from where those trees are, i saw a group of 4 take off on the lower section... that made me speed up and i chased... took the first girl just after the cattlestop fence gap, then the second where Nelson crashed last ride. the other two were better riders and i was just gaining on them at the bottom... they stopped to wait for the other two and i carried on down Capt Thomas. Cleaned every inch of it. including the little climby bit after the two old nemesis's, not a single dab. beautiful flow.

then round road back to Heathcote Valley. head wind round the headland by Shag Rock was so strong a cyclist ahead of me got off to walk, i was almost stopped. then he drafted me, we chatted a bit, he was hammered, had done the full Crater Rim race route and was rooted. across the causeway was insane, i've never ridden it so hard. once in the valley tho, it was sweet, didnt seem nearly so strong.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

wednesday night... thomas and richmond

nelson picked me up in the van at 7. we cruised to Slumner and hit Capt Thomas. try as i might, my new LED light was too focussed to light up the trail well enough. it'll be fine for ascending Rapaki, or probably even Worsley's, but its just too tight for singletrack. so, burning a fair bit of the 35W i could see good. think i might consider carrying the 20watt for these sorts of occasions...

anyway, good ride up, cleaned a fair bit, blew a couple bits too. then just near the top, the lollies i'd scoffed on the way home from the supermarket with T earlier gave me a coldsweat weakness inducing sugar crash... i was dying the last few hundred metres. anyway, had some OSM (those things are great!) and softdried banana and choc-coffee beans and dates and we set off up the road for the top of Pleasant... not bad going up the road, only a couple of cars, and one helluva headwind.

from the top, i led the way, tail wind blowing us along. takes a bit to get used to the lack of surface definition and limited field of view that lights-riding does for ya. numerous occasions the edge of the trail rutt caught us, or rocks that you couldnt see properly would grab ya. but the Vanilla forks are doing their job and making my riding smooooooth. was a fast and fun descent. nelson had a good bail, he said following me he couldnt see shit cos of the dust, so was giving me plenty of room. so this one bit, near the bottom he was on my tail and missed a rock, ie didnt see it, and stopped dead, then toppled, unable to clip out, ending up upside down down the steep bank. all i heard was him gaining on me, a little bit of a clatter and then nothing... i stopped further up and there was no sign of him... anyway, nothing major, slight knee scrape and a rotor zing he was annoyed about.

then on down Capt Thomas. bombed it, cleaned it all, nearly took out a hedgehog, then most of the way down, a possum. nelson got the possum with his back wheel, it scarpered through a fence and down a hill after i'd nearly hit it too.

by the bottom nelson's rotor zing was more of a scritch scritch scritch... something not sounding right there. he'll investigate in the light.

Monday, March 19, 2007

a whole week to a nearly non-starter sunday

woke up to rain, so we called off the intended 9.15 at Sumner meet, and decided that as Matt and Tony were both looking for new bikes we'd meet at 10 at C1 and then proceed to raid the bikeshops... i had Otis, who had his first ever 'fluffy', and a marshmallow and a small chocolate fish (which came back to bite me on the ass later with him acting like a 'normal' kid, ie, a little shit, from the sugar crash). anyway, the rain cleared entirely just after 9 and we would have been fine riding, but thems the breaks. (alas, Matt had seen the 6am and not having a synoptic forecasting background suggested to steve to call it off...at 9 i jumped onto the weather radar, and if i'd seen the 6am radar earlier i would have said that it was gonna clear, and then the 9am reading was dead obvious!) too bad. anyway, after the boys i went to Yum Cha with Tra'y and Cas and O at the Foo San, and whilst there it rumbled thunder and flashed lightning and rained and hailed and passed, then to T's G.ma's and it blew like hell while we were there, was a helluva system.

anyway, on with the riding. had to inflate front tire, was very low, then i biked over to Derek(from work)'s place into a strong headwind. we proceeded to, and up, worsleys, which wasnt too bad. he keeps a good pace, so we got up pretty quick. some 4x4 drivers not far below the body bag. i blew out on the top section, just didnt have the steam i needed. i think cos of tiredness and the lack of carbs in a yum cha meal... anyway, topped marleys, where i changed my front tube, finding a nasty wood spike (gorse or barberry (from last sunday's)) in the tire. then down down down. track condition perfect, no dust, just damped down enough. Derek asking for downhilling tips, as i was leaving him behind the way he would leave me behind on an uphill. to the kiwi, sweet runnings, some fun new design on the lower sections of the 'nun. then we toodled back up the summit and down the 'new' section of track into Gov's bay, then up road, up summit top of vic, down through gums, down to the lower section of Cool Runnings, then out. good ride. tho, i was in trouble for saying i'd only be 2 hours and nearly taking 3...

glad to get out, a week off the trails is bad.

Monday, March 12, 2007

sunday, out of fog and an overgrown return...

had to deliver my dad's car back after borrowing it for saturday, so drove up with bike and told the boy's (turned out to be Steve, Tony, Andrew and Matt) i'd meet them at top of rapaki. from my folks (top of Cashmere ~200m alt), headed up through fogginess into vic park, up the main fireroad from the skidder/jump site out of the fog into glorious sunshine, then along the singletrack traverse, feeling good. then crossed the road, and up round and down the Mt Vernon singletrack to the top of rapaki, flew it, was all good except for one deadstop on some rocks. waited a bit, fog coming and going a bit.

no sign of the boys, so headed round the Witch hill singletrack to the highest point and then turned back. still no boys, so figured what the hell, and bombed down rapaki. met them on the flat section, and headed back up, feeling really fresh, well warmed up but with heaps of energy.

we turned right, and headed up the road past Farmtrack up to where the singletrack crosses, then took it back to top of rapaki (my 2nd time that day), then on round the singletrack below Witch hill, then up to Castlerock, down to Bridle Path, hummin'!, then for a bit of a break in the shade of the stone shelter. then down Bridlepath and along the farm track above the motorway (see this when we rode it May last year). beautiful flowing ride along the farmtracks, but where it entered the scrub near the tanks it got nasty. Fennel, broom, bit of gorse, bit of barberry, all scraping and scratching at our arms and bars. lots of it unrideable now. needs major work... shame tho, cos it was a great spin last year... then across the motorway, and had to drop into some people's yard, then down Martindales, under railway, past Ferrymead, then round the devils elbow section of the river... and back to steves for muffins and boston bun and coffee, then home for a nice rest.

beautiful day, a fair few miles, lots of laughing and smiles in the overgrown trail.

Friday, March 09, 2007

SS Tuesday Forest

We all assembled at Pete's, Nelson had his van, loaded it with bikes, bodies in Pete's car and me and nels in van. we both had the singlespeeds (and i'd put my 42tooth on front again, to even up the odds against nelson's strength), out to bottle lake, parked up unloaded all the bikes. then spun, out to the right, crossed paths with Mark Hubby Lung and a couple others going other way, out to the beach, along, back in, then north to Spencerpark on usual tracks, bit of a break there, then back thru to waitikiri carpark. steve left S.Park ahead of us, i took off maybe 5 minutes after him thinking i'd catch him eventually, then realised a ways in the others werent following. so, i waited, and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited, with quite a few people (all male, on mostly crap bikes) riding past me, then finally the others showed up. from then on, it was a race, nelson and me out front, trying to get past all these plebs riding through the forest so damned slow... none of them had the sense to pull over or take the slower routes... some of them really pissed us off. but we passed heaps of them, crazy fast... man people can be slow.

people dont seem to realise that riding along slowly isnt gonna make them fit. they gotta push themselves harder.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Craigieburn Luge Dracophyllum Cheeseman Taboggan shute

early early sunday morning, 6.30 to be precise, i lumbered my gear across town to opposite my old highschool on Memorial Ave... jumped in a car with a guy from work Harry, and headed out of town. One other, a guy called Al, was in the car, and another car with three others (Paul, John? and ??) were also travelling... out to Craigieburn. Stopped and put mine and Harry's bikes on Paul's car, left Harry's at the Cheeseman gate, then continued on to the Craigieburn Rd. parked up.

kitted up, and started riding. nice clear sunny day. beautiful conditions, hasnt rained up there for quite a while, so the tracks were dry dry dry... Headed up (granny ring) to Lindon Saddle, beech forest singletrack, the best..., 830m odd to 1140m or so, then "the Luge", descent, beautiful, rooty, twisty, fun, down down down as much alt as previously gained. then up (middle ring) Broken River access road to top (~950) of Dracophyllum Flat track, flat tack down that, even better, more open, faster, with pops and dips, one very close call with a tree, i was heading right for it, but braked and leant with finesse avoiding it beautifully. then it turns hard right and down the side of a steep gulley, gotta get the speed riiiight off as there's a very loose section right at the top that would shoot you out into air air air then trees trees trees... awesome wee descent down to 'the' Broken River (at 800m contour) with a log bridge (dont think you'd wanna ride it). then gnarley steep, granny ring, wee climb out up to Dracophyllum Flat... nice wee blast across this, and into more forest, through a clearing or two. the track would be hard for the untrained eye to find in this bit altho there is the odd marker about (more than last time apparently), then into forest again, across a stream (Cuckoo Creek) and up up up a nasty wee granny gear climb (800m to 920m) that blew me juuust before the top. then across the edge of the bush and clearing to the Ice Skating rinks below Cheeseman.

then we went up the Cheeseman access Rd to the "middle hut", climbing from 950 to 1300m. dunno how long it took, but it was solid, much of it was in the lowest granny possible, to the point where i was going numb in my feet and bits of my legs, just from the slow solid spin spin spin grind grind grind... then a traverse followed, across an old track line, minding out careful like for the Spaniards... then an off piste descent across trackless (follow the cairns) tussock and daisy strewn landscape, down a ridge, and into the bush, where the track hung a right, and down... steep as they come, ass nearly on the back wheel, just holding on... managed not to skid much, the taboggan track, one hunk in the middle unrideable, almost difficult to even walk down with the bike, but the last bit down to the road was wicked, then below the road it continues down to the Ice skating rink, steep and shutey. nice. then we coasted and sped down the access road out to Harry's car... probably about 3 hours riding. over a kilometre of altitude climbed, with about 1200m of descending over roughly 25kms...

home in time for Fat Freddy's Drop at the Cheap as Chips gig... nice.

Eventually, there's gonna be a connector through from Cheeseman road to Castle Hill Village. i cant wait for that, and the opportunity to get a group together, get a bach in the village, go up early, ride right through to craigieburn skifield and back most of a day probably, then party up for the evening. nice.

Friday, March 02, 2007

first night ride... McLeans

The other night i pulled my double-light apart and made it into two singles, one 35 watt IRC (50w equiv.) and one a 20watt IRC (35w equiv.). so, last night Nelson and me headed out in his van to McLeans island around 8. both of us had our singlespeeds. we hit the trail around 8.30. dunno how many kms a lap is, but we spun round the track for 3 loops. sun was just set as we started out, did most of the first lap without lights on, moon rising about 3/4s. i stopped to pump up back tire after first lap, cos it was washing all over the place. spun fast all the way. in the second lap i discovered that following really close behind him i got a good slipstream happening, letting me pedal less. from then on we took turns at leading... the open section has some awesome flow to it, lots of bits with beautiful flow, and other bits that are just a tad boring... was heaps of fun. smooth fast track. headed out the gate about 10.30, sposed to close at 10, but the security guy was just locking up when we were loading the van. so. each lap probably 35 or so mins, i'm sure the first was faster, and the last was slowest... had quite a few short breaks all through. nelson's chain popped off a few times.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"have you ridden this track?"

Nelson Tony Andrew Matt and me assembled at Steve's at 6ish. Steve was out cos he's still got the lurgy that cut him on sunday. we headed across to the bottom of Bowenvale. up the valley, up K2 and the Nationals DH course (always fun riding UP DOWNhill tracks). pretty much cleaned the whole lot. a couple of small dabs here or there. from Skidder site we headed towards Cool Runnings, but took a right instead of left, and headed up up up, crossing the Nats course on each of the zigs and zags, walked the gnarley bit from one of the corners... then over thomsons to kiwi. huge group of riders where flying nun pops up. then we went up road from kiwi intending on doing lower flyingnun til nelson said, "have you ridden this track?"... we hadnt. it goes from part way up that road section, sorta through a small saddle over towards Gov's bay. bombs down over rocky sections, big drops to the side, then a whole heap of bermed switchbacks down to one of the big hairpin bends on the Dyers Pass rd. when we all got to bottom, a few riders from the big group showed up. they headed back up this track, but we headed back up road to kiwi. Tony peeled off home, we went back up summit rd to top of vic, down through gums, then down cool runnings, and out. met up with the fellow new singletrack riders several more times, top of vic, halfway through cool runnings, bottom of cool runnings, bottom of k2, then when matt was fixing a flat after stream crossing (just after slideways sheepstop).
awesome riding. great amount of climbing, and downhills.
rained on all the way across town home. soaking when i got home.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

piked on... SS Bottle Lake

everybody else cancelled for Sunday morning. steve cos of head lurgy, others for other reasons including being on the coast and the Sound of Thunder...

took the singlespeed out to bottle lake. left home about 9. headed round river, then round Banks ave singletracks, then across Burwood park to Horseshoe lake reserve, rode the walk track through to Lake Terrace, then through to the Bottle Lake. headed in, turned right, through, up over, out to beach, along then back in all the way into the pond and then back out and north all the way up to Spencerpark. then all the way back, normal paths. then home at 10.50. Battery on mp3 player ran out 3/4ths way round. sound track was a good mix of Milanese, Pavement, Prefuse73

good spin. legs and core felt good all the way. wiped me a bit for rest of day tho. although, Yum Cha and a Sarsparilla helped that a bit, later on.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

TWUNCK!...brubrubrubrubrubrubrubrub

very limited time, so singlespeed hoon round bottle lake... spin spin spin across town to the forest, bit of a hammy stretch and seat up a few mm then in i went. all good, back wheel feeling a bit flexy in places, but mostly good, then nearly half way through, TWUCK! brubrubrubruubbb... broken spoke, rear wheel, non driveside. no spoke tool (i really must get a lightweight one today) to retune the wheel, and it was rubbing badly on the frame, really out of whack. so, rang T, cos she had a seminar thing at 7, and there was no way i was gonna be home in time for her to go, and said come get me, and i kept riding the rest of the way out. one long road shortcut to a later section of trail and out, brubrubrubrubrubrubrubrubrubrubrubrub all the way, sometimes bruuubbbrrruuuubbb up bits and brbrbrbrbrbrbrbr down bits.

later in evening i went to fix the spoke, (i bought a few spares last time i broke one), and got the new spoke in, had the wheel almost true, and then noticed that around one spoke nipple there was major crackage in the rim... toast i figure. so, grabbed the spare townbike (Deep V) wheel from the garage and set it up. its gonna be a bit more solid i hope. still need to get into its bearings, maybe a new cone and balls and grease... one of these days i'll get a SS specific wheel.