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


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.

Monday, February 19, 2007

sunday morning, day after Craterrim

Finally got Steve down the oldschool Bowenvale... We drove to Tony's, rode to bottom of Crocodile and up it. then up Kennedy's, following in the footsteps of the CraterRim race of the day before. Nice, cos 300 odd riders had cleaned up the trail a bit, getting rid of loose rocks on the steeper bits near the top... anyway, cleaned the whole of Kennedy's in middle ring, which is a first for a while. then along summit road, up Marley's over Flying num, HUMMIN'! it down to Kiwi, nabbed some sunscreen from there, then on up road, i did first section of Thomsons (no one else did), then up road to top of Vic. then round summit trail, again, HUMMIN it, then down oldschool. i cleaned every single line i took, pete may have, none of the others were game, but then, they're not used to it, cos they dont ride it often enough... then out and i piked home while they all went to tony's for coffee.

Friday, February 16, 2007

new track... shhhhh

Wicked ride Wednesday night, that included a couple of trails of dubious legality... Went up farmtrack (why oh why do I punish myself like that), then turned right on the single track and rode to highest point (hundreds of plebs up there training for the Rim race). Then turned around and headed back down towards Rapaki, getting a bit baulked on a few of the rocky sections, which annoyed me, didnt seem to be going fast enough down there.., bypassed the top of Rapaki, continuing on around the singletrack below Rapaki Rock, then on up summit road, down Castlerock to Bridle (chasing a guy who was obviously training for the Crater Rim - racer boy). Bridle to John Britten Reserve, then bombed down through it (fun track, too bad its not legal) to top of Major Hornbrook, down to Mt Pleasant Rd and I found my valley track… it starts off switchbacking down the side of the hill, some steps right at the top, but none following them, and then it just shoots beautifully down the valley, some fun and techy bits, but mostly just smooth sailing, not a soul on it. Near the bottom, i thought i'd taken a wrong turn, so headed back a little to this track that had loads of steps down through these pines, then down the side of a bunch of houses, but i reckon the proper connector that spits you out down in McCormacks Bay should be accessible to about where i turned back… Anyway, I was saying to Steve the other night how I thought it might be a good climber, but having come down it i think its probably a wee bit steep in places, and then you dont end up that high up Mt Pleasant Rd, which on its own is much easier. But, I’ll give it a go some time, just for interest’s sake. And there’s heaps of side tracks that zig and zag off it up to different parts of the hill suburbs…

Monday, February 12, 2007

soggy sunday

misty drizzle greeted us at Sumner. Headed up Capt Thomas, with the rocks slick from the moisture and the dirt just damp enough to stick to the tires a bit, but not too badly. good ride most of the way up. then headed out godley. very tricky on the rockier sections, but good riding most of the way. flew down the downs to the first of the cols, where Pete got a flat so we sheltered under a rock as the rain got heavier there... next section was good to Breeze col and weather lightened up a bit so we continued out to the end, then back round the single below the road to the col again, then down Anaconda, which was sweet. i chased Pete down and was pretty steady with him, then we all sidled along on the newly mown trail that skirts above the walking track but is unrideable mostly for now, extremely off camber. then a mellow climb out of Taylors and down through Nicholson. caught excellent air off the little boatshed/garages on across from Scarborough slipway. coffee at dotcom.

Forks spectacular. loving every minute of riding with them

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

climbing and descending. RapCastleBridleCastleCraterRimVernonOldskool

Met nelson at bottom of rapaki. Steve and others all piked to spin round McLeans Island, >yawn<. so, we went up Rapaki, turned left round summit track, all the way to top of Bridle Path, very hard work keeping on track in the howling easterly wind, it was insane, making us dab numerous times we absolutely shouldn’t have. Then turned around and rode back up the bridle to castle rock track, very nice climb, surprisingly easy except for the very last 10 metres or so before the top. Then down the road to the walking track on the Cass Bay valley head, that’s a great track from that direction, and when dry and with no walkers, I think is a totally viable option for biking (i think the fact that its private land is one of the main reasons its not legal). Then bumped into Mark below Rapaki Rock on the singletrack, chatted with him a bit, he was on his new Coiler (which are only 5.5 inches now) which he only paid $2K for (with a backpack, hoodie and gloves thrown in)!!! He was off to Taylors then home. Nelson and me carried on and up singletrack round vernon, cross the road, along to the Old Skool Bowenvale (again!) and down. Found a couple new rather interesting lines in there too, you shoulda seen nelson going off this rock cliff… all up a really good ride. Felt like I’d climbed a lot at the end of it, that’s for sure.

Monday, February 05, 2007

plush new front end. VicKiwiNunThomTravOldskoolOut

Beautiful is all i can say... Vanilla = Tasty. Starting at my folks (top of Cashmere) bout 2pm tired and a bit hung from Ngaio's wedding, headed up into Vic park, then from ranger station, down through the trails to the Old Dyers Pass Rd trail crossing, cruised along and up that to the Kiwi, hot in the sun out of the wind, trying out the lock out once or twice, tweaking the low speed and the rebound a little too, then up road from kiwi to top of Marley's, watching some dude's coming down the section below the road, saw one guy have an incident bollocking himself, i holla'd, "thats gotta hurt", continued on up, then bombed it down the Flying Nun, very very good control, blissful plushness and responsiveness and tracking control down the lower section, popping out at the Kiwi. then up Thomson's track to top of Vic, stopping in the shade at one stage, cleaned to the top, then headed round the traverse, cruising nicely, relishing the psshhht every time the fork rebounds, then headed down the Old Skool Bowenvale, my old favourite. cleaned everything, pinned all the dodgy bits, smoooooooth, then out the bottom of Bowenvale, and toodled home.
Fox Vanilla RLC 140mm 10/10