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 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 forums, but we found on 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.