Friday, December 26, 2008

xmas eve

afternoon, headed up rapaki, turned right, round summit, to vic, and kiwi, then up road, and headed down the gov's bay track, hung a right onto new bit and followed it to its end. then turned round and back down that and up the track back up to summit road. then headed up to bottom of new flying nun, up the old 4wd track to the beginning of the new bit, then bombed down the sweet newby section, all the way down to kiwi, back up road to top of vic. down through gums, dazza's, brents, flow, bridges, and out the bottom. all good, felt super fine...

off to Little Ak for a while, taking bike, so will ride a bit over there.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, rotovirus Rap Witch Castle Witch Vern Oldskool

Feeling like garbage, i just made it to Steve's as they were heading out. in attendance were Steve (wrote pfmtbc) , Pete, Tony and Wayne. At the bottom of Rapaki we picked up Fi and a friend of hers Nikki. tootled up the hill, me going slower than ever before on account of having had a rotovirus interfering with my system... i even DABBED on the way up, front wheel caugh in a drainage rut and stopped me dead... even today, monday, i feel like crap. anyway. pete dropped me entirely before the last climb...

top of rapaki, waited in the bitter easterly for Marie who was riding round from cashmere. she got there, we hit Witch Hill, had a good spin round there, then up road to Castle.

Pete led off and i sat on his tail... awesome blast down to first hairpin where i reminisced about Nelson's bike the other day, awesome blast to next hairpin. awesome blast to first grunt up and my legs were jelly. struggled up there (but still cleaned it all) and then had an awesome blast down to the end, until... smack! Fussshhh fusshhh fusshhhh, no more air in back tire. walked to shelter, took off wheel, took out tube, put in spare, replaced tire, blew up tire..."hmmm, what are these lumpy bits? rocks?" followed by... "hmmm, where's my other tirelever?"... "D'OH!" out goes the air, off comes the tire, out comes the lever, in goes the air again... then up road, down road fast, back round witch hill, up vernon singletrack. good climb, tho i was getting pretty wiped out by then. nearly lost it on last descent to road. regroup, and then we all headed off round the Traverse, and i peeled off down Old Skool.

Had a total blast heading down there. saw a guy ahead, so i went flat out and caught him. no wonder tho, he was on a rigid On-One SS. (i said, "good to see some English Steel!"). passed his mates who were waiting for him above the pylon, hurtled into the singletrack. bomb bomb bomb, ooop, riders coming up. OnOne guy and mates caught me up. climbers passed and i said "i'll let you by if you catch me" to my fellow descenders. took off, with a couple of lambs running in front of me for the first 100m, then left the others in my dust. had a good run the rest of the way down, bombing it all, living up to my Switchbacker name...

then there was the evil easterly head wind all the way home. i think i stayed in middle ring all the way across town. it sucked. i was exhausted for the rest of the day, and still aint right...
rotovirus 1, swtchbckr nil.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday Night, Old skool vernon witch castle (Nelson frame break, again)

drove over to Nelson's. we hit the road, headed up Bowenvale, up the Old Skool. cranked the first half middle ring, not doing too badly, saw vorb's Tama and friends on their way down. hit the 4wd section, nelson continued grinding on up in middle ring, cleaning the whole bastard, while i struggled and gasped in granny... by the time i reached the gravel of Huntsbury (where i_ride_rigid aka paul passed me heading down), nelson was pretty much already at the top. i ambled on up and had a breather.

Onto vernon, at the highest point Nelson stopped and turned on his camera. i led off down - not very smoothly, a couple of off balance near botch ups, and then a bit more finesse and flow at the bottom. then across to Witch Hill trail, Nelson lead off, losing me on the climb, again, i wasnt very flowy and a bit stilted... then the road. climb climb to Castle Rock.

Camera on again, me leading off, hit the trail, bombed it, flow ALL good, total blast, floaty and flying. this trail is primo right now, into the first hairpin and just round it when nelson yells out (from not too far behind me) and i hear the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of his tire rubbing the chainstay... BROKEN, AGAIN! exactly the same place as it went that other time in vic park. needless to say, game over. i headed back up the singletrack, bombed down the road to Rapaki, bombed down that, getting a bit dim light wise now, tho still all good. then i hoofed it across town to my car, and drove to pick up nelson, got to him under the Tunnel Rd bridge on Port Hills Rd.

Footage heaps better than last time...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sunday Arvo, kiwi area meanderings.

Firstly, couldnt make the PFMTBCinc ride in the a.m. due to small person at home with a puke. so, got out later in the afternoon. had to drop something off to the folks, so drove up and rode from there, thereby increasing my singletrack time and lessening my riding across town time and giving myself a 200m alt advantage...

headed up into Vic Park, to the 19th battalion war memorial bit, then headed down the trail to the Old Dyer's Pass Rd trail. Rode up that to the Kiwi, then on up the road round to top of Marleys. Bombed down the 'nun', bailing half way down the lower section before the kiwi, and heading over and down that cool track into Gov's Bay. before the final switchbacky section, hmmmm, what's this? a new track to the right... brand new, no tire treads on it at all, heading up and round a bit... followed it to where it had finished having work on it, and where it is going to go went on into the scrub. so, left the bike and started walking, just for a look to see if it connected up to 'built' track further up. explored a while, then could see its line onwards, but needed to get back to the bike.

Got back to the bike, and there were three guys waiting for me... hehe, um, yeah, hi, just checking out where its gonna go, are you the builders? uh huh. anyway, chatted to them and i should join them sometime. Wednesdays, 6 to 8. eventually, it'll get through to the bottom of the new sections on the Flying Nun... mint. its gonna be so freakin' awesome!. so, rode with them back up to summit road, first one letting me pass, then the fast young guy (james). i cleaned more of it than i've ever cleaned before, including the final little step.

Then i jumped back over onto the rest of the 'nun and headed for Kiwi. then up road, upper section of Thomson's, and down through vic, Brake Free, the new one below Brake Free and onto the gummies, then down to war memorial, down through park, into lower Dog Exercise Area, down rooty goodness on east side of Pines, and into Cashmere, to Nainy's, then back up the zigzzag to the waiting car...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Scorcher NW, Worsley Nun Dyer Vic Traverse Oldskool

Rode over to Nelson's, and we headed for Worsley's. Hot NW day, scorching hot riding up there, but the tail wind helped, a little... nelson powered up in middle ring, all the way up the body bag!!! i managed to clean it all grovelling in granny, and nearly wanting to barf at the top.

hit the Nun, and had a good float down there, with Nelson chasing me trying out his camera again. then, on down Old Dyers bumpity bumpity bumpity, cross road and on up into Vic.

Hit the fire road up thru the gums, slippin' on the big leaves, me hitting granny and Nelson powering away again up in Middle ring. hit the traverse, not toooo bad a run round there, but the lack of sleep the night before and the heat were really getting to me, and every little climb seemed to kill me. then hoofed it down the Old Skool out to Bowenvale, and on round for a pint at Elevate.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Friday 28th Nov, Crocodiled

Drove over to Nelson's about 7. we took his truck out to Halswell Quarry, parked up and headed on up the Croc. good riding, cleaned all the climby bits, tho my very recent Junkfood dinner was slowing me up, and the legs were a tiny bit tired from the night before. but, got on up to top of Croc, continued up singletrack to highest point then on down to the next gate... then back up the old road section and time to hit the down on the singletrack, me in lead, Nelson testing out his new helmet mounted camera. not a bad run down, not the quickest or the smoothest, gusts of easterly blowing us off course in the top sections and then pushing us faster and faster down the straightaway before the gulley switchbacks... i blew it on the short climb, then a good run down the final section under the trees... 9 minutes of footage... then, it was back up to do it all again.

climbing up into the sunset, it was sitting on the horizon when we reached the highest point again, at which point we turned round and i led off down again, this time much smoother much faster much better. its great doing two runs, you get a better feel for the trail cos its still fresh. bombed well all the way down again, then blew it on the short sharp climb again!, then on out to truck.

checked out the footage back at N's place. some good. but aiming a tad low, and also its a bit bumpy. so, once those two issues are sorted, its gonna be mint!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Old skool's well cool.

Fiiinally got out. time and light short, leaving home at 7.45pm, drove to Bowenvale Ave, rode up Old Skool. right at the start i bumped into Angrywadder James finishing a ride, caught up with him briefly and while talking to him a dude on a Cotic Simple stopped and chatted too...

anyway, headed up through the new switchbacks up the Old Skool. Cleaned everything and was in middle ring all the way til the pylon. its alll good up there now, with post winter repairs all good. cruised, coughing my lungs out and emptying the snot pressure of the remains of a lurgy, grannying all the way the 4wd zigzags to the top gate, chasing the last of the sunshine up the hill. never quite caught it.

then turned around and headed back down the way i came up. glasses off as they were steamy, and down all the techy lines, well worn from the return of other riders, and then down the singletrack. nice flowy descent and home by 9.15.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

lonng time no riding...

hard to believe the last ride was that post election sunday... i've been away in the depths of the south coast of fiordland from 16th to 24th. walking in the bush several hours every day, counting birds, setting traps, examining fuchsia flowers, checking tracking tunnels... i reckon a 36inch wheel balloon tire bike would be the go for some tramping tracks, as for the bush itself, no way could you ride a bike in there...

took O for a bit of a tagalong spin round the river last night, but thats the total of it... will ride again SOON

Monday, November 10, 2008

post election Sunday, vic witch vic nun out

the country is now on its way down the tubes under the new Nazional government. hoo fucking ray.

saturday afternoon, i pulled the cranks off the cotic, took out the bottom bracket, cleaned everything, re-greased, re-assembled, thereby getting rid of the looseness and creak before any damage was done.

Sunday morning... nursing a few too many Leffe's under my belt and a rough night crashed at my folks (left kids there while at Paul's 40th party at Kiwi), i headed up from top of Cashmere into Vic park, gently easing into it, to be confronted with blue tape crossing the skidder site from the gums to Dazza's for local DH racing. Middle ringed it up good to top, getting out of the way of the motherhucking downhillers, and then booked it round the summit traverse towards rapaki. nice flowy ride round, into the wind in spots, and over vernon, with a bloody good flowy down to top of rapaki where i found Marie, Fi the swearing irish optometrist, and Nicole, shortly followed up by Steve, then Pete, AndyRandy and Waynus. We headed back up round Vernon, good climb, overtaking some guys strangely walking near the top (gotta start somewhere i guess), and then good bomb round to Vic. dodged a few more DHers, and headed into Thomsons, kiwi, where pete discovered his rear wheel had come loose, Chris King hubs too, very weird. he bailed down the road.

the rest of us headed up round road to top of Marleys, and had an awesome bomb down Flying Nun, enjoying the crap out of the new bits. then my phone rang. it was T, saying she didnt have a key, so i had to bail then. the others went back up for another blast down the new bits. i bombed it down Old Dyers, (overtaking the two guys that were walking on Vernon), and then blasted it down Dyers Pass Rd (overtaking 1 car and having the rest of the road to myself). was home by 11.30 or so, to find no sign of T, H or O... who arrived later.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Tuesday Night, Singlist Thomas the Green God Snake

Wounds all healed. Cotic's bottom bracket is loose, so singlespeed it was. Nelson and i hit Slumner, and ground up Capt Thomas, cleaning lots, and puffing a lot.

At Evans we headed up Scummit road, nelson pulling waaay ahead, me struggling. Topped Greenwood Park and hit the single. he blew the first rocky bit and i pulled into the lead for a while, leading into the top descents. nice flow, good riding, the singles behaving nicely. couple weird front wheel washouts but mostly a good flight. got down into the lower reaches and we stopped so nelson could hit this jump just after a sheepstop. he got good air, and on we went.

At Evans again, i thought we were gonna head back down Thomas, but nelson had other plans. the sun had pretty much set, but there was still plenty of light, and i relented and we hit Godley. wasnt long before i lost sight of him ahead. i was slow, he was fast. good ride nonetheless. they've cleaned up a bit, build some groovy rockybits on what is wet in winter, and tidied it further round. ended up we bombed all the way out to Breeze and when i got there he was already well on down the snake, so on i followed, lower back getting more and more sore. still enough light. bombed it into Taylors and hit the climb out, flashies now on.

Down into Scumner via the road on account of it being too dark to do Nicholson, and back to Nelson's truck.

Friday, October 24, 2008

PFMTBC Inc Annual Trip... Central

got myself and my baggage to Pete's Friday 17th morning. Andrew, Wayne, Pete and myself, drove to meet Steve, Nelson and Tony at cookietime, where we all bought up big on One Square Meals etc. then set off for Tekapo.

rolled into Tekapo, kitted up and set off round the lake and up mt john. some grunty wee climbs, as bad as the body bag, several in fact, and peaked, had a coffee at the top, took in the views, and hit the descent. bombed down the way we'd come up, very fun. couple of flats, but otherwise no sketchies and no crashes, cept for Andrew hitting the chain at the bottom. then it was off to Wanaka. In the evening, Dave, Hubby and Mark rolled in. much frivolity was had.

Scored a map from bikeshop night before, and Saturday a.m dawned with a bit of rain, but that cleared up soon enough and off we treadled, up Hendersons? Rd, down to Rata St, turned left by accident and ended up grovelling up a double fenceline to Double Gate. rode round and hit Hoe Down down, then back up it, then down Easy St and hit Venus, bliss... then grovelled up Crank'n'Grind, then hit Scooby down to The Hub, then grovelled, mistakenly, up some downhill track (14 or 16). then back down to doublegate and Mark and Dave hit Bilentus, while the rest of us hit Venus extention (8a) and we all met up down at Venus Landing. somewhere in here Hubby blew his calf out, or was in danger of doing so, so he bailed, and was out for the trip. from venus landing we hit Thread the Needle over across and down to Beacon Pt Rd to ride back out to town for lunch... lounged a bit and headed out again, this time riding round the waterfront and hitting the Outlet track hoping to find an easy-ish uphill. Dave did a sideways landing off a random hop jump and snapped his chainstay..., round the outlet a we ways, then i lead them up a cool ass little track that was carved into a cliff-face, narrow as, with massive drops off the side, and eventually landing up near Outlet Motorcamp Rd. where we took a wrong turn, rode a little singletrack then grovelled up a steep ass hill to the top of the Sticky. once up there we hit Twin Towers, round to Hoe Down, back up that, hitting venus again i think and maybe a couple of loops down to the hub and back up 10 which proved a nice climb.

The next morning, Sunday, we packed up our shit, and drove to clean up a few more of the tracks we'd missed or re-do the ones we loved. in the carpark before we even set off i was just riding about and my chain snapped, bloodying my knee. fixed that and we headed in and randomly met a local, who took us under his wing and showed us a few wicked xc track across above the rivertrail and on out, then down Rockabilly Ditch, back along outlet and up an awesome zigzaggy climb to venus landing from the motorcamp. we hit crank'n'grind again, up and a few of us did Bilentus. getting sketchy remembering. when we'd finished, we headed for Alexandra.

Rolled into Alex, got cleaned up, and rode into town to pick up some supplies... on the way in, i'd forgotten i had a slow leaky front tire, and was popping a few jumps here and there, when on the line up for a curb, my front wheel washed on the low pressure and on some loose shit in the gutter, and WHAM! down i went. Left palm, right knee, right elbow all skinned, right shoulder tweaked bad (severe bruising) and a good smack to the helmet. first aided up a bit, and later we rode the river trail up to Clyde, ate dinner and then rode with lights back down the railtrail.

Monday a.m, headed into town to bikeshop Dave knew, i bought a new helmet (Giro Xen... niiiice), hooked up with bikeshop owner's son (Ashton), who took us up an interesting trail (singletrack starting in under the Clock on the hill, up a valley, then hang a right up an evil steep 4wd track over some tops round to the right and back down out next to Sewage Treatment). Dr Strangelove i believe the descent was called. then we hooked up with one of the young mechanics (Jimmy?) from the bikeshop on his lunch hour plus his girlfriend (Michelle) and they took us through another trail (up same under clock round along behind range sorta towards the Lower Manorburn Dam, then back out the front to the railtrail), something about a Leaping Lizard, that was a good ride too. Michelle offered to take some us out for a ride the next morning. Dave, Nelson and Mark headed out with Jimmy for an afterwork ride too. i rested. by all accounts, that was a good ride too.

Tuesday a.m. Sour Taste in the Mouth Time...
Told we wouldnt really find any more trails without help, we agreed (with encouragement from Dave) to pay Phil from the bikeshop to guide us. he upped it from $25 to $30 a head when he heard it was only Dave, Mark, Nelson, Pete and me, and off we rode. this time up what's called Shit Track, on account of it stinking riding past the Sewage Treatment Works. nice climb up a nice valley, some techy wee sections, all good. then over some farmer's land we werent supposed to be in, up onto the tops, up to a big rock shaped like a seal, the other boys rode down this for fun. i's nursing my body from the crash so was taking it easy. then we rode down a neat flowy track, over another fence, and across these wicked tops and down a techy wee gulch, then grovelly climb up for another ridge run, and then finally down this super technical descent, which i dabbed/walked/and rode, finally out to the Roxburgh dam trail, back into town.
2.5 hours, ie, 150 minutes, ie, $1 a minute for Phil. they say a fool and his money are soon parted, i guess we're fools. we reckon this was a little steep. Everywhere else you go in nz you either buy or are given a map, and you self guide. you roll into Alex, the locals say, no, you gotta get a guide, in which case its either a matey thing, or you pay. Also, we got back to find out that the boys that'd been out with Michelle had been told by her that Jimmy had been reamed out for guiding the others for free, and that he'd reamed her out, and so they gave her $20 a head... so, Phil, you got your $25 a head from all of us in the end. sure, do this to tourists, but not to kiwis. its not like it was a pain in the ass for you to come out riding with us. if you ever come to chch, we'll be asking you for $30, each. not impressed.
anyway, drove on through to Naseby that afternoon.

got a quick ride in before dinner, from campground headed onto waterrace, me guiding (for free, note) round to the big dipper and to Andrew's Tree from 5 years ago. bark still not grown back. neat wee gulley. headed out back of forestry, found a singletrack nelson and me had maybe riden, took that down then up the shoot and down the shoot, and then up for change and dinner.

Wednesday morning, packed up, and most of us got out for ride. left along waterrace, headed up past hoffman's dam, found neat flowy (bottle lake with a hill style) track which we looped twice, then back down round and dropped down what we'd known as cemetery track which had changed cos of logging... then across to do the shoot once (or twice or three times for some). drove home.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, tag and worsles.

In the morning i tagalong'd with O to a trees for canterbury planting at Horseshoe Lake. some of the boys had ridden via bottle lake. afterwards, steve obtained permission from one of the rangers, so we rode the walk track thru, much to the thrill of O, who commented later in the day how much fun it was riding the boardwalks... at the Avon we peeled right and followed the river home, and the boys headed on down stream.

at 6ish, got a txt from Nelson, so i chucked the bike in the car and drove over to his. Craig joined us and we grunted up Worsley's. the lower half was as usual, but the top half, including the body bag, has been bulldozed. felt a bit asthmatic to start, but managed to climb okay (craig miles ahead, even on his heavy Commencal Meta6), and cleaned all of bodybag. then onto Flying Nun fun. new bits near bottom getting further and further down. then we bombed down to kiwi and on down below dyers. then up into vic, and took in the whole of cool runnings. out and down. all up a good ride.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursnite Farm, Witch, Castle, Britten, MacCormacks...

Steves, 6pm. Andrew, Tony, Wayne, Pete, Steve and me. round to Farm track and up. one dab on first section, middle ring the whole first half. all tootling up pretty well. then blast down to top of rapaki, much better flow than last time. Witch hill was good, then up road and i'm starving so stop for snack.

While i'm snacking, Steve leads off, followed by Tony. then Pete goes, then me followed by Andrew and Wayne. Pete got himself a good start but i caught him a little. dunno what gain he put on Tony and Steve. anyway, carry on round summit road, and onto Britten... finally cleaned the rocky bit i usually blow. normally i hit it in the wrong gear, last night i changed just before and managed to clamber over it. then BOMBED down britten reserve. following the track this time, instead of off piste. got rutted a couple times, nearly losing it, then near the bottom i'm hearing a weird rattle... turns out its my cluster come a bit loose... tightened as best i could by hand. meanwhile, Steve had lead off down road, so we all chased him. then into the MacCormacks trails... SWEEEET, walked the steps then rode all of the rest. wicked descent, such a fun we track. took a look down the pines i'd gone the first time, veeerrry techy riding in there so we clambered back up to main track and blasted down the fun but mildly boring last section...

then round road, i peeled at ferrymead and slogged linwood home. just about run down at Gloucester corner, with a car crossing the cycle lane right on top of me. i abused the crap out of the fucker, tried to chase them down but didnt have enough left in the tank, even with added adrenalin, cunt got away. i woulda picked up my bike and smashed in their window with my pedal and punched the shit out of their face if i'd caught them, i was so mad.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

late tuesday soggy bottle lake single spin

title says it all. kids to bed, supermarket shopping needed. had a niece staying, so missed out on riding with the boys, which by the sound of it is just as well, as southerly had mostly blown thru, so took the singlespeed out to Bottle Lake and had a quick spin. i was the only car in the car park, got out there at nearly 9pm. hit the internal loop. pretty mucky, surprisingly wet. then, out near landfill corner they've logged out a heap, including my two favourite little jumps, and detour had to be made for the beach. stopped a bit, deciding whether or not to head south or north. headed north. snuck back into usual singletrack via an old trail half way along that's sanded up, then took some of the trails less travelled. then came out behind closed tapes. took the loop out towards spencer and then back into carpark. uneventful bar a couple of near off front wheel slippages. back to car 9.40 something and off to Stupidmarket...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday a.m. greasy Rapaki to Taylors to home

Met at Steve's 8.30ish to find Steve, Andrew, english Mark, Wayne and Tony. quite wet, drizzly sorta rain, forecast to clear so figured why not... headed up Rapaki, it was much soggier than you'd've imagined. i felt lousy, due to a late night... but still hammered up the hill in good time, tho cruisier than normal. quite wet at top, but headed round Witch Hill, which was very rideable, bar the slick rocks. no real mud, just a tiny bit sticking to tires which then made for slippy rocks. along road, cautiously tackled Castle Rock to bridle path, and quite enjoyed it, with the squirrelly flicks that rocks throw at ya. then round road, Britten. Steve and Wayne were behind the rest of us and we decided to stay on the road, by half way round we realised they'd taken the singletrack, so i jumped the fence and joined them for the last bit. then we hit Greenwood...

Beautiful run down Greenwood. the damp rocks kept things very interesting, but the armouring and drainage has treated the trail well. the slats werent too slick and all was good. i had one very near off, just after the rocky descent that follows gloomy gulch, before heading into the switchback area, managed to keep in on board and continue down tho. Tony stayed well on my tail down the rest after that, he was on form!.

then godley, up and out, went pretty good. the backside before livingston was freshly dug, probably on saturday during the hot norwest, so there was a fair bit of exposed clay which stuck something wicked to the tires. got off and walked the worst of it, and then the descent to livingston on the newly formed line was sweeeeet. much better flow for me this time than last. Hubby was under a rock on Livingston, fixing a flat. we carried on, following these two identical nomad riders up the next climb, sneaking past them when one of them toppled off a rocky section that i cleaned. bomb to breeze all sweet, turned to watch tony crash just after the final cattlestop.

then a BLAST down the anaconda, caught excellent air all the way down. bit mucky in the bottom section, tail all good, climb over taylors not bad, nicholson good, dot com good. left ahead of others to get home for lunch, very tired by the time i made the end of Linwood ave.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tuesday night Captain Godley Snake, first no lights ride

biked Linwood Ave to meet a lift from Andrew, to DotCom. in attendance arrived Steve, other Steve, Tony, Wayne, Hub and the dreaded Mark. trundled up Capt Thomas, the new boosters on the steps near the bottom make them HEAPS easier climbing, cleaned up much of it before the short walk. the rest is good, cleaned many wee grunts, off for the usual., ruts near top fixed.

had an apple at Evans, then hit the Godley. Steve hadnt stopped so it was chase time. he was already past the first rocky climbs when we started. i seemed to be pushing a taller gear last most of the time, like i was riding a singlespeed... Caught steve eventually, up on the flats. we regrouped at the fence before the worst of the rutsvilles... Mark took off in lead, me following. good run down, the ruts in the usual bad bit were as bad as ever, quite tricky avoiding them, taking a wide berth at times. then the fast bit. i was staying on mark most of the way down, bike riding really well, me too. then near the bottom where i did my ankle in they've altered it, slowing right down, with curves, makes you control your speed a bit more.

Next bit over to Breeze Col was good, i followed behind mark, him spinning a smalll gear on the climb and me standing and singlespeed style cranking. the descent was good, one nasty rut section on the down, then the last bit to the road i could barely see, my eyes were watering and kinda glugging up...
then, the bomb down the Anaconda. i chased Mark and we hauled ass. caught wicked air, my form was ON. felt really good. he stopped before one of the last corners, and then when hub carried on round and down the tail of the snake, i chased him down with mark in close pursuit. above the baches hubby baulked on a rock, i got along side just creeping through while mark ran into the back of him got past and chased me down the rest... all fun.

from taylors mark and hub headed back round to boulder bay cos they had their lights, the rest of us headed up and out. fast climb with andrew, then quite a dark wee ride down through nicholson park.

Friday, September 26, 2008

are your mcleans showing? singlists

Al and me drove out to Mcleans island about 7 something. singlespeeds. hit the trail and spun good round twice. pretty uneventful. took the new track out to the river, it was running VERY high, and had recently run through part of this new track, meaning we had to turn back a little. good spin.

weird singlespeed screak in back wheel still happening, smooth til about halfway through a ride. WHY??? swapped bikes for a short jaunt too. big wheels fun.

meanwhile, the boys did this... pfmtbc

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday Arvo rapaki to sumner jaunt

Excellent ride yesterday. gorgeous day, the norwest finally clearing the cloud cover off just before i left the house about 1.45, across town to Rapaki. nice cruise up there, making pretty good time, sub 25 to top. hung a left, buffetted by winds, round Witch Hill, then up road, more buffetting to Castle Rock.

Amazing blast down Castle Rock track to Bridle. winds not so bad as its in the lee of the Nor'waster. then hit the road and trundled round and up to John Britten Reserve. Singletrack along that all good, bit rutty round on the east side, up onto road and down for the Greenwood.

Greenwood Park, how long had it been?? months indeed methinks. been staying off it due to all the crapola weather we've had, and it looks like most others have too. the work done to it before the weather packed in has left it in good condition too, with drainage and rock armouring all keeping it sound. Stopped for an overlook snack before my descent. then hit it...

First part, with the switchbacks, flowing well, bouncing and ramping off a few of the rocks, into the sidle round towards gloomy gulch, excellent flow, funtimes. the slats were dry, making for easy rolling. then the bomb down, swerve swerve curve float pop smooth lines. the sheep on the lower half have cleared away the overgrown grass leaving a good clear view ahead, awesome ride down to the road.

At evans i kicked myself for not having any change, cos a Mr Whippy would have been really good right about then. anyway, hit Capt Thomas, and just as i caught upto and was about to pass this guy on a really new Kona, there was Angrywad-Roly coming up. stopped for a chat, and new-konaman continued on. got going again, and got baulked by a couple of bits, the first above the new lower climbing bypass, the second on the rocky bit which has had steps cut into it. but cleaned the rest, gliding, flowing and flying. all in all an excellent descent.

then Sumner to home, into the wind it a fair bit, but i think it was kinda just northerly, rather than full on Nor'west near the coast with more of a side wind along the causeway and linwood ave...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday cruiseday. Farm, vernon, witch, castle, britten, mccormacks

Good ride last night. usual kinda suspects met up at Steve's. included Nelson, Andrew, Tony, Wayne, Steve, Pete, english Mark and newby Marcus (29r Stumpy from a few weeks back). headed round river and up Farm Track. grunt grunt. eventually all assembled at top and we bombed off down the singletrack towards Rapaki. the techy rocky bits getting the better of most of us to start with, something to do with lights and not having ridden it for ages. flew down the last section into the switchbacks.

Then, twas round Witch Hill, nice spin round that, and onto the road up to Castle Rock. i led down this, flying and loving it. rock armouring from the other week has all bedded in nicely. most of us made it to top of Bridle Path and Steve's phone rang. it was Wayne, Mark had a flat a bit back up the trail. so they fixed it while we waited around. Pete and Marcus headed up to see if they were getting on okay, and when they got back Marcus had a flat. he changed it quick.

Then it was a tootle round summit rd to John Britten Reserve, along the first half of the singletrack, then off piste off down towards Major Hornbrook. at least, we started out off piste cos i couldnt find the usual trail i ride due to the darkness and the spring growth of grass. got onto it half way down, bombed on down to Mt Pleasant Rd and then hit the Craigieburn Pl into McCormacks Bay trail. steps, followed by mostly greasy switchbacks, then some flow, some bomb, enjoyment all round. Excellent ride, with me peeling off at Ferrymead, then realising halfway round Humphrey's that Wayne was going my way too. we rode Linwood Ave together. Got home at 9.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Foggy Thursday nite summit singletrack ramble

Drove over to Nelson's and we hit the road about 8, headed for Rapaki. Good cruise up there, into the foggy tops. amazing light all around, with the moon getting pretty big (88% full according to my igoogle widget), so was nice and bright, bright enough to ride by pretty much all the way up. at the top we hung a left and semi-blindly clambered up and over the Witch Hill singletrack, all in good dry nick. then up the road, in the fog, to Castle Rock. felt our way down that, me pointing out the bits i'd helped with, and enjoying it all, then from Bridle we headed back up the road towards the top again.

Flew down the summit road, cautiously with only 2 lines visible at a time, better off with headlamps off, just running with the LEDs on the bars, then back round the Witch, decided to give Vernon singletrack a go, having not been on it in months. it too, all dry bar 2 small puddles, in remarkably good condition. Then it was a Traverse blast, still under fog, lights reflecting glare back at us, but a good pace managed. into Vic park, down to the see-saw, Nelson did it, i baulked twice and then didnt... maybe in the day light. dunno why i'm so fearful.

First few jumps on Brakefree, then across to hit the Gums. awesome descent down through them, bombing the berms and haulin' ass through the rest. out to the skidder site. then down Dazza's, which has suffered a little lower down, down Brents, and out onto the open bit before Bridges. the rut that was has now been rock-amoured, fantastic job (GC?) done cleaning up that mess, and then we kept the highline along the trees, and dropped down to the washoutdrop. had a look at the zigzag going back in where it used to be, then sped the rest of the way down.

Highlights? the overall quality of the light and the sense of being "anywhere". the view towards Ferrymead from halfway up the top straight on rapaki, as well as the view into Bowenvale Valley from the newly armoured section...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Sunday Morning, loner... to lunch

had some work to finish, so rode in to sort it out and once done, headed for the hills.

Decided to punish myself for lack of riding and grovelled up Farm Track. ugh. there was a hella cold easterly blowing, and with a sail i could have ripped up the hill... once at the top, i hit the single track, which was nice and dry, round to Traverse, also nice and dry, totally flying it round to Vic. Down Thomsons to kiwi, then up the road and over to Marleys, back down to kiwi, loving the lot of it. Then back up road and upper bit of Thomsons to top of Vic again, and down to the gums, which were all dry and nice, except that last little bit that heads out to the road, the first bit of which, kinda below the skidder jumps site, was all mucky, plus had a broken tree all over one bit. headed all the way out past rangerville, and down between the road and the dog parks, then over a couple of fences and onto a tiny little singletrack that spits you out on Harry Ell Pl. vooom down that, then back along Longhurst and up to my folks for family lunch. good ride all round, tho lotsa climbing. unfortunate to end up climbing 200m more than descent.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Wednesday Night, Worst Worsley, Marley Vic. Pollen-ville

Al and me rode over to Nelson's, then we hit the road, caught a bit of the river round to Craycroft then up Worsley's. not a bad road climb. hit the dirt and my oh my. first section not too bad. Dirt nearly a greeny yellow with pollen, which was also like a starfield in our vision under lights. explored into the McV block, lower Hidden still viable after lifting over their attempts at stopping us. Al's pedal started making a funny noise as we climbed back upto the main track. then he discovered the Crank Bro's Curse, his bearing had dissolved, just like mine had all those times... he walked, Nelson and I rode most of the way up the rest. fun technically difficult, balancing along the ridges between ruts, some of which seemed to drop away forever. one or two spots were nigh on impossible to cross and getting off was the only option. but mostly it was cleanable. Hit the bottom of the Body Bag however, and whooah... nelson dabbed, and his foot went over the ankle in mud. once past that tho, the rest of the Body Bag was okay, tho very rough and cut up at the top, making traction an issue and we all walked the last 20 m or so.

Marley's: Al got back on and we all had a hoot coming down Marleys. the new bit is fantastic, with no damage done by the last few months of horrible weather, good work dude who makes it, this is how all trails should be built, and the lower section below the road was surprisingly good nick too. At the kiwi, Al took off down the road, and N and me headed up Summit Rd to top of Vic. good spin down through trees, Brake Free, then into the Gums. AWESOME berms built into the lower gums, g-outs and tight twisty fun.

Met Al again at Skidder Site, and off down Dazza's. Nelson hadnt experienced all the new bits, and enjoyed the fact that its so long now. just before Brett's, there's a nasty hole on the left, and it chucked Al off. rode down through Brett's, and wondered why Al was taking so long, and then saw this dim orange light coming... battery dying. so, from there down he rode between nelson and me, fingers crossed that the trail was still there... good bomb down valley, then Bowenvale, Eastern, Wilsons, Nursery, Stanmore home.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Back to back, Friday night Saturday morning Rapaki. Working Bee.

Friday night, didnt make it to Nelson's til nearly 9pm, due to a baby puke emergency at home (yay!). anyway, headed up across to and up Rapaki, had a wee look up Erewhon Tce, as on the aerial photos and Cadastre it looks like there should be a way up onto Montgomery Spur, but to no avail, we were annexed by driveways and houses... even tho the legal road goes well up beyond the houses... hmmm. anyway, back down and on up Rapaki. good spin, then round summit road to the beginning of Traverse, round through the first fence and then down onto Huntsbury and on down Huntbury track. the gravel on that has bedded in quite nicely now and is a much better run than it was a few years ago... explored the subdivisioning above Nelson's property, then on down Major Aitken Drive. and back to his place. good spin, but wasnt home til about 11.

Saturday morning, i hit rapaki at 10am. hoofed it up passing lots, hung a left round summit road (saw Witch Hill was no longer Track Closed but wasnt sure so stayed on road), to Castle Rock, where Trailbuilding working bee was on. lots of people down below, i tootled down the road til i was above Nick the Singletrack Ranger, climbed over fence and got to work helping out with some armouring. worked on a couple of locations, carrying piles of rocks and placing them. all good. good to put some faces to vorbii. coupla pics taken by i_ride_rigid... heres the gallery
my bike and some guy, and Me.... That section of track is where we spent a lot of time, placing rocks into one of the seeps.

Wandered up to top again with all the willing workers, and then was 2nd person to ride down it all newly spruced up. it was MINT. rode back up road to top, gagging to do it again, but had to get home, so back down road, round Witch Hill, and bombed it down Rapaki back to car on Centaurus.

Friday, August 29, 2008

no ride week...

no mtnbike rides,
Tuesday rode over to Steve's on the Ghetto Spesh for an evening of mtnbike dvds and tasty beer. i took with me a couple of La Trappe Wittes, an Emerson's Dunkel, and Renaissance Stonecutter...
Wednesday, biked to Cannon Hill, which felt like some miles, but really, plenty of people do that both ways every day, so its not really much...

Hopefully, planning to get up hill tomorrow to assist with the maintenance of the Castle Rock to Bridle Path singletrack.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hanmer and Cycle.

Awesome ride Saturday morning in Hanmer, with Al.

headed from his folk's, up Chattertons, up pylon steep grunty little bastard of a track, i walked the steepest bit, Al cleaned it. then my rear brake messed with my head, so muddled with it and it seemed to come right.

down Tank track the top of which is a bit messed up, but the rest still rocks, beautiful rooty goodness. then up onto one of the lower Conical hill trails round to Majuba, found one coming down, so we walked up it, found another going right up to the top with a munty rock garden built on it, so, walked up that too, to the top of Conical hill, second knoll... were told later by a local that that trail is called the Crow's Nest. bombed down it, dabbing over the rockbridgegardenthing, then dabbed through the tight hairpins and bombed the last bit down onto the Majuba.

then through and up onto Joliffe's, upper Dogstream, all good climbs, most of which i always forget how long they are... then up onto Big Foot. beeeaauuuttiiiffuuulll... Nature, conect to Detox, loose and greasy down Detox, rutty and a little bit messy, tho nothing on what the Port Hills've got right now. then back up the road, and down Lower Dogstream up Joliffe's again, up RedRocks, through two lots of Track Closed for Logging tape, rode most of the way down and into the clearfell... R.I.P lower Red Rocks... then back into the village...

minty minty singletrack... love riding up there.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thurs night Bottle Spin - 2 singles

Spun out quick to B.Lake on the newly ratio'd (42:18) switchy, met Andrew in the carpark, he with his magic Marin (42:16). took a jaunt round the inner circle, going hard out then having a break then going hard out again. trails are loose in places, slick and greasy in others, and downright crappy (Teddington SUCK anyone?) elsewhere... with stretches of nice fast dry stuff too. anywho, good ride, burned the legs, slowing towards the end, then back to the carpark and each to their respective rides home, mine spinning frantically. enjoyed.

also, we swapped bikes for a couple hundred metres. was interesting to try something different. i found his to be comfortable, providing a good ride, and the drivetrain felt tight, in a good way. the forks however, i found very slack and thought they kinda flopped from side to side. the frame was designed with 3 or less inches in mind, so the extra degree or two of slackness are probably just a bit too much, for my tastes, anyway... he didnt particularly like the switchback i think... the Mary bars maybe just a bit too much, and the short (4 inch) fork making its geometry heaps steeper than the slack (also 4 inch) on his marin.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

FINALLY, Tuesdaynight rapaki summit road pleasantness

finally after over week off, i made it out. Missed thursday night cos just couldnt be arsed, and then sunday, the first day that singletracks on the hills would have been ridable for months, i was laid up in bed. anyway, last night, over to steves for a 6.15 depart. good crowd showing, Andrew, Tony, Pete, Matt, Steve-the-accountant (who was heading off as i arrived - for rapaki to meet helmutlessMark already up there), a new guest Marcus (that Matt had picked up at a library)(on a 29r stumpy), Steve, and of course yours truly. Txts from Nelson put him late and i held back a bit letting him catch us up at the second gate. by the time he'd gotten there most of the others were already at the first corner disappearing, so we put the power, overtook them, gained the lead and held it all the way up. i felt surprisingly good, seemed to have good power and endurance, amazing what a week off the bike seems to do, - builds up glycogen reserves i guess... rapaki was pretty soft in places especially where the dude crashed on his face the other weekend, noted someone had stuck a stick into the ground there with plastic bags on it (as warning). top still had just enough snow to make for an interesting lumber out.

helmetlessmark and accountantsteve appeared from some shelter when we all piled up, and off we trundled round the summit road. ice just starting to sparkle in places, but nothing black and slippery. stopped for a bit at Castle Rock. i would have been keen to explore the trail from there, cos it was well covered in snow, it would have been interesting, but the lower slopes would have been quagmire. froze our asses down to the Bridle, then on continued round and up to top of Pleasant. 'nother short break, then off for the flight down Mt Pleasant Rd. wish i'd put my chippolatas on. brrrr... bombed it down, road drying out the lower we got. then at ferrymead bridge, i peeled off and headed my happy way home down linwood. home just after 8, not bad.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday Morning, Snowville.

Slick black ice ride across to Steve's after rain and sleet finished at 2am and it cleared... good group, Steve, Pete, Andrew, Tony, Hubby, Wayne, Matt, English Mark and your's truly. headed up Rapaki, soggy and sapping a little. then at middle gate, headed up farmtrack onto Montgomery Spur. up to the trig marker, on snow mostly. quite cool. thats me, giving the stick...
good views from that knoll. must explore further down sometime, and find some sheeptrails back to the bottom of the 'paki. whilst up there we were joined by a fellow Switchback rider, running 32:18, white rigid single. back down to Rapaki and on up it. at the bottom of the straight there was a bunch of people and a guy down, in spaceblanket and coats, blood all over his face. the chopper came in before we made the Summit Rd. quite cool to see that too.

then on up the road to top of Farm track, and off piste snow riding down the ridge. brilliant! heaps of fun just drifting down on a really good snow surface, maybe 2 inches, but well packed and crunchy. picking lines and flowing. alllll goooood. eventually back onto the farm track, splattered our way down and muckily we went to cafe opposite St Martins New World.

no singletrack was harmed in the making of this ride...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wednesday Night 3 Bottled Singles...

Nelson picked up Al and me from mine about 7-7.30. headed out to the 'Lake. all of us on the singlespeeds. entered the forest and took the usual internal loop, left, through, all good. spin spin spin. full tummy made me wheezy so a few short stops in the first section before the pond/lake. then good rip through onwards. bombed it, mostly good trail conditions, til we hit the Teddington Chip... Teddington Shit more like. sapping all your power, sticky and soft. that stuff SUCKS in the wet. the old surface of the grey gravel (graded river gravel (FAR more sensible, cos it's naturally draining)) is heaps better... anyway, just cut a quick internal loop, back to the start.

then, to mix it up a bit, headed back round the wrong way. MINT!!! a whole new trail. the usual track and corners were all completely new and fresh. you knew where you were but putting the pieces together you couldnt figure what was coming next. and, sections seemed to be faster and over sooner... was cool. so, did a full long loop back out to the beach and down, then back round from the south. all good, except for the Teddington Shit. it makes me doubt very much whether its the best stuff to be putting on the summit trail etc.

Most of the time Nelson led, followed by me, usually close on his tail, and then Al. Al's gearing is slightly lower than ours, so he was having to spin more to keep up. home 9.30ish

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

been away...

in the bush, fiordland... riding will begin again, soon.

before i went away tho, Kris serviced my Vanillas...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday Night, Bottle Lake (AGAIN) Seven (3 singles)

Andrew, Wayne, Matt, Hubby, Stealthy Steve, Al and me all congregated in the carpark bout 6.30. Andrew on his long legged (42:16) singlespeed marin running the magic ratio (no tensioner), and Al and me both on singles again. headed in, hung a right, and out towards beach, good spin through there, bit muckier than sunday i think. then along beach, in to pond and back out on main track, north all the way up to Spencer, breather at the picnic shelters, then back in for the final slog. some slick ass bits, greasy corners, and muckiness, but all in all a good spin.

(i have to put this next bit), i led most of the way, but matt was riding my ass the whole time, and andrew was hard to keep up with on his long gear...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday Arvo Bottle Lake 3 Singles

spun over to Al's at 3.45, we headed to Bottle Lake to meet Alister, first ride for him for a while. so, 3 singlespeeds, one of which a 29r, one rigid. headed in, south, loop back onto main, north, and back. stopping and talking a fair bit. good spin, quite mucky in places, and was getting REALLY dark towards the end. Al had a good little off right in front of me on that last leg, front wheel just went out from under him. quite hard to see through the last section. and spun home. by about 6.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday night, Rapaki, Summit, Vic, Cashmere

overcast easterly, nearly drizzly riding across to Steve's for 6pm start. got there, and riding were Steve, Andrew, the other (accountant) Steve, , Matt, Tony, Jo from work and me. headed up Rapaki, good climb, into heavier and heavier fog, making for any speed tricky. good moon out, lighting the way too.

avoided the single track on Vernon, took road, then hit Summit Traverse. excellent ride round there, coming out of the fog around the Sugarloaf. down through vic, Gums, to skidder site, then down road to Dog Exercise Area, dodgey down side of pines to top of cashmere, with big drips falling off the pines onto their roots making for very interesting riding down there. once next to the houses the lower section of walktrack was closed (must've been a tree down or slip?) so bailed out onto Scarfe Pl, then down Longhurst briefly, then Derrynane lane through park to Takahe/Kidson. a few of us bombed down Kidson, but the others lost their way and went up Takahe, meeting us finally down bottom of Kidson. into Macmillan to Marie's place where she had laid on some delicious Muffins and warm drinks... then down hill, and i rode home down Colombo whilst the others peeled into Beckenham back to Steve's.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday a.m. Kennedy's Marley's Vic

totally different riding buddies yesterday. Rode across town to Paul d'S's and met with Derek there. then we picked up little Dave from work at bottom of Westmorland. Headed round to the Quarry, and up the Crocodile. it was in good nick all the way. even the 'bad bit' was okay, little sticky on some of the upper reaches. then headed up Kennedy's. always forget how long Kennedy's is. tho, good to go up it again, its been a while. everyone kept good form up there. then round the road, and up to top of Worsely's. Dave peeled off here, down what looked to be a muckfest, there was SO much standing water down there. the rest of us headed up over Marley's. i lead. it was great. in very good condition, dry with only one or two slightly soggy bits. the new section rocked! then the lower bit was good, tho the top rocks were pretty greasy.

from kiwi, headed up Thomsons, top of Vic. down Coffee Break, first few jumps of Brakefree, then down through the gums. excellent cruise down there, then Dazza's which rocks at the moment, then down Brents, round Flow (nasty big deep rut formed here) into Bridges, dropped the k2 washout drop, and out the bottom of the valley. i was home 35 odd kms later, by 12.15, tired.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Late night Thursday solo Bottle single spin.

left home bout 9. headed River Rd, Banks, Archilles, Ajax, New Brighton, Burwood Park, Horshoe lake. counted 6 possums through there, and that was just on the track, hate to think how many more are in there. good spin, tho very sticky in the middle. boardwalks bit slippy.

up Burwood Rd, into the forest. hung a right, headed out over the dump, along beach, then back in and north, round and back to carpark. all good. one or two weirdnesses, where for example i'd come round a tree thinking the trail was gonna keep going straight, or veer left, when it actually hung a right, thereby throwing balance and flow off, nearly crashing, being saved only by emergency squirrelly braking...

hardly saw anybody out there. one group of three fixing a puncture, a couple leaving as i entered, that was about it. cruised home catching the short section of Horseshoe, park, then from Archilles a right on Banks to clean up the last section of singletrack. flying over this hump - there's this huge tree down across the creek and trail. nice dirt encrusted squirrelly stop. clamber back up onto road, around it and back on trail and down North Parade home.

Hour and a half or so all up. sketchily, i'd forgotten my cellphone.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Wet Hills.Dyers, H.Ell, Traverse, 'paki

Too long off bike, weather's been diabolical...
bout 8, i drove over to Nelson's with the Cotic in the back. we rode down colombo and up Dyers Pass Rd. Past the Takahe, we hit the walking track which sidles along above the road, all the way up to the saddle. nice easy climb, good track surface, no damage whatsoever resulting from us. More and more snow as we got higher... Summit Rd was closed, which was nice.

headed to top of Vic Park, then hit the Traverse... we appeared to be the first to have sliced through the snow along there. was fun. we stopped to aid guttering drainage a few times. otherwise, the trail is holding together well, and survived our riding it very well. hitting a patch of snow was like someone putting your brakes on, and the front wheel would dart left or right randomly too... interesting... the rocky bits near Lava flow were tricky as all hell. few other tire tracks round there too...

then we took the road around vernon, into a bitterly cold wind down to Rapaki. then hoisted it down Rapaki. the most fun Rapaki can be. foot deep ruts, greasy clay, slippery rocks, limited visibility... mint!

cruised back across town, invigorated, splecked with less mud than you'd expect, toes like blocks of ice, or as Nelson put it, his feet felt like they'd been through a planer...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Horseshoe Bottle Lake Brooklands Single Late night spin

Nelson turned up to my place and we woulda headed out door about 8. up North Parade, into Banks Ave singletrack, riding several sections of it, then turning back to Archilles, Ajax, New Brighton Rd, across Burwood Park, coupla jumpies on the bmx track there, then into Horseshoe lake. Burned through first section then hit the walk track that goes through to the river. FUN. i'd never ridden it before, and it was awesome, some boardwalks, plenty slippy, much longer than we'd thought it would be. cool. then, all the way up Burwood Rd.

into the forest.Bombed through the usual and on up to Spencer Park. then hit the Brooklands Walk track. rough. sandy in places, soggy. hard work, quite a distance too. then back to Spencer Park, snack stop, then met these bikers at the BBQs with some meat and beer... then back into the forest, back to Waitikiri, back usual way then caught a bit of Horseshoe, coupla jumps, home via Banks singles and River...follow the lines...mappage 40 odd kms... home just after 11...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Too long... then Saturday, ride to planting

Dropped O off up at my folk's, then headed to bottom of rapaki to meet the boys. Steve, Tony and Wayne showed up. we trundled up rapaki, hung a right, breezed up singletrack, running into Matt and a mate of his John, who were riding to meet us. they turned round, we headed round for Vic Park. bumped into James Marshall, angrywadder who i've not seen for a while.

headed down, couple jumps on the Brakefree, then down gums, dazza's and across to planting. planted lots of trees, steve and wayne took off. tony and me went for bbq at ranger station, then he headed down, and i bombed down dazza's again, on down, into valley, around and down

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wednesday Bottle Lake spin

Nelson picked me up, we drove out to find the carpark chocka post the Wednesday Night Racing... on our geared bikes, cos his first ride on his replaced frame, headed into the forest, took the middle trails out and round full loop, going hard, me wheezing a bit in the cool, hardly stopping, full loop back round to start, then headed right and out towards beach. my chain broke strangely. was the quicklink that had split. luckily i combed back up the trail and found the missing culprit, and put it back together. then we headed out to beach, back along and the back in to carpark. good spin...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hanmered winter wonderland

amazing weekend in hanmer. bigfoot is my new favourite track.

Jerry and me left the bach we were in, riding around to and up Jacks. took the right on one of the early corners and headed down the track Al took me last time. nice wee climb up to new majuba connection behind conical. bad sidle on majuba to the nice rest of it. jerry did really well, falling off twice cos his clips were too tight and then at the bottom of majuba managed to get his butt pretty good. then we headed down Pawson's, and up Dog Stream.

At Joliffe's rd i pointed him in the right direction and tootled up to do upper dogstream, nice nice nice, one close call hand nearly bounced off bar. then met him at picnic by lower bridge. up mulgins, he bailed out down the lower upper dogstream, top bridge down, and i carried on up to Bigfoot. cleaned it all up bar one or two bends, then the downhill was blissful. bombed it with such flow, saw a dude coming up, got to the bottom and had to do it again, took the fir back up, cleaned bigfoot climb again bar the same two, awesome, and better descent. then up nature, onto detox, back up road, dogstream down to joliffes again, up there and out redrocks, then home. i hope Jerry enjoyed it, i tried to show him interesting riding... here's a googlemap of it like

that afternoon it snowed, 3 or so inches by end late in the evening. froze hard overnight. gorgeous winter wonderlands. white landscape driving home

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Worsley Grease-fest...

Rode over to Nelson's about 5.30 on the Soul. He had to ride his singlespeed cos he hasnt protected his new frame yet. so, we headed across town to Worsleys. round the first corner it was a good 10 or more degrees warmer we had to stop and get layers off. continued up road, him getting way ahead cos of the standing and grunting, me spinning a lower gear.

hit the dirt, it was wet... the surface was juuust sticky, but not to the wheel clagging stage, and most ruts had either flowing or standing water in them. Grease is the word. a fair bit of walking ensued, but surprisingly rode a few bits i wouldnt have expected to. staying on the ridges between ruts was tricky at times too, and then the body bag was a complete walk, no way could you get traction, it was hard enough on foot... re jacketed at top, and had a bite to eat. wind had changed up there to southerly, clouds building a bit to the south.

headed up Marley's. most of the descent was pretty good. greasy sticky bits following Teddington Chipped corners which were nice and dry. the new section is coming along amazingly, with some awesome rock armouring and a fantastic line with good flow. riders should make tracks... good bomb to kiwi, slippin and sliding here and there. up road to top of vic. and round the summit trail all good, tho my legs were struggling by this time on all the ups and nelson was ploughing ahead of me.

Top of Huntsbury, headed down, then out the landing strip, then over a fence and picked lines between tussocks over the ridgeline, down to pylons, with some nice flowy bits, then down various off piste lines over the two wee jumps and down onto the road. then down to Nelson's property, had a look around that, scoped out the reserve below it, but couldnt see well enough to risk going down and having to clamber back up, so headed down Major Aitken Drive, bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz all the way down, home via Eastern, Wilsons etc, southerly wind blowing me home...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

SS-tagalong, then Wharfdale non starter.

Saturday, O and me went out to Bottle Lake with the tagalong. nice spin, fun with him. start of inside loop, then out to beach, then back along beachside track, and in the old (blown out connector) then on round. surprised at permafrost bits, frozen puddles and patches of frost in spots.

Put the Soul back together (using the derailleur i scored off Mel on Vorb), tuned up and ready to rock.

Finally thought we were gonna get to do the Wharfdale again, after well over a year since any of us had done it, yesterday. but disaster struck... drove all the way out to Oxford, and round Woodside to View Hill, towards the Wharfdale. Headed in the Wharfdale gravel rd, hit the first ford, entered it, it got deeper and deeper, pete had an “oh shit” moment, and the engine conked out.

So, there we are sitting in the middle of a river, water all up round the doors, all of us going “this is bad” and “holy crap” etc. Nothing to do but get out and let all that water in. Tried to push the car, it were too heavy (falcon v8). Got the hell out of the water cos the pain was too much to bear. Formulated some plans. I said I’d go get help, but of course needed to get bike off the rack. Tony’s first, then a couple wheels, then my frame. All the while YOWCH YOWCH YOWCH in the cold cold water. Headed back down the road, first house, older lady, said they're just a small holding and dont have anything capable, but try Derek the farmer down the road. So biked to this guy and said to him “you must get this all the time, but my mate has parked his car in the middle of your ford. Lady down the road there said you’ve towed people out before. any chance of a tow?” he said yep. So I rode back to the boys and in due time the farmer came along and pulled the car out with his hilux.

Then we sat and waited, and scooped water out of the foot-wells, and got rained on, and ate some bacon and egg pie. Matt was came from chch to tow us home. It was looking like a very long trip home… Matt arrived, hooked up, started out. and then a few hundred metres up the road pete signalled to stop. Brakes (being power assist and being wet too) and steering were very very bad, meaning matt was gonna have to take it really easy… also, being an auto, we were gonna have to tow slow anyway. But then Pete tried starting the car up. And amazingly he got it going. It was a bit sluggish at first, idling really roughly, but revving out okay, blew a good gallon or two of water out the exhaust (that had flowed in whilst in the river), then ran beautifully. A few of the warning lights were on the dash, but it ran fine. so we headed for town. Stopped half way down South Eyre Rd to check pete’s oil, which had a little water in it, but other sodden carpets, and upholstery, car seemed alright. Insurance will take care of everything. So, Wharfdale, if you're listening, we'll be back.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday Night, SS. Greasy Captain, Godley.

Nelson picked me up bout 5.30-6. Headed out to Slumner. Both on Singlespeeds, headed up Captain Thomas. Greasy as, dabbed and walked lots. hard to get traction with all that torque. Got to Evans and we were originally gonna go up the road to top of Greenwood, and back down Thomas, but decided Greenwood would be nasty in places too, and the Captain wouldnt be much fun going down either, so we headed out Godley. first half was tricky, greasy in spots, but dried out the further out we got. Got to Breeze Col and headed round singletrack below road, then back. by which time for some reason Nelson's battery was going, his light becoming dimmer and oranger. Down Anaconda, he was taking it pretty slow. mine was fine, i was ripping. tho, the brakes need overhauling. then up out of Taylors, gooood grunt on the singles. and cos of his light, we just bombed it down the road.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday Flat cruise to planting - SS

not much of a ride. took singlespeed across to Steve's. only Andrew and Wayne were in attendance. we headed down Garlands, round King Edward to the singletrack behind the fish factory, round back of there, crossed the Cut, headed up the true left side to Radley, some cool little singletrack in there on that side, then back on the other side, all the way down to Tunnel Rd bridge, then staying on that side took the single round to Ferrymead Historic park, round to Ferry Rd Bridge, back up stream behind the industrial area, spat out onto Charlesworth St, and along to TFC and the planting. put in heaps of plants, got to lay quite a few out, which i enjoyed, shaping the future ecology of the area. then T and H and O turned up, with the Tagalong, so attached that and Otis and me rode home. along bikepaths, linwood, linwood canal, backstreets, home. with john.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

tuesdaynite, full moon, rapaki, witch, castle, bridle, morgans

minor disaster, but i'll come to that...

so, heading for T's Mum's for dinner, left home 5.40 cos had gotten caught at work, and hoofed it across town, up rapaki, passing several, nearly catching one (and from above, there were HEAPS of lights following up). hung a left, round witch hill, helluva wind blowing, full moon, clouds skudding, up road, nearly being plucked off the road by the wind just by the Tors where the wind whips over the top to Cass Bay... then bombed it down castlerock, nearly being blown into the bank most of the way, then down Bridle Path... cooked the brakes, they were starting to sound glazed and were getting a tad spongey by the time i veered onto the Morgans Valley track. along and up that, grunting up the steep, then nice cruise (quite sheltered round there) round back of commarc guy's place, and then onto what must be one of my favourite sections of singletrack... then disaster struck. all of a sudden, there was a sickening crunchy noise and i came to a stop, before i even knew what i was doing i was rolling backwards to disengage the derailleur from the wheel. it had been completely snapped in half, the actual thicker alloy fatigue broken right through on the first bit, and it was jammed. must have hit a rock, cos there's no way it would have done it just on its own. it wasnt even in one of the big cogs at the back, but probably 3rd or 4th down...

i txtd T to let her know i was gonna be a while, she txtd back that she'd come get me. so i got the chain off, and tucked the broken derailleur into its own cable so's it was out of the way, and i rolled what i could, scooted what i could and walked the rest... had quite a good descent. down past the quarry wasnt bad in places, and down the steps of the quarry walkway was good too, all downhill. T turned up as i was walking along Bridle Path Rd...

so. the damage. slightly bent hanger, completely destroyed derailleur. a few scratches on my nice new frame. boo hoo.

Monday, May 19, 2008

friday night, saturday dig, sunday morning

Friday night, drove over to Nelson's and we hit the streets, then up the valley below rapaki. techy, lots of fun, wee bit of walking and dabbing. on up the maintrack, moonlight lighting the way. round summit trail on Vernon, then over Scott's Knob and the next one. Heavy dew made rocks and roots interesting. , cross road, over fence onto single then we headed round the rocketship ride trail (cos of the new 'seal', ie teddington chip) into top of vic, once down Brakefree, then on down into the gums. i led the way, across the first bit, laughing at myself not making a decision quick enough and nearly going into a tree, then round first corner back the other way, then down into the bit that was contentious on Vorb a while back. got a little way down that and heard an almighty "CRACK" then some words from Nelson. i pulled up, and went back up to see what had happened. his frame had broken, chainstay, discbrake side, just infront of the dropout. this was a nearly brand new bike. so, he started walking, and i headed on down, Dazza's, trying out all the new bits, then down through the macrocarpas below there, then round 'bridges', down k2 drop and on down valley. got to the style and my battery fell out. glad i didnt lose anything further up, or that the battery hadnt fallen out on a crucial bit of singletrack! then bombed down bowenvale, very careful through the gategap i crashed on at easter, and hauled across town to Nelson's, grabbed car, drove back up hill, and found him already down Dyer's Pass Rd near Kidson Tce.

Saturday. otis and me went to Living Springs in Governors Bay and helped a team of people dig trails. the report on Vorb said 19 people volunteered, and we got 180 metres of new track built. nice, flowy twisty singletrack in (denuded (by stock)) native vege (mostly manuka and ongaonga, bit of other stuff). cant wait to ride it.

Sunday. met at steve's. Him, Pete, Andrew, Tony, Wayne and me. headed down Garlands, into KingEdward Tce round behind the fish factory, over the fence along the trueright side of heathcote river to tunnel road bridge, the over to the other side and round behind ferrymead industry, then around to the mccormacks bay trail, up the steeps riding much more than previous week. up road, over greenwood, all the new stuff was much better than before. veeery careful across the slats in gloomy gulch, and still managed to get a squirrelly front wheel slide in, then on down, bombing it nicely. on good form. then out godley, tentative through where i did my ankle in, but bombed it all good otherwise, and then hammered the anaconda, beautiful roll down that. Soul is performing wickedly. over the hill, coffee at dotcom, then the haul home.

Monday, May 12, 2008

pleased still, with the new soul i am

saturday morning. Matt, Andrew, Wayne and me met at Steve's, and cos of rain overnight we headed round river to McCormacks Bay, and up the gully track to Craigieburn Pl, up Mt Pleasant, hit Greenwood, and down to ranger Nick Singletrack's ute, grabbed a grubber or spade each and then headed down to meet up with trail maintenance volunteers. put in half hour or more with them, flipped a few rocks, dug a few drains, smoothed up a few lines... all good. then headed back up a bit and down 4wd track to Richmond Hill pines, then under Steve's advice we took a couple wrong turns trying to find the way they'd come up a week before... (personally, i would have liked to ride down the gnarley root infested track under the trees, then across the track we'd ridden up weeks before (when steve wasnt with us), then down Richmond Hill proper. Matt and i scarpered for home cos of the time, whereas Steve Andrew and Wayne stopped for DotComCoffee.

Soul performs nicely, tho, trails werent really testing enough.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pleased with the Soul, I am.

First Cotic ride. Lunch time blast. across town to rapaki, met nelson, headed up, turned right onto singletrack, up round mt vernon, climbing very nicely, cleaning all the little techy rockbits where nelson dabbed a couple times. mucky mucky yucky on the flatter bit up western flank before heading down to road. then stopped for bit of a snackage, then round single, good nick, and down Old Skool. did all the 'shortcuts' cleaning everything. bike handles very nicely indeed. indeed. so well as to not even notice it. seems smoother on the rough stuff than the switchbacks were... then down the last stretch below that pylon before the singletrack proper begins. looking ahead at the shady hillside and the freshly turned dirt (where the new lines have all been made), we decided to check out the old walking track that takes you down from about there to the bottom of the valley. steps, but much much dryer than the bike track ever would have been. had a wee look in the top of the old forest where there used to be singletrack til the big storm of 01 that bowled over oh so many trees. all the gates were open so it was a blast down the maintrack. then back to work through beckenham and straight down dirty old colombo st. pleased with the Soul, i am.

Monday, May 05, 2008

post number 200 !! and swtchbckr 3 years old today

today marks 3 years of me doing this blog. wow...

AND this is post number 200... extra wow.

on average, 5.69 posts per month posted...

alas!. two weeks since i've ridden. weather has just occurred to ensure less riding on hills, cos the trails will be mucky mucky mucky.
finally finished the build on the Cotic on thursday. it required, new gear cables and outers, new bottom bracket, and lots of thought. anyway. it feels good, riding it around out the gate, but tomorrow will be the first test of it up the hills. gonna do a lunchtime ride.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


a whole week gone by, rain and resting my ankle up. Cotic frame arrived. waiting now on a seatpost, then i'll build it up...
rode over to steve's. chilly start. soon warmed up tho. Tony, Steve, Pete, Matt, and another guy steve on a rigid old avanti, ridden with us before. up Farmtrack, left down single, round witch, up road, down castle to bridle, then back up castle, down road, round witch, up single across and down Oldskool bowenvale. good spin, 12 oclock at bottom of bowenvale so we went for a coffee... the trails were just on the greasy side of dry. my ankle is definitely getting better.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday a.m. Rapaki,Summit,Greenwood,Thomas

Rode across town, mild morning, to Steve's. Andrew, Tony, Pete, Matt, and Wayne. Steve not well. headed up rapaki, pushed good all the way up, hung a left, good flow round witch hill, then a good blast down Castlerock to bridle. good push round road, good flow round John Britten, then break for snacks at Greenwood. pretty good flow down there. some nice new bermed corners in the top section. the slats were slick as, i got skittery on it, and i thought to myself, someone's going down on these today. turned out it was Pete. headfirst into a rock, putting a nice dent in his helmet and giving him quite a shake. rolled on from there, good rest of the way down. then down Capt Thomas. bombed it pretty good, taking it a bit easy, baulked on the first of the techy rock bits i usually ride the left hand line down some sort of steps cut into a big rock section. cleaned the lower two nemesis's, tho, dabbed the bottom of the first one. quite a few walkers around corners so took it easy all the way down. then good road ride round to Whack, and then i rode through Charlesworth to linwood and home. contemplated cemetaries, Kerrs, river, home. maybe next time. (tho, just calc'd that adds a kilometre or more...)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thurs night quarrypoach

Wednesday night, i hacksawed off the cracked seattube, filed off the burrs and set it back up, also, straightened the derailleur hanger. what i didnt do was double check the H and L screws...

so, the Last night. hooked a lift with Pete, we met Matt, Andrew, Tony, Wayne (no steve) over at Halswell Quarry. rode up round top of quarry, near the top, grunting up the final climb, middle ring front, big cog down back, hear the derailleur tickling the spokes just a little, didnt think much of it, then CRUNCH TWANG CHICKITTY SMUNCH... stopped very quick, bottom half of the cage is ripped open, jockey wheel out, derailleur well and truly embedded in the spokes... ugh. found the wheel, two washers, bush, and bolt, straightened up the cage, worked out how it all went back together and fixed it up. re-adjusted the L screw, and rode on... sweet. uneventful after that, other than the gears are out of whack again, skipping in 2nd and 3rd, but okay in 4th, so most climbs were in granny and 4th. over quarry, down to bottom of Crocodile, all the way up that, over to the gate, finding a good groove down the singletrack to the gate, then back up and down, good groove again. Pete had light issues, attachment and battery life, one of the ironing out aspects of first night rides... other than that, no hassles. back down crock, and back to cars...

Monday, April 07, 2008

sunday, solo worsley, nun, vic, cool runnings...

Steve and Pete were in Hanmer, and the rest of the boys wanted to do a Scumner ride, which i couldnt be bothered with, so headed out on my own. Due to not having had any diclofenac all Saturday, my ankle ached the whole ride, really munting my mojo... Anyway, headed up Worsley's, No Tresspassing signs all over the access points to the 'Hidden' track, more's the pity. i was feeling pretty tired, so ended up walking the last of the body bag. oh, and noticed also that my derailleur hanger is bent, probably from the crash that did my ankle in... plus, the seatpost was creaking a lot, i've GOT to get the hacksaw on that frame soon. just as well i'm getting the Soul, this switchback frame is tired for now... anyway, over Marley's, down flying nun. at the corner leading onto the little new sections before the 4wd section, i met the guy building the new line across. all good. bombed down to kiwi, then up road to Thomson's, down through pines, spotted the teetertotter, ran into it a few times but just didnt wanna screw up and have to bail on my bad ankle, so chickened out. then did the 'brakefree' track, a few good wee jumps there, but not quite my style. then down through gums, had a good run down there, then up to top of Cool Runnings, good run down there, major earthworks just before the Darkness, and then out 'Bridges' as its appears to be called, down the washout drop, and down Bowenvale. spotted the zig zag track is being opened up again by the look of it... just from the first fence/gate below K2. dead end at pres. cautiously went through the final gate, and treadled home. home by 11.20, nice and early.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cotic Soul... coming my way soon

Today i've purchased a brand new Cotic Soul frame off of paul at should get it early next week. constructed of Reynolds 853 goodness, its been on my drool list for quite some time.

dirtrag review of it...

and a little of what 'What Mountain Bike had this to say about it a few years ago...
"What really sets the bike apart, though, is the way it integrates the tall Fox fork into it's geometry without even a hint of the strike capability it's packing. While the DMR flaunts its big fork and demands you ram it down the throat of any trail obstacle you encounter, the Cotic really does talk quietly whilst carrying a very big stick. In fact, the invisibility of the extra fork travel is almost it's undoing. We often thought the back end was kicking around more than the others before we realised that the forks wre thumping around at full travel.
"Hit technical stuff and the enhanced capability is obvious. Even with the less than aggressive cornering tread of the Conti Verticals, hitting corners with the bike as flat as possible, saddle tucked well down towards a dropped knee and rear wheel sliding became second nature. Saw the big bars back and forth as you stamp down the power through the exit and there's no trace of tuck from the front end and every watt you can muster goes straight into the trail rather than being scattered across roots and rocks.
"Weight balance is also superb. It's easy to pop the front end up over trouble or skip the whole bike sideways to a new line, but it's still totally planted on even the most vertical climbs. In the coimpany of the Cove and Inbred we soon became blase about cleaning crux moves that we were normally only accustomed to managing on race specials. In fact, the longer we spent with the bike and the harder we pushed it, the better it responded. Even on our most cack-handed days it lifted our riding to new levels.

and bikeradar gives it a 4 1/2 stars

once the current geared switchy is built into the soul, will i no longer be 'the swtchbckr'...? will i have to change my blog name??? considering i love to ride switchbacks, i think i can safely keep this name...

Mcleans Singles spin, first lights.

over a week since my ankle. on diclofenac for it, still a bit twingey, achey in the mornings...

Nelson picked me up, and we picked up Matt, in the Bongo, headed out Mcleans Is.
me nursing the ankle. first lights ride. most of first lap with light off, second half with on, but due to dusk they were a bit dim... good spin, but i was being very careful, remembering my thumb crash out there. adjustments needing to be made on the new seat on the single. weird getting the hang of it all again. second lap seemed to flow better, was getting hang of lights and reading the trail again. BAD PIG STINK out the northwestern end of the park.

Weather was performing amazingly. while we rode there was the odd lightning flash. we just finished the second lap, talking about doing a 3rd, when it absolutely HOSED down. we skeddaddled to the Van, fast as, and got under cover asap. driving home lightning was going off all around, the wind was howling, rain pouring. fantastic.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

two crash bonanza Easter

Friday afternoon, spur of the moment ride, i was given 1 hour 15..., pedalled across town and up rapaki, round mt vernon, across and then down Oldskool bowenvale. excellent ride, except for the heat. was a scorcher going up rapaki, and hot as coming down, and not stopping much i think i pushed too hard. anyway, did the old trail, not the upper new bits, then hit the new lower bits, and onto the main track at the bottom, just filing through the gate, and WHAM, clipped the right side handlebar on the gate post, flipped over, i think sliding shoulder down fence, left shin along gravel, bike under right leg, pedal shaped bruise in calf, frame on the knee, and somehow bruised the hell out of my forearm. straight back on teh bike, and pedalled the pain off home...

Monday, we were gonna go Mt Grey, but Steve and Pete bailed, so met Andrew, Tony, Hubby, Wayne, Matt and english Mark at dotcom. up Richmond Hill Rd, steep near top, but still middle ringed it all the way up, hung a right across a track to Clifton, then up the rooty bit up onto to Greenwood Pines, up road, to Greenwood Park. there was a doctor guy with a broken wrist sitting at the start of greenwood. he'd toppled off onto the road, couple metre fall, onto his wrist, yowch.
Excellent run down Greenwood. Man its rocky these days. bombed it, cleaned it smoothly. tony had a flat, couldnt fix it so walked down to us at the macrocarpa, decided we'd carry on out godley and he was gonna try fixing it again and head down Capt Thom. so, we headed out godley. good run all the way til just before Livingston Col, i was bombing down the trail, started getting dodgy on the balance, was heading for some rocks so clipped out to dab for stability, but was travelling too fast, toe caught the ground, twisted my foot outwards, felt like a ping or crick, and total agony. i SO thought i'd broken it... pictured in my mind ambulance or helicopter etc... eventually tho, i put a bit of weight on it, hurt like hell but managed to ride down to col and we rang Tony to pick me up from Taylors, first attempt at up hill i was like "no way.", so got on the road and headed round to Breeze. Saw Derek out there. anyway, the boys all headed down, and i followed after talking to Derek. caught english mark up on the last section... even managed a few of the jumps on anaconda... much to the discomfort of my lower leg.

ended up going to the med centre. they decided it wasnt broken, just a bad sprain. so, rest, compression, diclofenac.

Monday, March 17, 2008

sunday late afternoon solo

grey oppressive sky...drove over parked vernon tce. rode round to Bowenvale, up Nu skool onto old skool, cleaning everything bar the steps and one blow out on the steep zigzags near the top. felt pretty good, middle ring all except the zigzags pylon to gate. thought about dropping to granny on the crappy round gravel shit thats on Huntsbury, but managed to plough on through. hit Vernon trail, round bombing down to Rapaki, excellent flow. then round witch hill, nice spin there, then over the fence and down onto the walktrack, excellent ride round that, cleaning all but the steppy bit. stinging nettle is bigger now, more likely to bite... then from tors, up road to Castle, excellent flowy run down there, bombing so quick, realising on the way down i's hardly touching the brakes. then at top of Bridle, i headed for a look down Whakaraupo track. looks fantastic. stopped just where some steep steppy bit started, cos knew if i went down it i'd either have to walk up it or ride up BridlePath, neither of which appealed, so i headed back up the castle rock track cleaning all, then down road to witchhill trail. then headed down Rapaki, but, i headed into the valley, and grabbed the sheeptrail singletrack, flowed down it all the way, past 2 no bikes signs (which of course i didnt see!) and all the way down the valley. then, just within sight of the shelter, i grabbed a sheep trail that sidled upwards, rode lots, pushed a little, and got onto the ridge of Farmtrack, and bombed down the lower nether-regions, back to car... wicked ride. good energy all the way, good form.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thurs Night Low Altitude Ramble...

Thursday evening. met Jo, Matt, Andrew, Wayne at Steve's. Marie, her partner Mark, and another guy, all turned up too. headed down Heathcote river to singletrack from Radley. climbed fence and along true right side to Tunnel Rd, dead pukeko inclusive. crossed tunnel rd and headed through to ferrymead maori village. up road past coffee roasters, through school, up to gondola, up bridle, left onto Morg's Valley track, cleaned the climb, round behind the trees, then through gate into Commarc guy's property. if he'll let us, there's major scope for some singletracks in the Macrocarpas along the back, and the pines and gums on the north end too... over grown grass, we headed across the back, over a small slip, up to top of some pines, which had a cool little track down through them, walked up the side of the pines, across the top and down a few zigs and zags. then out, down through an empty section, and out onto the road. then, heading for home, we went to the true left side of Devil's Elbow behind the Industrial zone upstream under tunnel rd bridge on up to single and i split off at Ferry Radley home via ferry, and P lab central: bordesley buccleugh england etc...

Monday, March 10, 2008

sunday worsley marley traverse old skool nu skool

Friday night, gave the bike a full drive train replacement, chain, cluster, cogs, derailleur cable shifter...

excellent sunday spin. snagged a lift with Pete, over to Tony's, to find Andrew, Steve, Wayne, Hubby, Tony and Matt in attendance. headed up Worley's where we caught up with Maria. hot day. good cruise up worsles, on up the dirt, rest in the shade at that corner half way up, then on up to the Hidden track. Bombed down that. cleaning every rock pile. pete crashed on the rock garden below the pylon, i had to bail. then wicked run down the lower section, love that bit. then tootled back up the main track. 4 of us cleaned the entire bodybag to the top, including Matt for the first time ever, me for the first time in ages, Steve for the first time in ages, and Andrew. then over marley's, pete on my tail going down, i could hear him back there, rattle rattle scuff scuff then on one hairpin this shhh shhhhh sound and then silence i looked back and he'd disappeared... stopped round the next corner and all the others were hauling up to a stop. pete had come off into a gorse bush! matt had rolled up to find his bike in the middle of the trail, pete no where to be seen. quite a laugh. on we rolled, nice new bit on the corner into the 4wd section. awesome blast down to the kiwi too.

then up the road to top of vic, onto the traverse. hummin round there, past the top of the Lavaflow DH racing(not alot happening), and down onto the Oldskool. excellent rock garden cleanage all the way down there, pete bailing yet again, then down round onto the single. phone rang, so pulled up and let the others all roll on by. finished phone call, and leaped back onto trail in front of wayne, then proceeded to catch up to and overtake Tony Andrew and Maria, then caught up with Hubby and Steve on the lower section tailing them out to the end. the southerly we'd seen from top of worsley's over Kaitorete had rolled in (no rain) and was blowing hard as we were descending that lower section. it was whipping up mega dust at the bottom of the valley. said "nice bike" to a fellow switchback rider, discussed singlespeed issues with him, then grabbed free saussies from Bike HQ stand at the bottom (lots of DH heads around). excellent tail wind home across town.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Quarry Crocs...

quick ride last night. picked up nelson and met with the boys out at Kennedy's/Halswell Quarry.steve, pete, wayne, tony, (english)mark, nelson and me. headed up over the top of the quarry, then down to bottom of crocodile. up the croc, on up the single all way to top of it, then over to next gate on kennedy's. then turned around and down it all. i lead the first section of main descent, pumping it okay, but nelson was on my tail. then i let him lead on the Crocodile proper and i stayed on his tail mostly. one cool corner, i saw in front of me his back wheel braking, off the ground, and i knew mine was gonna do the same, it was a tight wee moment on the zigs down into the valley. he bailed after the bridge and i clambered up the steep clay climb. then we were off again, racing through the trees and out the bottom, hung a left into the 'no bikes' trail across towards the quarry. we all climbed up the way we'd come down earlier and the boys turned right, while Nelson Mark and me headed up to Kennedy's Bush Rd to grab the croc once more. bit of rain, squally. good trip down again, then back out to the car.

bike playing up, only had access to big cog on back or 4th or 5th down, 2nd and 3rd were mystery shifting up and down, slipping if i put on any pressure, and i discovered my cable is frayed as a frayed thing. so on the way home i grabbed the new (old but not overly used) derailleur and shifter off Nelson.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Dun to 3rd to Peaking Ridge 28th Feb.

(part of family holiday roadtrip).
rode from flat in Nayland, Rail trail to Bishopdale, then down into town. popped into bikeshop for a Peak Fuel and yak about trails. headed up Brook again, this time, up Codgers to tantragee saddle then on up Dun Mountain track to 3rd House. relatively long ride up there, you really feel isolated til you catch up some walkers. also there was a woman at the 3rd House hut. anyway, from there, headed up towards the singletrack that comes off the back of Fringed Hill, walking about 20 mins, then at the intersection, heading towards Maitai Caves... downhill began. rooty. techy, tricky. following a ridge mainly, all in deep dark beech forest, would be treacherous in the wet. avoiding two turn offs to the Caves, a couple of small ups, little bit of walking, then the helmet visor nailed to the tree, Peaking Ridge trail begins, hang a hard right, and its instantly full on steepest you can handle without going over the bars, gnarley, rooty, steep down down down, then finally starts to mellow off, leaping roots galore, avoiding trees. it just never ended. feet, legs, wrists, hands, all getting worn out braking. was fantastic. near the bottom, there was more manuka, it opened up a bit, pretty hot and dry. amazingly long descent. i'd say from the turn top / crossroads at least 45 mins and about 400m alt. the peaking ridge trail itself felt like half an hour... then down a 4wd track to the river. there were workers working on the walking track you'd normally take down to a bridge, so they suggested i just ford the maitai there and head on down. ended up coming out below the dam, then on down the gravel then sealed road, then over the a bridge onto the maitai walking/bike track all the way into town. brilliant ride, all up about 3.5 to 4 hours.

Nelson Wed 27th Feb. Grampians

(part of family holiday roadtrip).
played about on The Grampians for my first ride. up the Blick Pl entrance off the Brook. climb climb climb, one little explore off down something just before the steepest bit, then on up til near the top of the Collingwood St exit there's Kanuka Track, so headed off down it, took me round the back, where there was this trail coming down, so i rode up it, granny steep, just near the bottom of it i spotted a track (too steep to ride up) coming down so i kept this in mind and continued grovelling up. it rounded a corner and was heading straight up towards the transmitter tower on the top of the hill. it got too steep to ride, lots of gorse around. made the top of that section and spotted the trail heading down. so, bombed down it, sooo steep, not ridden for ages, awesome. then back round Kanuka to main road, continue up. granny granny, to the top of the Fucsia trail... nice ride down that, then the Kahikatea trail. the way we went with the boys is shut to bikes now, but there's new bits round to the back and hooking up with the Kanuka trail again. bombed , nice long way back down all of that to Blick Pl start point.

kaiteriteri trails

(family holiday road trip, took the bike). Marahau. rode the Kaiteriteri trails, in the forest behind kaiteriteri. small business owned by a nice couple who are based in Marahau, (Marahau Abel Tasman Beach Camp Offices), charge $3 for concession and $3 for a map. not many trails in there, lots of 4wd/gravel road mainly, with firebreaks (steep washed out clay (interesting technically)). i noticed and explored a few wee trails that werent on their maps and talked to them about it later, they said lots of those end up down on private land. i reckon the scope of this area is huge, but then, just about everywhere i've driven in the last couple weeks has shown me untapped areas of potential. the best i reckon is taller pine or fir forest that has been thinned and had the lower limbs removed, leaving wide open spaces of pine needled forest floor with a few loggy bits around... that, or stuff thats been logged, and just planted. get in and dig your trails on that land amongst the seedlings, before all the gorse and broom takes off again, and then the trails are there to keep open while the forest grows around them. there's soooo much scope for example up the back of Anakiwa, just at the start of the linkwater-portage road, there's whole hillsides that are stripped bare and just newly planted. the opportunity for mtnbike based tourism (especially around there cos of the QC bikers) is rife.

anyway. rode from Marahau, along road towards Kaiteriteri, climbed, then hit the forest tracks. climbed a bit, explored a side track a little, then back up it, then climbed more and bombed down "Big Mama's Kitchen", lots of interesting jumps, rugged wash-out fire break style riding, fun descent but all too short. climbed the gravel road again and down "Mama's Kitchen" again... here's switchy next to one of the jumps on Mama's Kitchen...
then back up the road, exploring another potential singletrack a wee ways til it got too overgrown, then back up that. got divebombed by a Kingfisher, then back up the gravel road, past the "kitchen" and on up and up and up along the tops, much further than i'd thought, but not bad, and lotsa views down over kaiteri and out towards the Mot estuary.

then down the Rock Face... what a track. this thing starts out fire break, gets steeper and steeper and steeper til near vertical, washed out massive bike and person eating holes that were not navigable,
(pic looking down Rockface, out over Kaiteriteri...)
steps cut into the sides for walking down cos it was so steep, then eventually it gentled out enough to ride. down and down and down. one or two little ups, ducking overhanging gorse left right and centre, a few well marked choices/forks in the trail, and finally this beautiful tight twisty little singletrack that ducked into regen forest and burned it up down eventually to the Kaiteri-Riwaka road... one hill to climb and then fast road descent into Kaiteri. got there, into my togs, bike on beach, and swam the sweat and gorse inflicted blood away... T, O, H and Jo came met me and we swam and had a family day on the beach.

Monday, February 18, 2008

bottle ache

firstly, it pisshed down all week, it seemed. especially saturday, so we stayed off the hills sunday.
singlespeed, bottle lake. pete and matt, two laps, one out side mostly, one inside loop.

good spin. pushed hard.

off on holiday tomorrow.
intend on riding at Kaiteriteri, Nelson, and hopefully the Anakiwa end of the QC track... maybe even revisit Cullensville. will post upon my return.

Monday, February 11, 2008

lack, thereof.

took the bike over to Little Ak for weekend. Rode around the property a bit, finding some interesting droppy lines, trying to work out a good loop. the forest is getting messier, and the only way to get a trail in there now will be with a chainsaw.
rode up to Chorlton, and down to where you park for Raupo, the others had driven there, and we all wandered (me on the bike) out Long Lookout. coming back, i put Otis on the bar and walked him. then i rode from the carpark back up the road and bombed it down into the bay. thats about it really.
still waiting on my new slicks from torp7 for the new townie project...