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.