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.