Thursday, December 24, 2009

Xmas Eve blat, Rapaki to Slumner

great ride today with Chris. got away from mine about 2, tootled across to the 'paki, and up. heat was pounding down on us, and we kept up a good cadence but both wilted, so a quick break under the manuka tree part way up, then onwards to the top. feeling like i was dying in the heat and the climb.

hit Witch hill, and i really struggled, fumbling on every rock and gasping for air, richochet'd my way back down to the road, and then round and up to Castlerock. bit of a breather there too, awaiting the mustard Simple rider guy (again), and then we headed off down. bit of cross wind down here, and Chris was off form, with me catching him, letting him out, catching again. on the climb he got away from me again. round road to Britten

Doing better on round the britten, and then onto Greenwood. lawns mowed, so slippery dry grass all over the trail. the wideness cleared made the trail seem less rutty, but the occasional loss of front wheel traction added to the excitement. at times it was almost like it was wet. bit of a break mid way and then back onto it. feeling a bit more on form lower down.

crossed the road and hit the Thomas. i was finally feeling like i was getting it again, whereas Chris was baulking on heaps of spots, so i took the lead. usual couple of bits caught me out, but cleaned the other usuals nicely. great blast lower down, bumping into Helmark on his way up and having a good old yarn. on down, hitting the road for the long slog home. at least there was a tail wind most of the way.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunny sunday, Sumner to Evans to Taylors to Sumner again.

nice ride this morning. picked up Pete and we drove out towards scumner. passed the boys (Steve, Tony, Abba and Wazza) on the causeway, so parked up just into redcliffs and then chased them round to DotCom where Andrew and Wahayno were parked. headed up the Thomarse, me cleaning more than usual, including right to the steps at the start, all of the rooty section before the bridge (in the gulch), and nearly getting that little steep before the seat. then walked up the three or four other usuals, and all in all didnt feel that bad. we all grabbed shade whenever we could, the sun was beating.

At Evans, sheltered in shade of the bank and shot the shit til all regrouped, Abba bailing out here on account of knackeredness, then the rest of us hit Godley. i got miles up the first section, and one more pedal stroke would have had it, but i didnt. one of my best efforts yet. pete also was on form here and did about as good as me. then nice breezy flow round up and down, up and round and down. some of the party took the new right hander on the way down to Livingston Col, which isnt finished and they took the fall line straight down to us. grass is long round to Breeze, keeping you on your toes.

i led off into the 'conda. taking it pretty easy to start, flowed nicely, round and then opened it up a bit. i could feel Andrew on my tail most of the way, he seems to be on form at the moment, but i still got some distance on him, with him commenting "dunno how you can do that so fast on a hardtail" or words to that effect. stopped at beginning of 'tail and took in the lovely view. also there were lots of summery peeps on the beach, and the water was black with surfers. nice wee blast down the tail to Taylors, another regroup and water taken on and then the slog begun. i pushed reasonably hard up the hill today, cos i just wanted the climb done. caught some shade til everyone else got up and then off down Nicholson park with steve getting a close call with a car on the lane above the cliffs. meandered round waterfront watching the longboarders and enjoying the sun, then coffee time at the 'Com. then zoomed back to car and were home by 12.15.

planning to ride tonight the Packhorse with Nelson and others tonight, but this storm's come through, so we'll see i guess...

:update: hooked up with Nelson and Craig (with Bergamont!) and we drove through rain to Gebbies, then proceeded to sit in the van for over an hour chatting, then finally giving up. it absolutely pissed down, so even after it'd lightened up a bit, the trail would have been bloody wet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

desperate ploy at post count increase

didnt ride, but the PFMTBC groovers assembled at Pomeroys for a beer or 4 on Tuesday night. most brought their girls, tho i couldnt. even Nelsie showed with Trudes. and Chris joined in the fun too.

there, one more towards my 75 posts for the year...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday evening, Worstleys nun traverse (first time)-lava hidden oldskool

good loop with Chris and Nelson last night. in the bongo, nelson and me picked up Chris from centre of town and we parked up in Wherstead Rd. hit Earnsley Reserve and round to Worsleys. i struggled with the hill, suffering from a bad case of previous-evening's-overindulgence. but made it to the top eventually, walking the last 20 metres or so of the 'bag.

surprisingly good blast down the 'nun, catching good air, tho the other two were pinning it all the way and by the time i got to the road, they were way way ahead. up summit road to top of vic, and hit the traverse. my struggling continued, with me dabbing(!!!) on a couple of bits, and running out of grunt on a couple of the wee climbs... appalling!

what was amazing tho, was when we stopped at the Sugarloaf stop, the way the sun came through under the norwest arch and lit up the city like it was some crazy religious icon chosen city, surreal dark clouds all round the background and this pure slightly yellowed white light blazing down on the 'chosen' place. the sun crept slightly further down, then encompassing our trail ahead (with just the shadow of Sugarloaf covering a little bit). fucking lovely.

got to top of Lavaflow and descent began. my first time ever, amazingly. cleaned lots, but had to walk a couple of wee bits just cos i wasnt feeling on form enough. quite enjoyed lots of it. nelson had one step-off-over-the-bars moment, but other than that we all survived out to the bottom and down valley. then we hit the Hidden valley track up to oldskool. excellent hammer down there and back to the bongo all of us craving some Angus...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Sunday, a valley, traverse, gums, dazza's, nats, hidden, oldskool

good blast this morning. Pete, Andrew and me met at Steves. the four of us headed off.
because Rapaki is so dull now, we decided we're boycotting it (couldnt remember when last rode it, so checked - was back in August). so, we ventured into a "here-there-be-dragons" zone between two well known tracks. nice steep techy climb, lots of dabs, lots of walking, lots of pedal shoving rut-sides, and lots of keeping good relations with the few walkers and runners we met. none seemed bothered at all by our presence. upon meeting back up with one of the aforementioned well known tracks, we stayed on the animal paths and pushed and shoved our way up through juncus, tussocks and ruts, the overall climb taking twice or three times as long as Rapaki normally would. all of us were feeling the mugginess and lack of wind by the top.

Steve had had a wee tumble down in the rushes, landing on his thumb, so he took the road round vernon, while the rest of us grunted up the singletrack. regrouped at road crossing and hit the Traverse - steve taking it easy. great blast round here, feeling (finally) more on-form than i have done any time recently, with excellent line choice and despite having a small head-cold, seemingly enough power. it was like the narrow techy climb had dialled in my riding.

From Vic, we avoided the DH racers by taking the classic Gums trail down to the skiddersite where Steve and Andy bailed, leaving Pete and me to blast down Dazza's, then Pono's and on down the Nats, mostly pretty good downhill. meeting the racers down the bottom, where we decided to avoid them by hitting up the Hidden Valley track, cleaning all of it, and then blazing out way out down Old Skool. Met up with the others and hit up the cafe at St Martins. biked home via C1 to grab some beans.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Tuesday night, Captain Godley Conda

great ride tonight. picked up Chris at 6.30 and we headed out to Scumner. Cruised up Captain Thomas, took it pretty easy. failed to clean many of the usual obstacles, which seemed to become a pattern for the evening's ride. Fog was low, juust above Evans when we got up there, otherwise muggy.

tackled Godley, neither of us getting the first rocky section. i think we both blew the second wee snick too, but easy going after them. Fog seemed to get wetter the further out we got, but the trails (even after a couple days rain) were completely passable. no puddles, no mud, no soft bits, just very slightly greasy in a couple of spots. Chris was having more and more trouble seeing, with the misty fug accumulating on his glasses as we rode. i took the lead after the second boardwalk section and blitzed it down to Livingston Col (new section to the right noticed, just begun digging), tho taking it easy too, what with the grass slightly overgrowing most of the trails. up over to Breeze col, cleaning it all nicely, feeling my mojo starting to return a bit.

from Breeze, we took the trail below the road out to the end, then up the hill back and onto the harbourside walking track. awesome wee float down this, taking it carefully, cos the rocks were just greasy enough to be interesting.

then onto the Snake. i took the lead and got a good flow on. track condition perfect, no dust, just well firm. popped all the air, and railed all the berms and was a sweet descent. then the climb up and over back to car in Slumner.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday, quick up into drizzle to dinner

headed across town and up Major Aitken onto the new found wee piece of singletrack on the way up, thinking i'd look for another exit. could see one and another possibility, but didnt venture into them as i couldnt see any actual trails. back up onto the road and into the rest of the climbing grunt. as i got up above the pilons, the drizzle started getting thicker. all the way up the Huntsbury to the road, then hit the summit traverse towards Vic. good fang round here, tho tussocks soon drenched my shoes, with rocks and matting getting slick too.

Hit Thomsons both sections and blasted down to Kiwi, then hit Old Dyers. great ride down the first section, flowy and pumpy, then the midsection with the ruts was saturated, with all the long grass leaning into the trail, drenching me even further. down the 4wd section was wetter than i'd have thought, so a bit of splatter resulting, then crossed the road and scrunted up through vic onto the road then down past the dog exercise zones and down the track under the tv/microwave tower behind the houses and into the top of cashmere for dinner. happy birthday Mum!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday night, quarry and a pair of crocs.

no riding for over a week due to being in Fiordland.

grabbed a lift with Pete, running a little late, so the others (steve, tony, warren, abacus-steve) had slowly headed up the over the quarry ahead of us. our lungs screaming, we chased, meeting them at the top. cruisy flow down, me chatting to steve, then up the paddock and up the zigzag into the new windswept houses. tarmac for a bit then over the gate and up the singletrack. i peeled off and rode the log, then caught back up and overtook everyone into the grunts. blew the first, but cleaned the rest, gasping for air a the top. then we blitzed the 'short course' track down to gate. unbelievable how fast the elite guys must be riding that to complete 12 laps in 30mins!!!!!

regrouped at gate, and headed back up singletrack then down. i led and we were chasing this older guy who we'd given a big lead. i caught up with him before the pond, and went to pass him on a straight bit, but then i bloody well hit a rut hidden in the grass and went down HARD. pretty much right next to him... twisted my handlebars/stem, so had to get the multitool out and straighten it up. steve tony and wazza continued on, but pete and abacus-steve stuck with me. then it was off again, this time me chasing pete. down (what was) 'new tasty' and onto the croc. fanging it. didnt let a little crash slow me up. couple close calls with rutty bits and neeaarly didnt clip out when i stalled in that rock tightspot, then on down, cleaning the steepie after the bridge, where steve et al were waiting.

then steve led down but i darted round him in the lower hairpins, then we hung a tight left and down into loose grave and some surprise rock stepping stones to a regroup where steve steve and tony all bailed on account of steve's gurgly guts.

pete warren and me headed back up a different trail this time, straight up to the zigzag into the tarmac then back down the croc. another good blast, with lungs just getting right... home by 8.30. nice wee jaunt.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday evening, Major Hunts Traverse Fence Hidden OldSkool twice.

picked up Chris before 7 and we parked on Bowenvale Ave. tootled down and round to Major Aitken then up here. part way up, on a bend, spotted a wee singletrack snaking off into some gums. hit it, Chris got a pinch flat on the kerb, stopped to fix that and then on up the 'Reserve' singletrack, which appeared to finish in someones back yard. he was watering his lawn and said "up to the right", so we found our way out, and spotted where you'd go next time. nice, will be an interesting wee down next time we bail down this hill.

on up huntsbury to top, reasonably uneventful except for meeting a guy on a Simple (Soul's singlespeed sister). clambered straight up onto traverse and hoofed it round towards Vic, sun thankfully just set, reducing blindness.

dropped straight over the DH fence, hung a right and headed onto Upper Fenceline track for an explore. i'd not been down it for a year or two, so figured'd take a look. someone's been working on it, trying to stop the fall-line and they've dug in berms and jumps, but not nearly finished. bit crappy actually, and was a bit of a waste of altitude.

into Flow, Bridges, Chris taking our high line for a change, down the drop, and down to and up Hidden Valley track. cleaned it all up, round to pylons and Old Skooled it. At the stile, stopped for snackage and it was lights on time. rode the first bit without lights, which pinged and buzzed us down and then finally turned them on on some of the new section. good bomb down here trail in great nick.

at the bottom, we rode back up the valley track (steeper than i remembered), back up Hidden Valley, me blowing heaps this time, and then slaughtered Old Skool again. mint.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday mornin', Hunts Vern on Witch Castle Green Thom

Met at Steve's (who was crook), smallish posse, Andy Tony Pete and Wahayno. rode round and headed up Chuntsbury. hefty climb, but not bad. Headed up onto singletrack and down towards Rapaki. good blast down here only meeting one person riding up. dabby but not bad jaunt round witch hill, then up road, and hit Castlerock. excellence ensued, absolutely flying down to the first hairpin, feeling totally on form, but then wondering whether i should trusting the on-form-ness. round the bend and i'm all over the place, rocks pinging my wheels around. round the next bend and still not quite right, then climbing and getting it right again.

round road onto Britten, spotting the new trail from the Gondola-top on the way. nice blitz round britten, getting the rocky bit first time in years. then to Greenwood. good blast down the first section, break for snackage on the ruins then hit the main drag. awesome descent. got round into Gloomy gulch and before the next descent looked back and didnt see anyone... eventually pete turned up, tony had a flat. so we sat and took in the view and chewed the fat til the others showed, then it was off again. good blast the rest of the way out.

Finally, onto the Captain. i started off good, but then i got spooked on the first rocky sections. got on okay after that, cleaning the usuals. the final blast was awesome. has been opened up a bit and some wicked wee jumpies all the way down, then into the darker stuff, meeting walkers and runners, easy easy, and down. long slog home by 12.30.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thursday Night, FINALLY a ride, Worsle Nun Gov Thom Gum Cool OldSkool

after working late and not thinking i'd ever get a ride again, amazingly i managed to get out. picked up chris after 7, drove to nelsons whereuponst our bikes we rode. headed across town to Worsley's, me realising how spending that long off the bike had left me feeling fat and slow... realising it even more so as we hit the climb and chris and nelson blazed off ahead of me. struggle struggle i did up to the dirt, gasping for air and feeling the burn.

hit the Worsley dirt, and trundled up balancing on the crests of the ruts, dying, but managing not to dab. the boys waited for me half way up, then we set off again, and by the time i was hitting the body bag they'd already crested it. legs screaming i managed to get nearly all the way up, but, practiced as i became accustomed to, i walked a little bit, then managed to get back on and ride to the top. ugh. darkness encroaching we cruised to top of flying nun and chris and me put our lights on.

Chris led off, me second and nelson last. headed in, i felt sketchy as, nearly scaring myself on the steep rock drop corner, but pulling thru, conscious of nelson on my tail i put some distance on him, then would muck something up and feel him breathing down my neck again. one of the riser-corners i took the shortcut and nearly got thrown by something i didnt see hidden in the grass, managed to stay on, still feeling sketchy. on down and where i thought we were bailing (carpark), chris had continued down, nelson got by while i was off the track and we chased down chris who had a massive lead by now, me eating both of their dust down the lower section. regroup and trundle back up the road to the Governor's Track.

Top of the Gov's track, Nelson and Chris off first and me last. nice wee descent, lovely track, floating over the bridge, ducking branches, etc. sidled round to where the other down-track continues its switchbacky way down to the road. Nelson and Chris decided to head on down to take in all of it, whereas i couldnt be bothered with the grunt back up, so turned back getting a head start on them, back up the way we'd come down. couple bits i had to walk, below the bridge, steep wee steepies... then regrouped and finished off the lower section of the Nun back to the kiwi again, this time with Chris tight on my tail.

due to Guy fawkes, the summit road from kiwi towards rapaki was the busiest i've ever seen it. thousands of cars cruising it, bumper to bumper, fireworks going off in all the laybys. insane. we rode all the Thomson's sections for this reason. then it was down through Vic, bit of Brake free, chris riding it a couple times, then off down through the oldschool gummies. interesting rock treatment just before the trees. that should keep a few out. lost chris when we hung a left and nelson and me continued right down to the road gate, riding back and hollering for Chris at the skidder site.

then it was off up the middle trail to Cool Runnings, something i'd not ridden for quite some time. the other two hung a right for a higher line, but ended up on a completely different trail. i waited for them as they scrambled back to it, then off we flowed, railing the berms and out to Flow and Bridges, nelson and me sticking to the high line to the washout drop. then down to the new Hidden Valley connector (nice work in here!!!), round, screamed down Old Skool, and back to Nelsons about 10.30.

Excellent to get out on the bike again, but i gotta get my fitness back up, bad.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Golden Bay Trip... PFMTBC Inc, annual pilgrimage

Well. Weather-wise, this was the worst of our trips yet. Couldn’t have picked a worse weekend to ride in Golden bay. but cant do much about it.

Started off with torrential rain as Nelson and me drove into blenheim around 11.30-midnight Thursday in the Bongo. Rain didn’t let up all night, and we woke up to it too. Figured, lets go look at Rarangi and see (grabbing some Renaissance beers on the way). It ‘appeared’ to be lightening-up out at sea, so we headed off up the track anyway. An hour later, we’re drenched, pushing our bikes up through the clouds and the bush was saturating us further drip drip dripping down. I'd conveniently forgotten how much uphill there was on this ride. However, the sketchy-as downhill made up for it all - steep slick(ish) rooty rocky technical (made doubly so by the wet) trail down down down through the bush. FANTASTIC. That is what mtnbiking is all about. Pushing your limits, challenging your skills.

Changed into dry clothes and hit the road. Drove over and through towards Marahau to meet up with the boys. Ending up connecting with them in Kaiteriteri to ride the new trails there. Taking in halfpipe up, sidewinder, swampmonster, gladerunner, then up Shady lady (losing tony, steve and wayne somehow), to gladerunner and back through swampmonster and sidewinder, chainsuck starting to bite us all, then round Salivater back down. That was fun. Hosed down bikes at boatwash, and headed through to Marahau beach camp to our cabins. Weather held off a bit over beers and bbq.

Next morning, drove over the hill into rain rain rain. Decided we wouldn’t ride anywhere that day (tho, had we known what was instore for us, we *should* have done Canaan Downs then...). Checked into the Nook, and then drove through torrential rain (the westcoast kind where you nearly have to pull over cos the wipers cant keep up (tho, the Bongo wipers can handle anything!)) to the Mussel Inn for some beers and kai, then back to the Nook for dinner and lots more beer, and maybe some bourbons.

Sunday, joined by Norm from Nelson (who'd ridden with us in Nelson a few years ago), we drove up to Wharariki / Puponga (Farewellspit). Lovely day up there, barely a breath of wind, best I’ve ever seen it at Wharariki. Parked at Pillar Pt Lighthouse track start, sort of the top of the road. cruised down road to farm track along behind the beach, popped out to rock bridge and then GreenHill beach, and back up road and up track up to the Pillar Point Lighthouse and along the ridge a bit, chatting up some horses on the way. Then bombed it back down, track like a river bed - fast flowing, steep, rocky as hell, babyhead rocks abounding, and fun fun fun.

Drove down to Collingwood, had lunch as the rain started, then up to the Devils Boots, from whence we rode into the Aorere goldfields. Rode up grindy slurpy steep and rutty singletrack to Druggans Dam, a bit further, then 3 of us (Nelson Pete and me) back down the way we'd come up, while the rest 'piked' choosing to ride out via the 4wd track instead (this proved, by all accounts, to be everybit as challenging and enjoyable as our way (and longer too)).

Norm stayed over night, it rained all night, and Monday morning was still wet, so taking it easy getting started, we all took our 3 vehicles (leaving his behind) up Takaka hill, and half way out the Canaan Downs Rd where it was clearing a bit. Parked at the saddle. Rode down to Harwoods Hole carpark, and then out the Rameka track. Jungle riding at its best in these conditions... Very mucky, but VERY fun. I had a nasty crash, misnegotiating a rock entry to a streamcrossing, over the bars, into the creekbed, landing on a rock with my chest. Pounded the wind out of me, hurt like hell for a bit. But kept riding. Rex went over the bars at various times too, and Pete got stung good by a Lawyer of the bush variety on the cheek. Fun descent in the lower sections, the one bit i thought would be the worst. then a wicked struggle up the marbley cliff-ledge final climb. finally a fun bomb down the gravel access road to the Rameka Project that has extended markedly since i rode it back in March, and was a joy to behold. sidling singletrack through pine forest and hacked, nay, carved lovingly, through gorse and scrub. eminently turnable switchbacks throughout and even a kea screeching overhead in the pines. followed by a bomb down to the ford, and onwards down the rameka road. Once we finally got out to the road, rode back down towards the Nook, via a small detour into The Grove. sweet smooth walkingsingletrack up to a look out and back through spectacular limestone formations with rata trees and jungle bush. Three drivers and Norm went up to get the vehicles, with Norm continuing on home. (they were gone nearly an hour and a half, bloody long drive). Big celebratory night that night with three of us staying up til waaaay past our bedtimes.

Tuesday, still wet, so figured we’d head back up hill and do Canaan Downs trails. So, UP the hill once again, out to the saddle, and rode down the road again, and then into the start of the Rameka, only instead of turning left to go down, we continued up to Wainui Saddle. From here, locals (and DOC (see Mtbiking on this page) ) have made a trail that meanders across almost all of the Canaan Downs farm. Its really great. Awesome terrain, scenery, landscape. Lambs everywhere. Weather came and went, sometimes we could see the whole valley, other times we could only see about 10 feet. And one stage it hosed down for a good half hour. Luckily, biking keeps you warm. Plodded back up to the vehicles with sunshine trying to get through, and hail piled up around the sides of the road!!!!! Nelson rode down the road and I drove the rally-Bongo. I picked him up at the main road, then as we headed into the rain at the top, dropped him off again, and followed him all the way down the main hill retrieving him in Upper Takaka. Out to dinner at the Penguin in Pohara (just round the corner), then we all had like one drink each and crashed very early.

Awesome trail surfaces ridden, all drain well, none seemed particularly bothered by having 9 or 10 sets of tires over them at all. good times had by all. no major injuries nor major bike mechanicals. lots of chainsuck tho. and all our brake pads will have worn heaps more than usual.

Bring on next year. as well as trips to Hanmer, Kirwans, Croesus, Marlborough in between... not to mention Craigieburn and Wharfdale...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday arvo, post pox exhaustion...

Finally, exactly 2 weeks since the pox struck i get out on the bike. planting in the morning, so while H slept i picked up Chris and we parked up on Hillsborough Tce. headed up Farm Track, which was a bit of a mistake, as i found my lungs just couldnt seem to get enough air. anyway, with a bit of walking in the lower reaches, but surprisingly cleaning the top bit, we turned right on the road and headed round to top of Vernon Singletrack. headed up onto it and down round to rapaki, having a damned good flight down, track in mint condition, showing no signs of issues from previous weeks' rain (not even in the usual spots)

round witch hill, not bad, tho struggling- me on the ups, then up road to top of Castle where there was a Hangglider careening around above. Excellent blat down there, chris leading, we flew. was good. at bridle summit we decided to ride up back up the way we came, so clamber clamber, me struggling away. ugh, the climbs were so hard. then back down road, back round witch hill, much much better this time, its soo much more fun in that direction, blasting down to top of rapaki. back up vernon, chris blasting off ahead to blitz some other guys (who i surprisingly caught up to as well).

then we blatted the first bit of summit and down Old Skool... briefly think i had an apparition of a "Track Closed" sign, but it was so fleeting and i was travelling fast and committed so we carried on. in hindsight, only reason we can see for it being closed is cos of all the lambs and their mums all over the hill from that top gate to the new stile part way into the singletrack (annoying place for a stile, we reckon). we were cautious, and dont think we upset too many small family units (tho, sheep being sheep, ie, fucking stupid, there was one mum who kinda left one of her offspring behind due to us... hopefully she'll wander back and find it)

annyways, excellent run down the rest of the singletrack, all in mint condition too. no harm done, even if we accidentally ignored a sign. then round road back to car.

This was my last chance to ride before heading away Thursday night for the PFMTBC annual trip... much looking forward to it. few things to do on the bike before that...

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Pox

Last sunday, a whole week ago, i woke up ready to go for a ride, and found that my body ached like someone had taken to me with a baseball bat, and my head ached like hell and i generally just felt bloody awful... i still considered riding, thinking it was just the flu starting and i might burn it out, but, nope, got sensible and hopped back into bed... where i remained for the following 7 days pretty much. monday afternoon i noticed the first few spots, and a visit to the doctor on tuesday confirmed our suspicions, Chicken Pox.

so, a pox riddled sickboy for a week, with wednesday being the lowest point and have been on the up somewhat since then, with this weekend having been finally up and about. i'm still off work today, probably tomorrow too just to be safe. i think thursday might be my first chance back out for a ride. dont think i should push it with a ride tomorrow night, altho i am feeling heaps better, i reckon its probably best to rest these bones just a little longer, get allll the virus out of me.

that'll make it more than 2 weeks off the bike. s'been a while since i've had that long off.
(i've also turned off my RSS feed to vorb, and will just post up the rides from now on in a single thread...)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Night, quick Muntsbury Old Skool blat in threatening skies

big black shower clouds rollicked through the city in the afternoon, making the riding look dubious. didnt help that the rainradar went on the blink making it a by sight ride planning mish. drove over to steve's and everyone had bailed except us and wayne. we rode round damp streets with thick dark weather approaching to the west. i was convinced we'd miss it if we got on the hill, so we kept clear of it and up ramahana and aotea on up the hill, thinking we'd bail at any moment, and keeping an eye on what was over sugarloaf. finally hit dirt, and it struck me, why not just head down Old Skool? so. on up we went, ominous weather all around us, wind howling on us, along the ridge, and it was all downhill from there.

tucked into the descent, cleaning all the fun bits, but the tricky rocky section got me out again, only just tho. couple of interesting lines, then onto the singletrack. the rain from earlier had basically only damped the dust, and the trail was in mint condition. i floated round and down, loving it all. steve and wayne were taking it pretty easy, so i'd hold up and hang for a bit, let them catch up then set off again. they got quicker as we got lower tho. the last little section before the bottom that nelson had worked on ages ago turned out really good, bypassing the nasty holes real good...

rain got us as we rode back through St Martins, but only a little. all up probably only rode about an hour.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday, Rich Green the God-Snake

after a surprise child-free night, T and me went to UTRV for eggs-bene (mmmmm, goooood), and she was gonna give me a lift all the way to Slumner, but when we saw Steve, helMark and Tony on Ferrymead bridge, figured we'd just get to the end of the causeway. unloaded bike and i waited for the boys. tootled round to Do'Co' meeting Andypandy and Wahayno there and hearing that the Hubbatronic Goatinus was already topping Greenwood and wouldnt be joining us.

test riding the Camelbak M.U.L.E for the first time.

cruised round and up Richmond Hill Rd. its quite steep, but stayed middle ring all the way up. then up gravel and paddock... (hmmm, steve, i think i still prefer the track that goes round to top of Clifton/Panorama from there, then up that singletrack under the trees, no gravel, and no paddock...but nevermind). anyway. up road with a tail wind and Mark discussing wheelies, and then onto the 'wood.

I had an excellent run down here, chasing steve who'd headed down a fair bit ahead of us. i finally spotted him as i rounded into gloomy gulch, heading down the other side. the chase was on. i pushed faster than i have for a while and by the time i got to the gap in the fence with the jump just after it (just before heading into that little valley with the stream), he was only just heading across the other side. it was about here i could hear a clattering from my rear end, figuring it was that pesky cassette locknut again, so i pushed on down and arrived at the final stile as he was just hopping over it.

cross road and quick fix (luckily i hadnt turfed the cassette tool when changing bags). then onto Godley. blew the rocks first try, bout the same point as i made it to the other week. mark headed back for another go, so i did too. blew it even worse, trying a line on the right that proved too steep. the rest was awesome. felt very good all the way out, and flowy smooth most of the time on the downs. excellently fast run down to Livingston Col, feeling mark breathing down my neck, so i kept the speed on. over to Breeze, going good, but blowing a rock weirdly on the techiest section.

onto the snake, i led off, but into after the first couple of corners (of the anaconda proper) i felt Mark behind so pulled up to let him pass (turned out he wasnt as close as he'd sounded). with him past i stuck to his tail, popping awesome air, nailing the downs, and hammering it round the curves (some of which are seriously messy). then i led down the 'tail, flowing good and easy.

felt surprisingly good climbing out of taylors, and we all had good flight down nicholson, along the front to coffee at the Do'Com.

Mark went off to play on the Captain, we lost Steve to a burpy tubeless rear tire and his girls, leaving tony and me to ride on meeting a sweeet tailwind across causeway, then i bailed at Ferrymead Bridge up to the G's.

M.U.L.E, - review. good pack. comfy, carries everything i need, sits well, popped up bumping my helmet a couple times when bunnyhopping, but should be able to be adjusted out, and sometime i might try the waist belt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday Night, poached Quarry, Crock x 2.

picked up Nelson and met Tony Andrew Warren and HelMark outside Quarry Park gates. kitted up and headed into a nasty cold easterly. up over the top of the quarry and down to bottom of the Croc, it being dark, meeting no walkers, then into the trees and up up up. got a yell from behind to hear Tony had a pinch flat (prob from the steps above the quarry). that fixed we headed off again, me struggling on the ups which seemed to never end. dusty trails, but i'll get to that later. regrouped a couple times, then on up to top of singletrack, sheltering from the wind on the ground in the tussocks while we waited for the stragglers, then down to the next gate, and back up the single to top again, then Nelson, followed by Mark then me et al. headed down down down. wind coupled with narrow ruts offsetting balance and control.

into the top of the croc and the dust began. chasing Nelson chasing Mark, i was getting a mouthful of dust at every breath, and my eyes were catching it too. clouds of it billowing off their tires and getting caught by the wind. the worst cloud (i couldnt see through it) was just after the cattlestop before that rocky narrow derailleur eating twisty bit. then down the switchbacks, grunt up the slope aaaaand rest. others catch up, then into the pines and blast, catching smooth smooth air on the first jump then down into the lower switchies. regrouped on the field and half the crew bailed... leaving Nelson Mark and me to head back up for another lap.

again, up up up, good spin, feeling it tho, really tired last night for some reason. then the descent, a little smoother this time, i held right back to let the dust settle and had a much fast run, catching up quickly after each time i'd held back. back through the park to car and home by about 9.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday a.m. Worsley gnarley Marley to Old Skool

beautiful morning, treadled over to Tony's for a 9ish meeting. buncha pikers or at least sickos (and one injured in action) left 4 of us departing Tony's about 9.30. Us being Tony, Wayne, Rex and myself, with knowledge that we'd bump into helmutless Mark somewhere on the Worsley. spun across, and hit the hill, Rex and me striding ahead and running into Mark up by Liz's old place. regrouped at the end of the road and hit the dirt. great climb up here, again rex and me riding ahead, regrouping, riding on. lost my front wheel on the top of the bodybag, but got restarted and finished. rex and mark both cleaned it.

Marley's Nun was joyful. Mark showed us all that new beaut bermed top corner, dropped into it and blasted the rest. caught up to tony and wayne (who'd snuck by when we were contemplating that stonework) and got past wayne, then took a shortcut further down to get past tony. blazed out to where you can hop back onto the road, and we regrouped there and decided to pin another lap in, so, back up the road, and into it again. followed this time by a young'n on an Ironhorse 6.7 or something, he was fanging, let him past and he was chasing Mark catching massive air in front of me. carried on down to kiwi. smooth fast fun running. Wayne got a call and stayed put to meet another mate for a ride, while the rest of us took off up to top of Vic.

Up Thomsons Rex took the first bit, i couldnt be arsed cos of that boardwalky bit at the end... onto the second bit, blazed up there and again, regrouped then hit the traverse. nice flight round there meeting some who were rude and some who were not. then Mark headed down Lava Flow while the other three of us hit Old Skool. fun tussock dodge into the top section, stopped at gate to watch Mark on the ridge, then down all the (what we used to call) off piste bits, (that are now pretty much the standard flow, it appears), the lower middle rocky section is very very washed out now, with a tire eater that got me twice, then onto the sidling single, great flow down there, and out to the bottom dead on 12.

home across town

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday Night, the Captain Green God Snake

Picked up my bike from Kris, thursday a.m., delicious freshly serviced forks, (and i got a couple new sets of Bridgestone pads to put in too).

Thursday evening, chucked one of the new Prowler MX tires on the front (replacing the Nevegal (with missing knob)), and then after 7.30 (on account of T's yoga) Chris arrived at mine, then Nelson picked us up and off we went out to Slumner. headed up the Captain Thomas, spinny spin spin, layer off due to warmth, and added air to back tire part way up. usual bits caught us out, but all in all not a bad climb. then up the road to top of Greenwood. we always forget how long that is, but once at top, liquid load lightened into gutter, and off we headed.

nelson led out, then Chris, then me. good blat across the top and into the down, when into the first of the switchbacks nelson bails off with a pinch flat. bit of wind, cooling us, so vest on and off we rolled again. one or two corners later my chain is shifting changing skipping no matter what i do. the others getting away on me, i stop and finally look, yep, thats one mighty twisted link... so, rolled the rest of the way down, my 'flow' all jiggered. dusty and poundy is how greenwood can be described at the moment. once at Evans, out with the trusty chaintool, and a rummage around in my bag found a short length of chain, so, removed the offending link, and patched in a fresh couple. all good ready to roll again.

hit up Godley. on the first techy climb we all bollocksed it, so we all went back and tried again, and again, and again, mostly bollocksing it on the same hole or rock, but on my last attempt i damn nearly got it... got higher than the other two anyway. on up and around good cruise, tho nelson on my tail was making me push harder and harder. then the blat to livingston, after which i lost my puff on way up over to breeze. lower back was starting to give me gyp too... bit of a rest at breeze then off down the snake. i got started ahead of the other two, and realised i had this massive gap, so i stopped a ways round waited for 'em, then, lights appearing, i got going again. fuck it was bumpy. bumpiest i've ever ridden it. but, fun none-the-less. blasted down into taylors. then the road. ugh. legs spent, struggled up the hill. nicholson blast, and cruise round waterfront and back to truck. home by 11.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Saturday, hungry Poulter singlespeed slog

in Arthurs Pass for weekend, so Saturday, Tom and me headed down and through the Mt White road to the Poulter. Cotic still with Kris, so i had the singlespeed. parked up, and there's a DOC truck with trailer (for quads) and white subie with bikerack (the maxxis tread we followed all the way)

Starts off nicely, with a quick wee blast down a rocky 4wd track to the valley bottom, then meandered up following a mob of merino with a big climb in view ahead. hit the climb, i rode lots and walked lots. especially the really bouldery messy steep shit. once up tho, a nice descent flowed down, lots of line options and fun, then round a few tight bends and across a rough creek, and then down this wicked scree infested rock fest. needed to stay waaay off the front brake down here or you dug in and had no steering. steep too. over all, lots more ups and downs than i expected.

we met a hardcore 4wd coming out. as well as the fellow cyclist (who'd been in for a couple days, was carrying a MASSIVE pack (+ gun and fishing rod).

once in the National Park proper, the track becomes a DOC quad track, ie, narrower. we cruised up through this to the Tarn (where we met a couple of trampers), about 3kms shy of the Casey hut, and it was the 2 hours in mark and we figured we ought to get back. plus, we'd not banked on it being so long, so hadnt had lunch or brought much food with us. ie, Tom had brought an orange, and i'd only brought a One Square, which i duly shared with him. we reckoned if we'd not had them we'd have been toast, crawling back... turned back, slogged up the fun descents that had been on the way in, and bombed down the previous slogs. came across another DOC quad heading in too.

all up: 4 hours riding (and walking), lots of fords, shoes soaked, frozen feet from snowmelt, spectacular views, bikes well and truly beaten into submission, along with our legs and bodies.
not entirely uninteresting riding, just not sweet singletrack. next time, i reckon take a whole day, big lunch to be had at the Trust Poulter hut. or, stay night, check out Lake Minchin, etc...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday night Spottle Bake Lingle Sin.

Nelson spun over to mine on his single, i jumped on mine and we spun spun spun out to the sand infested pond. massive group of riders, mostly the usuals, turned up. Steve, Tony, Andrew Hubby Wayne Rex Abbasteve warren and a guy i didnt know but had seen another time. i led us off into the southern circuit, we bombed along nicely, watching for mini root stumps in the 'new' section. onto the trad trail and somehow nelson and me just totally dropped the nearest contenders... clambered up to that gazebo and everyone caught up. then it was off again. getting some excellent speed down into the next section. then at the jump nelson and i stopped for a play. i did a nice job of it when i finally got up the nerve to clear the gap, which proved no biggie at all.

then we were chasing cos the others had gotten miles ahead. caught up to find them all stopped cos tony hadnt charged his new light when he got it (a simple misunderstanding...). so, Steve and tony took to the forest roads, the rest of us headed on into the singletracks. northwards, to the spencerville turn off where steve and tony were waiting. then they led off and we followed catching before the next section, on through blast blast blast, running into Chris, stopped and chatted and all the rest headed onwards. then we rode the rest of the way. pretty uneventful, cept for one overtaking maneuver where nelson was a little cheeky, cutting a guy short. caught up with all the rest at the carpark.

nelson chris and me rode homewards, via the western section of Horseshoe lake trail, a play on the flying fox at burwood park, then took in all the singletrack along Banks Ave, round river to home. for a couple of homebrews and a juice.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friday arvo View Hill clamberings

as seemingly has become a (rather tragic) pattern, no ride during week, due to usual mix of children and schedules. Going to the bach Thursday night didnt help, so, friday afternoon, H having a kip, i jumped on the treadly and headed up the road to Chorlton, then on up View Hill Rd, managed to clean the steepest section, which must be one of the more sustained granny climbs around. and considering it starts after you've already done around 300 m altitude, you're already kinda 'warmed up'... anyway, on up into the valley, keeping a wary eye on the magpies that were careening around, past the lambing sheep, past a bunch of staring steers, then to the road's end, through gate and on up through the grizzled totara ruins and pepperwood peppered remnants onto the flanks of the View Hill weathertop. norwest wind was howling across the tops, blowing a bloody gale she was. threw a txt to steve into the ether and figured my time was up, so turned tail and skeddaddled down. chose an off piste way back to the gate, following the odd perfectly groomed natural sidling singletrack or dropping straight down the slopes. then, back on the road (read: farm track at best up top here), i took turns either riding it, or skirting up onto the sides and negotiating livestock trails. got some sweet flowy sections down too. after the fork and the big pine i chose one line that had yump after yump after yump, then into a giant's-head (as opposed to baby-heads) rock garden that stalled my progress immediately. picked my way through it and grabbed more of that sweet soulful flow. bombed down the last gravel section of road, side wind nearly washing me out, then tucked into the 80 odd kph sealed road bomb.

at the church, i exited the road into the cemetary, jumped over the fence into Lukes track and wafted down it. steps got the better of me, i probably rode a quarter of the whole track, and then was left carrying my bike up the last hundred steps back to the road. all up, 2 hours of good hard graft. rest of weekend, just cruised about on the old Phillips, H on the top bar.

bike to Kris tomorrow, get the forks serviced... its been wanting.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, posse on the highways of the hills - first pollen

trails drying out over week, and too busy otherwise...

Sunday morning, usual meeting place with the usual peeps. Tony, Marie, Warren, Andrew, Hubb, Wayno, Pete and me. Steve had had a bad night's sleep, so couldn't join us, but we met at his anyway. rolled round and up rapaki, along with a billion other walkers and riders. pete was on form, especially considering his lack of sleep and un-lack of excesses... felt the burn a bit up the top section. been a while since i last got up there. ran into Angrywad James and friend, both on Tomacs, who both zipped off for a witch Hill there-and-back.

Hit Vernon Single, very packed, teddingtonshit all firm and good. the two muddy spots were coping okay now too. felt pretty good riding up here, seemingly having sufficient balance and power. then cross the road and pause for a regroup. James and friend passing us by here. Then i led off onto the Traverse. excellent bomb round this, absolutely flying with a tail wind pushing me faster and faster. caught up with James and friend at top of Vic. then it was off down Thomsons, another good flight. to kiwi, brief stop and snackage. and on up road to Marleys. From road, looking across harbour, noticed what at first i thought was a lot of smoke, then clicked on the colour, plumes of pine pollen billowing out of the plantation on the point down to Quail Is. made me realise why i've got this weird 'cold' i've got (that i get every year at this time and every year remember that i get it at this time)... i guess now is the time to realise (once again) i'm a mild sufferer of hayfever. just a tickly throat and mild sinus annoyance... or IS it a cold? aannnyway, no biggie.

Marleys... fantastic run down the top section, blasting through all the curves, blazing all the jumps, into the middle rocky section i slowed a tiny bit and heard someone on my tail. a brief check and realised it wasnt any of our guys, and he was gaining on me quick, so i slowed up and pulled aside, and a matt green burly hardtail passed me by. so, i powered up and stuck to his tail the rest of the way down. bombing. then where trail meets road again, i slowed up and let Andrew and then Pete catch up, then it was time to roost the lower section. flew down that starting to gain on matt-green guy again, but then when i got to the road he'd vanished (up to kiwi i found out later as him and his buds rolled out). regrouped at trail end, and a cluster of crosscountry whippets in full racing regalia turned up, then we blasted off down Old Dyers. very nice run down here too, tho, picking carefully through the rutty wet bits which still plague the middle section.

Clambered up through Vic, legs starting to really burn on last climb, to skidder site, and good run down Dazza's, Brents, Flow, Bridges, with Pete following me across the high line and dropping down through the gut, below which we all regrouped again for last blast down valley track. Marie and Pete bailed bottom of Bowenvale. Pete and me onwards round Eastern, the rest over the river and back to Steves. home by 12.30 or so i think.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Week without a ride, then Sunday Tagalong McLeans.

Weather and timing and family all conspired to keep me off any trails for the week.

But, Sunday afternoon, there was pent up energy needing to be expended, so O and me headed with the singlespeed and tagalong out to Mcleans. hit the slightly splecky trail and O loved it - seemingly much prefering it to the old Bottle Ache. we spun round, him in swim goggles to start with (til they fogged up so much he couldnt see), hit the detour out to the river, parked up at the fence/road and walked to the waimak. river majorly shifted its big flow that used to be right there, now just a trickle. wandered back to bike and hit trail again.

Got to the pond (after the 'rockgarden') (which was almost empty - the pond, that is)), and saw the entrance to the new loop. only 5km, so we took it. O really enjoyed it. smooth, with humps. alongside where John and me were getting wood the other week i was getting a tad tired, from lugging the tagalong along the whole way and O was feeling the cold, but once back in the trees and with a bit of encouragement ("You'll be warmer if you push harder!") we rallied and bombed the rest of the way through. O really likes the G-out cornering. he was raving about it in the car on the way home. saying he wished we could go out there more often... thumbs up. Sunday afternoon ride turning me from tired grumpy (lack of riding and lack of sleep) dad to happy appreciated dad...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday nite Spring Living, Saturday tagalonging

Friday night, picked up Chris Cove about 7 and drove to nelson's, whereupon Chris realised he'd left his battery at home, so we all went back to his to get it and then took 'scenic' route thru tunnel and round to Living Springs finally arriving about 8. parked on Bamford under the macrocarpas, and headed in, sidling across Skoolz Out round to the steep grunt up gasping for breath to The Pines, climbed up thru this, enjoying the nicely radius'd switchbacks and middle-ring-ability, onto Rhymes with Orange for a quick swoop through and then up to the OCC. grabbed Mississippi down, near the top stumbling across a couple freshly birthed gooey just-stood-up lambs and mum right in the middle of the trail, on with the anchors and we jumped off and carried our bikes around below them giving a wide berth. continued on down the twistiness and then across onto Zanes. excellent fang down here, only one really nasty wetspot near the bottom. fun twisty tight singletrack..

Back onto Skools Out, back up the grunt, back up through the pines, then we thought, there must be more? (cos silly me hadnt printed off the map i'd gotten off Craig and Rebekah...) so we rode the road round to the main complex, not seeing anything obvious, headed back round and headed up a trail that said Summit... took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up sidling up and across the slope above OFarrells following a cow pocked fenceline. Figured we'd turned wrong so went down to O'Farrells and followed it a bit towards Gov's Bay, but decided it was no good either (reminded us of old skool dayz of exploring trails with cow shit and holes everywhere and not knowing where to go...) turned back to OCC down O'Farrells. then down to Mississippi again, avoiding the sheep and lambs again, flowed down it but this time took the bail out before heading on to Zanes, rode back up open slope and into Rhymes and then Pines in the opposite direction to before, down to the Pines' end. Turned around here and back up Pines, Chris and me swapping bikes for the climb back up. To finish, we headed back down Mississippi (avoiding the mother and lambs again), then back down Zanes (where the leaves that are near the middle nearly threw me off) and out to car. we all rode up the road a ways and bombed back down to try to get all the sticky mud we'd just picked up off that wetspot in Zanes off our tires.

DX LED lights still the biz...

home via Dyers, stopped for a couple beers at Nelson's and would have been midnight by time i was home.

Saturday. Me Sis is over from melbourne, so, O, her and me went to bottle lake. took tagalong and singlespeed, and also O's own bike. rode first a short way into the first section with O riding his own bike. then back out and grabbed the tagalong and did an internal loop. was fun.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Chooseday Night Posse. Dyers Nun Gov's Nun Dyers

i picked up Nelson about 6 and we drove up to find a massive group assembled at Takahe. lemme see if i can remember - there was 11: Steve, Andrew, Tony, Wayne, Hubby, Rex, Steve(abba), Mark, Marie, and nelson and myself, yeah, thats 11. Discussion ensued as to whether H.Ell track was a go, with some of us thinking not, on account of it being a nice night and earlyish and therefore potential for runner conflict. so, we headed off up Vic Park Rd.

At the carpark below the visitor centre Steve decided they'd go up H.Ell from where it crosses just up the road, whereas Nelson and me decided to blat down to Old Dyers and tootle up there. i was surprised to find we were joined by Hubby, Andrew, Steve(abba) and Rex. all had a good spin up, making good time, gradually spacing out, me leading up the first singletrack bit, nelson tight on my tail. i let him pass where the trail headed down a bit, cos i could barely breathe. trail was good, one or two bits still wet, but nothing sloppy. i chased after him up the last climb, and he was probably 20 metres from the end when we saw a couple of lights ride under the Kiwi (STeve and Tony).

Got up to summit road (by kiwi) and waited for the stragglers. Wayne and the others turned up from Hell (steve and Tony had gone on up road). once we were all together again, off we went up the road for Marleys, catching Steve and tony eventually just near the top. more discussion of options, i led off downhill. blazing. funtastical wonderland, tail wind pushing airborne jumps railing corners, flying. beautiful run down, and popped up onto road at saddle to regroup. Nels and me tried to talk anyone into doing a quick lap of Gov's bay trails, to no avail, so...

Him and me headed over onto the Gov's Bay trail (which we hadnt ridden since before all the wet). Awesome descent down that, with only one rut worth mentioning, and only veery slight greasiness in a couple of spots. seemed to go on and on, down and down, chock full of awesomeness.

then the climb up and out. grunty little bastard that it is, back up onto the road, and climbing yet again, we saw the other's lights up on the 4wd bit of Marleys while we were below on the summit road being overtook by a van-load and a car-full of girrrlz... got to the top of Flying nun to find the others all still in residence, apparently waiting for Mark and Marie who'd vanished...(musta buggered off home early).

another good blast down flying nun, me close on the tail of Nelson, blazing all the way down to the kiwi. all in all, felt really good, riding well, feeling totally on top of my game right now. (i wonder if that "edge" is quietly approaching, the one that sneaks up on you when your riding is getting betterer and betterer, fasterer and fasterer, til WHAM, over you go, crashing and burning. - fingers crossed i'm just becoming a better rider, yeah?). anywho. we all reassembled at kiwi, (nelson noticing here that his fork had been locked out for the descent!)

Splintering again, the others headed down Hell (strangely enjoying a groomed wheelchair track over a gnarley twisty tight narrow singletrack), while nelson and me opted for Old Dyers. another nice bomb down here, me leading and having a blast. once again we spotted the other's spots from below whilst they were negotiating the steps. hit lower Hell and blazed down to Takahe, with more and more spots of rain. downpour beginning as we loaded the car.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday Long(ish) fast(ish) Late Night blat

T had yoga so i couldnt get out the door til after 7.30. droved to Nelson's and there met a new rider (to us), Chris, on a Cove Stiffee.

got going about 8.15, rode usual routes at a good clip across to bottom of Rapaki. kept a really good pace and rolled, 3 abreast all the way up, til the last bit where i started flagging and Nelson started burning. reassembled at top and hit Witch Hill, me at the back, all of us blowing one or two lumpy bits, but having a pretty good run too. then, up the road to Castlerock.

I led off down here and kept a really good pace, having a blast, flying over all the rocks and hammering down the trail. trail in really good nick, with no mud, and barely any sign of even soft soil. regrouped at top of bridle path and hit the road.

round and up to John Britten, singletrack nice, me at the back. i got caught up in the ruts once over through the trees, balance seemed all outta whack. quick blitz down road to Greenwood.

hoofed onto the singletrack, and we blazed round the top section and regrouped just before the ruins. sat and admired the view and had a snack. then the descent began. Nelson leading, me 2nd and Chris behind. good pace, tho i tended to follow nelson a bit closely and therefore was reacting a bit randomly to the rocks the trail was throwing at me. we had an excellent descent. nelson had one weird point just after gloomy-gulch, nearly toppling. my backache kicked in at its usual place, around there. excellent blast down through the switchbacks and over the jump and round to the stream, then i was chasing nelson down the straight and both of us were bailed up by the narrowish rocky uppy bit. 'sgotten pretty bare in there. then a sweet flow down and round to the end. Chris enjoying the whole blast too.

aannnd, onto the Captain. Chris's first time down here. still damp where nels and me did some digging a couple weeks back, but the rest was good. blew my most recent nemesis, whereas nelson and chris both cleaned it. but i cleaned the lower two ex-nemesises nicely, the first of which caught Chris out a little. rest of the blast was sweeet. then we had a nice long but fast haul back to nelsies, via some parks and backstreets... back to his around 11, a beer, then i gave chris a lift home via takeouts on way, so i was home for the midnight news... coupled with small person waking at 5.30, tired today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Saturday, Monday, Tuesday. Denniston and Hanmer

Family holiday away got me into the wilds of the west coast. allowed one opportunity to explore, saturday (25th) morning we drove up onto the Denniston plateau. It was a crisp frosty clear blueskied west coast morning. the museum was closed, but T said go for it anyway. i had chosen to do the Drill Track because it appeared to be short yet interesting enough, so off i treadled.

lots of ice around, with many of the techy descents made moreso by frozen streamwater glazing the rocks. trail was fun, climbs good and descents fun. singletrack bits were cool, and the landscape was super cool. got down to a bridge where Miner's Track peeled left, and started down it, but then decided to go for the Drill track instead. cruised up that and really enjoyed all the climbs and the descents were good too. less ice on that section. got to marker 4.3 and made a biiig mistake. because i'd left Drill Track map in the car, i had in my head that it was a little longer than i thought, so i turned right, when i should have turned left. Ended up riding Cedar Creek Road for about 5 kms til i got to a sign that said "No Admittance - Closed Area" and was a bit confused. txtd T and turned back, thinking all the way back that i'd missed a turn off, but not seeing it got all the way back and realised my mistake. so, last descent down to a bridge and there's our car, (thankfully T and the boys had driven down to Burnetts Face to meet me). so, what would have only been about a 40 minute ride had turned into 2 hours...

Next stop was Hanmer. more sun filled days, i got out Monday (27th) afternoon. left the bach we were staying at and headed up to Flax trail, cruised it through to where i climbed up and caught the lower C-Line, down to a muddy rutty Majuba. across to Timberlands, and up to Jolliffe saddle, where i climbed onto Red Rocks, enjoying it down into a mucky newly cleared bit (was being logged last time i was up) and out onto Pawsons, down to Camp Track, and then out onto the road to head for Threshold. through the Road Closed sign and up up up. hit Threshold, enjoyed the little blurb written at beginning, then struggled up the climb, granny all the way, it beat me and i walked maybe 10 metres... on past the lower entrance, and on up to top. looks like people have been riding down to there, but i didnt explore cos the sun was getting really low in the sky.

Threshold downhill, niiiiiice. weavy cruisy steep corners and flowy groovy singletrack through dark forest. sun set behind the peaks while i was descending. went on for ages. one corner beat me, and i nearly toppled when i bailed at the top of it. cleaned all the rest. contemplated riding back up and taking just the low line but decided i was pretty beat, so headed down. into a little single track i spotted off the road which took me into the back of the Forest Camp, where i found another track and rode up it (normally a downhill), then i grabbed Mack 1 up through, nice trail, onto McIntyre Rd, rode up that to bottom of Detox, but crossed Dog Stream and bombed down to Jolliffe Saddle Rd again, up to the saddle and down Timberlands and back through into town.

Next day, took O for a ride, him on his bike, through some of the flat forest trails. was fun, but not enough, so took off on another hilly ride, up Chatterton's Valley up the new (-to me) Link Track, down the Tank track (nice new top corners off Pawsons) and then down (for the first time in that direction) Flax trail. all good.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2sdy Night, New Lights Test, Captain windy Godley Conda

Our DX LED's arrived monday, so lastnight's ride was the test run... plonked the singlespeed on the car and headed to nelson's. In Nelson's drive way, comparisons with the oldskool 35W IRC halogens were made. they looked as bright, if not brighter, tho, different cos they're a purer white vs the orangey warmth of the halogen... and, yay yay yay, no more heavy brick in back pack, instead, tidy little battery attached to back of helmet.

bundled nelson's bike on the rack and we headed for Scumner. now, earlier in the day the ccc web had said closed, but the update had been the 17th, and we'd not had any rain since way before that so we figured trails would be okay... and lo and behold, we were vindicated as this morning, the update (done yesterday) said OPEN to all the trails... anyway, thought i should get that out of the way right at the start... :)

So, tackled Captain Thomas. Sections were still very greasy, but better than last time i'd gone up there. we stopped a couple of times with the spade, assisting drainage. Nelson put heaps of work in up on the section above the road corner (south facing slope, always full of water), and after that the last bit to Evans was sweet riding. Lights working a treat and plenty to see by for climbing on the low setting.

Next step - Godley. All the first section was great (tho, lots of dabbing and some walking - on account of the wind and my 38:18 gear) til the bit that's always wet, some of which has had the armouring treatment, which is fantastic(!), seeing water below and surrounding the rocks you're riding over, awesome. the wind (norwest) was a blustery surreal and buffetting beast all along this section and when the trail started down and flowy (after the first boardwalk) it powered us along like we had motors, and literally blew us up the hill across the open top as we rounded into the Taylors catchment. wicked. (had turned the lights on high for that bit)

Then across the troublesome boggy plateau... staying on the track was made extremely difficult by the wind (ruts and gusty side winds dont mix), and the choice between making a rut deeper or dodging tussocks was made for us. over the second boardwalk and nearly blown off, over the 3rd boardwalk and nearly blown off, avoid the major wetness through there then onto the teddingtonshit section. mostly settled, but the flatter sections slightly waterlogged. then the tailwind blast down to Livingstone Col. what. a. blast. lights all the while lighting the way fantastically.

We decided the southerly that was due might roll in, and from memory the last bit to Breeze Col was likely to be diabolical, so we hit the road round to the 'conda... i led off, and it was a blast. some of the earlier section needs a little work, with one nasty mudsoaked rut grabbing nelson's wheel and stopping him. then onto the 'conda proper. nice tail wind blasting us over the jumps catching good air, and into the lower section... ugh. one super soggy rut grabbed me and nearly had me off, i expected more below, but the surface was at worst tacky the rest of the way down. then into a head wind along the 'tail but a good blat nonetheless. the Taylors paddock at the bottom was the wettest i'd ever seen it, puddles reflecting the houselights while we were still on the 'conda's tail...

The singlespeed grunt out of taylors is always a challenge, but cleaned it all, mainly due to the wind grabbing me and pushing me up to and round the last of the steep corners. good blat down through nicholson, and as we rode across the waterfront the southerly was in effect.

New 900 lumen LED light powered by tiny lithium battery pack with 3 hours burntime on full, 15 hours on low, for US$80... seriously thumbs up.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday funday in the sun day, Huntraverse Thomson Marl-Wors-ley

met at steves at 9, pete, hub, andrew, wazza, waynus, weirdlittle tony and steve, and me, obviously.

cruised round the park and headed up muntsbury, via aotea. nice climb, with a creak creak creak slowly building in my bottombracket regions. anyway. goodly climb up with a bit of a cool breeze coming off the south. made the top and hit the traverse. excellent bomb round here, everybody enjoying the open and dry track. we all love the two new(ish) berms near the end, allowing far more speed through a section that used to cause a little trouble...

then Thomsons, kiwi, up road up up up, and onto marleys. bit of permafrost up the top, then onto the descent. excellent flow down, peeling it and popping air every chance we got. rejoined the road and Andy and Hubby bailed into Vic Park, the rest of us tootled back up the hill to top of Worsleys.

Fun bomb down here, trail dry enough to get some good speed, picking carefully through a couple muddy bits. then into the lowers below bodybag, me riding all the skinnies above the ruts, others choosing (or not choosing) the ruts. one off, where i had no where to go and the ground wasnt there when i put my foot out, didnt hit anything tho, then on down. lower bit below and between the pylons was prbably the most dug up by 4wd's, mucky but still fun, and shadey bits reeaal slick. at the bottom of the dirt we regrouped and i was surprised to see how mucky they all were compared to me...

hurtled down the road, round the river to St Martins, for a coffee stop, where we re-met Andy and Hubster.

Awesome day for a ride, and mint to finally be on open trails again.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mondaynightitis. Horsey Travis Bottlo ignoration.

Only opportunity for riding for me this week was last night, so- Nelson (after a false start and ditching the single for the geared) beginning a very long ride for him, treadled over to mine and off we set, me on the single.

Headed round and hit Banks Ave singlebits, then Burwood Park into Horseshoe Lake. Took trail all way through (bit bloody mucky in the middle), with all the boardwalk kinda almost 'shorey fun. Nelson had a disagreement with a tree and ended up in the bushes, losing a light in the process (which he didnt realise til later). We exited onto New Brighton Rd, crossed over and hit the single along the river to Bassett St and headed up to Travis.

I'd never ridden through here, so we blithely ignored the "No Bikes Please" (viewing it more as a request, not an order (figuring at night, fully lit, no prob, right?)) we rode the (very sturdy well made and nicely boardwalked) track through to Tumara Park then explored our way through this slobdivision to the edge of Bottle Lake.

Found our way onto the southern circuit and fanged it through to the hilltop gazebo. short break there, headed back down the hill, then along side of the landfill (stinky! last night) to the inside loop. not far into that came upon some 'Logging, no access' signage, which we ignored and continued in. one of our favourite sections of trail now destroyed, we rode along side it til we could get back onto the usual trail, which is a fucking mess all Teddington-shitted and soggy mucky stupid mess, which slowly improved and on we went. Mostly good riding from here through. Open areas just starting to frost, on through, the bermy corners fast and having lots of traction.

Made our way out to Waitikiri carpark and headed back down Burwood Rd, Lakewood Drive and back into Horseshoe lake to find Nelson's light, which was still on, pointing down right where he crashed. continued on through thinking there'd be an exit into the burbs, only to get most of the way through and finding our way out to Jean Batten Pl, mildly disoriented, so spotted the southern cross and worked out which way to go down Liggins St, explored a wrong turn into Tasman Pl trying to get back into Horseshoe across to the park, which we found through Moncrieff Pl. Back through Burwood Park, Ajax and Archilles, hung a right on Bank's singles and home. Nelson carrying on. i was in the door at 9.25pm or so.

Hummdinger of a frost this morning...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday Single-hill-speed

FIIINALLY hit up the hills. Saturday morning i set to the singlespeed, throwing on a new wheel (SS specific (disc only) i changed its 16t for my 18t) and new rear brake (cheep ass cable disc), scored off a couple of vorbii

O and T were off at a concert and so GG came over to look after H and i hit the road almost dead on 2. spun across town to Rapaki, and so began the grunt. Ugh, it'd be along time, and i was wishing i'd put on my 34t front ring instead of rocking the 38:18, but, struggled away and made pretty good time. got off and walked a couple of times, once by the Manuka, once half way up the upper straight, and once on the corner just after that.

Track Closed signs were up for Vernon (but people were still heading up it!), so i took the road round to the Traverse. no 'track closed' sign there (and i'd neglected to check the web) and talked to a guy who'd just come off it, who said it wasnt bad (and he wasnt absolutely spattered in mud, so i hit it and headed round. Trail was in good knick. the usual odd wet spot. Bombed it good, really enjoying the singlespeed ride, round to the Sugar Loaf restspot. chatted with some folk there (guy on a Rocky Hammer (STEEL IS REAL, Bro)) and then i headed back.

Temporary blindness made me miss the Track Closed sign at start of Vernon, and headed over the first bit. Trail was fine, besides the two wet spots up top. interestingness over the rocky sections up top, then good flow down to Farm Track (where there were two !motorcycles! up above the road (almost on the bike track!)). i continued on down (thinking i might head for top of Rapaki) but got to the first wet section, walked around it, saw the next bit and turned back up to Farm Track.

Hurtled down Farm Track, putting my new (to me) discs to good use... good flight down here, but fork needs attention.

Spun back home (via the Grape Escape for a couple of Green King IPA's). 2 hours all up. yesterday, my upper body was feeling the ride. must get up the hill on the single more often, its a bloody good workout.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tuesday full moon urbanism

aaarrrggghhh... how long since tires schluffed dirt? neeeeeed singletrack...

weekend resulted in no riding... took O to a kids BMX thing out at Hornby which was groovy for him and made ME want a sweet little trick 24inch bmx cruiser.
and yesterday, went out to Cowles Stadium and had a go on a bunch of weird and wonderful machines at Bikes4Fun (also as part of KidsFest), even having my first ever go on a P-Far. freakiness and harder than i thought it would be.

then, last night, krewzd to Petes, where met with Andrew Hubby Steve Steve Warren and we proceeded to repeat last thursday's ride, only tacking on south hagley park, a slightly different route back through town, and all of us ending up at Pomeroys for a couple pints... (this time, Tuatara Hefe and then an 3boys Oystah stout.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Thursday Urbanity

Grovelly weather and saturated trails kept us off the hills, and even off Bottle Lake... So, i jumped on the Globe and trundled to Petes, where Steve (on his Earth Cruiser), Rex, and Mark (on the Healing Tenspeed Tandem (on his own)) showed up too.

Pedalled the streets - round Avonside to Swanns bridge round River Rd to Fitz along cycle way to Cambridge round past cemetery brief encounter with Barbadoes then continuing along down the poplars and on round crossing river and Colombo into Vic Sq then along past courts and belgian beer bar on along to Worcester down to Museum hung a right and then into North Hagley diagonally towards Harper followed along side that round to Riccarton Roundabout althewhile in the park to hospital to Bridge of Remembrance down Cashel where Steve peeled off the rest of us jaunting to Pomeroys for a coupla pints - i had an Emerson's Hoppy Porter (YUM) and a 3Boys Oyster Stout (also YUM).
Some Fixsters were in residence there, 3 brakeless.

rain had just started as we headed home, and 10 minutes after i got in the gale and downpour began... lucky we didnt have that 3rd pint, and the fashion fixies will have had wet arses on their way home, rubbing brakeless (a la bsnyc...)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday: greasy Thomas, mucky Godley.

trundled thru a cold and frosty morning to Steve's for a lift. him, tony and me shuttled out to Scumner in the TFC Van... tony w/ his hardtail due to a flat on his susser. outside DotCom met up with Waynus, Steve(abba), Hubbster, and Mark and Marie on the (well dodgey) tandem. (pete was crook and Andrew was off to the Home(OH!) show.)

squelched up Captain Thomas. wasnt too bad, but it was too in parts. the worst part by far due to a horse living on it, rather than bikes... issues with the tandem slowed Mark and Marie's progress. At the top, we bailed out the old route, rather than facing the dredge it would be on the south facing section before rounding up to Evans.

At Evans, tandem rear wheel got a tickle, and all but them hit Godley. as usual, blew the early rocks, but after that i had a really good run. cleaned heaps, if not all. some recent work was in evidence further around, but man the trail was a mess. even tho it was Open, we felt we probably shouldnt have been on it, but continued to ride anyway. good run through, tandemriders avoiding the earlier rockies and joining us up on the flatter tops, then the descent to Livingston Col, the first section to and between the boardwalked bits rather untidy. the teddington shitted stuff not bad, but soggy and splecky in places, and the final run down cautious, but with some speed. tandemmers back to road, the rest of us headed up and over to breeze. good cleaning ride through for me, and on the way down to breeze my cassette came loose, and was a mudbath at the bottom around the cattlestop.

tightened up the cassette and bombed onto the 'conda. tandeems and abba had headed off earlier. i caught them and pulled up thinking i'd let them get ahead, then hubb underpassed me and caught them, so i headed down after. he got past them then i managed to (when they pulled over for me the ended up in a wheelshaped ditch!), and so all of my run down anaconda was sweet. bombed out the tail, slowly gaining on hubby. one VERY close call in the tail above the baches, nearly lost a wheel over a rocky edge, but held on and got through.

climb out of Taylors, i pushed hard cos i felt like i needed it and got up first. felt bad and good. then nice cruise down nicholson and round waterfront to coffee and hospitality at the 'Com.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursnight: McPleasn'tGreenmitMondgans squirrelville

forgive us for we have sinned... Last night, nelsh picked me up about half 7, we cruised to McCormacks Bay and headed up into the valley. there's been some work going on in there, and they've mulched the hillside of its brush, so the track was a soft sucky heap of sticks and mulch, albeit a fennel fragranted one. headed off the mulched track onto the single track and started squirrelling our way up, me walking heaps cos i just couldnt get good traction... by the time we got into the switchbacks parts of the track were saturated with water oozing from the hillside, and much walking ensued... onto the road and we tried out Longridge Drive, on up thru to Upper Major Hornbrook, which was a steep wee grunt, tho got rid of a lot of the duller sections of Mt Pleasant Rd...

got to summit rd, hung a left, and rolled on down to the start of Greenwood. here began the badness and sinfulness. which, if you read on, we ameliorated a little, did some pennance as it were. yes, i read now on ccc website that it is Avoid, but earlier i'd figured, no rain since weekend, should be good to go, right? wrong. anyway, we soldiered on, i ended up mostly riding several metres away from the track, parallel, following sheep lines through the tussocks, something that isnt too bad to do on those slopes. due to the trail being reasonably flat in that area, it holds ALL the water. we stopped and cleared out one particularly bad drain, cleaning up the wooden drainage channel and its feeders. at the same time, bumped into someone i know who was up walking with a mate.

continued to squirrel around on down and round, past the ruins, the trail picking up a bit in places, over all the rocky corners, all good, nice flow on, with minimal wet spots, until down round on the east face... rode through a bunch of stuff and i holla'd to Nelsh that we oughta stop and do something... so, out with the shovel, and repair repair repair. the water is just ooozing out of the hillside, and in places it is running down the track, so we took measures to stifle its flow down the track by making it drain straight across. fixed up a few really bad spots, but left others for another time.

on down, round into gloomy gulch, boardwalk so sweet compared to old slats. nasty section over the rocks and then i was super tentative further down on the rocks, but then good flowy sections into the top of the next few switchbacks, where i found nelsh stopped. out with the spade, where one place water was running down round a corner, really trashing the track. this was cos of a completely blocked wooden drainage channel, which i had to get my hand into the stinky anaerobic mud to clear, dug, diverted water, cleared out drain... corner pretty much sorted. should dry out nicely now.

on down, sketchiness prevailing, round and up to that little creek, part of which was running down the trail... so. out with the spade, yet again, and dug it out so it wasnt running down the trail. and then on down and out, the rest of the track being pretty good cos its north facing and has enough rocks around.

Up Summit road to the big pines on Richmond Hill, nice flowy cruise down paddock towards Panorama. over stile, through cattle, over style, down rooty interesting fun section, over stile, more rooty under trees, over stile onto Clifton to Panorama, down to "Private R.O.W" down round tanks and down steps (vibrating mud off)to Tuawera, down next bit Kinsey, and on down Mulgan's Track. if you didnt know the area, i doubt you'd find your way down all that. Nelsh managed to hop-ride all of the mulgan switchbacks, amazing.
then, on through redcliffs back to the vehicle. homeward bound 10.30ish. guess we spent about an hour digging... so, yes, i freely admit, these were far from ideal riding conditions, and really shouldnt have been up there, but, we did some work and maintenance on the trail, which is more than most who trash the tracks ever do...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Weak end weather limited options.

Was the intention Saturday to ride up to the planting in Vic Park with Steve et al, but the weather was abominable at 11.30 when we were supposed to be going, so we all bailed from the riding part. nearly didnt make it to the planting either, but the weather cleared so the whole family went up and planted some future-bush.

Sunday, no contact from anyone (thanks ANDREW!), so loaded up the tagalong and the singlespeed and O and me went out the Blottle-Ache, probably about 11am. just as we were about to head into the forest, i spotted andrew, wayne, warren, dallas and the girl (from Mcleans ride the other week) who's name i dont know all just finishing up their ride... said gudday and headed in to the forest. took the internal loop, rather than southern circuit. interesting new bit where they've diverted traffic into some dark woods (which was scary for O). then once back to the pond back onto the familiar trails. spun north up to Spencerville turn off and back through.

all in all a good spin, fun for both O and me. managed to overtake a few people even. O was well and truly splattered head to toe having been on the receiving end of my back wheel (i really must find that crudcatcher again). Luckily we were both wearing sunnies, me in my yellows, and O was in a raincoat. Worst bit was a new section of trail seemingly pointlessly diverting riders around a tiny bit (about 30m) of track around the intersection of 20th Ave and Golf or Foxtrot. soaked through teddington shit all rutted up and mucky as. terrible stuff. O was strangely a bit scared for the first half. i guess cos we havent spun round there for a while. he used to love fanging it round the place, hurtling down the hills etc, but yesterday he was saying "slow dooowwwn!" a lot. til towards the end when he was finally whooping it up on the speedy descents.

back to carpark, loaded up and did a vegeshop on way home. home by 12.20.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thurs Night, dyers vic marley x 2 worsley

Fun spin last night. the boys were gonna park up hill from kiwi and do laps of marleys, so nelson and me rode up dyers and hackthorne (for a change), into vic, up to top (not Harry Ell this time!), took thomsons down to kiwi, then up road. (a bunch of skyline-wankers were at the kiwi carpark, and all roared up past us later. (i hate skyline drivers)) Thought we'd missed the others, then saw lights at the carpark, and there they all were. Steve and Tony were done after two laps, but Hubby, Andrew, (hel)Mark and Pete were up for another lap.

So, off we tootled up the road, Hubby having left as Nelson and me arrived and Mark grabbing a lift up in his truck with Marie. met them at the top. bit of snow up there, was crunchy and nice. top section of marleys had a bit of frost/snow, and softened up a bit below that. was good. mildly sketchy, but eminently rideable. not sloppy. bombed down taking it reasonably easy. first run, Mark, Nelson, Pete, me and then Andrew and Hubb following. i kept on Pete's tail pretty much all the way.

back to cars, Andrew bailed and Hub's car was at kiwi so he bailed down rest of singletrack for that. Mark was in for another lap as was pete, so three of us rode and Mark shuttled again. another run down, all good, this time Mark followed by me followed by Nelson and Pete, all with good gaps between. i managed to catch up to mark, he'd had a wee botch up i think, by the rocky lowers, Nelson was steady on my tail but not chasing too hard. this time round was better, i felt smoother and trusted the surfaces better. back to car. Pete bailed, and Mark decided to join us on our descent, so we chucked our bikes on the back of his truck and Marie drove us (lazy, i know) to top of Worsley.

hat on, and hit it. Body bag was sweet. it looked greasy as hell but actually had good traction. below the gate we peeled right on a highish line. i was thinking it would get us past the worst of the chewed out bit, but it spat us out at the top of that. it proved pretty not all that bad. was an interesting trip down, a balance of keeping out of the ruts without crossing up too much. most of the surface was dryish, only greasy in spots. around the area we did some digging last week i managed to get into a big rut, riding along, hmm, that puddle could be deep, front wheel in, and i'm stepping off the bike over the handlebars onto my feet. one smooth motion. some part of the bike bit the back of my leg, dunno which bit tho. picked up bike and continued. very messy (4wd's) below the pylons, and then quite a good run down the last of the rutsville. across a permafrost slope, and i hear Mark hurtling up behind me, he actually crashed into my back tire, twice even, unable to slow down. then he crashes spectacularly behind me... his rear (v) brake wasnt working and his front was locking up.

on down, meet up with Nelson and blat out the last to the road. then, put on warmer gloves under bike gloves, and off we go. down road, flat tack. and down into the freeeezing cold valley. along river singletrack out onto cashmere road and Mark heads up hackthorne and nelson and me continue, round Ernle reserve and then back to his through Studholme, the park, Woodard McCombs Roker and Bradford Park.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday a.m. tiresome bottle lake blat

tired from excesses on friday night and lack of sleep both friday and saturday, i was gonna take the singlespeed for a spin but remembered just as i was heading out the door that the back wheel would drive me mad, so i grabbed the Cotic instead. bout 10.30, hit the road, usual route, north parade, new brighton rd, horseshoe lake terrace lakewood drive burwood rd. into main carpark, headed round southern loop out to beach, back in normal loop out to top and back and back same way, pushing myself hard the whole way to the point of nearly wanting to puke. managed to overtake a few people. home at 11.55.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Weds Night, mudspin Worsley, foggy gnarley Marley, Vic Park

Got a call in the middle of dinner from Nelson saying he couldnt ride tomorrow night, so how bout it. figured why not and headed out the door after bathtime for the two boys...
got over to his about 7, and we headed for Worsleys. My LED flashie was low on battery so i ended up having to use my main headlamp for most riding. Up road wasnt too bad, i got a bit puffed, as you do. took a midlayer off at end of seal and hit the dirt.

greeted by a muddy mess on the flat bit above the gate, headed up the rutty track, picking our lines carefully. traction was bad, with only the top surface of of the flatter pieces of clay saturated, allowing no purchase. north facing slopes, below the powerlines, were good, but other bits were diabolical. slipped and slid, avoiding massive 4wd created ruts. rounded the corner, and Nelson got out his spade. the section above the corner above the powerlines needed some tickling to keep a good riding flow up, so he dug and dug, and i rode bits, and he dug, and i rode. then when deemed done, we headed on up, only to be greeted with nightmare inducing ruts and slipperiness. woohoo. walked a bit, spun a lot, caked up tires. clank clank as we bashed mud out of cleats. the section where they'd graded was nasty, with some really sloppy bits, and a massive hole eroded. then on up to body bag not so bad, and the 'bag itself was cool. i stayed in middle ring to avoid the granny'd chain 'cleaning' the side of my rear tire (and thereby inducing some chainsuck), only blew on the last steep grunt.

on up to Marley's. wasnt looking good, as the 4wd track from seal up to singletrack was very greasy, but top of singletrack looked good, and off we went, into this horrendous fog. severe lack of visibility made for a cautious descent, encountering new sections too. trail condition VERY GOOD, no wetspots, no greasy chewy mud, meaning we werent damaging it at all. AWESOME JOB TRAIL WORKERS the other weekend. bombed on down out of the fog to the Kiwi.

Hit the road up to second section of Thomsons, and treadled on up that. little greasy but nothing major. tree across it half way up.

Top of Vic. headed down past the seesaw, and on down to the gums. headed in there and only two sections were a little greasy, kinda flat bits. due to Sesame St and all the 'crafted' trails, this old trail is seeing less and less traffic, which is great for us. peeled left before the jump lineup and cruise on down to bottom and the little berms under the cypruses, before walking back up to the skidder site. then, hit up Dazza's, which also was in good knick, maybe two mudpuddles. on down into Brent's which was also good.

Now, round onto Flow and Bridges... hmmm... flow, just after the wee bridge half way down my front wheel rutted (too much front brake!) and threw me, i held on and just managed to get off the back, but landed on a wooden gutter on my ass. bruised glute. sore as i write this still... on down and some horrendous ruts and wetness. Out with the spade. dug a couple of drains across a particularly bad section, and skimmed off a few rut edges. this was just before the trees. hit the trees and kept to the low line, then i pulled up and nelson bombed the drop, and got caught out. lost it but held on, i thought he was a goner for sure. i took the pussy route and then it was off down the valley, out, and back to his. home about 10.30... late ride. amazingly my light held out the whole ride considering all the standing around i was doing lighting up Nelson's digging efforts.

Monday, June 08, 2009

sunday afternoon, Mulgans, Richmond, Greenwood, CaptThom quicklap

time was short, so T dropped me at bottom of Mulgan's Track. grunted up that, dabbing on the corners as always, feck its steep. then up next steeper section, then up to water tanks then up to Panorama. Up panorama and onto the singletrack rooty climb. at the stile i was only 20 minutes in. on up the paddock to next stile and then up to the big pines. hit the road up to Greenwood entrance. half way up i spotted a guy behind me, and thought, if he catches me he catches me. hit the singletrack and there he was on the road below me, maybe 50 m behind. by the time i made the ruins he was 100 metres behind. good bomb down Greenwood, careening off occasionally greasy rocks. track in mint condition, only about 4 troublespots. new boardwalk quite the damned sight better than the old slats. had a couple close calls. both right near top. one i was >< this close to going over handlebars, the other was a rut edge near tip. good flow down down down, by the time i was above Evans, the other guy was easily 300 m or more behind. stopped to stash sunnies, and then hit the Captain. (the other guy went on to do Godley).

Capt Thomas was in reasonable knick. i got a good flow on apart from blowing the rocky drop above the climbing bypass, and bailing on the next nasty (which i havent cleaned for ages now), but cleaned both old nemesises further down. way further down, the trail is well cleared (by horses?), meaning better visibility against arsehole walkers (hark memory back to Steve getting shoulder barged by those wankers that time). met one lady with dog on way down. felt dodgey on the rubber mat next to the steps on final descent. layered up and tootled round through sumner, moncks bay (passing bottom of Mulgans 1 hour 10 mins since i'd headed up), redcliffs, streetlights coming on as i went along causeway, stopping at ferrymead where i met and caught lift with T and the two boys home.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Thursnight, (c)huntsbury, Vern, Witch, Castle, eltsaC, hctiW, Rapak(yawn)i. Plus Maintainence.

twas a cold and frosty night, in town. Moon was getting pretty big too, 86% or so waxing gibbous, lighting the hills nicely. drove to Nelsies, and we cruised the streets kinda towards Rapaki but not really knowing where we were gonna go up til we decided to see what Steve's fuss has all been about and headed up Ramahana and Aotea and on up the Kunstbury hill. not that bad i'll admit. that last bit of seal sure is a steep wee number, and watch out for boiracers. and there's one section of gravel between top of Oldskool and the gate that is a mare too. other than that, yeah, not a bad climb, and yep, mint that it spits you out at the top end of the Vernon trail.

Hit Vernon and stopped at the first mudpuddle. Nelson was carrying his fold-up german army spade, so we cut a drain. rode on, nice, very slightly greasy, slippy rocks, occasional sparkle of frost under lights. i had a nice 2 wheel drift into the second hairpin, then on down past top of FarmTrack, and round. next muddy bit, stopped and cut a couple more drains, draining water away for everybody. onwards down, bomb bomb lotsa fun. hit the Teddington Shit section and stopped at a particularly bad boggy piece, cut a drain, emptied the water and made it so it'd flow away. on down to top Rapaki.

Onto Witchy poo. (some dumb ass boiracers saying "do some skids, au" - fucktards). nice wee climb up, cleaned but one dab. around, down, fun. then just before ya hit the road again, there's always been this big puddle... well, no longer. nelson cut and dug a nice clear drain for it, all the water ran away.

Hit road for Castlerock. some frosty bits in the shaded parts of road. very first corner of Castlerock was sparkly crunchy ice, not slippy tho. down that first section, bouncing and skidding about on the rocks, and onto some water... so. stopped and made some better drainage. on down, down, all good, great surface, dry (enough), round the first hairpin, and half way to the next before we found something we needed to drain again... spade out, dig, spade back. onwards. next hairpin, rockity rockity rock, bridge, climb, another spot to dig. this one needed some thought. a dripping rock face right next to the trail, water dribbling down the trail. picked a spot juuuust below where the water dripped and dug a wee channel across, waiting til the water trickled. on up the trail to top of bridle path. decided there to turn back. so. back up trail towards Castle Rock. cleaned everying except for blowing out (stupidly) on the second hairpin, and then up near top. all our drains were working nicely as we came back through. as he approached the top, another group of boiracers said "bit late to be out?" to which nelson replied, "yeah, past your bedtime isnt it?". that shut them up.

then chilly blast down road back to Witch Hill, big puddle now drained and drying, good spin up through there, with nelson's light starting to get a bit orange. so, bailed it down Rapaki. 200 m down i thought "fuck this", and bailed over the side into the field, dodged some tussocks in search of animal trail singletrack. hello cattle! but fun wee sidle back down to main track. then on down. this was my first time since the resurface and i must say it SUCKS. you almost cant let go cos the gravel they've laid is too loose. i liked it better when it was a rut infested rock fest. at least there were edges you could use as berms. what a waste of altitude, but had to be done cos of Nelson's gammy battery.

Frosty chilly ride back to his place where we had a Weka lager which put a good tingle in the limbs...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday night, A few McLeans were showing... singlists

prior to riding, i oiled, on the Singlespeed, all the spoke nipples and heads, squeezed oil into the freehub both sides, and the jockey wheel. hoping that would ease the creak... spun over to Pete's, we drove, picked up Nelson (also singling), and zoomed out to Mcleans Island, where we found Andrew, Warren, Wayne, Dallas and a girl i cant remember the name of now... off we tootled, blatting round the trails. about 2 kms in nelson and me out front, heard a ping clatter from behind, and pete had stopped. we bailed up and turned back to find him looking at a seat-less seatpost. the bolt had snapped. he talked of turning back, but then decided to stay with us for the rest of the lap. so, a good work ensued for him, standing. kinda what we're doing on the singlespeeds most of the time too. anyway, on we bombed. me out front most of the time, swapped with Nelson at one stage. and warren not far behind most of the time too. eased up after the open flowy section (near the diggers) and i put more air in my back tire which had been washing all over the place, also took jacket off then. onwards again, and the fucking back wheel started its creak up again. its gotta be in the freehub somewhere. put up with it, rode on. Pete departed leaving nelson and me to catch lifts with the others.

second lap, warren, nelson and me did full loop, others bailed into the shortcut loop. the creak continued, we were faster 2nd time round. good blast all up. nice and dry out there, even after all the rain. shame its so far from town but then again, its kinda more boring than even Bottle Lake, so probably just as well...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday a.m. Cruise. Sumner then back to plant some Trees for Canterbury

crapulent weather for the entire week, trails are all creeks or would be destroyed from the attack of the tires, so jumped on the ratrod-ghetto-backpedal-single-Specialized Globe commuter beast and trundled over to pete's. joined by himself and his lovely wife, him on Grandad - WW2 Swiss Army Doctor's Bike, and her on her brand spanking new Electra Coaster, girly cruiser, we literally cruised down linwood ave and through Charlesworth Reserve to ferrymead bridge to meet up with Wayne, Andrew, Warren (all on mtnbikes) and Steve and J9 on their cruisers. as a large group now, cruised along to sumner, had coffee at dotcom and cruised back to Charlesworth Reserve whereupon we put plants in the ground. O was dropped to me by friends he'd stayed with overnight, and i put his seat on my toptube and he rode home with Pete and me. mellow. cruise.