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...)