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.

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