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.