Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last day of 2011, a ride of 2 rides more down than up.

Family drive to Akaroa for a look-see, so chucked the bike on the back, and they dropped me at the Okains/Robinson's/Summit intersection, where i coincidentally met Aaron and a couple of his mates all on their roadbikes up from Okains. We rode together up the Summit Rd a wee ways then i peeled off down an incredibly overgrown double fenceline into Robinsons. Started out with a longer bushy section than i remembered from dealing with it during a cold foggy wet Cyclic Saga in '99 with Paul DeSpa. I nearly went over the bars in here, cos of the long grass hiding the ruttedness, but quite fun, most of the grass at least as tall as my axles, some as high as my wheels, and the seedhead stalks higher than my bars! Quite slow going really, with intermittant clay-ey bits allowing a brief burst of velocity, and then got much better right near the bottom where the trail was nice dry clay surface, and some good rough speed could be enjoyed. Vastly different from my previous experience in '99 when i was belly on seat legs out like trimaran pontoons both wheels sliding in mucky greasy grass and mud...

Then it was onto narrow seal and more fast descending before the flat of the valley, then the main road, round the waterfront and up a small hill, overtaking a guy on a roady (who'd ridden from Papanui and was still to ride back(!)), then fast down into Takamatua, hung a right, and then a left up a wee gravel grunter which turned to steeeeeeep clay before meeting up with the main road again. Then it was across that and down the Old Coach Rd for a steep fast descent into Akaroa where i found a Cruiseship crowd added to the usual nutjobs that frequent Akaroa over New Years, and my family.

Interlude of play and buying fish, and fish and chips, and we escaped the loonybin and returned up Robinsons Bay Rd, left onto Summit and they dropped me at the View Hill farmtrack. Quite cool up there. Grass not so overgrown on account of some cattle, so shit needed to be avoided. Good climb to start with, but then it goes a bit messy with rocks and unrideable sections and a bit of walking eventually to a gate. I'd love to get across this top with a tool or two and strategically sculpt a rideable trail. After the gate, its a short steeep climb then onto the traversing semi-benched sheep track around the west face of View Hill. Before hitting the farm track i veered right and made my way across and onto the farm track which i took (granny most of the way) to the top. Great views, it being called View Hill for a very good reason. Then it was down down down down down. fun times. Forgot to check the time at the top, but at the gate to View Hill Rd proper (where we were just shy of couple days before), it was 15.10. Hit the trail, faster than 2 days prior because a vehicle had been up and down in between, so the grass was a little more pressed down, and i knew what to expect, and where the likely worst ruts were to watch out for. Excellent blat down the gravel, just insane speed then out onto the seal and a car coming from Longlookout gave way to me and i left them for dead in my tucked speedster coast into the valley. All heads turned as i whipped past the beach, then i huffed back up to the bach.

December 29th Pete and Teens View Hill nearly

Pete came over to the bay in the camper with teenaged Alistair and Nikau (Niko? Nico? Nicho?) and we headed out for a ride, in the morning after a bit of an evening prior, about 11.30 after the numerous girls got back from their morning constitutional. Headed round up past the church, Alistair grunting away on his singlespeed. Up up up the seal, then up the gravel and into the truly steep, then steeper. Al started walking impressively late, up under the macracarpas up the road from the crows nest.

At the top of the grovelly concreted strip (upon which i had to stop for a breather, while Pete managed to continue out the top of) we met a couple of guys on their way down. gudday gudday blah blah. they'd been to the top and asked after any similar rides about the place. i forgot to mention Mt Pearce.
The higher we went spits of rain got more and more spitty. And Alistair's hands were starting to blister from all the standing. Also, the grass got longer and longer, hiding any lurking ruts which are most common. Got just shy of the gate, and with the spits getting slightly spittier and the two boys totally stuffed, we pulled the plug and turned back down. Nice run down ensuing, gravity sucking us down the hill faster than you can say gravity sucking us down the hill faster than you can say gravity sucking us down the hill... tires picking up sticky dust, flicking it up, blinding both Al and me momentarily. I re-donned my sunnies under the big pines (it being a grey day i'd pocketted them earlier) and off we screamed downward again.

i took it pretty easy down the concrete strips cos i thought i might jump onto the off-piste stuff under the macs, and Al overtook me rocketting down ahead. I decided to stay on the gravel tho, and followed him on down. I managed a glance back and could see Pete and Nico screaming down behind us. We hit the seal and whooshed down to the church (bit of a look here), then hung a left into Lukes Rd and up and over and down and down to the back of the tennis courts, then over the fence and back up the paddock under the gum to ours.

December-twentyseventh menziesii.

Blogspot for 27th December, 2011
Christmas hols at Little Akalalaland, scorching hot day, hit the road to Menzies Bay in an attempt to exude some of the excess christmas cheer. Hefty wee climb to the top of the -over to Decanter, everytime i was tempted to go to a lower gear, i'd instead drop it down to a taller gear and stand up, a nice practice i figured might do me some good. From the top, hit the gravel down, with a shit-eating-grin dodging a farmer on his way up, i'da been over his bonnet if he'd not pulled to his left, yikes!, then through the bottom of Decanter and on up round and up and round and up and round-up, cooking, in the heat, talking to the cattle and watching a plane flying low and practising engine cut-outs, powering off, then revving up, repeat ad nauseum. At Rehutai's gates, just before the descent to Menzies, i stopped, checked out any messages, then turned back.

Nice long descent with no detours to any potential interestingnesses, tho there be many - little strips of animal singletrack meandering close-to or above the road... Rounding into Decanter Bay, dreaming about rockfalls and gravel-loss-of-controllers off heinous tumblings to rocks and sea below, and avoiding stray sheep doing's. Over the cattle stop near the bottom and i stopped for some reason. Adjusted something or other, and thought that if someone had been watching my progress they might have thought i'd crashed abruptly at the cattle stop, cos prior to disappearing behind their viewed trees i was flying, then would have failed to appear on the other side. Got going again avoiding leg-reaching onga-onga and rolled through the valleybottom hitting the climb back out. met an advertisingclad car suddenly but no others. Little sign of previous year's cape gooseberries, plants still in early growth stages. lots of lovely wild roses flowering and that smell-of-hops plant. it is resiny like hops too... tho prickly. I wonder how it'd flavour a beer. What is it, first? and, is it poisonous? (or any more poisonous than hops??).

Top of hill, into a tuck and down down down, so fast, whooshing down, standing up for air-brakes, then into a tuck for the acceleration out of a corner, finally massive airbrakes and disc brakes scrubbing enough speed off into the final hairpin and back into a tuck for the last leg down to the cattlestop.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday short croc.

Rode round to Pete's for 6pm and we plied the streets in the Falcon to meet all the others at the Quarry Park for a ride of much stoppedness. Wayne, Warren, Steve, Tony, Robin, Marie and Andy were all in attendance. We treadled our way up the main track to where we peeled off down and across the stepping stones where something bit Steve's tire and it started hissing fluid as we grunted up the short sharp straight after. We stopped. Steve fiddled a little and pumped a little and remembered that in these circumstances he just needs to put the hole to the bottom. Problem solved.

Up the left hand side of the Quarry and then round the grassy paddock and a few went steep and the rest took the easy low line to the gate and on up the gravelled switchbacks which for once everybody cleaned. Up the road to another stop at the gate, then finally onto the upper Croc, or New Tasty as it was once called. I believe i was the only one to 100% clean this :D. Another regroup before heading over Siberia for a nice descent, upon which Steve's dropper seatpost blew a seal, or something. Pete came to the rescue with some Duct Tape. Back up the way we'd come down, to another regroup.

Then it was off down, what fun. Blasted down always gaining on a couple guys in fluoro yellow, finally passing the hardtail one who'd bailed in the ruts on the last sweep. They let us lead off down the Croc proper and i put a good pace on railing the berms, one of which was pretty hairy carrying too much speed into. Down the straight-away through the cattlestop and drops, expecting the rock 'gap' and thinking to myself "am i in the right gear for this" and then finding a newly formed bypass, which allowed me to carry heaps of speed on down into the swoopy final switchbacks, but hell, it was getting overgrown down there and i started to baulk.

Juuuuust cleaned the grovelly climb up and out of the valley, and we had another big regroup, watching everyone following down the zags and zigs. The final section next, and it was good. couple very nice wee jumps in them there trees, and switchied down and out and nice leaps on the longer jumps out and another regroup and then back down to the vehicles.

Short, but good, ride.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday east end huff and puff

Was gonna ride to Steve's but went to Pete's instead and we cruised Linwood Ave to Ferrymead where we caught the posse of Steve, Andy, Tony, Wazza, Dallas and Marie. The 8 of us then headed up McCormacks, steep little fucker that it is in bits. I spun out at one point and used some dogshit as an excuse, flicking it off the track so's the others wouldn't encounter it as first Pete then Andy rode on past. On today's ride Andy astounded me with his climbing prowess. Several times he just kept on chuffing when everybody else, including me, had spun or gasped their last out. This was the first occasion. A brief regroup above the 2nd hairpin (which nobody got), and on up through more steepness and a number of sodden clay bits, cleaning most.

Into the top hairpins and Pete and me (and Andy) gave them all a damned good go, with, i think, Andy getting the most, but Pete and me doing pretty good too. Varied results for the rest of the crew, but thats fine, Xmas is nearly on our doorsteps and the chelibrations are already piling their insidiousness upon our insides... Out the top, up the road and on up Longridge to John Britten Reserve. Brief stop and then as i headed onto the singletrack i realised my rear tire was nearly flat, so, a quick change of tube ensued as all but Andy and Pete headed on up.

The three of us followed on up, gasping for air and struggling with traction to catch the others. Once again, Andy methodically plugged away at it and cleaned bits no one else did. Marie put in a good effort too, and by and by we all got to the top via various digressions, regrouped and relayered before enjoying a newly trailed alternative line that rides above the previously rutted version of the trail, to the road, and to Greenwood (which had a big fat OPEN sign). Top section of this was great, catching and passing a group of 3, two of which were running inappropriately tyre'd bikes (well, one had a slick on the back, the other was on a hybrid-commuter-29r-cyclocross bike with Rohloff).

Discussion was held, and several werent keen on all the way, but Warren, Marie and me were on a roll and keen to continue that roll, so we blazed on down Greenwood while the others pampered themselves off down Richmond. Greenwood was excellent. Trail in perfect knick, way overgrown in places, but firm and good traction, with a single puddle down below that jump before the valley in the bottom third. We had an excellent run, all of us overtaking at least the two inappropriately tyre'd guys (before gloomy gulch), Warren and me taking the other dude too in the lower, hella overgrown, switchbacks.

Then, off up the road, good plod, and down Richmond, taking in the new G.Effect trail which bypasses the top steep rooty bit very nicely, then down and across to Richmond on REALLY overgrown track.

Blast down road, Dot Com, then home. Excellent sunday ride and much needed to combat the excesses of this time of year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday Morning Pugsley Testride

Twas to be a 'normal' sunday ride with the posse (Steve, Andy, Wayne, Tony, Lance), and i'd finally picked up a Pugsley off Dave from velo-ideale. His personal machine, it was an extra large, in gunmetal grey, and came with Surly Open Bars (like i've got on the commuter), and running singlespeed, but with 2 ratio options, a 35:16 for town, and 30:21 for hill. a very manual shifter, ie, flip bike, loosen hub bolts, shift chain from cog to cog, straighten wheel, tighten chain, tighten bolts.
XL, Phat tyred...

Town gear was good on the flat, i had a bit of a play around my street and tried out different tire pressures. When i got it off him the pressure was pretty low, so low in fact that it didnt register on my floorpump... so, with tires set to 20psi i spun across to Steve's for the 'normal' ride on a very abnormal bike. Once up and rolling it spun along quite nicely, the tires humming away, but not feeling that hard work. Seat was too low, which i adjusted once i was at Steves.

The boys all had to have a quick turn on it, all of them oohing and aahing at the somewhat preposterousness of it, but also at its total coolness. And all expressing surprise at the apparent lack of weight.

Off round Hansons and up Ramahana we went. I managed to stay on top of the town gear to the first corner, where i flipped her over and made the shift. From here up, much nice riding, cleaning everything except a sizeable portion of the very top piece of seal, then the gravelly bit before the second gate. Oh, and a bit of the gravelly bit right up near the top. Steve was feeling crooked so turned back before we even made the dirt.

At the summit i let a little air out of the tires, and off we hooned round the Traverse. Felt pretty good, grip on rocks was spectacular. I overcooked a couple of corners, i think due to the 29r nature of the tiresize more than anything. but soon got the hang of it and enjoyed the trip round the trail, particular enjoying getting a bit of speed up on the nice downhill bit towards the pond. Was probably travelling slightly slower than normal, 2 reasons for this, firstly not wanting to over-cook myself, but also inability to pedal any faster than flat out in such a low gear.

The dipper was cool, cos as i came up the other side the rear tire left the ground, and when it hit the ground again i was travelling slower than it was spinning so it actually gave me a nice wee kick up and over the crest. Rest of the ride round the bike just stuck to the trail, no wash, no slip, and flew into round and into the forest, me really getting the hang of it.

Down Thompsons was a blast, me juuuust making it round the first hairpin. Final section great grip.

Kiwi up road to Nun was okay, sitting for most of it, the 30:21 a great gear, the tires really not that sucky, gasping the last half of Worsley's Rd to the dirt, then clambering up it pretty good.
So good.

Does my butt look big in this?

Top of the Nun, raring to go.

Little bit more air out of the tires and down i went. possibly still too much air, but, and i still wasnt overly confident of my handling skills, so took every bunny route, but it was still really good. flew down, enjoying the traction and boingy-ness. Pulled out half way, as did the others, but Andrew never showed. We could see him waaay up on one of the first straights so waited a bit, then Lance and me took off down the rest of the trail and the pug sang its way down this section. Awesomeness! Then back up to the others and still no Andrew. Eventually we saw him rolling and then we all headed back up to top of Worsley again. Off down the bodybag, a few riders on their way up drove me into a gravelly rut which the big fat tires just boinged me on through.

Tight wee clamber up to the Hidden and this is where Pugsley really found its place. the loose dirt, pine needles and odd rock feature were just eaten up under the high volume tires. Absolutely fantastic. At the bottom we rolled where Nelson and i had days previous, below the tank (through a little muck), only to find someone else has treaded in a line from just after the tank, down to the same line Nelson and I coifferred on Thursday.

At the gate i flipped the Pug on its back again, changed gears to 'town mode' and put some more air back in the tires, then we headed down the road, me taking as much sidetrack as possible, and down thru the nasty long grass down the lower road section then out past Cracroft and home into a blasting easterly gale.

Will i buy a Pugsley? Almost definitely, eventually. It was insanely cool, but probably not this time round. I'd go for a smaller size frame, obviously. The 29r factor would take a little getting used to, and that's where a 24inch based rim with 4inch tires might fill a 26r based niche. But the sheer possibilities of the Pugsley attract me. I can see it being an awesome all season rider in Hanmer, or Craigieburn - anywhere in the hills really. and a fun ride at the beach, off piste Bottle Lake meanderings. I'd love to try it down the Craigieburn Luge in mid winter on a snow base. or a winter tour up the Poulter. There's deifinitely a space for it in my quiver one day. I told my son they can buy me one in 3 years for my birthday... :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Terrsday night gloopage

rid the Cotic to work in full mtnbike regalia then at 4.30 worked my way down Blenheim Rd to Nelson's work where we chucked it in the 'Rona boot and headed for the same place i parked up on Sunday.

up the dirt we headed chatting away, finding the lines in the long grass and generally pushing our ways up the hill over rocky sections and up the ridgy faces presented to us. We hit the body bag debating very briefly a quick left and loop but i figured there was gonna be no way we'd be happy with the bodybag after a decent phat descent, so on up the nastiness we cruised til the dreaded top section. this time, with nelson ahead of me grinding away astoundingly in his middle ring, i held on for dear life and ground my way up. Granny, 24:32, as low as i can get and in the state i was in - usual sitting around all day, barely any recent riding - i felt like absolute shit and got pretty bloody close to puking. But, managed to get my body through that bag, working the fucker up that top section. I'd failed it last time, so forced myself to once again conquer it for posterity's sake.

Much breath was caught at the top. Then the little climb to top of nun and into the fun. First round, other than being a great descent, we both seemed to ping off rocks all over the place, generally not having the most comfortable rides tho holla'ing a merry "Thank yoouuuuu" as we passed the awe-inspiring track builder. When we reached the bottom i remembered i'd pumped my tires to over 40 for riding to work and beyond. Nelson realised his were a little hard too. So. figuring we'd deflate at the top, filled water at the Kiwi, hit the climb.

At the top there was woman in blue stopped, busy tweaking her suspension - for she had full, and us on lowly hardtails(!). We deflated some air, and hit the trail, 2nd time round, ahead of her, both having a MUCH better trip. Not just for having the just-done-the-trail feeling but also the smoother and far more grippy rides engendered to us by the lower airpressures. This time round tho, on the first of the really big uphill sweeper left handers, round round round , i ended up off balance and stalling up on the grass just at the top of the corner...

Anyway, good ride down, much better with good tire pressure. Quick chat to Te Builder, lots of thanks given. Back up the road, round, and over, meeting the girl from the top again (discussion was made re her speed overtaking us without being seen - she'd cut out half way...). And off we headed down the Bodybag - at an insane speed.

Hauled up and hit the low gears to climbed the gorsebone graveyard to the goodvibes. Some motorbikes had been through ahead of us, leaving the trail loose and a little messed up. More pushbikes through will fix it, with the motos forming our berms for us... great ride down - if a little slow and cruisy and not full-on hard-out noise. Into the great final bit, getting finally softer and looser over the drop and into that nice tight lefthander that drops you over into the steepest little wickedness of a corner, and finally across the slope down the drop to the wee climb out. Back up at the top we met some guys riding up our next descent. Sweet flow down that to the tank and out. Decided to seek further forested singletrack, so got back in to the tank, headed to it's right, and assisted in the potentials for connective flow into the next sections (that were already in there - thanks to moto's!).

finally, out the maintrack and down to the car. then to some mackers and onto Pomeroy's, where we met Steve, Warren, Robin, Pete, Andrew, Tony and Mark(of the abacus, and now the New Parent status). Epic beers were mostly consumed and Ms Swtchbckr was on the scene, on her Switchback no less!

The dregs headed to our home and more fun ensued, with Noir, Ardbeg and Highland Park. A good night had by all, I believe.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sunday night Quicky

Got out and had a nice wee ride tonight. left home in the car about 6.30 and parked up top of Worsleys Rd, end of the seal. Was feeling pretty shite but gave it a good go and just cruised on up the trail, taking the odd break to get some air. failed the bodybag, first time for a while, walked about 10m near the top, but managed to pedal out the worst.

Shifted down a few gears and plodded up to top of the Nun. Nice cruisy flowy trip down here. Not really pushing it, just focusing on the flow. Really enjoyed it, railing the berms, popping some nice air. Passed a couple of stopped riders at the carpark, then had an excellent blast down the lower flat-out wide-open section.

Then it was back up the road, over the top and back down the Body Bag at a ridiculous speed, then ducked up into B-Line and enjoyed this profusely, loving the rock features, washing out on the odd berm, taking it all the way down, including over the steepy droppy lowest section, back up the short climb to the dodgey ex-wallride, then into the final little bit to the tank and back onto the main drag, meeting a couple more riders on their way up as i blasted down the final ruts and back to the car. All up, a little over an hour car to car - choice loop.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Yes, Finally. Sunday a.m. hill scamping

About bloody time too. A 'standard' Sunday, left home 9ish and got my ass across to Steve's, where met Dallas, Warren, Wayne, Tony, Mark, Ben, Marie, Matt and Lance. The 11 of us headed round Hansons and up Huntsbury. Usual sprawl and regroups, climbing and chuffing, we made the top in reasonable time.

Then we headed up over Vernon for the sweetly decent singletrack descent to the Rapaki-top, minimal eventage, lots of speed and fun. Unbelievable what people ignore, we spotted some riders around under Witch Hill, unable to ride due to the overgrownness of it all, but ignoring the Road Closed No Entry signs to their heart's malcontent. Not to mention all the plebs carting themselves up Rapaki on a regular basis.

Back up the road we treadled to the Traverse, where we spun and bombed and lurched enjoyably, me relishing the seemingly new sensation that is the Traverse, something i'd not experienced since Sept 18th, all my rides since having been out-of-town... madness. Anywho, brief regroup at the usual regroup spot and Mark led off to show us the dropover line on the dipper... i was with him all the way then pulled up to watch him fly over, in, then drop the backend or foot off pedal or something, garking his shin nicely, and ending up with his thigh on top of the back wheel, squishing his wanger apparently too. quite the crash. no one else saw it tho. first time i've ever heard him admit to thinking maybe clip in pedals perhaps being a good idea too! :). Onwards round and fun yumpies and making for the shade. Then it was free for all down to the Skidder. I took the seesaw and a few of the brakefrees then into the rockgarden gummies and my favourite little peel to the left through twisty goodness and on down and out. nice.

Next up was Shazza's, nee Dazza's (Dazza's now apparently more to the right). This too was funtimes, tho rutty and cruddy in a couple spots. At the 40footer we hit up the climb back up via a small play in Mark's playarea where Rad crosses then on up and up in heat via the 4wds to the top again.

Next it was back round the Traverse and off piste sectionally down Huntsbury again. Uneventful, but enjoyable riding all the way including the wee jumpy track which few ventured to jump, one catching Lance pretty good, and the tiny double at the bottom proving to be just fine.

Me, just landed.

Bombed down the road, me wondering all the time what the thuck-thuck-thuck was from the back end all the way down the smooths, down Kenmure and onto Major Aitken, but thinking perhaps just a slight buckle. Anyway. Pulled up at some watertank steps i know of and led the posse down what seemed a garden path into someone's garden, which eventually broke free into a sweeeet little bit of singletrack through loose gumtree debris and reasonably quickly back onto the road, and on down the smooth tarmac out to Centaurus and on to the cafe...

Coffee and snackage etc had, we went our separate ways. Me down the river eventually onto Wilson's, chatting to a random fellow mtnbiker along Eastern. Then, on Nursery road there's a BANG PHWEEEEEEEEE-OOOOSH and my rear tire's flat as a pancake. Bah. Knobs are peeling and one has ripped right off and the tube has popped through the hole... the Thuck Thuck Thuck earlier probably the tube in full bulge mode, could have resulted in a heinous doesnt-bear-thinking-about blow out at speed on Major Aitken. ugh. pulled out the blown tube, put the spare tube in, inserted the blowntube alongside to try to cover the hole, then pumped up and got riding. Made it maybe a km into the shops at Stanmore/Worcester when it blew through again. Walked from there...

Friday, November 25, 2011


from competition to design the best utility bike.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Shame!

3 weeks without a ride! this is a new low... THREE whole weeks off the mountainbike. now my head is beginning to be done in. i had to have at least one blog entry this month. maybe i'll sneak a ride in while in Wellington, or somehow get something going for me over the coming weekend...
reasons??? well... after the week away on the trip, i had to spend 'family time' for the week, then i was off to Fiordland for the following week, taking out the usual Tuesday and Sunday that the boys all got, then another week of 'family time' necessary, and this week, tomorrow, i'm off to Wellington, meaning more 'family time' next week!!!

only benefit to me is that i've ridden to work most days in the couple weeks i've been back, including today getting drenched to the skin, and Fiordland had me walking about in the forest a bunch, which is good hard work...

Meanwhile, the 'crew' has had all their usual rides!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Annual Trip, Eastside - Hanmer

Drove through rain from our showers in Reefton and made Hanmer by 6.30pm, meeting up with Steve, Robin, Matt and Lance.

Next morning, Nelson arrived, and so we were a party of 14.

Tricky having freshness and staleness mixed together, but it worked out pretty well. Round we rode and up Jacks Pass Rd, to Flax Gully Track. nice wee blitz down and the legs sure felt the climb. Then i took a wrong turn and lead a bunch of the group up a garden path (of excessive steepness) to the Yankee Zephyr, while Steve led some of the rest of them the right way. Nelson and me jetted back round to them and then rode it with them meeting Pete and Andy on the way.

The new Yankee Zephyr is a blast. great blast down with swoopy back and forth corner after corner after corner down this halfpipey landform. then crosses over the road into a new Swamp track and that just went on and on and on, eventually spitting you out now at pretty much the bottom of Timberlands. Up this to Jolliffe Saddle, and out Red Rocks, a tree clipping me, then richocheting Nelson, then actually throwing Dallas miles down the bank into blackberry and gorse, but otherwise a sweet descent and now continuing right thru to Dog Stream, that we went up the Lower and rested in the shade at the end of Mach1 and opposite the start of Detox. Nelson and me blitzed there and back on the new section of Mach1 here, then Him, Pete, Matt, Lance and me headed up Detox while the rest just went down Mach1.

Detox was fun, tho nelson had some issues, and then new to me Mach1 bits were sweet as. Nelson dropped me on this, but we all regrouped at the end. then headed round behind the Forest Camp to Jollies Pass Rd. Up up up, losing Matt and Lance to the heat, spotted the rest of the crew bypassing the usual Threshold entrance, and so followed and caught them before the firebreak, cursing the person who invented granny gear and hills. a hot slog. big regroup in the shade half way up access road then final grunt of the trip to top.

Mark, Nelson, Me, Pete, Steve then not sure the rest of the order back to Robin into the forest down the glorious sidling then switching back round and sidling, repeat, indefinitely, til the bottom. How long will Threshold last? As with all the best Hanmer trails of yesteryear, the forest cant be far from harvesting and like Big Foot will go the way of memory.

Out the bottom, cross the road, sketchy steep, then flick back up and onto an interesting singletrack down to a ditchcreek crossing that got Pete to off. bit of a play on the jump for everyone, and off we went, 3 of us back behind the camp, the rest not, then we chased them down the singletrack just inside the forest on the left hand side of the road, final drop to creekcrossing and a pie and 2 raspberry buns and a coke for me thank you very much.

Final tally for the trip. no major injuries. Dallas's knee, and Andrew's buttocks probably the most injured regions.

The Annual Trip, Westside - Croesus

Saturday Morning dawned wet. We had to pack up and get going, headed for Blackball. Bit of rain around but nothing major, we took the gravel road to end of track, parked up, and got riding. Greeted with very finely gritted track to start with, and initially quite a long down hill section before crossing a (rideable except the steps (altho Mark rode them down)) swingbridge and the climbing began. Nice climbing mostly. Lots of technical features to really keep the concentration and balance on the absolute edge of reason. Sometimes i'd make it over a clusterfuck of riverbed-esque rocks and roots and just be astounded to still be upright and moving, but have to get over it very quickly because more was coming my way... sometimes tho you'd just stall and have to walk for a few metres.

Various showers of rain came down at various times. At one stage i spotted a bunch of goats further up the track, completely oblivious to our existence until the clatter of rocks under our treads alerted them. A few switchbacks and there also were a few creeks with big enough drops to make us dismount.

Higher and higher we got and the forest petered out into subalpine scrub, the trail more rocky. I was on my own out here, cos after the previous couple of re-groups the long waits were making me really really cold, and i'd be chugging up the whole time in 24:30, whereas all the others were in 22:32 (or 34), and so by the time the tailender arrived at the regroup i was starting to get cold. So, plodding along, and massive showers of heavy rain drenching me, i was very pleased to round a corner and see the hut ahead.

Got in, jacket off, shirt off to wring it out, then every layer i had with me on. filled out the book. contemplated lighting the fire, but didnt bother, cos i figured we'd be off in no time. the others turned up one by one. we all ate a little something, Mark tried to light the fire with no luck. then we headed out.

First section pretty good, but once in the forest it was a blast. Pete filming and chasing Mark chasing me. a few regroups higher up, but little gap between us and the next guys (and gal). Faster and faster, til a gnarley rock garden would ping us all over the place, Mark astounded at some of my lines, and Pete not having time to react to the settling boulders left behind by Mark. Seemed to take no time to get much much lower (but at one point it appeared as if we'd been at it for 45mins (time flies when you're having fun)). What a blast.

But, all good things must come to an end, and eventually we made the swingbridge. Little climb from here, then a lovely blast round to the next bridge that you can hop onto and ride across and jump off the end of. then another short climb followed by a wickedly good blast round to the last swingbridge (that Mark rode the steps of), and the final grunty wee climb back up 80m or so to the very last fast drop to the cars.

The Annual Trip, Westside - Kirwans and Waiuta

Warren and Dallas arrived Thursday Night, and the weather was looking good for Friday, so Warren made contact with the Chopper pilot and arranged for a 9 am pick up.

Friday morning opened foggy, but it was a shortlived fog and lifted by 8.30, and chopper confirmed we headed round to Boatmans Rd and up to the end. All the bikes stacked up ready for the strop,

Chopper came in, and promptly blew them all over as he almost landed on them. Ropes through all the front triangles, and Mark and me got in the back, Marie in the front - her first time in a chopper, and off we flew. Awesome flight, and so quick. bikes swinging back and forth under us. Then he set them down nice and gently, releasing the ropes then setting us down.

Hope those blades arent really that curved!

Back in twice more, we paids our moneys and off he went home, leaving us in the peace and tranquility next to the cool hut. Techy steep wee track down to the main track, and we peeled left to go look at the proper tops. nice views all round, interesting low forest with lots of moss to ride through. back along this track and onto the downhill proper...

Helluva blast, with Mark leading me, then Pete then the rest of them. fast, rooty, rocky, occasionally muddy, descent. sometimes stopped by biiig fallen trees, zigging and zagging now and then, down and down and down. Dallas had a bit of a crash, garking his knee, and getting a flat, whereupon this photo was taken.
Roots, and the crew, Dallas fixing a flat

On down and down, then a wee up, and we stopped for a snack.
My view down the trail on this rest.

Then on down, and the trail got more and more technical, and eventually started following the river a bit more closely, with more ups and downs, the occasional massive slip or washout, the odd carry, more roots, etc. Definitely an 'advanced' or 'expert' track, and not to be taken lightly. Injuries in here would be bad, with a mission to get out back into cellphone coverage.

crossed the river a couple of times on smaller bridges, then eventually got to a swingbridge, which proved quite a challenge to get a bike over, with each of us having our own techniques. at the end of the swingbridge, a short tunnel, and this little creek...
Picturesque little waterfall pool just past the tunnel.

Then a bit of a climb and suddenly there's a nice wide (similar to lower sections of Lyell) benched track which we proceeded to fly down, and out to another, this time rideable (bar the steps at each end) swingbridge, down across farmland back to the cars. rougly 2-3 hours of descending.

Back to base, lunch and a bit of a rest and bike maintenance, and all but Marie tootled round to Waiuta. Headed up the Big River track up the wide 4wd start, then the gravelled quadbike bit into the forest and finally onto the nice benched singletrack that is so rife in this part of the country. Quite a wee climb for a while, with interesting roots to keep you keen, and that sapping sucky mud in spots, but mostly good riding. Track levels off after maybe half an hour, and we continued for a while longer wondering if we'd get much more height. eventually at 5.55 we decided we'd had enough and turned back. Warren and Dallas had turned back a bit earlier.

Not far down, i decided my front tire was getting low, and stopped to pump it up. the others all got miles ahead and i began the chase. finally caught Tony, overtook him and caught Wayne, overtook him and caught Andrew, then raced on ahead, now on the steeper down, hauling ass, thinking Mark and Pete must be doing a similar clip to me so there'd be no way i'd catch them, but finally i spotted Dallas ahead, and just ahead of him was Pete and Mark, and them Warren. Awesome. and just around the corner, the 'gate' (motorbike discourager), and a nice open clip i chased Mark down to the end, then the cruisy 4wd section to the cars.

Mark and I decided we'd ride the road out, and so we did. The gravel road is just about ALL down hill, and fast, and grippy, and scenic, and was super fun. Got to the seal and just coasted cruised slowly down the road til eventually we saw Warren's car, then Andy's van, who stopped and loaded Mark, and then Pete and Wayne showed and grabbed me. Home for dinner around 7.

The Annual Trip, Westside - Denniston and Blacks Point

Woke up Thursday to drizzle and thought it'd be a crappy day up on Denniston, but figured we'd give it a go anyway. so. packed up and headed out of Westport and out of the cloud about 10 kms north. Pulled into Waimangaroa and followed an empty coal truck hauling ass up the road. Quite chilly breeze at the top, but a mix of blue skies and cloud around the place.

Headed off onto the same trails i'd ridden last time i was up here, ie, the Miners Track and the Drill Track. Vastly different conditions to then tho. Everyone enjoyed the blasts down, especially the tight single bit before the first Drill track climb. Got back round to Burnetts Face and headed up the road, with a bit of a play around the old School site. Then we headed out and did the Pig Route. this had some fun downhills but it all being semi-4wd track does not a singletrack make. at the road we started heading up, then realised only the two drivers needed to go up, so the rest of us coasted, at some awesome speeds, down til we got to the turn off for the walking track. imagine our disappointment when we saw on the mapboard how much of the old bridle track we'd missed... but, we can save that for next time, and we enjoyed the crap out of the fantastic, at times technical, downhill blast this trail is.

Back in the cars (after one of the best pies EVER (highly recommended, pies from the Waimangaroa Dairy)), and on the road for Reefton. Checked in to The Camp (run by The Old Nurses Hostel - highly recommended for our sized or bigger groups), then headed up the road to...

Steep little start up Murray's Creek track, on a nice wide good surfaced track, steeps interspersed with easier grades, up to Energetic Junction and on up to Waitahu Saddle. then on round and on up up and up to a fast downhill to Inglewood Junction.

Here we turned left on Ajax Track or Machine Track, and up a more rugged track which went up and up and up, then peeled round into a narrow wee singletrack that kept going up and up with some wet bits and we wondered where the hell we were going. at a top (where they used to use horses walking in circles to haul stuff up the hill) there was what looked like a ridge track, but there were no tire marks on it, and it looked like it petered out, so we headed down towards the Ajax Mine and Stamper Battery. some wickedly tight techy forest downhill, followed by swampy boggy crappy bits round and up, to another small saddle (where the previous ridge track would have probably gotten us).

This is where the true downhill began, finally, and we hit the what is one of the most fantastic sections of singletrack i've ever ridden. it was absolutely incredible. bits where you could just let go the brakes and fly, rooster tail of leaves out behind, followed by tight steeps with your arse being buffed by your back tire. awesome. eventually it steeped down into pines, and then switchback city for a bit, before eventually coming across the slope, a couple more switchies and you're at the car. a damned good work out for the brakepads, hands and arms...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Annual Trip, Westside - Britannia and Charming

Woke to dreary conditions after a rainy night in Westport and took our time getting going for the Britannia Road. Just north of Waimangaroa (where you go for Denniston) we parked up and chatted to a old golddigger before riding into the mist. no views to be had except for low cloud and damp rainforest, the latter being particularly nice. across a soggy paddock, through an electric fence gate, and into the woods. deep in the woods... quite dark in the forest, and very drippy. up we climbed. across a bridge, very pretty creek rushing under, and on up. cleaning most stuff, occasionally not, sucky muck, slippy rocks and sloppy roots, which are all features of west coast riding. Not sure how long it took us to get to the top, there were a few trees across in places, and old slips the track detoured around, but mostly it is a benched into the hillside well formed old bullock track. a challenging and fun ride up.

At the top the cloud began to lift and for the first time we could see across the valley to the bush on the other side.

Turned around at the top (without dropping down to the Britannia Battery), and the extra fun began. what a blast. what had seemed tricky on the way up we now just flew over, and the end came really quickly with the sun starting to shine on us as we cruised back across the final paddock.

Next up it was Charming Creek. We stopped in full muddy regalia at The Drifter's Cafe, and most of us scoffed down excellent cheeseburgers, then back in the cars and up the road to the Ngakawau River. the river was up a bit, quite dirty and raging to the overnight rain.

The trail was an old railway (for logs first then i think coal), and still had its tracks most of the way up. these proved an interesting feature whenever you needed to change lines, often grabbing the rear wheel and sliding you round if you got it wrong. Also, associated with tracks, are sleepers... rough, old, sleepers. continuously, budump budump budump all the way. most of the time they were eminently rideable, but occasionally there was a hole between them that would eat a wheel. the track was scenic as all hell, with the raging torrent of a river on your left, and cliffs either side, and waterfalls raining down on you. eventually we got to the swingbridge and from half way across the most spectacular waterfall comes into view. incredible, especially with all the extra water pouring over it. then its through a tunnel, and on up the gorge to the actual Charming Creek. from here the track got pretty boring, flat, monotonous, through an open scrubby (completely logged over) country. a sulphur spring next to the track was interesting, and another (rideable) swingbridge met.

probably about half a km from the end, we decided we'd had enough, so turned round and headed back down. the challenges of the climb were easier with gravity on our sides, and everybody had a good spin, enjoying the scenery, back. small detour near the end, then it was back to Westport for 3 lbs of Whitebait courtesy Bruce. Cheers Bruce!

The Annual Trip, Westside - The Lyell

So... i'll do these in bites, rather than all in one big post...

Pete and Wayne picked me up on Tuesday morning at 8.30am and we Falconned out of town northwards, meeting up with Andy, Tony and Mark and Marie in Andy's van in Woodend then driving in convoy from there.

First stop, the Lyell, for what I thought would be a nice leg stretcher, after the howmany hours in the cars. Wrong carpark for a start, but got there in the end, then wrong trail for a start too, taking the track to the Lyell Cemetery, which was cool as, I've never seen anything like it, a bunch of headstones completely surrounded by big native beech forest. anyway, it had some grunty wee ups and a couple of steep downs to a cool bridge then a heap of steps and lo and behold we arrive, after a big climb, at the track proper, which is as i'd imagined it should have been, a reasonably wide, benched, singletrack (an old Dray road to be precise).

The track surface is good, most of the time, or soft and sucky leafmatter muddy stuff, which takes away your power like nothing else. we were to encounter this type of stuff numerous times in the days ahead. This climb just plods its way away up and up and up, and there's never really any reasons for stops except for the sake of stopping for a rest. occasionally you run into a wee stream crossing that might prove a challenge, but the guys that have worked on it have done a really great job tidying this track up.

I guess we rode up for about 2 hours. We went through a few smallish slips, but decided we'd had enough when we reached a massive slip that was obviously one of the "massive slips" that i'd read about on Vorb and elsewhere. A track has been carved into this slip, and it looks pretty scary. It was certainly a lot further on from the 8 Mile site that Mountain Biking South book said was the end of the riding. i'd say we were pretty close to the saddle, but we'd all had enough, and were looking forward to getting back down that track.

Marie headed off ahead while everybody sorted themselves out, then the fun began. what a w00t inspiring descent. what was a grind up, became a magic carpet ride. with various roots and rocks you thought were going to be dodgy on the way down just flew past under your tread. one or two sketchy bits, but mostly just fine. some of the softer mud almost-ruts we'd created or were already visible became traction-mongering berms. sweeeeeeet. caught up Marie reasonably quickly, and then mud in my eye let Wayne get by me and he was flying.

After what must have been 45 minutes of continuous descending, cramps starting to niggle calf muscles, hands worn out from gripping and braking, faces sore from the grinning, eyes watery from the wind and mud, we passed the track we'd come up and enjoyed the final throes of the trail down, then briefly up, and down again to the end. Back across the 'dam' road bridge (massive ship's prow log catcher in steel girders above the water tunnel), and meandered round to a track i'd checked out earlier, but didnt think was the bike track cos of the steps, we had to climb up steeply to get to the campground. quickchange cover of seats and away from the sandflies for Westport (and a great meal at The Pines pub, owned by a friend of Pete's)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday Pearcing the clouds, paper roading

Mark and Marie came to visit at the bach. So, on Sunday, we headed out on our bikes. Mark Heckling, Marie 140ing and me the Soul brother. We headed up Little Akaloa Rd. It starts out nice and gentle, but about 10 minutes up it starts to bite. From here, its roughly 30 minutes of granny. I was always sure it was 1 hour to the top, with 45 of granny from Misty Hills, but today proved that a mis-memory. We ground away, me peering into the undergrowth on both sides above and below the road dreaming of Living Springs styled, but rougher, trails therein. Passed by one or two cars coming down, but none heading up. At one stage a farmer on a quad came down the road, giving us that smile with a trace of "what are you, crazy?" look in his eyes.

Near the summit we got into the clouds, enshrouding us for a good portion of the ride. Top of the road, we headed up the access track up Mt Pearce to the radio tower. Nice climb, only one or two really steep bits. At the summit road it was quite chilly, with the cloud and easterly conspiring against warmth, but as we climbed, it got brighter and warmer, and by the top we were blessed with patches of sunshine and it was very lovely and warm. Mark was partially zapped by the gate at the top which was either electrified, or it was picking up on ambient radiation from the microwave/radio tower??? So, munched on muesli bars on the downhill side of the gate, then hit the trail down. Periods of speed, chatting and rolling. Through the couple of gates and down. At the DOC Mt Pearce Reserve sign we were greeted with an amazing clear view of Akaroa Harbour bathed in sunshine. Spectacular. Nice flight down from here, back into the cooler cloud, getting thicker as we got back down to the Summit Rd.

From here we felt our way around the Summit Rd towards Okains. At the cross over between Little Ak and Okains catchments we hit the ridgeline. Officially there's a paper road across here, where exactly you'd need a gps for. We felt our way across the paddock, riding farmtrack and sheeptrails up rocky interesting sections to a fence, over this and up a bit where we were greeted by a half and half landscape

Sunshine bathing Okains valley, and a wall of fog/cloud over Little Ak. Fun singletrack-ish trails around here towards the View Hill Rd which we flew down to being sprayed by the wet grass undertread.

Through the gate and the down the track to where i rode to last week and into sunshine. Mad. Views out to Long Lookout and a beautiful day out there. We bombed down here, much damper, and in a couple of places, greasy, compared to the dryness of Monday prior.

Blatted on down, and then I pulled up a little way above the twin concrete bit, wicked view down into Raupo where the family was unseen on the beach. Then, there's a guy on a bike grunting his way up to us. Had a chat and continued on our mutually exclusive ways. From here, we picked the off-piste play lines, to the right of the road mostly, firstly on grass and rocks, and some clay, then onto clay and roots under the big macracarpas, quite fun. Then the final gravel burst down, Mark taking in some off-road off-piste bits before our speedy gravity powered blast down the sealed road back into the bay.

All up, roughly 3 and a half hours, of good honest grunt. 737m to start with, then a few extras before the 650m odd descent off the flanks of View Hill. Nicely nicely.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday quick View Hill blast

Mid School holidays 4 day weekend at the bach, bike in tow, so on Monday afternoon i headed out for a quick ride. headed up past the church and on up to Chorlton, then onto the gravel and up View Hill Rd. Spectacular day, blue skies all round. was scorching hot riding up the steep double concrete strip section, and i very nearly thought i wasnt gonna make it up. Also around were a few magpies i needed to keep a good eye on. made it past the steep and on up i treadled, a bit of a breeze picking up up here. no trouble from the magpies and i was on up past the big pines,

Here's nice view just past said pines.

on the way up the valley overlooking the old house. i kept on climbing, track surface an interesting ex-mud-hoof-trodden spikiness. proved really good once i'd turned around. at about 1 hour total climb, i was only at around 600m, and as high as i wanted to go,

This here being the view down the track just before my descent.

Bombed it down. excellent flow. one hairy moment not far from this photo, when i had let go the brakes for too long and nearly overcooked it into a corner. Much further down the bike behaved weirdly on the gravel sections, with the back wheel sort of feeling like it squirrelling around a bunch.

Once back on the tarmac it was smooth flying, hung a left at the church and grunted up the short climb, then even more speed down the back of all the baches and round past the big house and down the tiny singletrack to the tennis courts. 15 mins or so from leaving the top.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday no wind blowing on the Blowhard

Awesome ride this morning. Pete picked me up at 8.30 and we headed for Nelson's place. Grabbed him and headed 'round past Ashley Gorge and up to the end of Maori Reserve Rd. A bit of frost around, but sunshine and blue skies blazing.

Relentless start, no warm up, just granny geared grunt, nearly steeper than bearable, but eventually mellowing out a bit. nice to see some native clematis in full flower in places. Got to the big 4wd wallow and the real steep walking began. Rocky, gnarly, steep as, for a little while. Then a bit of riding ensued, couple more walky bits, more riding, more walking. all good. a real lung opener. Here's our first break.

On up for a bit, then a nice down, reminding Pete why he rides (he was beginning to wonder), then on up again. Eventually we got out to where Chris, Nelson and me got to on my first trip up there. From here there's quite a steep chute of a descent into the woods again then its climbing again, mostly out on an old burned cleared alpine tops type environment. some real good grunts. Back into forest for a while now and then. Somewhere in there we met the Bypass Track from Glentui. Not far up from there Pete snapped his chain

Fixed that and it was on up up up up up, into some open true alpine Dracophyllum scrub with a lot of muckiness and then through a cool forest with lots of moss and with snow on the ground and drips of melting falling on us. a few rooty holes and a couple of clearings and we were at the top, all 1048m of it (which, by my calculations, is roughly how much we'd climbed in all, even tho we'd started at 300m, there's roughly 300m of downs interspersed with the climbing on the way up). spectacular views up there, and, i kid you not, not a single breath of wind. fantastic. not living up to the name at all...
Towards Lees Valley

Towards the Wharfdale back end

Looking down on Oxford township

i led off and the fun began. blazing. absolute bliss. at times the softness of the ground acted like brakes, so you could stay off your own ones. had noticed a cool rock feature, moab stylez, on the way up, and both Nelson and me found a line onto it and down it. looking back, we watched Pete navigate the rocky drop to the side. he was trying out his new Gravity Dropper, and taking a bit to get used to it.

lower and lower we got, then we had to climb again. walking up the nasty chute below where Chris and us got to last time, and once more further up. rode the rest tho. sooooo much fun. the steep steep rocky bits were a total blast.

as usual, the bottom (4wd wallow) came too fast, but i think it was worth it, the downs really did last well, and legs were sore, and braking arms were sore (but not as sore as Involution last weekend). then bit of a climb out and then down the 4wd section, fast, til we rounded a corner and there was a couple of HUGE horses (with a couple of guys on them), who were pretty wary of bikes and were getting a bit freaked, so chucked our bikes up into the broom and stood up near them and the horse calmed and cruised by. (+1 for biker / horserider relations).

finally down avoiding the ruts and blasting out to the car, getting hella loose in the grease at the bottom. if my calculations are correct, a grand total of 1300m altitude traversed.

dropped Nelson off and returned via backroads to Cust to Tram Rd. got home before 2. all good.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Saturdaze volition to Involute

Stu picked me up from Flamedaisy and we rode up Waimea Rd and round the Ridgeway to Marsden Valley Rd... all the ups hurting me like nothing else. hit the Barnicoat, and clambered away in granny for nearly an hour. ugh, my tired from yesterday legs struggled and struggled, but we made it in the end, then its up and down a few times along the ridge before hitting up the native bush. the views are spectacular, but the climbing is damned hard work.

Involution. yowser. talk about fun. switchback city, reminded me a bit of Nichols switchbacks in Dunners, but rougher, bonier. some amazing long swoopy sections into a corner and back across the slope. met one walker on her way up, and overtook two girls on bikes on their way down. trail just seemed to go on and on, but eventually, crossed a 4wd track and then got nice and twisty down through a couple of stream crossings and then pops back up onto the 4wd, which you then scream down to the gate at bottom.

struggled back round all the ups over bishopdale and down back into town. sweeeeet.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Dun Done and the Copper was Mine...

Just landed from a fantastic ride... Hit up something i'd never done before, namely, the newly finished Coppermine. Headed up Codgers. Nearly at Tantragee bumped into a local (looked like he might have been guiding a couple of non locals?) who i asked if Jenkins was clear from 3rd house through, and he suggested i do the Coppermine instead, and as i'd never ventured further than not far past 3rd house before, figured i should... So. headed on up. met a few riding down, at intervals, including one really large group, passed one older couple near 3rd House, and continued on past that on up the Dun Mtn trail. gets a little narrower further up, and then eventually bursts out into the mineral belt, much different from the beech forest earlier, open and scrubby and quite spectacular. Trail is quadbikeable up here, wending its way round to the Coppermine Saddle, where you're greeted with a sign saying to the effect, Control your speed, Expert trail ahead... had taken me slightly less than 2 hours to get to this point. lay down in the sun and ate my OneSquare thinking 'fuck i'm shattered'...

then, seat down, just a little, looked at my watch, 12.30, and hit the trail down. Swoop swoop corner, swoop swoop corner, long bit, pumpy water bars, nice and wide, lots of room, and man this track is gonna be primo once its been made a little more difficult by weather. very enjoyable descent back and forward down this big basin of a valley, remaining in the mineral belt for a long time, getting lower and lower, and it seemed the further down you get the longer and faster the straights are, but you cant quite just let go cos you dont know what's coming up round the next bend. anyway, got back into the forest and swooped and flew and flowed down down down. glanced at my watch it it was 12.55, and i was still descending... somewhere in the forest i must have passed the track to the Maitai Caves, met a couple of walkers as i swooped and bombed on down what is tantamount to a wheelchair track, only a little too steep for wheelchairs. finally, popped out on the 4wd track that Peaking Ridge finishes on, and bombed that out down the Maitai, onto the nice little singletrack to the coathanger bridge.

here, i decided to check out the waterpipe track, and rode that round above the river for quite a while, passing the turnoff to Jack's Clearing, and continuing on down til i met a motorbike, then a tracked motorised wheelbarrow, and then a guy with a digger, at the end of the line... chatted with him, couple more weeks he said, oh well, back up and round the track past the tracked thing, and the bike, and on down the steep descent to the Maitai river. do you think i could find suitable stepping stones??? waded in the nice cold water up over my knees, carrying the bike, and then hit the gravel road down down down the maitai. Just after the seal began i headed over that coathanger bridge to Tantragee. Stupidly biked up the saddle, instead of the easy way down the Maitai singletrack, and then rode Codgers down, thereby closing my loop.

total time out riding? 3 hours 15 minutes, not bad for a 4-5 hour ride, eh?

and here's a video of the trail!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Pleasant sunset Dreamwood

Great ride tonight. Andy, Tony, Warry, Wayney, Roby, Dalley, Becky and meey piled up outside Warry's place and headed round back of Ferrymead for an eyeopening experience for Bex.

Then it was up Mt Pleasant, a steady slog to the top with the odd regroup. Sun had well and truly set and light starting to flag as we headed out along the top of Greenwood. Lights were donned by the Wazz and me (the others all had theirs on) before the descent began, tho first off no lights were needed, tho it certainly was getting sketchy and i believe a few crashed here or there... a brief regroup at bottom of the top switchbacks, and off we headed, down and round, my flow on as good as ever, seemingly effortless rolling smoothly and sweetly and loving it all.

A regroup at the usual spot just past gloomy gulch and we noticed a few rocks about, and looked up and there's about the only rock face on the whole trail... the tailenders caught up and off we went again. lights off to start with but on very soon after, tho barely necessary. good flow down the next section, loved the new line into the lower switchback section, you'd hardly know there was an old line. then round into the creeky bit and back out for the blast before the rocky stepups, the first of which i momentummed into just with a dab push up the final lip and cleaned the second whereupon i stopped to watch the others - Robin and Bex still back on the switchbacks. waited for them to show up and then off down the last bit, that drop to the right above the road as always giving me the heebeejeebees..

Hit up the top of Capt Thomas, boy is it overgrown... just down to the old maintrack and back up onto the road, for the final descent down the scarred road blazing down to the Road Closed barrier and into the cool air pooling then patches of sudden warmth past the containers and containers and containers, round thru sumner, causeway, back round Ferrymead cracked up singletrack to Warren's.

a magnificent way to finish a tuesday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Blottle Ache

Quick dusk and nighttime spin of the pond tonight. all up it was Pete, Steve, Dallas, Warren, Robin and me. nothing of note particularly happened, except somehow the pad part one of my rear brake pads came off leaving me with no back brake... made for one interesting moment, where i overcooked it into a corner locking up the front wheel sideways and nearly losing it. Also, we lost Robin somewhere along the way... managed to get him on the phone on our way back (after splitting and looping round two ways to try to find him). He was at the cars when we got back...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Hillage

Met Andy, Wayne, Tony and Pete at Steve's(who didn't join us), and headed up Huntsbury. Good climb, good pace, and beautiful day.

Bombed the Traverse (after pete had returned to the start (not collecting 200$) to fetch his sunnies), all on good form, the Thompsons, some greasiness here, then up road to top of Worsleys. Due to short time -- down this and into the B line for much hooting and enjoyment. no major offs and everybody was peaking on their performances. at bottom of Worsley's the arm on Pete's sunnies broke, indicating he should have lost them to start with... bombed down the road, then the sideline even faster than ever, and then round river back to Steve's and home just in time for my duties...

Saturday Travis Planting riverine meandering

Individually or perhaps grouped, ways were made to Andy's. i was latish and hit the road, getting a call from Steve at Wainoni/Breezes saying they'd meet me at Pages Bridge, so i spun my way to them. They being Andrew, Steve and Wayne.

We headed along the southbank sort of enjoying (and sort of not) the undulatory nature of the newly built stopbanks. someone likened it to a really rough downhill only you had to pedal the whole time. at Anzac drive bridge we spotted Dallas across river and met him over there. Rode along that north side to Basset St then up that to Travis and round to the planting.

Well over 100 people, close to 150-200 perhaps, put a couple thousand plants in the ground and then enjoyed sossies afterwards.

Then us bikers headed for my place via the river all the way bar Retreat Rd...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tuesday hilltop nightride

Pete picked up me then we got Bex and headed for the kiwi. There, were Steve, Tony, Wayne, Andy, Dallas, Marie and Mark, a real posse for a ride of many regroups, and lingering to watch the many splendid trail of lights out behind.

We headed up round to the second Thomsons which we huffed and chuffed up, pollen star field a constant reminder of hayfever potentialities... Regrouped then set off round the Traverse, into a bit of a wind, lovely dry conditions, and my legs feeling gooood. brief regroup under sugarloaf where the sign used to be then onwards round to the end, yippee.

At the road crossing there was another large posse, to whom I said, "my group's bigger than yours". They held back for a couple of us, then headed off to blind the others. Numerous other riders rode by while we were regrouping. Next up, we hit Vernon, with slightly more of us heading all the way down to Rapaki (Steve, Wayne, Mark and Marie pulling out at Farmtrack exit). Awesome to hit this again, dry compared to last week and so so fun. Rocks snaggled me in a couple of places, wrong geared etc, but blasted the final bit, losing a little less on the offcamber by the 'pond'.

Back up the road round back to Traverse and another regroup... headed back round Traverse and this time tail wind pushing us fast and fun all the way round again, blasting and finishing by taking in both the Thomsons, speedy bliss.

From Kiwi, up the road for an awesome blast of the Nun. Railing corners, flying jumpies, pure excellence. Then in the lower tophalf, came over that wee rise followed by the wooden bridge, some broom hit my helmet and instantly I was in total darkness... totally expecting to crash, waiting for the pain, slammed on the brakes and somehow bailed up before hitting either the bank or going off the edge. Flicked the switch and got going again, popping up in front of Mark who was parked in the truck. Pete passed by, then Andy, then Steve, and i got back in behind him, decided to wait a little for Tony to catch up then headed down again. Chasing and gaining and getting a little loose in spots. Steve's light was starting to warn him it was gonna give up and i saw it strobe on one of the lower jumpies, as i caught him. Still having a fair bit of juice in the legs i cranked up the road to see how Bex was doing, dropping in opposite the lower entrance to Gov's Bay track and hopping down in front of her, leading her thru the jumpies.

We regrouped for the last time, loaded bikes, said our byes and headed home. A great ride.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Hunts Farm bury Vernon track

hit a car tonight on way home from work. i'd just turned on my front light, to be more visible, and i'd put my hand down in front of it to see if it was flashing, cos it was still daylight albeit dim, and when i looked up there's the back of a fucking car right there in front of me. nothing doing so i guess i braked a little hit him, thought for a second 'i might come out of this okay...' WHAMM! handlebars spun, i went down landing on the car, the road and my bike all seemingly at once. ouch... a graze on my belly, a very sore knee, one or two other scratches. adrenalin got me home, or at least, to O's teacher-pupil-parent interview.

then, came home, got ready and biked to Pete's place and we Falcon'd to Steve's where we met Andrew, Warren, Tony and Robin. Steve, once again, was out due to familial duties.

We headed round Hanson's, and up the usual Schmuntsbury. Spotted a few lights on Rapaki - people breaking the law... tsk tsk. not to mention putting themselves in more danger than necessary, i guess.

Mostly was good, my injured knee was giving me a bit of gyp, but i managed the climb okay. At top we debated, and as we're nursing a new rider, time was getting away on us, so we just hit up Vernon. What a blast! Been since way back in Pre Quake Feb since we last rode it, and it was FANTASTIC. Had such a good run on it, the rocks, the flow, pure singletrack enjoyment.

From here, looked at the Road Closed and Rapaki Track Closed signs and headed back up the road to top of Farm Track, where we negotiated all the gates and had a BLAST down hill. First time down this since July 2009!!!

Pollen was a major issue on the lower reaches, and then seemed to be in my lights-view from there on back to Steve's. A southerly whipped up just as we were at the bottom.

Pete and me swung by Pomeroy's on the way home. Tried to get a Monk's Habit, but they ran out half way through our first pint pour, so we had a Cock and Bull "She's In Saison" dark Saison, and a lovely wee glass of Tuatara Barleywine, deliciomundo. a perfect painrelief for a crashed bod.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Family Rail Trail

no mtnbike ride to speak of this weekend. But today, T, H, O, Tane and me droved to Kaituna, new carpark, and hit the Rail Trail. Small was on the tagalong behind T, and O rode his Norco. Tane's a fit little fella so he rocked out ahead, and O was worn out from their late night, so was struggling a bit.

We cruised through round the Birdlings bend and then half way along the straight hugn a right and rode down the gravel road to the Forsythe Power Boat Club where the Radiofliers were having a meet. some cool flying action going on. Hung out for a couple hours then headed back with H tagged to me. there was no way O was going to manage the journey back we hooked T and O back up and they all treadled off to Birdlings Flat beach, and i spun my way back to the car - no hands most of the way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday slightly messy hill ride of interesting adventures

Relatively regular posse of boys assembled at Steve's, Pete and me having ridden together from his place. Assembled were Robyn, Dallas, Wazza, Andy and up turned Stu and Tones. Steve popped out the gate to proffer his regrets due to spousal illness and dependent dinner preparation. We trotted off round Hansen Park and on up Ramahana Aotea etc etc. Robyn was dying, having had an severe osteo session yesterday and lacking hill fitness, and threatening to bail part way up Huntsbury Ave. I convinced him to struggle a little further up and then enjoy the downhill of Major Aitken, allowing himself a bit of a loop back round through town. the others were well ahead by this stage so i was chasing, catching the first ones on the final sealed grunt, and the others waiting at the roadend.

Up the dirt, patches of snow still lingering, they musta been pretty big drifts to start with. Lots of water running down gutters and track a bit of a stream in places. Little bits of slop, but not bad overall, with dry lines to choose most of the way.

At the summit we watched as runners and some other bikers came along Vernon towards us. we took off along the summit towards Vic Park before they regrouped. The odd puddle, but overall the track was way dryer than it was wet. One or two of the usual troublespots could have done with a quick spade session, but too much fun was being had to stop.

Into top of Vic, and down and incredibly soggy Coffee Break, me being the only see-sawer, then down the quagmire paddock and into the rockgarden venturing forth to the gummies. Couple of dodgy slop-festy bits but high dry lines to be had, and the little squirelly left hander was fun greasy with Pete offing on the steep corner and me offing on the next. we bailed out early to the skidder site, cos the left round to the log jump was treacherous.

Down through Vic Park we headed into the dog park down through the gates and followed the barbed wire and bounced down the roots loving every second of that trail. out under the houses and lots of borse and groom leaning in the top section. past storm damage had been fixed up and a new section of gravelled switchbacks lead us down further than we've been before, spitting us out opposite the Hollis Ave track.

we opted against lots of steps, and I led the now mucky boys down someone's drive and then through an empty section down to Holliss for a fast tarmac buzz into the cold of the flatlands.

Homeward round Eastern, the others peeling off over the footbridge and Pete and me back to our 'hood. Grins all round.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday Pleasant tarmac and Richmond dirt hill spin.

after much snow last week, and still some lingering on the hills, the trails were all closed, so...

Singlesped to Ferrymead bridge with my lovely missus (out for her constitutional) to meet with the usual crew of Steve Pete Andrew Wayne Warren Marie and Dallas. T headed back for M's and we headed up St Andrew's Hill. Rode it all the way up to Major Hornbrook, then on up that to top and across to Mt Pleasant Rd and on up to top of that with a brief stop for snowball fun. Hardwork on the SS but good for me and nothing too dramatic.

At top through the Road Closed sign and headed down Summit Rd to the Greenwood/Richmond Hill Pines where we headed down, finally on singletrack, across the paddock towards the lone pine, over the stile, a few patches of grease to the next stile, then down the groovy rooty slick and dodgey trail to Clifton Tce. from there it was down an even more greasy little section around through a wee creek and a good bit to top Richmond Hill roads, then a bomb down that, taking in the shattered houses, loose tiled roofs and fallen-away carparks.

Coffee at DocTom and a spin home via back-of-Ferrymead trails (where Steve had a spectacular off right in front of me), then all the way to Radley St where Pete and me peeled off up Ferry, Smith, Linwood Park and home.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Foggy Night solo spin

Missed a ride on Tuesday night due to T being sick as a dog, so managed to sneak out last night. Drove up to my folk's place and parked to ride from there.

Was 7.30 when i set out, up the trail beside Vic Park road, cutting across onto the (dry as a bone) Tawhairaunui trail and then down the mtnbike track and crossing Dyers Pass Rd onto Old Dyers. Decidedly mucky for the first section down the hill, messy and sloppy, but once round onto the more north facing stuff, drier and better rolling. Clambered on up the, in places mucky, trail to the kiwi - the final singletrack bits much better surfaced, and tidied.

From the Kiwi i hit the bottom of the Nun, riding up this is something we never do, but its actually pretty cool, with a surprising number of descents. its been trackworked recently so rolls pretty good too. At the midway carpark i pulled out and rocked up the Crater Rim track above the road. a few steps and walky bits, some permafrost and one or two spots of snow stilly lying on the ground, and the fog was starting to encroach. Lights of 3 riders on the upper Nun were surprisingly close above me on this track. Hit the road, and then the 4wd to the top, completely encloaked in fuggy fog

Good bomb down, albeit difficult to see, what with the headlight glaring back at me through the fog. Fog seemed to diminish slightly on the lower reaches, and i pulled out at the midway carpark to head back up the 4wd section that used to be the main trail. Rode up this to the its top corner, and spotted a light up in the fog above, me, so waited. and waited... eventually up rolled a guy on what i thought was a Jeff Jones (but may have been a Black Sheep) ridden by a guy i've run into on a Simple a few times. We chatted a bit then he headed down and i continued up for a couple more corners. Then turned back and flew down through fog again and on down all the way to the Kiwi. I was catching him a bit, but he took off down Dyers Pass Rd, while i stayed true to the singletrack and headed on down the way i'd come up.

Took it easy through the mucky stuff at the end, and crossed the road and headed down the H.Ell track, wondering, whether like a tree falling in a forest, if a biker rides a walking track and nobody is there to see him, has he really ridden it? Cut up right at the top of that ridge near the bottom and climbed up to Vic Park Rd, finding myself way higher than i expected, then bombed down and into my Old's, 1 hour 15 minutes after i'd left. Excellent ride!

This morning, on the way to work, i stopped in at Velo Ideale and test rode a couple of Pugsleys they've got built up -- one singlespeed, and one with a NuVinci. VERY COOL. I want.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Sunday Planting on the Other Side.

rushed to Pete's for a lift to Lyttelton where we found Andy, Wayne, Steve and Tony. Caught the 8.50am ferry to Diamond Harbour and cruised up the hill and around the road to Orton Bradley, relishing the fine weather and calm harbour views. Arrived early for the planting so treadled to the end of the picnic areas scoping out our planting sites, then a couple of us went back and got spades and we knuckled in. With three on spades and three putting trees in the ground we knocked off maybe 100 plants around several embankments in an hour and then i found another huge area of probably 100 plants that we got started on. Well into that and the sky got gloomier and then the southerly hit with avengance. Spectacular it was, lifting clouds of pollen from the pines and making the trees roar like 747 jets. a bit of rain fell just as we were joined by the rest of the planting folks to put in the last 3 plants of our patch, and we mosied to the old school room for a brief get-ready, then cruised back round the road, nice strong tail wind for all those wee climbs.

Once back into Diamond Harbour, we explored round a bit and found the Cliff Edge Track... the first section we took was marginal in places, interspersed with nice wee sections, but the second half, which was what i'd had in mind, was pure singletrack bliss. dry clay base, pine needles, roots, hairy drop to the right below to rocks and pulsing harbour and surging kelp beds. awesome! a nice finish to a good planting and a scenic road ride.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Toosdy Quarry Crocking

Finally i get out for a ride. its been forever, due to moving, and holidaying (without bike(!) in Hanmer (too much snow)), and sickness. Possibly just as well i havent tried to ride recently, as i discovered my BB was seized on one side. Luckily i had a replacement in my bike stash, so duly installed that as soon as i got home from work last night.

Met up with Andy, Wayne, Dallas, Warren, Tony, Stu (from Nelson), Pete, Alistair, Brandon at the main gate of Halswell Quarry. We set off and it certainly felt like more than our 10. Grunted up the Rim track, feeling like my lungs were going to bleed. Brief regroup at top for Pete to re ziptie his light, then up the next little bit before the downward spiral to the lambing paddock climb to final zigzag and road. then off up the upper crock, or lower kennedies to Siberia, the odd little slip on the upper sections but otherwise in nice firm condition.

Quick lap of Siberia, all enjoying the descent. then back up the 4wd track to the top and Alistair and Brandon led off. i gave them a good gap then hit it. caught up with Brandon about half way down and we all regrouped for the start of the Croc proper. Alistair led off and i took his tail. we had a great blast down except for bailing up on the rocky narrows. then he lost it on the same corner as he crashed off last time we rode it together, and i took the lead down the last couple of switchies, over the bridge, and schpleurtched to a greasy halt on the upturn. the whole climb from the bridge was sticky greasy clay. barely even walkable. the gasps as everybody rolled into it were humorous. clambered up the slope and rode on into the dry forest pineneedled surface, needles and mud eminating from spinning wheels as speed increased back and forth through the trees over the roots and down and out.

another regroup and we headed back through to the cars, alister and me both bunnyhopping a chain and jumping over the speedbumps.

Then it was round to Tony's to discuss the October Trip.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Sunday Mt Grey

Fantastic ride today. Met at Pete's and headed north. Clouds were looking pretty hairy as 6 of us drove in two cars north on the motorway, but they blew off and the sun was shining on a nice dusting of snow on the tops by the time we were heading through Balcairn. Riding were Steve, Pete, Wayne, Tony, Marie and me.

Parked up at the usual spot, "Lake" Janet, and after swapping out a tube on Wayne's borrowed (off Pete) Chameleon, we headed up to catch Steve and Marie. Good going on the access road, little soft and so dragging slightly, but not so bad. Not far up tho, we started to run into the snow we'd seen earlier. it was cool! higher we got the crisper and squeakier it got. Once we got round onto the top the wind was heinous, strong and cold. on up to the big comms tower, ice and snow all over the place.

Then the descent began. Surprising traction down the little singletrack to the top of the Mt Grey track. Sidling round with little bits of slip and slide, ice keeping the mucky bits under control, grins forming all round. A zig and a zag or two then round and out of the wind, into the forest. Now the real riding began. Switchbacks interspersed with sweet flowing singletrack. Cleaned a few more of them than i did last time, but there's still some in there that are always gonna be nigh on impossible.

Lower down parts of the trail just got faster and faster. Sweeeeeeeet flowing, smiles on all our dials. Briefly we left the beech forest and bombed down some bits in the young pine trees. the trail through here was majorly mucky, but fun, and no one lost it. Well cool. Then back into the beech and roots and rocks and fun. Photo op on the bridge, little bit more trail, and we hit the road.

Tootled up the road, i grabbed the tfc truck and headed down to pick up the stragglers, tho, they were so close i probably didnt need to.

All up, high fives were exchanged, and we skedaddled back to town, arriving home by 1.30.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday spinning Mcleans

Pete picked me up. We picked up Matt and drove to Mcleans Island. There, we met a shitload. Andy, Wayne, Warren, Dallas, Steve, Tony, Rex. 11 in all. All lit up, we rode around the trails. Spin spin spin, corner, spin, corner, spin. No tecknuckle challengement present whatsoever. Exercise is all its about out there. I led a posse peeled left at the "River Loop", chasing forever to catch the others at the overpass and steaming pond. Patches of frost around the place, and not-freezing and freezing patches of air around too. Took the Coringa Loop east and round and over the pass, another regroup there again. Then the final blast through. Rex sat in 36:12 on my tail for the whole second half. I spun out and wore my legs down the whole way. Pete said he was burning his legs off too.

Good to get out, tho the hills are more interesting.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Hunting Traverse Nun Worsles.

Good ride today. Big posse assembled at Steve's as usual. There was a Wayne, a Warren, a Dallas, a Tony, an Andy, a Pete and a Steve. We toodled through the frosty air to Ramahana, Aotea and on up the hill. Steve struggling with his pains, everyone else really glad to be out on the bike and on the hills, especially on such a nice day.

Approaching the top of the hill and we spotted Sandals, Jandals and Helment, aka Marie, Ben and Mark, on the traverse above, on their way to meeting us. Traverse was a great blast, flying down the downs and generally enjoying the crap out of it. Everybody had a good run round there. Then onto to Thompsons, great blast on the odd greasy bit, especially on the second half.

Up road to top of Nun, where, after a big regroup, i led off. First corner nearly got me, the trail was sketchy greasy to start with and carrying all that slop into the rocks could have proved nasty. But, survived and continued, Mark appearing on my tail at the next bend. I hauled up to let him by, but then kept it rolling and he was complaining about bald tires, so figured i'd be okay out front, and was, i think, not holding him up to much. Pretty good run down most of it, even getting through my usual troublesome rocky bits okay.

The lower half was only sampled by myself, Mark and Pete. the others all bailed out half way. The lower half was sweeeet. On the second of the big swoopy uppy bits there was some fresh dirt with a nasty looking rut in it. Managed to stay on, i think it was kinda soft so it didnt have too much bite in it. From there tho, the jumps were sweet, with some clearance been done along the trail sides opening it up nicely. good air time on the first couple.

Back up the road and we met the others all at the top of Worsleys. Fanged the first bit then into the B-line. Sweeeeeeetness in their taking it all in. Then down the road and the sideline to the bottom and home round the river and through town, all splitting our separate ways as we progressed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sat Bottlo with kids, Sunday Sumner Cafe run

On Saturday, Tom, Tane, my boys and me went to Bottle Ache for a spin. O on his bike, H on the tagalong. was good, nice day, fun for the boys with Tane speeding off out front and O desperately trying to keep up. Ran into a guy on a Jeff Jones (Steel Space Frame), wicked machine, but surprisingly more heavy than i'd expected. first i've seen in the flesh. very cool.

Sunday, showers coming through and all the hill tracks closed, so we (Wayne, Wazza, Andy and me) assembled at Steve's and we road cruised out to Slumner to look at all the rock falls and scoured clean cliffs. Dot Com for coffee and back. managed to avoid any rainfall, even tho T said just after i'd left it had pissed down. i saw a rainbow on my way over to Steve's but didnt get wet. :thumbsup:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Greasey eastern Sunday morning. Bottle lake Tagalonger

No other takers for a ride this fine frosty morning so i headed out on my own. Had a couple dogs to feed at Joy's so parked there and headed up Cannon Hill, Michael, Cannon again, Freeman, Major Hornbrook right to the top (via Clearview etc) and then some Upper, then up Mt Pleasant Rd. Good pace all the way up, no breaks til the top where i was too hot. Hadn't checked the ccc site prior but the trails were on Avoid yesterday so figured they might be okay today. Turned out i was right.

Hit Greenwood and proceeded to slip and grease my way down, cautiously at first, wheels squirrelling all over the place, front glancing one way while rear glances the other. Lots of fun. Quite a few dabs in places not known for dabbing. Made it to the bottom unscathed, having loved every second of it, and watched some bikers head down a Closed Capt Thomas... :hmmm:

Got onto Godley and blew out all of the first section. Screwed it up at every move. The rocks seemed way worse than they'd been last time i rode it (which was back in January!!!). Had a whizz and got going again and got my groove back on, much better, cleaned up the rest of the trail and it wasnt nearly as greasy as Greenwood had been. Met one group of riders coming the other way (one of whom i recognised) just before the first wooden bridge. Felt really on form on the descents, floating 'in' the bike and enjoying profusely. Great to see the other week's working bee has re-alligned the corner that leads into the sidling extra bit just before Breeze Col, excellent. and enjoyed riding over the PFMTBC rock. Nice work, fella's.

Next up - the Anaconda. Fun had here, again getting down 'into' the bike. Recent work lower down that is all good, except for the slop-channel. yikes. nearly threw me, a greasey sloppy dirty channel full of water and mud between two bermed corners... terrible. the rest was sweet tho, and the 'tail' was choice, bro.

Slogged up out of Taylors and over Nicholson Park, controlling my speed for the walkers, then back through Sumner round past all the rockfalls and containers and back up to Joy's to the car. 2 hours riding all up.

The next day a 6.3 hit and did this...


Later on, i took the small one (nearly 4) out to Bottle Lake with the SS and the tagalong (conveniently T's bike is my old grey 18inch Switchback and i just needed to swap seatposts). I's pretty tired but we managed a good blast, him chattering away out back the whole way and enjoying it profusely.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Saturday Mixed bag

Not a lot of riding opps around these days for some reason. But, today, a miniscule posse met at 11am at Steve's, ie Steve, Dallas and me, and we headed up Ramahana, Aotea and the rest to the dirt. Steve was struggling with lower back pain that's been niggling him forever. We got up eventually to start of the Traverse. Ate the majority of a OneSquare before setting off.

Hit it good. Blat blat blat round, hardly anyone about up on the tops today. Best stretch for me was the last towards Vic, blazing it all oh so sweetly. We regrouped and hit up Thomsons which was also a lot of fun.

Through the messy road rebuild to the Kiwi and on up the summit towards the Nun and Steve pulls over and does something. Then he catches up and informs us that his brakes has been on the whole time. New pads and hadn't adjusted them accordingly (Avid brakes like his can apparently do this), after which he was like a new man...

Bit of a struggle up the road and up to top of the Nun where Di meets us greeting 'planters' for the 1 oclock planting... Grabbed a couple of spades and i left my bike there and walked down to the second hairpin where there were numerous plants waiting for us. I put in roughly 10 plants while the others continued and i walked back up to the bike at the truck. Hit the trail and enjoyed the ride down, rolling and jumping, as you do on the Nun, down the the halfway mark, pulled out and hauled up the road again.

1.30pm Top of Worsley flew into the bodybag, bombing down. At the bottom, hung the righthander and crawled up over the gorse stumps, stopping for the rest of the OneSquare and got onto the sweet sweet singletrack. Wound my way down, passing some dudes in a 4wd parked up on the top of that cliff, strangely. Then enjoyed the crap out of the next section, but the bit where Chris, Mark and me messed about with rocks the other night some motorcrossers have been spinning around, actually messing with our biketrails... anyway. back down the 4wd bit, and hung a right onto the sweet descent, bombed it out to the ride back up, then round behind the sketchy wallride and across the trails out down past the tank and back onto the maindrag.

Down the road i headed into the valley between Worsley's and West Morland, down the switchies, taking the first shortcut, then down the valley. fun times down there, then up the steep steeps back onto Worsley's Rd.

Out and a slog, major slog back across town. hoping C4 would be open, but they werent. Home at 2.30