Monday, February 28, 2011

post Quake Monday 629 to Peaking

Staying in Nelson with family as refugees of the 6.3 quake that's basically bollocksed Christchurch for good.

Hooked up with Ian(Iain?) via a Peaking Ridge thread on Vorb, and we trundled up the Maitai in his wagon, parking up before the locked gate below the dam. rode under the gate and up to the bridge, over the river and up onto the benched trail, round to Bob Taylor Rd. Steady steep up up up, a breather at the hives with a bit of a look over to the dam, then on up steeper still to a left onto a narrower track that led round (and up) through the pines to "the fire break"...

think of your steepest trail. think of it times three (or four). i managed a good portion of the first steep, then we walked a whole heap more of it. it was steep, making the Body Bag look like a pissant walk in the park. up up up we went, to a top, followed by a nice quick blast down then up a last bit to the top top. had a nice breather on a board seat with lots of wasps and two options at our fingertips - the 629 proper, which Ian had warned me (priorly via txt) required armour and fullface, or our option, a ridge track up to the end of Sunshine and the top of Peaking.

Started off pretty cool, straight into the wicked single rooty rocky goodness that this area is so renowned for with all that windthrow from the 2008 big blow. started out with the wickedest steepest little mother. very cool. juuust on the verge of what i'm comfortable with cleaning. cleaned it - sweet. then across the ridge up up up we went, walking some, but riding heaps. sometimes windthrow sometimes nice bush.

at the top of Peaking Ridge we headed down. this too starts off with a steep ass chute, rutty and rooty and off camber. i bailed part way in and walked, whereas Ian had cleaned it. from there tho, all was mostly rideable. a mint trail, so much fun and such a long downhill. we stopped probably 2/3rds the way down for a bit of a break, and then hit up the last third, into the manuka and more descending, twisty, tight, rooty excellence.

much enjoyed. hit the bottom before i was expecting it, and then we swooped back down past the bottom of Bob Taylor and on back to the vehicle. all in all, nearly 3 hours out. choice.!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Morning Captain Greenwood Thomas

lift with Pete to Scumner, passing Andy and Wayne in the van, then Steve riding out on the causeway and sitting behind Dallas through Redcliffs, we all assembled outside DotComa, joined by Rex and headed up the Captain. nice climb, refreshing to be back on the newly fork serviced headsetted stemmed and barred Cotic. time for some new forks unfortunately, with bad wear on the insides of the stanchions... i'll just have to make do til money allows.

at evans
we headed up Greenwood, something none of us have done recently nor often. not such a bad wee climb really, only one or two bits of trickiness. managing to clean everything bar the odd off balance dab in places that i shouldnt have. at one break a guy on a yellow speci hardtail coming down went right over the bars right next to me... oops.

yarned at the top a bit and it was off and down. here's Andrew arriving with the lovely Slumner view and the undersides of the clouds at our level.

and obligatory artyfarty shot, Steve's wheel.

off we went then, i led the way, feeling pretty good, Pete sticking to me pretty good most of the way. then round through gloomy gulch and on a bit i heard a yell from waaay back. it was Andy, hollering me down, Pete'd flatted further back, so i turned back and rode back up to the rest of the posse. off again and down down down, catching a guy and then breaking to let him go for a bit. then off again and blazing down catching him up again til finally he let me past and on down down fast and squirrelly. the new 720 wide bars proving pretty good.

off down the Kapitan, pete in the lead, me struggling to stay on his tail. he took the high line i took the low and then he cleaned the bit i never do and got a good lead. i clambered it back then botched the wee climb after the two ex-nemeses and he absolutely blasted away from me not catching him til the first gate - he was on fire! brief regroup and off again, having a great run down the rest of the way. somewhere along after the creekgully Wayne had an off and put a big ding in his top tube and a wee gark between a couple of fingers. i was blooded by blackberry somewhere too. lovin' the last bits of the trail, then out the bottom to Dotcoma, coffee and a lift back home with the family who'd been in Taylors.

PS. Little did we know that 2 days later a big quake would come along and destroy so much, including access to Capt Thomas. The pines at the bottom had some massive rocks through them, one being snapped off like a matchstick.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Crocked

quick one tonight. singled over to Pete's and we falcon'd with Alistair, picking up Brandon on the way, to Halswell Quarry Park. the main carpark for some reason. found Wayne, Steve, Steve, Andrew, Tony, Marie and Mark there. headed up the track then cut across and took the steeper of the options up to the road. i walked a bunch. Brandon turned back at the first hill due to an asthma attack.

up the road and Steve says down now. huh, we'd barely climbed? so. Alistair then Mark then Pete then me then Andrew (who i thought was breathing down my neck but i actually held my own okay) then Steve then i'm not sure, all bombed down the track. i had a tough time keeping on Pete's tail and he was having a tough time keeping on the other two's. down down down, lotsa dust, me getting jarred all over the place due to the rigidity, and into the first big corner after that tight rock pinch and Alistair spills, wiping out after going high on the berm and missing overcooking the exit or something. nice dirt marks on his shoulder and side... everyone regrouped and off we went again to the bottom bridge where it was decided we'd turn and head back up the croc to the top (ie, Siberia). Alistair bailed down to hang with Brandon.

so. Steve(abba) headed off first way ahead. and after a bit i laid chase. caught him eventually, but on the one or two corners i walked or dab-scooted he got away from me again. Andrew was up next, then the rest. off up the last (new tasty as it was once known) climb and i managed a lot with only one or two scoots and dabs and one walk. over Siberia, me doing pretty well, and getting out of the rooty line at the bottom. Here, Steve(abba) headed off up Kennedy's for home, while the rest of us headed back up the 4wd track and watched him from the top, a distant red speck up the first climb.

Then it was action stations again. Headed into the single, Mark then Pete then me then Andrew, Steve and so on. Me chasing hard to keep the other two in view, asking Bessie the cow to not walk right in front of me at one stage, and eventually managed to close the gap on the two guys on the last couple straights. Regroup and off down the Croc again for the final run. Felt a bit better this time, tho my braking hands were getting almost chaffed due to the constant rough ride. Quite a few times tho, I thought "meh, suspension, who needs it?" still, knowing deep down that I'm a fuck of a lot faster on the Cotic...

Out the bottom and back to the cars. Fun, tho short, and I don't feel like i did much exercise. However, at the time, gasping for air and workin' that bike up that hill, I definitely was -- paying for Sunday's non ride due to silliness on my Saturday night's behalf.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thursday bottle lake with the boy.

not a big ride at all, but good to get out. took Otis out to the pond and we spun round it, me on the singlespeed and him on his new big bike, a 24inch wheeled Norco (mini Mountaineer). he was really good. we spun the short internal loop. O was totally rapped with the whole dad and son time, very excited and bubbling happy. very cool. great time.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sweltering Sunday Singlist rear tire flattery.

scorcher of a day, heading for 34 or 36, was pretty darned warm when I spun over to Pete's on the singlespeed (seen here later on...

and we headed for Marie's. when we hit Dyer's Pass Rd, I struggled on ahead, in the only gear i knew, and waiting at Marie's were Steve, Wayne, Rex and Marie. Off we headed up the road, me getting out in front, on account of my one and only gear. got to Takahe and headed up into Vic Park. had to walk the first bit of the track, then back on the road was okay and pete and me waited in shade with slight breeze for a little bit then off up and onwards and taking in the wee singletrack to reassembling at the skidder site. here's Steve and Rex heading in

most walked up steep, Rex rode up turned around and back down and up, and Marie just grannied on up nice and slow. up through Brake Free and on up to the new(ish) uphill only track another regroup at the top of it.
The view from there

and here's Steve's nomad and the SS gettin' it on...

the antithesis of each other.

off round the traverse. this is where the singlespeed really sings. flew on round here enjoying the crap out of the rigid and one gear. one hairy moment near Scott's Reserve heading down fast and suddenly there's another rider coming up. two wheel lock up controlled slide. nice.

pinchflatted on Vernon on the last of the rocks as you're heading down towards Rapaki. pulled out my spare tube, checked it, found a hole, patched it, put it in, rode down and it was flat by the time i got to Rapaki. pulled it out, patched the other tube, put it in, blew it up, went to ride off and it was flat again. pulled it out, patched it AGAIN, blew it up and it wouldnt stay up. fuck fuck fuck. thankfully, the Singletrack Club had a couple of guys promoting the club up there, and one of them gave me a tube. sweeeet. put it in, pumped it up and i was off again, chasing after the others (minus pete who'd bailed down here). needless to say, I'm now NOT a fan of Muc Off glueless patches. never again.

round the road to top of Castle Rock where I found the other 4. so, off down here, loving it, bouncing about a bit, but finding the rigidity not so bad, then after the second hairpin I took a call from home, and the three boys past me, then I took off again just ahead of Marie. caught the back wheel on a rock and pssssssssssssss. FUCK! walked on up the track to the shelter at top of Bridle Path, where I used my last two patches on the two snakebite holes. pumped up, started riding again and then this high pitched weeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeee followed by a pssssssssssss and I was ropeable. I said my goodbyes turned around and rode down Bridle Path for a while til it got too flat to ride then walked, calling home for a lift. walked all the way down, then down Port Hills Rd (where a kind mtnbiker offered me a tube - thanked profusely, but "cheers, getting a lift") to Martindales before my lift turned up. thankfully a swim at Mary's was on the cards, so I cooled off nicely.

36 degrees. too damned hot for riding.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thursday Bottled (rigid)Singlist - post 400!

400th post! w00t!

quick spin round bottle lake tonight, first ride on the newly rigidised and frameswapped singlespeed. twas great to ride. 1 hour 15 door to door, spun out into a bit of an easterly, and headed in the main entrance, hung a right and out to the beach, then back in at the small pond and took the longer loop back round. made a point of riding all the least-ridden options, kept things interesting.

got out to Waitikiri Ave and there's a police roadblock... loads of people sifting round and lots of cars stuck, no one knew what was going on, so i rode round the back of all the houses and out the old Landfill exit, to see the road block there too, so a pretty big area. asked the cop what was up and he said "some drama"... spun home and the sky had been looking a bit dodge the whole ride with the odd spot of rain, and a block from home the skies opened. i's quite drenched by the time i got in the door. refreshing!

and then got home to find this on the Spokemag site... niiiice piece.

FROM STEEL: The Making of a Soulcraft from michael evans on Vimeo.