Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Toosdy shortening light ride meet

Quick ride last night. Steve(abba), Rex, Tony, Marie, and me met at Steve's and we all headed up a truly munted Muntsbury. Pete caught us at the first high point on the road, then it was up the steeps to the dirt and on up to the singletrack.

Light getting low, sun pretty much went behind the mountains as we started round the Traverse. Good spin round here, nice and fast, excellent condition. Then into the pines at top of Vic and total darkness, my yellowlensed shades in my mouth down over the see-saw into the first few jumps popping nice air then out to the rockgarden into the gummies and my little favourite left down through round and pulling up below the skidder ready to roll with the others grouping up there joining me and then off down through rest of Vic with Pete and me taking the Microwave Tower track behind Amherst Pl and then the group splitting either side of Takahe some on Hack and some on Dye then bunching down a steep drive into the back of Marie's.

Andy, Wazza, Wayhayno and Hubbster were waiting for us, and we congregated with beer and discussions and planning for The October Trip.

Followed this by a blast down the hill and home across town, with the stench of rotten food hitting us as we passed thru the ruins of the Worcester / Stanmore shops. tha's some smelly sheeiit - Wicks Fish shop, the cafe on the corner, Memphis Belle Pizzeria, all rotten now.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday damp Pleasant Greenwoods

Nice ride this morning. Looked to be dodgy, cos there was a bit of precipitation, getting me quite damp riding to Steve's, where met Pete, Wayne, Andy and Tony. There were mutterings of cancellations, but we managed to get through that and off we tootled across to and along the Heathcote, along the Cut and then down behind Ferrymead. Interesting 'features' along with some real wheel eating lateral spread cracks to be avoided.

Then it was off up Mt Pleasant, up up up, past all the broken houses and slumping retaining walls, into the cloud. Regroupled at top, Steve hitting the wall just prior, and it was off out Greenwood.

First section, very slippery rocks, pinging the wheels about the place a bit, past the ruins and the rocks were still well slick, but trail surface pretty good, dust all settled and not a skerrick of mud. The lower we got the better seeming the trail became. Lo and behold, we found Nick Singletrack and PedallingKiwi and others working away like good trailworkers on a new line around one of the troublesome corners lower down. Stopped for a yarn, and continued on down to find a bunch more (who were less pleased we werent stopping to help - cajoling "bring a spade next time!"). These hardy faithfuls had done a spectacular job on cleaning up the trails, de-rutting it in places making for a smooth flowy run the rest of the way down. THUMBS UP to them.

At Evans we hit the road and sped down to Sumner, gawking at the rock falls and quake damaged hills and crumbled landmark buildings before coffee-stopping at Dotcom. Afterwhich we tootled home, gawking some more then taking the Ferrymead singletracks back a bit quicker this time, providing more fun challengewise.

Interesting to note, only 2 days prior to the Feb 22nd quake, we'd ridden down Captain Thomas. Boulders on this track would have killed any one of us 5 times over had they hit while we rode.

Pete kindly gave me a lift homewards.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Blowing Hard

Picked up Chris after he'd finished work today and we jetted out the Tram Rd to Nelson's place. Loaded him up and we gravelled and tarmacked our way round past Ashley Gorge to Maori Reserve Rd and parked up. Was 6.20pm I think, so not a helluva lot of light for us to mission, but got going and made good progress up the Blowhard Track, into the cloud. Called the Blowhard for a couple of reasons - it usually blows really hard up the top, and going up it you blow bloody hard yourself. This is one steep mother of a hill. Starts around 300m, and we got to around 800m.

We all put in pretty good efforts climbing, first section not bad, 100% rideable, was pretty soggy in places. but once you get to what's obviously a 4x4 turnaround (and mudbath), it gets seriously uphill. Rutty, rocky, greasy up. We walked some. And rode some, and walked. And rode a little, then walked. And walked. And probably rode a little before walking again. Sometimes we rode a bit, but usually these chutes would make us walk. And all the while, we're kinda thinking, "this looks really greasy", "and loose", "and its gonna be hairy coming down this bit", and "fuck, that's steep".

Gradually we got into the cloud. Bush all dripping around us. Bush seemed to get pretty small at for a bit, and we stopped for a feed break at a natural stopping point, before heading down a bit, then up. And probably walked a little then rode. Another down, and then up again, maybe less walking, and a bit more down. Then we broke out of the forest and were greeted with a stunning cloud and mist and bushclad hillscape. Very cool.

Then, I mounted my light on my helmet (Chris's was on his bars, and Nelson's was already on his his helmet), and we headed back up the trail for the first bit of descending. Chris first, then me, then Nelson (who'd not been on the bike for like 9 months!!!). The downs were certainly fast - and fun. Light was VERY low, dim as, but I held back on turning on the light for as long as possible. Eventually I just had to, and it was a revelation.

The ups on the way back down were all short and nice, keep it in a high gear and stand to work it over the brow. And the super greasy loose-ass technical sections? Absolutely AWESOME. Rubber gripping wickedly, control, steerability, balance, finesse, excellence. So much fun. Then, at the top of a particularly gnarly section, Chris was stopped. His light didn't work! So. He followed me. I held back for a start, and Nelson stayed on his tail, and shone from behind, and we made it down at a reasonable pace, Chris following my lines, or not. All good. And it was SO much fun. All the stuff we'd had doubts about on the way up were easy as, and technically fun.

Ploughed down the last section, with the Earthquake (yeah, right) moon shining down on us, back to the car in no time flat. Wicked.

Three rides in 5 days is almost a record, and if i ride with the usuals tomorrow morning, even better...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St Paddy's Thursday sunset romp.

Picked up Chris in the Sube, him faffing with and flaunting his brandspanking AttackTrail, 150mm of Jon Whyte designed goodness. we parked up just off Penruddock, and hit the Cashmere Stream Esplanade Reserve, towards Worsley, mimicking some of this ride (over a year ago), heading up the steeps over the 'dam' on up the steeper little switchbacks and sidling on up the valley then up the last switchies to Worsley's Rd. Up the road to the end, on up the track. I grovelled. All this new communting munting my legs of their energy. Rode all the lower stuff, but when I saw Chris walking up the body bag (to save his energy for the nun) my spirit broke and i rode to past where he'd started walking and I walked too.

The sun was getting pretty ready to set, turning the shadows long and the bits that were basking in the last of it orange and by the time we peaked Marley's it was gone. Leaving a fantastically spectacular pink hued cloudscape for good measure. So, with what was left of the good light, we bombed. Chris obviously enjoying his new rig, I managed to stay on his tail for the first half, what with having the track fresh in my mind from Tuesday, but once we'd rounded into the rocky sections I started to lose it and he lost me. The rest of the way down I felt a bit like a passenger, with calves burning and hands aching. Still, survived, and we hit the Summit Rd back up to top of Worsley's.

Great run down Worsley's. Getting just on the verge of too dark to see it clearly and with speed we were really flying by the seats of our pants. Couple nasty lines taken but all in all a fun time, with the concentration and eye strain really taxing us by the bottom. Zoooomed down the tarmac and over the fence into the way we'd come up. Sections of this were even darker, and nigh on impossible to see anything. By the bottom, the faint slightly lighter coloured ribbon of trail all you had to go on. Ruts and gravel be damned, and finally we were out onto the grass again.

Over the odd street and back down to the river, and the tight twisty little trail, this time with out small lights mounted on helmets, otherwise it woulda been impossible...

All up, a fun ride, tho tiring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Nunning

Nice ride tonight. New commute sees me covering a LOT more ground than the past, so that means I should be fitter than ever soon, and gives me an excuse to eat lots again... anyway. donned my facemask and tootled over to Steve's through the dust whipped streets.

loaded bikes into the TFC van and we cruised to Tony's, checked out his broken house, and loaded his bike and headed up Hack and Dyers to park up at the Kiwi. Wayne was awaiting us. onto the bikes and off up towards Marley's, picking up Mark (on the coiler) on the way, and catching up to Ben (on the kula?) on the way and finding Marie at the top. Mark lead off (on the kula?), followed closely by me. He said he's had smoother rigid forks than those on the kula so let me go and i blasted on down. felt damned good to be on the bike again flowing the familiar rocky trails again. it's been so damned long. (wish i'd managed to get a bike and ride in Wellington, but never quite managed it).

Peeled off at the midway carpark and regrouped. Ben headed down, and the rest of us went up for another go. cold southerly wind whipping across the tops too, with rain threatening.

so. from the top again, similar order, Mark leading off (on the Coiler) and me following (not quite so closely this time). for some reason, at a similar point to last time, Mark pulled up so i took the lead for a bit, but further down with him breathing down my neck i pulled up and let him under. good blast down to the carpark again. this time, Steve continued down past us, so we gave him some room and let chase. me first. excellent pursuit, catching him just at the top of after the big fast no brakes swooper, then sticking close the rest of the way, making sure he's jumping well. he was.

regroup at the kiwi, with Steve, Tony and Wayne getting into vehicles and Marie, Mark and me heading up the road into Vic. Mark and me took upper Thomsons, then Marie and me headed straight over the rocky first bit, i peeled down over the seesaw and into Brakefree all the way through. then the other two headed down Sesame and i turned back up to the rocks and Gums and that lovely wee narrow splitter in there, and on down and back up to the skidder site. nice nice nice. then final singletrack out to the 19th battalion, playing a little down then that last singletrack speedy descent behind the houses from the microwave tower. i peeled off to my old's for a car, they headed on home.

family away, so plan is ride Thursday, and sunday... plus 30kms commuting a day. w00t!

Friday, March 04, 2011

no riding so... nu Akrigg

No rides of late, due to Quake-age, and house clean up and all sorts of shit. so. here's a little gem just out...

A Hill in Spain from chris akrigg on Vimeo.