Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gerald FitzSinclair.

Staying at the bach, I chucked the Cotic in the car and drove it to Pettigrews Rd. Locked it to a fencepost and headed for Little River where i met Steve, Pete, Robin and Wayne in Pete's car and Marie and Ben in hers. Left the Fiat there and travelled back up to my bike in Maries.

Hit the trail and we rode up. Up and up, onwards ever upwards. Its not until you ride it with others that you realise just how much up there is. And compared to last time i rode it, the visibility was supreme. Robin struggled, but with some walking, of which all did some, he managed it to the top of Sinclair. The coolness of the bush was enjoyed by all. I snapped pics quite regularly too, once i've got them off the camera i'll load them into this post.

The downhill from Sinclair, skirting a beautiful patch of bush, down onto a cool singletrack across the ridge, was fun. Then the climb up the back of Fitzgerald, with its interesting mucky extra steep section in the middle. We all had a go at getting up it, with most doing pretty good. Once on the ridge we spotted some other bikers attempting to ride down the singletrack (that Pete reported he'd done once, and never again), so we holla'd at them and they turned round and came back to us where we pointed them down the right direction. Pete and me tootled up to the top of the rocky summit and peered out at the amazing views. Regrouped and it was time for a blast.

Down the true twin fenceline fast as fast and swoopy as can be. through a wee gate, and on down to finish into the interesting, and in places unrideable bit where Pete got in an argument with a Lawyer, which got its claws in and didnt let go til it had blood. A snack and some yummy snakes, and a wee blast down to some horse riders and a steep little fucker that i've never got before, but cleaned entirely this time.

Then it was across the tops a bit, down to Waituna Saddle, and the last climb up zigging and zagging to the final descent to the road. then the blast down the gravel (loose at times) back to Little River, and i drove Pete and Marie back to their vehicles on my way home to the bach.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blottle Ache night spin

Steve had txt'd saying he wasnt gonna make it, but others were to meet at the Sandpit. I rolled up in the Fiat, singlespd switchback on back, to find Warren and Tony. Then Pete, then Wayne rolled in.

We settled in nicely to the trails. Left is blocked, so went right. Had to wait for two poo-sucking trucks on the road to go past before we could cross, then chased a young rabbit for a while, and then as we climbed to the gazebo the stench of Portaloo juice we were bathed in was truly foul.

Fantastic blast ensued down the next bit and over round to the yump, which i had to do twice to get it right. then through and round and along the beach, further than usual, due to the Closed Road signage (and apparently, further in, fences and even barbed wire!). Along behind the dunes in the pines to the left hander that takes you back into the single track. Had fun in that section, taking all the trails no one ever takes, and zooming out in front of whoever was coming on the usual trail. Then down the ramp, spun round, headed back along to a short break, all commenting on how balmy it was.

Then into the ex-burned bit, jumpy jumpy, along, round, through, stopped to watch a possum I nearly hit on the trail climb a tree, then it was back round past the Spencerville sign and heading for home. One bit riding no hands for as long as possible, not as easy as Mcleans - thats for sure. All the while i was thinking, this is great! Singlespeed simplicity and not pushing too hard but going hell for leather at the same time. Really enjoyed being back on the dirt again, even it was it was a bit splecky puddly and sandy.

The commute seems to have given me more stamina, if not more power, and i was just floating along on the rigid single all evening's ride. Good fun. As usual, a damned sight better than sitting in front of the telly.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tooling around

took the singlespeed up to The Sanctuary, Pyramid Valley, Uncle's place, the Family seat, and with H on a hoody wrapped and tied on my top tube, and O on his 24inch Norco we galavanted around on the farm. cleared sticks, and went with the flow, a half km loop with maybe <10m altitudinal drop, round and round we tooled. the potential for a bunch of laps around that place is endless, every row of trees could have a singletrack twisting through it, and there's enough slope on the property and interesting features, that it wouldn't get all boring up or down. Surrey hooned around on his 700c machine. heaps of fun was had - leading O to say tonight that it was his favourite place. to which i said, "what about Little Ak?" to which he replied, "oh yeah, then 2nd favourite place.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So. Due to a change in work location, because my building is in a closed zone, i bought myself a Kona Bike. It really was very cheap, but I thought i'd made a big mistake cos as standard the 2nd gear was too low to cruise a reasonable pace, and the 3rd was too tall. A quick swap of the 42t and chain, and the CST Selectah tires from the Specialized, and instantly it was better. Then, the purchase of some Surly Open Bars from the good people of Velo-Ideale saw it really get into shape (I do wish i had the $$ to spend on a nice bike from them...- oneday, maybe a Pugsley).

Daily, 10 kms each way, hot or cold, rain or shine. 100kms a week. Taking in local streets (Forth,Stanmore,London) to Bealey to Hagley Park alongside Harper Ave, Kilmarnock St, then either Straven to Riccarton Rd or through Riccarton Bush, Totara, Clyde to Riccarton - Church Corner - Main South to the Sockburn roundabout. Coming home, sometimes to avoid Bealey, I've been salmoning round into Montreal, Peacock/Beveridge/Conference, Durham/Gracefield to Salisbury and round the munted river my old route, Alexandra - Vogel. As soon as Salisbury's open from Park Tce to Durham I'll definitely go that way.

I seem to be getting faster, but my time is pretty much always half an hour regardless. If i push hard, its half an hour. If i go easy, its half an hour.

Everyday once i'm out on the street it feels like almost like a race. Other cyclists, cars, trucks, buses all hustling and bustling and vying for space on the road. I just cant seem to 'cruise' along, I always seem to have to be pushing it. What is with that??? I'll catch up to a fellow cyclist, and because I've caught them up I have to pass them and then because I've passed them I've got their pressure behind me so I have to keep up the pace. Its a mind fuck, and I cant seem to go slower.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Tuesday night surveying local wreckage

Steve puts it so succinctly in his post that I feel I can add very little. Due to a lot of rain all day Monday and most of Tuesday morning a bunch of them arrived at my place, we rode down stream from my place to the Avondale Bridge, then rode back up stream, crossing back to my side on Swanns Rd. My local environs are pretty shitted. We finished at Pomeroys where I would have liked to have had at least one more beer than that one I did have... which was a tasty Yeastie Boys Hud-a-wah-Strong.

riding some of this...

and... here's a little something else. i like the guy's loose style, and makes ya almost wanna 29r...

Twenty Nine Inches from Brian Park on Vimeo.

and last but not least... only a couple weeks til Easter... cracked me up

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Schmuntsbury to Worsles Sundae with a Nun's cherry on top.

Running late caught the guys up on lower Ramahana just after the closed bit. Riding were Andy, Tony, Wayney, Stevey, Petey and Racey Rexy. Very toasty climb, wishing i'd not worn a black merino. Got up top in reasonable time to find Mark and Marie.

Hit the Traverse for an excellent blast, fast paced and smooth followed by an excellent blast down Thomsons, pumping it for extra speed. Second section we spooked a couple of walkers, with smiles all round. Down the road to the Kiwi where Tony peeled off and the rest of us headed up the hill.

Regroup and a feed (my first ever Em's Power Bar - yum) before hitting the Nun. Quite a cool breeze by now, making me glad i had the black merino on (i had no other garments). I led off with Pete chasing and had a blast. Bombed it, all sweet, tho annoyed at the fucking braking bumps into all the wrong spots. What is WRONG with these muppets who are jamming on the brakes in places they should be fucking staying off them!? Didnt let it ruin my flow tho, and carried on down all the way to the bottom. Only Mark did the same, so we tootled off back up the hill slowly gaining on the rest of the posse. Caught them at the top of Worsley's, ready for the down hill.

Steve led off, I followed, Andrew on my tail. Managed to pass Steve as the Body Bag levelled off and the rest of the way down was great. Chose a B line for a change for the first time since way back when and it was great. Somehow tho, Rex made a wrong turn somewhere along the line and we lost him... ?

Speedy blast down the road, some of us grabbing the sideline on the lower slopes, before rolling out the bottom of the valley, into the cracroft detour and then on round the river, taking in Earnsleigh Reserve, South Library, Beckenham park, and me peeling off up Eastern Tce homewards. Waved a 'hello' to AbbaSteve in passing on Stanmore.