Monday, May 30, 2011

Kids Bike (traffic) Jam

No ride over the weekend, except taking the boys to Kids Bike Jam, where i rode the course on teh SS with H on the toptubeseat. I can see why its called a bike "Jam" - think of Jam as in Traffic Jam... how-many-hundred kids and parents, all on bikes, all vying for limited singletrack space.

They say its to introduce kids to bike fun, but I wondered to myself how much its going to be creating 'change' - it sure appeared to me that the whole thing was preaching to the converted. The people that attended mostly appeared to be the kind of people who already have their kids on bikes, having fun on bikes, and experiencing places like Mcleans and Bottle lake with their kids on bikes...

It does, however, introduce kids to the culture of mass bike events, getting stuck behind people, overtaking people, being overtaken by people, so that, in the future, any that go on to entering races etc will find their first ones a lot less daunting. As far as serving a purpose, this might well be it, ie, seeding the future of NZ Mtnbike Culture and Racing... which is a very good thing.

O, while pretty fit and reasonably fast (on his 24inch wheel 15spd), doesn't appear to have a large amount of competitivism, whereas his buddy Tane does. The two rode together for the first stretch, then O got away from Tane first from the clusterfuck at the stopbank. Tom and me stopped to help numerous kids at the stopbank, running up and down to carry their bikes up for them, so it took us a long time to catch up with O, and by that time Tane was long-gone ahead. Tracey said Tane got back a good 5 minutes ahead of us.

All up it was cool to see so many people encouraging their kids on bikes, but at the same time i felt it was lacking a certain something. i wondered if maybe some sort of performances, trials or something, making it more of a 'festival' than just an event hundreds turn up to, spend half an hour riding, and then all drive home. Tracey thinks i should join the committee and get things going... maybe i should.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Lapping up the nun

As is often the case, Pete picked me up just before 6 and we Falconned up to the Kiwi, finding Steve, Tony and Warren. Off up the road we headed, Pete and me both a bit more enthusiastic than the rest. Felt easy and smooth riding up the road, regrouping just before we hit the dirt.

First descent, got going, and immediately felt a bit wobbly, steering all over the place, but the recent trailwork made for smooth runnings and plenty speed. Popped the odd jump and swerved my way down. At the halfway mark I figured i'd just keep at it, and bombed it on down the whole way. Looking back up the road i could see the others all pulled out at the halfway exit, so i started my slog back up the road to catch the others. Pete was waiting and we caught the others just up round the corner. On up the road, a little more tired this time.

Second descent, I put my seat right down, thinking it might improve my form. it didnt. too low there's nothing to feed off. anyway. Not a bad run, possibly faster in bits, possibly not in others. Popped out the halfway exit and we regrouped for the climb back up.

Third descent, seat at its usual just lower than climbing height and it was much better, except this time I had wobbly balance issues, twice nearly losing it into the bank, one time even having to slam on the brakes and nearly dabbing to a stop. Otherwise there was speed and fun to be had, tho in the lower rocky section I wasn't as on form as the previous runs. On down the lower section, not nearly as good as the first time, blew a couple of bits nearly losing it, but got out the end safely.

Regrouped and drove home. Lots of other lights out there tonight. Good to see. And the new work on the trail is sweet, to the point of the only thing holding the speed back was light.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Short Sunday to Planting

Early start, i drove to Charlesworth St with the Singlespeed and parked up. Jumped on and rode to Steve's for the 8.10 start, meeting him, Tony and Wayne, followed soon after by Pete. We headed back the way i'd come, hooking up with Andy and Jenna along the rugged slumped and cracked riverside opposite Charlesworth St. We rode on round behind the Ferrymead industria, enjoying the skipping and dodging of the cracks all the way round.

Then it was round to Mt Pleasant Rd and up. Nice crank up here, Jenna doing very well for her 3rd ever hill, and thinking she wasnt going to make it.

At Craigieburn we pulled off and headed down. Fun wee descent, bit greasy in places, with mown grass detritus greasing it up moreso. Brief stop on the bridge halfway down, allowing Jenna to tumble off, and we were off again, down cleaning up the switchbacks and blazing down into the sun on the last bits, cautious about cracks tho.

Then it was round McCormacks Bay, and then back round the Ferrymead Historic side of the river, along the path and then back to Charlesworth St to Trees For Canterbury to grab some gloves before heading to the planting. T dropped the boys off and swapped cars and we helped plant around 1300 plants.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Toosdy Blottle Spin

Picked up Pete and we met Wayno at Burwood end carpark. We spun into the forest under a wickedly cool full moon and did the loop. was fast at times and slow at others. we didnt stop too much, and the stink from the post-earthquake chemical toilet and liquefaction piles was with us along the middle part of the beachfront section. New section of singletrack leads us back into the main trail and gives more singletrack which is good. i took most of the b-lines which were well needled and sketchy. good spin, and then it was to Pomeroys for a MashUpCollabo beer and a Pot Kettle Black and an unimpressive Kaimai Bitter...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thursday night uphilling Mark showed us

Put my boys in bed, read them the requisite number of stories then headed out the door about 7.25pm, picked up Chris and we headed for Maries. Mark was to lead. Marie and Ben headed off first and we followed, down Whareroa, then down the steps to first Rossmore then on down beside more steps to Holliss, then it was round Gunns to Landsdowne and Wedgewood and up Bowenvale.

Stopped at bottom of Oldskool and Mark showed us a jump and couple of lines he'd built, then on up to where Mark showed us the wall ride he'd been mastering, then on up to where Mark showed us the rocks he'd repositioned to ride, just above the creek crossing (where that guy died), then we headed up a track that used to be a DH track but is now a walking track. Bikes going UP walking tracks aren't really an issue, and well after 8pm you're not really likely to meet any walkers. lots of not being able to ride bits, and lots of bits attempted a few times. Then eventually onto East Side Bush Track, where Marie and Ben peeled off onto the 4wd (old nats) track, while us three went up the new DH line above the 20footer, across above the old cave rock drop, along eventually up the Nats track under the pylons and then up Ponos. Some pretty soggy bits in there, but we all got most of it.

At the 40footer we cruised up the 4by to top of Rad^sick where Mark showeds us the curly bits and log ride. Him and Chris played a bit and then we headed on up the rest of the 4by to the skidder site where we all had a play at balancing on rocks. Ben and Marie headed home from here.

Us other three headed up the walking track next to the 4by track, crossing over to Sesame St at the Wallride, then across into the gummies, and up the rockgarden. Chris got it. i nearly got it, and Mark i'm not sure cos he was behind me and i was puffing blind.

From here we headed up the rabbit paddock, to top of Thomsons, nice cruise through there, both bits, then navigated past a big fence, and over a massive hole in the road (where the slump at top of Harry Ell was), round the next gate, past the Kiwi and up the road to top of Worsles. From here it was down with a most enjoyable detour within much playing was done including even some rock rearrangement, and one crash that tweaked Chris's brandspanking new xt derailleur.

Then down the road, sidelining the lower reaches then we down into the stinky coldness of the valleybottom temperature inversion. Cracroft riverside, round infront of Princess Maggie's and up her left side up up up through a quite cool area i'd never been through next to ringlaser caverns and onto Lady Poulson's shrubbery snobbery, finishing off with the ups and downs of MacMillan back to a cool stick insect and a few biting ones at the car.

quick stop at mackers (mainly for Chris) and home pretty damned late.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Tuesday night Worsley muckfest

Pete picked me up in the Falcoon and we roared across to Worsley Rd, finding foggy mist at the top. No one else showed, so we headed on up the trail, the mud slowly building up on our tires, traction getting less and less as we climbed, to the point where we couldn't actually ride any more... this added with fog half blinding me led to spates of on, spates of off, but finally we managed to get to the bottom of the body bag, my tires looking like Surly Pugsley wheels - the mud being scraped off by the fork arch to make a nice big (heavy) rounded form.

A little further up and we began our descent, picking up some very interesting lines. Halfway down we turned around and rode back up again, to a highpoint, just for the fun of it, and then back on down. Below the powerlines we took the right hand line down over the drop and it was sweeeeet. Chuffed back up to the rest and flowed out back to the mainline, mud picking and flicking up again back out to the car.

a damp, misty spin, but well worth the effort. good to get up the hill again.