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.