Wednesday, February 29, 2012

one last for feb

not even a bike to be seen, but funny

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday night Pleasant meanderings

Finally a ride after 11 days without...
Nelson canned on me so sent the msg out and got 3 "no's" and one "what're ya riding?" A lift to top of Mt Pleasant was suggested so with the nor'west heat figured that wasn't such a bad idea so met Warren at his at 6 and off up the hill we were lifted.

Start of Greenwood took a bit to get our grooves into the groove of the groovy trail, but eventually the eyes got tuned in and the wind blew us about a bit and down we shot. I nearly toasted myself over that first wee drop just through the fence after the ruins. Slowed down a little and was better after that. Wind very difficult in places, and pushing us along in others. The odd dab here and there, but mostly just smooth running, as smooth as you can be on the rough and rocky trail. Slowed up, pausing on the usual spot just after gloomy gulch. Spotted a couple of riders way below, obviously considering Capt Thomas, but then choosing Godley instead.

Good flowings down the rest of it, blowing the first of the rocky ups, but enjoying the rest of it.

Down to the road and we thought, Godley? Just to the highest point? why not... so, up we went, in pursuit of the couple. i cleaned all the start bit, its been cleaned up really good and is eminently rideable now. We were catching the other couple who were off and walking most of those earlier rocky sections. Evidence of a major boulder that'd popped out of its resting place and ploughing across the trail. No sign of it below. Wind along this section was atrocious, getting worse as we got further out. Passed the couple before the small cliffy bit (to the right of the trail) where i quickly pumped some air into my rear tire, then around a bit and on up over the first of the boardwalks and up to the crest. We stopped here intending on turning back, nor-waster howling nearly gale force, waiting for the couple to pass. We were just about to go and damnit, i had a flat... My spare was still punctured and not patched from my last jaunt on Greenwood, so, patched tonight's culprit, realligned my rimtape, pumped and rode.

Fun downwards, flowy and nice, bombing back down to the road. Chatted to a roady who'd just come up from Sumner. i said "Is the road, like, blocked?" "Yeah, just climbed round the fence." He said it was down on the weekend, so he was surprised to see it up again, an that there were only a few boulders on the road, and that "they weren't very big"... um, still big enough to KILL you... We had a look over the Lyttelton side, quite a mess there. Then off up the hill, steady cruise up the road back to the top, knees getting sorer by the top.

Onto the Britten, cleaning the bit that's got me last couple times, and up to the roaring wind through the trees. Fast descent, wind gusts proving interesting at times. Out the bottom, speedy down the tarseal and off right down Craigieburn, stepping down the steps and rockin' the rest of the sweet sweet singletrack. Both of us absolutely flying down the last section.

Round the foot of the hill, into the norwest, and my rear tire starts to get squirrelly again. Ugh. Warren kindly loaned me a tube, pumped, not quite enough, and rode, worried the rest of the way back round behind Ferrymead that it was gonna go again. Definitely investing in new rimtape tomorrow...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday morning Crocodiling

Had an 11ish family thing, yet another family we know heading for the north due to Red Zoned house, so got going early, made 8.30am over to where everyone was intending to meet at 9.20, ie Cashmere Rd entrance to Quarry Park. Headed in and immediately hung a right and up the ridge via and to the zigs and zags up to the road, then up road and onto what was once called New Tasty on up along next to Kennedy's Track. Big cluster of riders back at the car park and i'd seen them from the hill above as they were entering the croc. anyway. singletrack towards Siberia, getting off and walking around a very sloppy fresh cow excretion near the top, and encountering numerous of the culprits hanging around and trying to staunch me out at the top.

9am, turned tail and bombed it down, bypassing previously mentioned slop, then fanging down down down. excellent run down to the previously mentioned cluster now assembled at top of Crocodile. gudday gudday and i kept on flowing blazing round the upper hairpins, roosting down the straights, enjoying myself thoroughly with my soundtrack of Das Racist. Pulled over several times to let uphillers past, quite a few large groups of them. finished off, blowing the climby bit, and down through pines and back out to car park, 9.10amish, and 5 minutes later Pete turned up, then another few mins and everyone else, all told, Steve, Tony, Andrew, Marie and Wayne.

As a group we headed left up the hill climbing something steep as steep is, for them cold from start, and then coasted down to bottom of Croc, then back down into valley, up same ridge as i'd done prior. Biiig regroup, nice restful catchup in the shade at the gate before the final wee zigzags, which everyone cleaned and on up the road and onto the singletrack. Good climb up here, dabbing same spot as previously, and once again bypassing the cowshit again (now with several less careful people's tiretreads in attendance), and regrouping in the minefield of cowbombs around the gate.

Off over Siberia, fun wee blast, chasing yet another group of riders, get to the bottom and no Marie... Steve went one way we all the rest of us went back up singletrack finding Marie busy pumping. Low airpressure, not a flat, no probs... So, i consulted my watch and decided i needed to split, it being just after 10. So. Said my goodbyes and bombed off down again. Much better second time round, catching several people during the descent, and not so many climbers to give way to. Blew the climby bit again, oh well, and loved the rest of it, back to car with plenty time to get home. Good couple laps for me, and i think the others were gonna foff off a couple too.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Thursday evening Packhorse and Living Springage

Worked latish and then treadled to get picked up by Nelson on Springs Rd (he'd been in Hornby for some work thing), then we 'rona'd round through Tai Tapu and Motukarara and up Gebbies to park. Probably a little before 7 we headed off up the trail. The first section of trees are felled, opening up the singletrack newly formed eventually tucking back into the trees on the steeper part of the descent. Awesome flow down through this then hit up the tight climb which was maybe the only part of this ride that i cleaned and Nelson didnt. Over the stile and up the steep paddock and over to the next stile, then the fast descent down down freshly smoothed forestry road passing this

before heading down a bit further, i think, then Nelson missed the turn into the darker Douglas Fir forest which climbs nicely at first then steeply switches back and forth and then across opening up towards that cute wee bach. Then its sweet sweet climbing a couple small descents and a few switchbacks and climbing steeper still til finally we hit the final stile. i walked a LOT of the climbs... just didnt have the climbing groove tonight.

Next up its across the fantastic exposure. Ledge narrow, drops to the side, 'remarkable' dykes above, risk of rockfall??? not much sign of rocks having left the dykes, one boulder, slightly bigger than an overinflated soccerball on the track, but otherwise zip. cool ride round and up, lots of dabs, keeping the left foot clipped in, and eventually made the hut. bit of a look round and we turned back down.

Here's Nelson (can ya see him?) entering the maw of the dyke...

Took that pic then rode to catch up, cleaning some of the rocky stuff he'd baulked on just before that pic. (hee hee). Then i lead from there back down round to the stile, then on down down down the blast of a trip through the forest, fantastic trail, tight trees, smooth as smooth gets. After the bach, a fallen tree caught me and Nelson detoured quicker than i clambered so he blazed off ahead of me and we nailed it down through the forest. Hit the nasty climb back up to that sign (above) then on up over stile, up a little more, then blaaasst down the rooty clay paddock's edge trail, over stile and down rooty barbedwire edged narrowness, then rooty climb and steep nasty bits of walking climb, out of the forest into cleared more climb and finally over the hump, stile, and down the road, ducking onto a newly cut, dirt track juuust below the road, encountering thistles in the fingers and calves but generally enjoying the concentration of it better than a fast gravel descent.

Great trail, like a compilation tape of all the best sections of Port Hills riding, snippets of so many pieces of Port Hills trails.

Then, was into the car, and round for a lap of Living Springs. Excellent work has been done in here, and with tape up for the Singletrack Fiesta this weekend, marking the way nicely in the now getting darker bits of the forest. A tiresome climb, for me anyway, up through The Pines, but man oh man, i dont remember it being so long, in a good way too. It just zigs and zags so nicely up, using the land to maximum effect. Would be a sweet descent too. Continuing into Rhymes with Orange and the worst of the climbing pretty much done. Caught up with Nelson here and we blazed off down the down, into the dark bush thanking the white marker boundary tape, and enjoying the crap out of the back and forth downwardsness. Round into Zanes and w00t fest, albeit and somewhat blind one. I noticed the section of trail i helped with way back when has been bypassed now, no doubt due to the slumps of last winter's wet, the detour is sweet getting out of the forest and cutting along a sidle before rounding a spur and sending us back into the darkness for the final swoopy descent. screwed up a couple of bits in there, but no offs so all was well.

Home, late.

Welcome, Surly Troll

Welcome to my stable, Surly Troll, enlisted into service yesterday as my new commuter. Frame and fork combo purchased from Velo Ideale, I transfered pretty much all of the Kona Bike parts across to it: Front wheel, handlebars, stem, headset, cranks and main cog, mudguards. I bought a Shimano Alfine 8spd and bits off CRC and Wiggle, laced that 2-cross into the rim (with spokes cut and threaded by Velo-Ideale)(setting the 3spd aside for a future project for T's townie). Plus a new BottomBracket (the Troll is 73mm shell whereas the Bike was only 68mm). Did a lot of the transfer last friday night, then built the wheel and did the rest on Tuesday night when we got back from
Finished Product

I had gotten a 20t with the Alfine when it shipped, but even on the way to work yesterday i realised it was too easy, too spinny in top, so swung by VeloIdeale and grabbed an 18t which i installed last night (as well as some Salsa grips). Test rode it on the school run today and its way better (brought my mtnbike to work today cos riding tonight - will post about that later).

So, some gear geekery, thanks to Sheldon Brown.
On the old 3spd, i was running a 42:16t, which yeilded a gear-inch range of 47.1 to 89.0.
The Alfine with 42:20t, gave a range of 27.5 to 84.3 g.i.,
whereas with the 42:18 i'm getting 30.6 to 93.7, which is much better.
I think this will be plenty low enough for the odd hill climb, considering my 38:18 singlespeed is 55.8 g.i., and i can clamber up stuff like Rapaki and Dyers Pass Rd no problem with that.
For another comparison, the Cotic, running 36 and 24 up front with a 11-32t rear cluster gives me a 19.8 to 86.4 range.

Here's the delicious Alfine

And a view of the cockpit

Can you see the creative mudguard hanger??? (a 22t front chainring pressed into service)

(several weeks later)
One or two teething / breaking-in problems have been solved, the main one being the headset... i hadnt installed the top bearing race the right way up and as a result had been enduring some clunk plus some stiffness. fixed that and she's buttery smooth now.
The other issue was rear spokes... After about a week, one night i was riding to a meeting and the rear wheel got all floppy, with quite a few spokes having worked loose. I carry a spoke tool with me tho, and have given the wheel a couple of good goings over, tightening and keeping true(enough), and there's been no issues for a couple weeks now.

Other than that, has been riding beautifully.