Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday night Worsle Dye Nunning

Due to technicalities with work, Nelson kindly swung by and picked me up, then we battled traffic back to my place, changed, re-rimtaped my flat rear wheel, patched it, pumped it, then progressed across the dismantling cityscape to park up top of Worsleys Road by maybe 6.30pm - thinking probably an hour of light left, but not to worry, we had our lights. Hit the track on up and felt reasonably good for a start. By half way i was wheezing, and by the top i walked albeit shortly. At least there was a nice refreshing breeze up top. Nelson, of course, middle ringed the whole damned thing.

Top of the 'Nun, i took first turn on the down. Couple interesting new features after the top rocky droppy corner, first jump a little bitey, the second nicely flowable, then i was a bit skittery in places, but mostly pretty good. Nelson had a pretty average first round. The blast out the bottom was good, and we hit the road back up. Sun still lighting up various bits of hills. Bit of an effort making the top again, but survived and then donned a longsleeve at the top, as well as putting my light on my helmet ready for later.

Nelson led off on the second round, and i stuck to his tail nicely, enjoying having him set my speed, which was plenty fast. Sometimes i'd gain on him, but only now and then he'd gap me slightly and i'd reel him back in. We both had a very good run this time round, burnin' and blazin' the whole way down. At the bottom, light was getting pretty dim, but we hit the Old Dyers down, just to get a good hit of the top section, loving the flowy nature of it. Light was slightly difficult, but not dark enough for our lights. Turned around just after that little gulchy bit followed by a short climb, where the old 4wd track kinda used to end. Climbed back up and was surprised at how mellow that was except for the tricky traction just as you approach the road.

Back up the road, my light on low in order to be seen, to top of Worsley and i think it was here that it was 8pm. Lights on, and down, Nelson first, me getting nothing but a view of his dust and eating it too. Sharp right, and i went first up the access to the sweet forest, which was most definitely interesting and fun under lights. Been a long time. Weird bug activity going on in there too, millions of cranefly type things hanging around the ground. Good run down the trail, meeting one guy on his way up under lights, and then an excellent run down the lower section with the awesome drop and the sweet steeps, then grunt up and into the final section, nelson leading firstly, then me after the water tank.

All up a good ride, feeling fit-ish.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday morning Packhorsing around

Nelson showed at mine 5 minutes before 9 o'clock and not long after Rebecca showed up. She was to be our chaufferette for the morning, navigating the new right hand turn give way rule as we plied the city's streets.

Her friends were being slack-arses so we didnt go meet up with them and made our own way to Gebbies, intending on potentially riding Packhorse followed by Living Springs, but as we passed through Living Springs there's the Huxster comps on... scratch that one then.

Parked up at Gebbies and word from Bex's friends was they were ages away so we set off up the very very smooth high grade logging access road. Over the stile and up a little more along the bumpy logged bit of singletrack then down and into the trees for a super sketchy needled rooty blast that seems to go for ages, til you bottom out and have to clamber up still more rooty goodness to the next stile.

Into the sunshine and heat and up the open paddock over the tussocky top and down to the next stile, then into the trees again and fast swoopy blast down 4wd track for the right hander into the pitchblack fir forest. i was blinded entering here cos my sunnies were still on, but my eyes accustomed to it before i hit any trees, and it doesnt last too long before you're out to that boghole and the walking switchbacks climb to lovely ledge climb to the wee cottage tucked away in there.

Not far past the bach Becs got another call from her mates who were asking directions, so i paused to wait for her, hearing her voice explaining through the trees. Nelson had vanished off in the distance and eventually came bombing back down. Then we all treadled onwards and upwards, passing a couple of walker/runners near the top, and meeting a big group at the final stile. Cleaned heaps more than last time, including the last stretch all the way to the top. We had a long regroup over the stile, enjoying the views and the day.

Just up the trail a little

Then it was off up the awesome rocky exposed ledge trail for the final heft through the Remarkable Dykes and on up to the hut where we consumed consumables and rested and shot the shit.

Bec on her way to the Dykes

A friendly chat with a cute 4 year old, his smaller sister and their dad and then we were off. Flow switched on, grooving down the trail, hopping the hops, popping the pops and generally enjoying the crap out of it. Wasnt long and we were at the stile to the forest again, where we waited on a few walkers, and could see our walker/runner couple further down the trail. Descent began fast and furious, swooping and weaving down on the glorious foot wide benched trail, catching the couple on the first wee up. Then bomb bomb bomb, through the switchies, Nelson and me both taking the last wee cut and a quick wait to make sure Bec's following then onwards for swoopy speed and eventually seeing the cluster of Bec's friends right about where i'd waited while she was on the phone.

Long chat with them, and we were off again. Great blast down past the bach, up briefly round a couple fallen trees and down past a family and down the zigs into the dark forest, no shades this time, and out onto the 4wd climb, waving aurevoir to our walker/runner couple for the final time, up to meet some bikers at the next stile before we hit up the tussocky paddock and super cool fast swoopy prancing dancing descent to a family at the stile. Final singletrack descent rooty and narrow, barbed wire on the right, trees on the left, then the steeeeeep climb up up up to the end of the trees and a final bumpy traverse to the last stile before the road.

Nelson and me both took the new digger dug trail below the final road section and it was fun, except for the thistles.

Then, to cool off we blasted down the road and Bec picked us up at the bottom. Great ride. Home to an empty house, which was good cos it meant i wasnt in trouble for being late.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Night Snake road Godley Snake

Nelson met at mine after work and we treadled over to Pete's to find him and Alistair loading the bikes on the falcon. Out, on bumpy as roads, we drove to Taylor's Mistake, meeting there Warren, Wayne, Tony, Steve, Matt, Dallas. A good posse, we headed up the snakes tail, after first leaping the barrier and clambering up through a nasty stench of something dead in the bush at the start of the trail. Good haul up this first section, everybody hoping seismic activity stayed minimal what with all the rocks above the track the reason its shut... within no time we're up in the safe zone and spinning well round to the start of the snake proper. I lead off, under pressure to keep up the pace, Nelson tight on my tail. My chain played up as i passed over that rutty bit and he got past me here. From here up he gapped me but then i held on and kept roughly the same distance from him the rest of the way up. Pete was keeping pretty even with me too, til further up the top. So we all reassembled at Breeze Col, the order something like, Nelson, Me, Pete, Warren, Wayne, Matt, followed by Steve Tony and Dallas but i'm not sure in what order.

From here we jetted off round the road cos we figured it was gonna get dark reasonably early and we didnt want to be riding up singletrack in daylight and back on singletrack as it was getting dark... So a nice cruise round the road, Nelson and me kinda pushing a bit harder out the front. When we got to Evans I just hauled ass straight up onto the singletrack, hitting at a speed i've never hit it before, actually catching air on the cattlestop entry to the track... Then it was knuckling down into one or two off Granny and hitting up the first rocky section ... and cleaning it! Yeah bol! but then losing it on the next section round the corner, boo! Nelson dabbed on the first bit but then juuuust about cleaned the second bit. We hung and waited a bit as the boys all turned up and Pete hit it and cleaned it all!!! yeah! Others had reasonable passes and failures but no one lived up to Pete's effort.

From here it was funtimes, rocky interestingness all the way up out this first section of the Godley track. Awesome cleaning of everything thrown at most of us. Nelson and me keeping up the pace the whole way, brief regroup at the high point (of previous couple of rides), Warren commenting on the noticeable lack of wind compared to our previous visit to the spot. Next bit down hill, flow ON. bit of up round to the cattle/sheepstop and into the slightly rutted, overgrown and sheep pellet scattered trail downhill flow ON again from here. Excellent w00t! inspiring descent to Livingston Col, tho i noticed my bike becoming increasingly rattly as i approached the bottom. Just prior to departure for the next section i discovered why! My front quick release was entirely loose!!! yikes.

Onward up for the last jaunt to Breeze Col. Good climb, excellent flowy round to the PFMTBC Rock which i hit the fastest i've ever hit it. Flew over it. out to the road, and another regroup, watching them all flow round and over the rock (or not!).

The final fling, off down the Anaconda, blazing. Fresh in my memory from 2 weeks ago i flew down here, feeling smooth and taking it all wickedly. Flew over the jumps and railed the berms better than ever before. Was awesome.

Brief regroup and off down the tail, enjoying the odd rocky challenge, then climbing the fence at the end, and getting some looks from a couple of older riders who obviously weren't game to take on the Closed sign.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sunday McGreendley Conda

Excellent ride today. Weather put everybody else off, and the family were going to Taylors, so i rode in the car with them to McCormacks Bay about 11am and headed up there, my excellent soundtrack on Shuffle. After the two hairpins instead of heading on up to Craigieburn Place I hung a left instead, finding my way up a few more switchbacks and eventually out onto Avery Place, then Glenstrae and finally Moncks Spur Rd up, grinding away, ever climbing to Mt Pleasant Rd and on up that to the top.

Nice to finally swoop down effortlessly the road to Greenwood, which surprisingly still had an "open" sign showing. the beginning was pretty greasy, so i walked around the odd bit, and rode along side the track rather than sliding around in the mud. But once over the top to the ruins and beyond, the trail was in surprisingly good knick, with no puddles, no greasy bits and amazingly dry considering the rain we've had. The sun and wind were out in force, with any moments riding into the southwesterly nearly having me blown off, and the lovely quietness of the downwind sections. A lot of sheep around, and their small bombs requiring strategic steering, and the occasional excitement of them leading the way down the trail at topspeed.
Back where i'd just come from

Overlooking Evans

At Evans I swooped down through the deserted intersection and headed up onto Godley Track just as a ccc ranger was approaching. He obviously wasnt concerned for my Rockfall Potential wellbeing, so ground my way up the start and enjoyed every technical second of the rocky goodness. Rested for a bit, and took off my longsleeve layer whilst overlooking Sumner (at Warren and my previous turnaround point), marvelling at the toytown look of the container barriers below.

Got started again and had some wind battles but a good run all the way round and down to Livingston Col, relishing this trail i'd not been on since June last year. The wind was pumping over the Col, nearly knocking me sideways into the fence, then the cattlestop, then pushing me from behind as i hit up the next climb. The final descent to Breeze Col (which lived up to its name) a blast, with a fun wee roll over the PFMTBC rock feature followed by more blast to the road. Straight across, no mucking about, straight on over and into Anaconda, which is riding SWEEEEEET. Met a runner at the top, just after i'd stopped to muck around with my sounds cos they'd switched themselves off. Trail flowed excellently, pretty much expecting nastiness round every bend, only to find it in pristine condition, except the rutty bit in the middle of the swooply cornerers down in the lowers, which i had referred to as a 'slop channel' last time i rode it (in June).

Finally, around the start of the 'tail', i could see my family on the beach, them being basically the only people on it. I detoured down to the walking track before the gate overwhich i climbed and as i was getting started riding again, they waved and i waved back. then it was down to the rocky path that leads to the beach which i walked, then i rode across the beach, just above the wave wash, to them.

Brilliant ride, with fantastic soundtrack, good groove, nice isolation not seeing a soul from top of Greenwood to Breeze Col. Godley and Anaconda are obviously getting a bit of use. The whole way out Godley there was evidence that at least one rider had been through this morning before me. I think a lot of the rockfall hazard on these two trails is over-rated. As for 'wetness', really not an issue for a single rider, and the only bad bit was right at the start of Greenwood on the flatter sections, which were avoidable (ie, by walking or riding around).

Great day to be out. And my last chance for a couple weeks, as on Tuesday i'm off to Fiordland for 9 days.