Thursday, June 28, 2012

Galeforce Thursday night short tracking

Bitterly cold southerly gale blowing across the tops of the hills, roaring through the pines and flax bushes when we parked up top of Worsleys Rd. Some wetness about, but good grip up the dirt. I was struggling for air but Nelson seemed to just cruise on ahead. Wind was blustering but not affecting us too much cos we were kinda in shelter of the noisy forest surrounding our climb. A few dabs now and then, blowing several sections I'd normally clean. The ruts are certainly a little ruttier from some of the winter pressure its been under of late.

Start of the bodybag has massive mucky puddles which we made our ways carefully past then into the grovel. Up, up, up we grovelled, wind buffetting, then suddenly half way up an eerie calm while we were down wind of the trees (and house) on the right. Nelson pedaled out the top while i got off and walked the last 20m or so, ugh. Caught Nelson on the final climb to the top of the Nun and we tucked down into the grasses and broom for him to have a feed, from whence we watched the clouds hauling ass across our view of the moon.

Off down Flying Nun. I had me a pretty sweet run down. Traction was dubious in spots, front wheel seeming to juuuust slide in greasey soil, but I didn't let it worry me. Popped some air on some jumps but the gusts were temperamental so took it a bit easy in other spots. Pulled up at the halfway spot to wait for Nelson to catch up then off we shot again for the last of it. Fast swoopy run down here, railing and popping most features.

Back up the road at a nice mellow pace, the lights of two riders zigging and zagging on the Nun above then popping out at halfway just as we cruised by, greetings exchanged between gusts. On up to top of Worsley we treadled, deciding against another lap on account of neither of us riding enough lately and neither of us feeling much up for it.

A fast, as usual, blast down the bodybag ensued, followed by the usual grinding up to the start of the 'hidden' track, or B-Line, if you will. Nice and swoopy through here, back and forth through the trees, round the berms, over the rockpiles, then across the clifftop, back into the forest (under a severely leaning pine) and back and forth again, over those big rocks and flying down to the whistling pylon, under the powerlines, first left, then keeping right and crossing the 4wd track into our favourite down down into the swoopy steepness, dropping through that tight bit that i never have trouble which seems to catch nearly everyone else out, including Nelson tonight. Out onto the climb back up and we hung a left back up the 4wd track in the trees to the powerlines, doing a U-turn and heading back down for a second blast of that fun section. Back up, and out the lower section, hanging a right at the watertank and finding some riders walking up through there as we finished ourselves off down back out to the car... wind still howling across the ridge.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday nearly repeat of last Sunday - 500th

Poast Numbre 500!?

Silhouetta silly hatters...

Good ride this morning. Pete and me Falcooned to Taylors to meet Pony, Draino and The Rabbit Warren. We hit straight into it up the road to the singletrack lefthander, most delayering just over the stile before the grunty little, traction impaired climb. I cleaned about 90% of it this time, vs the 60odd last week on the singletrack. Extra gears does a better climber make. Couple stops for breathers and we got to the road and gravelled up to the actual road where we hung a right and blatted round to Evan's Pass.

Mt Herbert beyond Livingston Col

The Pushermen

Straight into the singletrack, with a good pace launching me through the air landing just before the cattlestop. Round the corner and into the climb. The rocky bit got me twice. Got everyone else too. In fact, i dont think anybody had a good 'entry' today. On around the hillside clambering over the slippery rocks, hopping and popping with the best of them, dabbing periodically but generally enjoying it all. Fantastic clear day, sun shining, sea sparkling, skylarks chittering away above. Trail was in good nick, no real mud, just wetness on the rocks.

Descent to Livingston was sweet, seems to have been cleaned a little, there's definitely a noticeable three or five rocks missing on the lower reaches. Another good clamber over to Breeze, everybody cruising the 'pfmtbc rock' and me getting my squirrel on on the final cattlestop.

Shot the breeze for a while at Breeze, then hit the singletrack out to the end. All the way this time, and realised its a long while since i'd been that far out. Nice run back and straight into the 'conda, blatting around the tops and then really hanging it out on the lower bits.

Finished with a sweet flow of the 'tail. Everybody agreeing that's a nice bit of track.

No coffees stopped for, and home by 12.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Extreme Commuting

No ride last night, just a treadle with Pete to Steve's where we hooked up with him and Andy, Robin and Wayno. We rode through ever increasing rain to Pomeroys wherein we imbibed some good beers... Heavy rain riding back to Pete's then home later.

Started snowing this morning, about 7.30 at my place. By the time i left for work it was a shallow slushy with minimal slippage. As i crossed town the snow got heavier and heavier, and i got more and more caked in the stuff. Pretty wet too, cars spraying slush.

Since then, its piled up something wicked. I'ma gettin' a lift home, the slicks will be too slick in this now.

[The following added on Friday 8th] Further to this, Snow continued into Wednesday evening, then the skies cleared and everything froze solid... I stayed home Thursday, Christchurch's coldest day on record. A Surly Pugsley would have gotten me to work, but not much else. Went up to Shirley Intermediate in the afternoon with Otis on his bike and Hugo on the top tube of the singlespeed, that was quite fun, but semi dodgy. Later i mounted a Kenda K-Rad on the front wheel of the Troll.

Friday morning, it had frozen again overnight, so all the meltwater from Thursday afternoon was black ice, but by 8am there was a mild(ish) NW breeze blowing, starting the melt. I took the Troll to work, working my way very tentatively and carefully on all the black ice and ridgy packed melted refrozen footpaths. Hagley Park seemed to have had some of the bikeways cleared, others not. Kilmarnock had about 15cm of bikelane, Riccarton Rd a bit more, and Main South less in places. Only one idiot (in a Black late model BMW) got too close to me (just before i pulled into Riccarton House) - this is the second close call i've had with a bmw fitting that description in this vicinity...

Lunchtime i rode down Blenheim Rd to Velo Ideale and T and H (and Jet) met me there and we bought T's new Linus, in red. Riding back i realised all this grit they've shoved on the roads is gonna make for some nasty dust in days to come. Riding home should be just fine.

And turns out, this is the 500th post on this blog.  Neat, churnin' 'em out like these pencils.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Queenie's Day, singlespeed Taylor's catchment circumnavigation

Helping out at the Taylors bach all weekend. Today i did some tire changes on the spare (guest's or Tracey's mtnbike) and the singlespeed, the latter receiving a 2.4 mutanoraptor up front that i've had lying around since Chris left all that time ago, and the 2.35 Highroller i had on the Soul (also from Chris) chucked on the back.

Did a bit of chainsawing clearing overgrown roofs then got my (single) gear on. Rode back up the road from the bach to the walking track that used to go all the way to Sumnervale, but doesnt anymore more on account of all that seismic rockfall dodginess. Rode a fair bit, surprising amount actually, and walked a bit too, all stuff you'd probably ride granny no problem. At the gravel road i went up that to where the parasailers were all lifting off and landing. Hung a right at the road, and round the corner to the first farmtrack and gate on the left, into which i treadled, riding and walking up a singletrack to the main Godley singletrack at the cattlestop just after the landing strip and before the 2nd two boardwalk/bridgey sections. Took these photos on the way up to the cattlestop.

Blasted on the smooth stuff round til the final descent to Livingston, feeling the flow, enjoying the responsiveness of the rigidity of the singlespeed, but then the rocky stuff kicked in and it got quite hard work. Climbed well out of Livingston and enjoyed all the flow round to Breeze. At Breeze I was pretty much only a half hour in, so i carried on round below the road, on the smooth and fast and perfect for singlespeed trail to the highest point where its kinda rocky and there's a few succulents around, before you head down hill to that bridge. Turned around here and jetted back round to the top of Ana the conda.

Anda the conda... good to start with, but it really gets pretty rough for a rigid bike lower down. Had a few good turns of speed on a fair few sections, flowed over all the jumps nicely, but some of the rougher bits in the bermy lowers got my gyp a bit. Not a bad flow out the tail, taking it pretty easy on the rocks tho, one other biker encountered, him riding something new and flash and wearing new and flash gear and shiney yellow lensed glasses, just as i entered the bit above the baches. Said "gudday" and continued on my merry way down the rocks over the fence, and back up the road to the bach. Returning to where i'd started in less than an hour. Not bad.

Down the path, onto the deck, and into the spa, from whence i watched the full moon rise over the hill.

Hmmmm, very similar (tho better, of course, in that i didnt have to encounter any silly big gates, and i was off road more) to what the boys did on Tuesday.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Thursday Night Worsley Nun McVicar

Nelson then Bec got to mine by 6 and we headed across town and up hill in Bec's car. Parked up top of Worsley's Rd, a la previous weeks, passing a surprising number of riders on the way up.

Hit the dirt, and made the usual progress, Nelson gapping me gapping Bex. A couple of regroups and Becs had a nice tumble (unseen by either of us others) onto rocks in one of the many ruts. Nelson, as usual cleaned the body bag, and i, as usual, didnt. Bec made a good effort and didnt quite either. Then i powered ahead up to top of Nun impressing Nelson with my burst of power.

I led off first round, having a pretty good blast of it, Nelson gaining and dropping accordingly depending on the terrain, and we let Bex catch up at the carpark before blasting the last section. Then it was back up the road at a good steady pace back to the top for round two. Nelson took the lead this time, and i sat right on his tail the whole way down, which was fun, and he enjoyed having my handlebar mounted light providing extra beam and shadow-discernability for him.

At the bottom, we had a wee 'incident'. A car turned onto Summit Rd from Dyers Pass Rd, lights dipped, but as he crossed the cattlestop he put them on beam (and he had a bunch of floodlights mounted 'rally style' on the front (which was the first sign that he was a dickhead)), and so Nelson turned his light on in the guy's face. He handbrake-skidded to a stop, and got out of his car mouthing off like something mouthy wearing a big ugly holden shirt/jacket thing. Nelson backchatted a bit and this dickhead tried to getup in his face, but couldnt quite, cos Nelson's light was still on. What a dick. Gagging for a scrap which Nelson wasnt having any of, so ended up eventually going back to his car. Nelson said something like, "go be a fuckwit further up the road" or "go fuck off up the road" to which the guy tried to get more scrap-mileage out of, saying "you calling me a fuckwit?" - "Are you calling me a fuckwit?" Then, back in his car he's revving his engine, and Nelson says "so, what, you gonna do a burn out now?" and the guy says "What? So you can report me?" (at least he knows his law, i suppose...) and then finishing with a total fail, he stalls his car trying to drive off, so we all laughed. Fucking human pollution.

Anyway, we rode on back up the road, (following the dickwipe, and hoping he's not at the top of Worsley), and on the way Becs gets a call from a friend who's crashed her car this day and the driver of the other car has tried to drag her out of her car! meanwhile, Nelson towed Bec up the road while she was on the phone...

Top of Worsley, thankfully no dickhead in residence, so we jetted down the bodybag with great rapidity as usual, and then plugged our way to the top of the sweet forest track, a first time for Bex. I led in on an easy going pace, just rolling and cruising through the top bends. A wee ways in Nelson stopped to top up his rear tire, and on we went. Bec enjoyed it for her first time but reckoned she might have trouble following it all next time. We stopped where Nelson crashed last time and then tried the rock drop just after it, which rolls nicely. I'll definitely incorporate it into my next time down there. I led them, once below the powerline corridor, through my 'lower right' trails that take you back across the 4wd track onto the better descent that has all the cool drops in it. Becs struggled on that one really steep corner with roots and trees near the bottom but otherwise did really well.

Back up the access track and Bex's light cut out, so attached Nelson's spare battery and she was good to go again. Then into the last section, detouring right just before the watertank down a new line that hooks back onto the main trail and out. Nelson and my head lights were both on Red by the time we got to the car too. Home after 9.