Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday night, just about like the old days.

Nelson met at mine after work and after providing much needed oil to my Cotic chain (having not used it a whole month(!)) we droveded over to Centaurus Rd wherefore to park.  Just on dark it was, and we headed round and for the first time (for me) since January (with O) (and according to this blog's records, not since July 2010 for Nelson) headed up Rapaki, the dreaded grovel of a graveled highway.  It was precisely as we remembered it.  We pushed it pretty hard all the way, wondering what we ever saw in it, and wondering why people would be riding down it, and wondering where all the other people we were passing were going or what they were doing.  Made the top entirely under moonlight, without once turning on our lights (unlike the aforementioned 'others' who seemed oblivious to La Luna generous offerings).

Got straight to it on the singletrack up around Vernon.  Good wee grunt, managing to still not resort to granny.  On round, lamenting the lack of technical challenge, tho, secretly thanking it for not sapping energy.  Nelson took off a layer after we crossed the road while i provided the tussocks with some dilute uric acid derived nitrogen water.

I led off round the Traverse.  Not a bad blast, not overly fast, then strangely, around about at the pond, i started experiencing a weird slipping feeling under pressure on the drive train.  "Hmmm," i thoughts, so flipped the bike up at our regular break point where the sign used to be and lo and behold there was my quicklink broken, one side actually broken in two.  Lucky i caught it or i could have spun off somewhere crucial.  Poked about in my bag and found one half then another of a whole nother unit. Yippeee!  So, slipped that into the chain and we got going again.  Moseyed around, slightly better pace, and discovered that the dipper is gone burger.  Its full of slump, and the trail has been rerouted around over it.  R.I.P the dip.  The only other slightly altered bit is on the fast descent to that nice wee jump. 

Onto the Thompson and Thomson, cant say i like the new 'feature' on the exit and approach ramps...  bloody pain in the speed sucking ass.  Otherwise, the lower section has a wee stream on it.

Nelson topped up with water at Kiwi and we had a snack break at the nun's exit.  Then off up the road in the light of the moon, watching a big posse zigging and zagging their ways down the nun above us.

Into the Nun and flow just flowed.  I had an excellent run down, no major shifts since last time a month ago  i was up, so everything was pretty fresh in the memory.  Apart from the rocky not very flowy middle section, i seemed to get faster and faster all the way down.  Was gooood.

Then it was into Old Dyers, wondering what was in store for us.  Well.  Spring, and perhaps a lack of riders, has hit it - the grass is encroaching on the singletrack, hiding the odd obstacle.  Lower down, the usually very wet sections werent necessarily as wet as i've known them.  A couple of streams flowing down the singlerut, but otherwise pretty firm.  The weather of the past week or so has done it good.  Got pretty sketchy where it meets the wide pylon/forestry track section, though.  And the pollen!  Trail and puddles were green with it nearly.  Hayfever season is upon me.

Straight across the road and up through Vic to the skidder.  Into Spazza's, lots of work done on berms in here, nicely nicely, then over to Brent's, taking the right hand options into the bottom of Rad^sickly then aunty Flo and Bridges all going pretty good.  Bit of slop at the bottom of NuBridges, where it had been an issue originally.

The creek to cross for the Hidden Valley Link track had obviously been pretty high back in that rainspell we had couple weeks back.  Evidence was all there.  Up this, granny for the first time this evening.  Cleaned it up until we got to the two switchbacks up in the pines.  walked them.  Rode the rest tho.  over the fence, and off up round and down the Old Skool.  Nicely nicely...  Nelson blew out on the highline before the stile, so i took the lead and pinballed my way down.  A few nice slips under cutting the track before too long, then lower down, after the wee digger track section, there's been some major rock work over a slip on the corner.  More slippages and reconfigured lines all in that lower section.  Whoever's been doing the work has done good shit.  Thankyou trail pixies.  I nearly kinda sorta did just about crash right near the bottom, trying to loft over this slip hole and planted a brake lever into the dirt.  Then rolled out, down the road and back to the car for dead on 9.  Excellent to get out of an evening.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sunny Saturday eastern hills

A jaunty wee number today.  Singlepun to Steve's, seeing Tony and Andy at Ensors/Opawa in the blue van, spinning on to see Pete rolling chameleonware in just ahead of me meeting everybody else: Marie, Wayne, Dallas, and of course the indefatigable Steve.

We travailed Woolstonia along streets and the effluent-trap they call the Heathcote Cut til the more enjoyable Devil's Elbow back-of-Ferrymead Towpath, with only Pete and me taking the dirttrack way catching the pikers on the Bridge approach. Then it was time for the hill, St Andrew's to be precise.  I just tucked into my only ratio and stood and pushed and got myself to each of the breaks/breathers/rests, mantra-ing "it can only make me stronger, right?".  The pain didn't really get me til once we'd got to pretty much the top of Major Hornbrook.

Te posse, very top of Clearview.
Up a new path through Britten, which I'd clean on the single in the dry...  today however, a bit of walking involved.  Chilli chocolate coffee beans break up top, then over onto Greenwood. 

It was a trifle damp, but not too damaging we can only hope.  The wagonwheel front end definitely smoothed up the ride compared to previous adventures in rigidity.  Bigger tire and I'm set! - roll on Krampus trickledown!  Pretty awesome flight down here.  A few mudholes and damp dirt, but all in all she's in pretty good knick, one or two interesting moments where slips have laid slurry over the track. 

Here's Pete, top of Greenwood

Practically had a party at Evans.  Pete found one of his tire knobs was actually a bulbation of tube, so he proceeded to find a couple more holes and patched them from the inside whilst we all stood aside for non-communicative cyclisti as they moseyed past.  Pete, change your tires before the next ride!!! :)

 We all took off and I lined up and hauled myself up onto the singletrack, and was surprised to see Steve, and others, ride on along the road.  Apparently I missed the memo, thinking we were all gonna stick to the singletrack.  Anyway, i managed to convince Pete, Marie and Wayne that the others we being nambypambies and we proceeded our merry way along the wettest Godley I've ever seen.  Ooops!  It did say "Open" at the start tho.  Anyway, plenty others have been riding it and its holding together fine.  Should have avoided for a bit longer.

The beast at our end of Godley - thats not perspective.

Met the others back at the road then and we took the off road line down to the stile we were heading for.  Then, for some reason we decided to check out another little bit of singletrack.  Oh dear, following my mis-read  aerial photos and misaligned map-in-the-head again.  Neat little descent with a bit of greasiness in places that lead to nowhere.  I tried to scope it out but what had looked like a singletrack was a trodden cattle path over private land.  Looking at Google now the track seems clear as day.  However, back we went, adding to the final wear.  Back down the way we were originally intending a nice bit of flow to the Taylor's Rd, whereupon another grunt ensued, followed by a jetpack ride down to a double-truck induced traffic jam at the bottom.

Coffees and I skedaddled early, spinning spinning spinning the miles home.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday, mostly sealed, and a couple new bikes...

Another short but worthy wee spin today. All sealed, pretty much. We assembled at Steve's: Pete, Robin, myself, Tony, Andrew and Marie. Prior to departure I was discussing my new front wheel, test ridden for the first time, the 29inches of largess, when Andrew said, "I've got a new front wheel too." I wandered over to admire it, noticing the juicy looking Nobby Nic onboard, when, hang on! Fork, Fox, white. Frame, metallic grey and red, reading Bergamont!!! Not only a new front wheel, a whole new bike with it! Awesome! Well done, congratulations and all that, Andrew!

 Off we headed, streets, river path, behind Ferrymead industrial, then into the climb, Sint Ahndrooh's Hyill. Chug chug chug, up we moseyed, taking breaks as necessary, layering off not far in, on up, up up Major Hornbrooks. Then into the Longridge Clearview cluster of Close's and the Upper Major, checking out and deciding against a very wet trail before continuing up the main road into fog to the top. Layers for the descent and bladder relief, tried for the first time my chilli chocolate coated coffee beans (Bushfire Hot!) and off we headed.

A big mother of a gate blocking our path, easily opened and on down the road we headed. Greenwood was unrideable, so on we shot. Eventually we rounded a corner from where we could see "Car Crash Corner" on the Sumner-Evans Rd, where they blasted last week. Pulled up and ooh'd and aah'd over the volume of rocks. Also noticeable everywhere on the hills were the slumps and slips from the last week's month's worth of rain.

Marie, Steve and me took off and bombed it down to Evans, passing where a massive slip had slumped earlier in the week.  Hmmm... The others hadn't followed, but Robin caught us and said Pete's broken his bike. Phone call, Pete's walking to get picked up by Alister. Non-drive chainstay snapped by the drop out, AND the carbon pivot-thing snapped on the seatstay... fucked.

 We awaited the others and carried on our Godley Head road, climbing then down the Scarborough track, top section heavily rutted. Steve opening the gates and we were through. Down for coffee, and on home, event free...  29r front wheel, on what little off-road it saw, proved to be much smoother than 26.  Think I'll stick with it.

So, Andrew's got a new bike, and Pete soon will do too.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sunday's Planting Orton Bradley

T and me top-tubed the boys in to town before 8am to watch the ZB building implode.  All fun and games, with a good crowd turnout.  Being on the bikes was great for a smooth exit through the milling throng, and we were home by 8.15.  I then grabbed the Switchback and spun round to Pete's wherefore to travel speedily in his car to Lyttelton arriving in plenty of time for the 8.50 sailing, meeting Wazza, Wahayno and Stevo on the jetty.

Off the boat, we ground up the hill to the main road then climbed and descended lots to Charteris Bay and up into Orton Bradley Park.  Found a few plants next to holes a ways in and got them in the ground before heading back down to meet the starters for ten, grabbing spades and getting into it.  Andy showed, and J9 and Grace.  We planted a bunch of plants and were done in no time.

Morning tea ensued and then we hit the road back to Diamond Harbour, up, up and down.  Passed by the turn-off to what was Godley House, and headed round to the fun wee Cliff edge.  Excellent wee trail that, always a thoroughly enjoyable wee section.  Short, but longer than expected, and interesting.  One close shave for me, descended a little too vigorously with a brief rear wheel lock up sending a pulse of adrenalin upon seeing where it could have tipped me, waaay down a pineneedled cliff top.  Final fun rooty descent followed by juddery steps and we were back at the wharf with 15mins to spare for the ferry back to the cars.

Short, but worthy wee ride...