Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday morning solo meanderings

Got out on my ownsome this morning.  Most of the others did the flat ride to planting Saturday.  I headed out the door at 10am with headphones hooked up to my phone full of excellent sounds and wandered the streets towards the hill not really knowing what i was going to ride up.  Eventually made the decision to head up Bowenvale, something i'd not ridden up for a long while.  What a steep mothah she is.  Dabbed once or twice, walked not much lower down, but a bunch of sections on the 4wd zigzags up top.  Met one 29r heading down on the singletrack, and a group up top heading in.  Was toasted with the lack of wind and beating sun, and struggled out the top of Huntsbury to the meeting of the singletrack and road.

Very short rest, then hit the Traverse towards Vic.  Took me a minute to wind up but once i was rolling i felt okay.  Passed a few around the way.  The dipper is reinstated, but i didnt get to try it cos on the approach my pedal smacked a rock nearly throwing me off (and down into the dip), thankfully i managed to squirrel my way out of it and around the hole to continue.  Then it was straight into the Thomsons, meeting a couple guys near the end, not enjoying the splatter on the second half. 

Up the road to top of Worsley, getting passed by several Nun shuttler vehicles, and seeing them at the top.  Stopped under the pine tree for snackage, watching a group of fella's struggling their ways up the top of the Bodybag.  Most were walking.  Wind was howling at this point, but only here, no where else.  Hit the dirt and bombed down the 'bag, rapidly picking up speed.  then bailed up the last nasty climb of the day to top of the "Hidden" or B-line track.  Lovely in here in the forest.  swooped the berms and over the features i missed the other night. Passed a couple of rude little grom XC geeks on flash new plastic 29rs near the top, they were on their way up.  then had a sweet run down, one very close call where my front wheel dug in a little too much on a loose needly corner.  Kept right after the pylon and bombed my favourite drops and bumps.

Clambered back up to find a posse and one guy holla "nice bike!", to which i said "Thanks" and kept riding so they chased me out the bottom and he started talking friendly like.  He has one too.  We rode the rest of the way down the hill chatting, then i peeled off over the stile into the zig zag drop into the valley and down that piece of singletrack, a little more formed now, and surfaced lower down, then climbed back up to the final Worsley hairpin and blasted down for the town ride home, along the river to Colombo then the rest.  Home on 12.30...  pretty toasted.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tuesday Up down up down up down

Rode the Cotic to work, and after skedaddled down Blenheim Rd to Nelson's work and off we Corona'd to the top of Worsley Road.  Off up the dirt, me wheezing away, struggling with the climbing as I did all evening.  Kept it in my big (36t) ring all the way to the Bodybag when i finally succumbed to the granny.  I died on the final section, Nelson, as usual just powered on up.  As i was cresting the top some whippet on a carbon Niner full suss thing hauled past.

Followed Nelson into the Nun, we blazed on down, but i just wasnt in the zone.  My sunnies were slipping down my nose and putting me off, and also my tires were too hard from the ride across town this morning.  So, at the top wooden bridge, stopped and adjusted pressure and pocketed the shades.  Ah, much better.  Sped on down, to find Nels waiting for me at the middle carpark.  Set off again, this time me tight on his tail, and staying there.  No stopping, took the low road onto the Old Dyers track, and blasted down the top section, still a favourite, high speed, barely able to see the trail in front of me and loving every second.  The next section, where it sort of widens out a bit, we flew down, both catching soggy lines a couple of spots, and then finally the 4wd down then up to the road, jumping puddles where we found them.

Cross the road and painful climbing again, to the road and down next to the dogpark and round under the big microwave pylon and down behind Amherst Place houses, hurtling down the last bit under the gum trees and then down the road to meet the fella's at the Takahe.  Steve, Robin, Wayne, Wazza and of course Pete on his new rocketship.  Very impressive.

Off back up the way we'd come down.  Once again, climbing painful...  Managed to keep a lead with Nelson most of the way but just below the Kiwi i gave it up and handed over 2nd position to Pete - fresh and lightweight, right?  Regroup and on up the road to the top of the Nun, all of us giving a good nudge to the top.

This time down, i hit the lead, Nelson chasing.  Kept a damned fine pace down, much better this time, and under lights too.  We took a quick break at the carpark spot to let the other catch up and off we shot again, gapping them again (hee hee), and generally hauling ass.  Departures made here, Nelson and me back up top of Worsleys and the rest off up into Vic to get back down to their cars.

Our adventure down Worsley started with a Bodybag blast, then into the forest.  Its gotten a bit ridden!  smooth and well tracked, but some bloody stupid common denominator lines missing some awesome features, like the big piles of rocks...  damnit.  anyway.  no real events.  Nelson crashed off over that pesky rock below the clifftop.  We gave it a couple of goes, then onwards and downwards, loving a new line before the pylons, then taking the good line and over below and down down down the bestest section there is.  Then back up the track to the rest of it, and after that old sketchy wallride attempt we hung a right down a trail wondering if it would take us across lower down to meet up with the stuff below the water tank, to no avail, it kept on descending - steeply with some cool drop overs.  Awesome trail, except it just kept going down down and down...  And our car was suddenly up.  So, vowed to return sometime when there isnt a car at the top, and try it out to wherever it goes.  Climbed back up, pushing and burning our calves.  Steep.

Back onto the usual trails and down past the tank and on out to the car, swooping and railing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday night eastern chill

Nelson and me caught a lift with Pete to top of Scarborough Hill.  Pete had the Chameleon, new bike imminent.  Parked up and first Robin then Wayne and Wazza turned up.  Unfortunately for him, no Steve cos he was illin'. 

Off up the steep Godley Drive, singlespeed stylez, the three hardtails playing on the vacant lot briefly then Robin opened up the gate (after trying most of the locks).  Gravel coasting building up speed then climbing again to the next gate.  Unlocked, through, and up to next gate.  From here the washed out drifts of gravel made for hard going, but we all survived and made the road for a right hand turn towards Evans.

Nelson and me took the lefthander up off the road, while the rest continued along the seal - Pete would have joined us but was saving his lungs after a brief lurgy.  Nelson put the power on and dropped me on the climb, then with his new light warming the track, led off towards Evans.  Wind behind us, mostly down hill, it was a sweet singletrack buzz, all the way down, popping, hopping and flowing nicely.  Found the others all waiting near the bottom, Pete still coming up, trying out a new line.  While standing and talking, some dipshit was shining a green laser at us from Sumner, really bright wavering around the hillside.  Once our lights were all off they stopped.

Turned around and back up Godley.  Nelson dabbed out of the way so i took the lead and dabbed a bunch, screwing stupid stuff up, but put in reasonable effort and got going nice and quick out.  We regrouped before the descent.  Then kept it going round, through the rutty narrows, over the boardwalk and into the descent which was pretty smooth and fun, pausing to regroup again on the little stepdown boardwalk bridge in the valley.  Off down the scooped trail, juuuust managing not to catch a tire, then into the lovely swoopy left and right left and right descent, curves in all the right places before Livingston col where we had another regroup in the lee of the big rock.  The easterly was blowing cold tonight.

On up and over the next bit, remembering Hubb had mentioned nasty holes around Breeze Col, but as the trail unfolded not really finding any.  Down over the PFMTBC rock feature and then down the semi-rutty slope into the cattle stop, upon which i duly started to slide sideways, which threw me nearly off into the raupo growing on the left of the exit.  SO close...

Next up off round the trail below the road.  Duck under the low hanging wire that someone's now painted with fluoro orange, then the first of Hubby's holes, a rock in the bottom of it, then another, still a good clay bridge next to it, both easily avoidable, but then, woooah, i pulled up short of a massive wheel eater, with a tricky-ish bypass. On round and up to the highest point on the trail where we turned round and back down.  Good speed and avoiding the holes nicely. 

Up round the sealed road ever climbing to top of Scarborough, and down the nice singletrack back to Taylor's Rd.  A first time down for Nelson on this trail.  Wetter in spots than last time.  all followed finally by the road climb back to the cars.  All up a good ride, home at 9.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday river wreckage to Travis Planting.

Early start from Steve's, 8.20 we had to be there.  We, being Warren, Tony, Wayne, Steve and myself.  Radley St to the end, and through the cemeteries, connecting them with a park, then Ruru Rd, and then down the back of the sewage treatment station, and Bridge St broken bridge and from there along the river on the, at first not bad, track which later deteriorated.  Some interesting views of the redzone, man, what a mess.

Under the Anzac Bridge was inaccessible, too much water on the bike path, so crossed and continued right around to Avondale bridge/ roundabout and on around to Horseshoe Lake reserve where we headed in for a look at what has become of the track in there.  Not good.  got a ways in and then we were stopped by fallen willows and sunken, underwater, track.  Back we rolled, then into Liggins St, left into Queensbury and right into Goodman through the carnage to Broomfield Tce, past the dog park and tucked into the grass track that overlooks what used to be cool walking (and nighttime riding) tracks, all underwater too...  right round Horseshoe lake all the way to Carlsen, up Burwood, right into Travis, dodging traffic across and all the way along to Clarevale Loop Walkway, ignoring the "No Bikes Please" sign and riding around, onto the main outside Wetland Walkway, stopping for a clamber on the tower, blown away by the plants we planted years ago as we went on round to the main Ranger Station Info Centre area where the planting was.

Hour and a half, 60 odd people and 2000 plants in the ground, lots of digging and schluffing.  Good shit.  BBQ saussies and back on the bikes, This time going through the middle on Wetland Walkway, impressed once again by the growth of all the plants.  Sweeeet as.

Now, back down Travis Rd and Burwood Rd, then followed the river all the way to my place.  What a wreck the place has become.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Little Little Ak Single

Not much doing this weekend.  Took the singlist to the bach and Saturday morning I got out and headed up the hill to Chorlton, riding a little way up the gravelled View Hill Rd, but before the steepest stuff there were a few ewes and lambs hanging out on the verge i didnt wanna disturb, so i just turned it round and headed back down.  Tucked in jet flight down the road, then out to the wharf and back up to the house.  Short, well under an hour, and sweet.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wednesday night Spring Living

Trudged the Cotic to work then skedaddled down Blenheim Rd to Nelson's work from whence we trafficjammed our way to Dyers Pass Rd and over the hill.

Parked at Allandale and had a wee explore round the waterfront all the way back round to the Gov's Bay wharf, which was disappointingly closed "due to earthquake".  bah.  looked fine to me.  Been years since i'd been out there.  Anyway, rode back round the waterfront, nicely warmed up thanks.  Headed up through the new entry to the Farm Park, on up, progressively getting less new, and wetter and wetter.  Not boding well.

Finally up and we saw that the usual paddock climb to the Pines was chock full of lambs and ewes, and cattle, and we wondered, is the place closed for lambing???  So, we made our way round to the Bamford Rd gate and found no signs, plus saw no sheep in between, so we figured, we'd just stay out of that one paddock, and slogged our way up 'mississippi', peeling off to the right across and up a big open area, then climbing a fence into the top half of the Pines.  Up we rode through here, pollen wafting through our fields of view, up into Rhymes with Orange.  Then decided to turn back and head down the Pines.

Great descent, flowy fun, all good for a long while down, then in the lower end Nelson ahead of me and he just smacked flat down on his left on the entry to a hairpin.  I arrived and the look on his face made me think it was bad.  He lay there for a while, taking stock, and thankfully received for his troubles nothing but a big haemotoma on the elbow and a couple of small leaks on his leg (one of which was a reopening from last week's Oldskool crash).  On the ground you could see where his front tire side knobs had gone straight ahead.  Front wheel right out from under him on the invisible lack of traction.  We got going again and wended our way, both a little more warily, to the bottom where we found a few cattle that'd pushed a gate open and gotten themselves where they shouldna, so, herded them out and locked the gate and turned and headed back up the track.

Largely an awesome climb, but I struggled a bit in a couple of spots.  Found the steeper stuff really hard.  Anyway, after what seemed a while we stopped up on RhymesWith and rested and OneSquared and then i led the way round under the Outdoor centre  and back into the Missississippippi manuka forest.  A fair bit of sheepshit, but the sheep messed up the dirt a bit providing a little bit of traction.  back and forth we meandered, out of the forest, round back into the forest, round back out of the forest, repeat.

Then a bit of a climb and up into Zanes.  W00t!  Excellent descent down here, traction mildly dodgy the whole way, keeping it exciting and interesting.  Sketchy, but all in good enough nick.  Out the bottom at Bamfords Rd gate we decided to pull the plug and headed down the road, back to the car.

Debated whether to stop and lap the nun, but Nelson was feeling a bit sore.

Monday, September 03, 2012


Another "No Ride" weekend.  Tho, on Saturday i did get out to Bottle Ache with little H on his sweet wee sportster, and we moseyed out the the beach and back.  But the ride i thought I'd get on Sunday didnt pan out.  More's the pity.

Hard to believe, tomorrow its 2 years since our world was shaken to bits.  2 years and way more than 10,000 aftershocks.