Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Ups and downs in Worsle's Playpen

Sweet ride with Nelson tonight.  Parked up top of Worsley's Rd, and straight into it, into the singletrack in the trees and a bit of a look around below the trail where there's a massive mad jump, and a few sections of berms and more jumps, none of it our style really.  Headed up an old 4wd trail in here and spat out at the junction with the historic board ride corner.  Out onto the main drag, we chuffed up here.  Nelson was very kind to me and stayed in a nice slow gear and i managed to stay on his tail the whole way up, sweating like a pig in the very muggy conditions.  Took the steep to BLine and zipped off down the left hand 'new' line, Nelson in the lead, me hard on his tail, following him over every jump, and finding my tires slipping strangely in corners and on rocks.  Into Fight Club and i stopped and released the 'town' pressure i'd put in to ride to work on, and we continued our merry way down, swooping and popping and sidling and offcambering our ways down all the way out to where the deep deep dust was those weeks back.  Nicely solidified now, and a good trail worn into it, we climbed on up and decided, upon looking out over the logging in the valley, that we'd get out of there now, so, at the junction point we headed off down what's now known as Dave's Trail, or as i've called it ACJoint...

Excellent run down this steep wee bugger.  Cleaned it all, bar one slight bail just after the whoopdy U drop, but otherwise, all good, even the section entering the final chute.  Climb out was okay, til we got into the bulldozer track, which was just as steep as the old trail, but a bit rougher and open.  They've felled down to below where our cool rockbridge was, alas, its now buried in loess.  About there, one of these days, i'm gonna get in there and make a sidling trail back towards the descent, zigging and zagging a couple times back up to the route out...

Dragged ourselves back up to The Junction, and had a bit of a snack then headed off back up the main drag, mingling with a good sized group of guys, one of whom i stuck behind for a bit, while Nelson hauled ass off ahead of all of them.  Got past the first guy, overtaking a second further up after i'd sat on his tail til he bailed in some rocks, then just rolling on up cleaning all the way, then to the highest point where I found Nelson chatting with another couple guys.  We let them head off while I caught my breath, then we headed off down the right hand old skool route, me in the lead, blazing down round and through.  Some fucker has mangled the groovy rock features though.  One of them has a big wheel sized hole near the end of it that i had to pop over...  anyway, down the rest, then just before heading under the pylons the sun was shining red on the sides of the trees.  Quite spectacular...(because of this?)  Then, into the final droppy swoopy fun track down and out, back up to Junction (again!) and on down and out towards the car, red sun setting just as I lifted my bike over the gate, 7.25pm.  When's daylight savings end??

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Out East In Up Back

Nelson picked me up and we met the rest of the crew: Steve, Wayne, Tony, Andrew, Warren, Marie, at Evans Pass.  We were on time, and they were ready to go.  Off up Godley, straight in cold, hard yakka first climb which i blew and Nelson cleaned, then it was a sweet meander out up the rest of it.  Bit of a regroup at the fence, all dribbing and drabbing in, then Marie came through and carried on.  The rest of us stopped for a wee while and she got good and far ahead of us.  Good blast down to Livingston, keeping good time and pace and finally catching up with Marie on the climb out.  Some other dudes had gone past when we were back at the saddle, and as we climbed up to Steve's crash spot, one of them crashed right where he had.  Perfect example of nearly what happened to Steve...  Anyway, on over down to Breeze, speedy speedy.

Then it was above the road, climb climb climb nicely nicely and a new-to-me sidle around the hill. Very nice!  Blast down to end of road and onto singletrack coming back.  I was chasing Nelson but on the climbs he just has some sort of motor that accelerates, whereas I can just keep going but not accelerate.  Bah.  So, on the climbs he gets away and on the sidles and flats i just keep the gap, closing slowly maybe, most of the time...  Back to Breeze in good time and once we'd all dribdrabbed in off we toodled upwards.  Not a bad climb this, Nelson and me got the lead for the descent and had an excellent run down, as did the rest of them, then it was Livingston climb up.  Was okay, then i stopped and chatted to Tom on his new bike, and the others all got ahead and when i got moving again my chain snapped...  So, had to fix that with a couple links i had spare in my bag (thought i'd put that spare Powerlink in...nope).  Got moving again, and found the rest waiting for me way up on top by the fence.  Big group of Chch Mountainbike Club met us there and chat was exchanged and onwards we blazed.  Nelson and me had an excellent run back up and down this section, was my most flowy for the day, was very much on form.

Into Greenwood climb, hard yakka but honest and not that bad, good gradient and only one or two real grunts.  Was going okay for a while, but up above the top hairpins every rock seemed to screw me up.  Regrouped at the ruins and Nelsie and me headed to the top while the rest skived rested and headed down ahead of us while we struggled to the top and had a sweet run down, no stops.  I was keeping the gap even all the way with Nelson til Gloomy Gulch, where i think i usually need a rest, but, with no rest my back was getting sore and i was getting tired, so the gap increased and try as i might i could not shorten it.  Other than the pain experienced under the rocks at Gloomy, i had a good run the rest of the way, including cleaning the little pinch that usually gets me out.  A relief once finished lifting bike over the fence.  Coffee at DotCom.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Dyers Nun Vic OldSkool

The 'crew' rode last night after the rain stopped, and had a jolly old time from the account of it...

I got to Nelson's work on the BFe and we rushhoured across to Holliss Ave.  Changed, and headed up the Ave, listening to my new tires wearing themselves out on the road.  Got to the end and our old route up through empty sections is no longer, so had to take the steps down, then along and up more steps eventually onto Longhurst Tce.  From here it was up the singletrack below the houses up to the forestry plot, where for a change we headed up to the right, following the top edge of the houses, then up through the trees to the dog park and into Vic Park Drive.  Over and down to the Old Dyers track.  Nelson sorted out a rattly disc Centerlock thingy, and we rode on.  While he was doing that we were passed by sooo many riders coming down.  and a couple riding up, who we passed further up.  On up to where they've chipped it, and lowest common denominated it, no wonder so many people are using it now...  Last grunts to the road are easier now, except for the steepness.

Then it was up the road for a short time, and onto the wee walking track above the road, which is nice, saves the tires, couple of wee steeps, and when it met the road again we crossed and got onto the next section of walking track, up the steps, down the steps up up and around to the road and on up to the Nun.  Another group of riders on the way up to here.  They took off and we waited a bit, then we were off.  Down, just taking it easy as seems to have become the custom.  Annoyed at the braking bumps people who cant ride properly leave behind, grrr, but otherwise a nice run.  I was tight on Nelson's tail for the lower half, like about a bike's length, making flying over the new doubly jumps certainly interesting with no forewarning of what I was getting myself into.

Up to the upper Thomson's, cruising up and then with plenty light left we headed around the Summit, blazing away, me gasping on the climbs.  Around to the top of Lavaflow we went, then turned back and headed into the sun.  Did a little better on the way back, and had a great run on the last downs towards Vic, where we blazed into the dark trees, greasy under there, Nelson over the seesaw me down through the cattlestop and on down adjacent to Brakefree as Nelson hopped and popped, then bailed and joined me.  Off down over the rocks and through the perfumed and fragrant gums, my favourite little lefty and around down round over the jump around back down into the next section and then on down all the way to the bottom.

Back up the road to the skidder and straight into Spazza's, nice blast down there, round into Brent's taking the right hand side, and into the bottom of rad^sick, poaching the lead when Nelson took the line that spits you into a jump, me leading, bypassing the creek jump then straight across into Flow.  Brief blinding by long grass, letting Nelson ahead again down into Bridges and Nubridges and on out and down.  Bit rough down the bottom of there.  Then high speed down to Hidden Valley Linker.  Both botched the start, but rolled on up the rest.  Caught up to a woman on a red Nomad around the 2nd hairpin and she let me pass for the steep climb through the trees, which nearly killed me.  Caught the rest of her group at the fence, Nelson and me rested while they carried on.  Felt a bit dizzy when i stood up again, but we continued on, blazing and wafting and hauling ass down OldSkool, juuust catching the woman again at the bottom.  I had one very close call going between those rocks at the beginning of the last switchbacky section near the bottom.

then it was down Bowenvale, Wedgewood, Landsdowne and through the park to the car.  Done and dusted.  And sore in the neck.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Mt Quite Grey - BFe's First outing

Well.  Assembled the BFe Friday night and finished it off on Saturday night, ready for this morning's early start.  Left home about 8.10 and got to Sefton just after half past, waiting about a minute before Nelson showed up.  Transferred to his car and we zoomed round to Cramptons Bush Rd, noticing a Lake Janet access Closed sign early on...  Figured we'd just ride up, and did.  Parked at the gate (closed for fire risk) down low around 280m alt, and treadled up the road to Lake Janet at around 460m then on up Mt Grey Rd to the top in around an hour.  Bit of rain about, really quite refreshing.

Top of Grey (radio tower - 929m), could see a a fair bit of rain out over Waipara basin, and so we hit the singletrack down, gnarling our way round through the tussocks and spaniards (one spiking my hand), boggy bits nearly dry, but still with some bog to them, and on the last section before rounding over into the bush (700m) the rain came down.  Switchback-City ensued, and we cleaned some and dirtied others.  Seemed to get down in no time at all, getting to the wee ridge with the look out very fast.  On downwards from here and loving every second of the trail. Out the bottom of the singletrack (~280m (again)) we flew, and before heading up the snarfed down a bunch of blackberries for a rich fresh antioxidant blast. 

BFe seems more planted, firmer, power transfer is more direct, i guess cos the frame is less flexy.  Seat feels a bit more solid, which shows how much flex there was in the old Soul back end.  Otherwise it handled exactly the same - excellently.

Climbed back up the road to "Lake" Janet, where we started up the road (as if for a second lap) and hung a hard right just before the gate, into the fir forest and down a nearly invisible singletrack.  Found a bunch of big holes dug, the fill of which had been used to make jumps nobody would want to ride...  several of these til finally out the bottom, back onto the road for a (i would say) 80kph+ blast down the gravel back to the car.

So, over all, a 650m climb followed by a 650m descent (one or two ups and downs in there), then a 180m up and over...  830m altitude climbed...  not quite the tonne we were thinking... but still pretty good effort well worth the doing.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday Mt Greyish

Nelson finished work at 3, flicked me a txt and i departed and we met in Woodend from whence we convoyed to Sefton, deposited the Fiat, and proceeded on up to Lake Janet in the Rally 'Rona.  Parked up and i got the Soul out and wheel back on, then tootled around on it while Nelson changed and faffed about a little.  Something didnt sound right.  Like there was a stone in the frame, rattling when i wheeled it around, but not really there when i was riding it.  Tapped the frame and shook it and pin-pointed the location of the noise, only to find a crack.  And another crack, and another...  Damn.  One either side of where the down tube meets the head tube, and one right under that junction.  Figured the risk was probably too large to tackle what we'd had planned, so we settled on something much smaller and tamer, but still a bit of a ride...  Basically we went Old Skool.  Up the old track that zigs and zags from the "Lake" up to the Look Out tower.  A lot of it was unclimbable.  We took a turn on each other's bikes and Nelson's was way better for climbing...  I cleaned a bunch more than i would have, and than he did, no the last couple of zigs and zags to the top.

Considering the 'drought' that is embracing most of the country, it was surprisingly damp up there.  The top was ensconced in cloud (which slowly lifted while we were up there), and the forest and vegetation was all dripping.  Rocks and roots were slippery, adding to the 'fun' factor of the whole schemozzle.

At the top, we swapped back and headed on down, me being pretty cautious on the old loading of the front end.  But pinning it now and then. and enjoying the old skool-ness of the whole trail.  Been many many years since we rode that track, at least 10, if not 15.  With a bit of tidying it would actually be a more enjoyable and interesting way up to the Look Out than the forestry road.

So now the hunt for a new frame ensues...

New frame found.  A Cotic BFe.  Picking it up Wednesday night, ready to rebuild Friday and Saturday, hopefully.

New frame home...  it is exactly the same geometry as the Soul.  AWESOME.  swapped dragon_style my Stinger for the ISCG  one that mounts on the frame, also, a phatter seatpost, which i bought with the frame too, another Thomson layback just like i had on the Soul.  Mine will now possibly do time on the Troll, if it fits.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Tuesday night up down up down up down

Rode from work to Nelson's work slightly earlier in an attempt to beat traffic, which we just about did.  Made our way across to the hills then around them to Quarry Park, parking up in the shade of the hebes (now called Veronica, i learned recently) and then rode upwards through the fields to the bottom of C2.  Nelson had only ever come down it, once, and i'd only been up it the once, so off up it we went.  I was grunting even back in the fields, let alone when the real climb began.  What is it with me and climbs these days!?  Anyway, made our way up it then up Crocodile to the start of Kennedy's then on up the singletrack, peeling off at the pond next to the tank and taking the oldskool way up to Siberia.  Blatted over that then back up top of singletrack and down down down.  Good run all the way down, no slowing down just flying hard out flat out fanging, then into C2, the wee climb stuffing me, and leaving me non-plussed for the lower section, which, i have to say, i'm not that impressed with.  a couple of the berms just aren't high enough, so you have to tenderly go round them much slower than you want to, and pretty much the last one, before the dash down to the wee jumpy before heading across the open bit, has no camber at all, and a bloody great root tracking through it.  Anyway, first time down, so maybe i just aint got the flow yet, maybe.

Round two, we headed up the original track, ie, not C2, and were much faster, even with the descent and extra climb into the 'crocodile' switchbacks.  Clambered on up up up, this time staying on the singletrack all the way (past the pond and tanks), and on the usual steep grunty wee section, SNAP, there goes my chain...  picked it up, pushed my bike up to the kennedy's proper, and walked on up to meet Nelson at the gate.  Turned out it was my Sram Quicklink, again.  second one in a year, or so.  Spliced in a couple extra links i had spare in my bag, and Nelson did a quick blat of Siberia, chasing a young whippersnapper on a crabon 29r who was doing laps, with his dad doing slower laps.  I finished my job and we headed over Siberia and were overtaken by said whippersnapper on the climb back up and then i led down the singletrack flat tack full speed ahead.  all the way down and down the old version, pausing on the bridge to let Nelson pass me, then i proceeded to clean the climb, yay!  On down, losing my cool on account of the climb, and really botching the lower switchbacks before the end. 

Round three, this time, back up C2, faster this time, even tho i was more tired, seemed to be getting into more of a groove.  Up up up, starting to struggle near top of Croc, then we went up the granny inducing oldskool kennedy's climb.  hah!  not bad, but a grind.  all the way out to the gate.  No Siberia this time, i just couldnt be arsed.  Then it was down time again.  Nelson in the lead, flat out, full tilt, yet again, rolling all the way down, and sunstrike proving a bit of an issue on the worst of places, where that nasty rocky pinch used to be.  Nelson nearly lost it i think; lost sight of the trail for a good long second.  My visor and sunnies were working a treat, but it was close.  then second round down C2 this time, a little better, but i still reckon you have to slow too much for the berms, and that final corner really needs some work.  I guess winter might sort it out a bit.  The final climb i was faster this time than the first, but it still hurt, and then we rolled out to the car for a well earned stretch. Sun was just sitting on the treetops as we cruised homewards.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Sunday Morning Huntraverse VicHidden Oldskool

Sluggish start to the morning, and a patch to do, left home at 10.35am.  Rode Stanmore Nursery Wilsons to Ramahana Aotea Huntsbury climb.  just chugged away at it and made the top by 11.25am.  Short rest, letting a dad and son get ahead along the Traverse, but getting away before a big group showed up, then caught father and son before Lava Flow and they generously let me past.  Bombed round the traverse, catching a guy going really slowly just before Vic, into the trees, yumpity yumpity, over the see saw, a couple of brake free leaps and then off down into the gums all the way down my favourites and then all the way down to the end of the road, and back up to the skidder site all in 15 minutes!  mad.  Had a rest and an Ozzie dude on a Crack'n'fail got talking to me for a while, Sam.  Good bloke.  Asked about bikeshops open for new chain, and I said probably BASIC be the closest.  He'd been riding around our area for a week or so, done Hogs Back, and Hanmer, as well as most of the Port Hills trails.  He then asked if he could join me so we headed down through Shazz's, Brent's, Flow, Bridges-new and into Hidden Valley Link, stopped and munched a few blackberries, then up and over Old Skool.  He loved it.  Stopped and chatted a few times on the way down.  Good rider, right on my tail most of the way, and i wasnt going slow.  chatted riding down Bowenvale Ave, exchanged details, and he peeled off to the bike shop, that was at about 12.30.  If ever we're anywhere from Brisbane to Byron Bay, look him up for a ride.

Saturday Bottled afternoon

Took O, H and Jet out to Bottle Lake and met up with Tom and Tane, Mark, Margaret, Rata and Matai (tagalonging) and we all skedoodled around the sandpit.  Barely saw Jet most of the time, cos i was staying back with H most of the ride, and he was off with Tom, Tane and O.  Stopped at beach for a good long play for the kids, and Jet who met and played with every dog that turned up, then onwards we proceeded.  H, Jet and me took the route back that I'd done on Wednesday morning, and the others all took the longer way round.  The boys bet us back, but probably mainly cos H and me stopped and ate blackberries next to the pond in the middle while Jet cooled off.