Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finally some Sun(day)shine

Short ride today.  Days and days and days of extreme rain, flooding, snow, etc, and finally the day dawned blue skied and frosty, black ice frosty.  I leaped on the Troll and headed for Steve's, slipping once, squirrelly styles on the Stanmore Tuam corner, but surviving and making it to Steve's just after 9.10, to find them gone, and a couple of message on my phone.  Made contact, they were on Ferry Rd (just cruising), so hit the chase and caught them tootling along just before the bridge.  Up St Andrew's Hill we cruised, warming up nicely, delaminating a little part way up.  The Alfine 1st gear did me well, and 2nd and 3rd a couple times before the top.  All the way up to Summit Rd, enjoying the views and the sunshine, then change of gloves and hat on and off down the road for an easy going coast, bit of grit, but thankfully no ice to be had.  Loads of water everywhere, pouring out of the hills, creeks where there's usually nothing, flowing across the roads - so it was good having mudguards.

Evan's Pass and a rocket ride down the road, a bit of grit about here too and one river crossing it where they'd done the massive blasting.  ...and, alongside the containers, Dot Com, at like 10.40.  Coffee etcetera enjoyed by all and back round the ways.  I was at Joy's at about 11.45 and the others headed their respective directions. 

Later, from Taylors, with H and T and Joy, we walked out to Boulder Bay.  The track has been thrashed by the rainfall.  Soggy bits, a few wee holes, the steps have lost half their fill, plus the odd slump of sloppy muck sprawled across the track.  Should have dried out a bit by Tuesday, maybe.

My Fat Franks arrived the day after this post, and have now fitted them to the Troll.  The ride is superb.  Smoother, quieter, more comfortable, and faster.  2.35inch, brown, and came with built in kevlar puncture resistant strip.  Couldnt ask for a better town tire.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday night more McVicar meanderings

Nelson and me got up the hill tonight.  Almost a repeat of my last ride, but not quite.  Parked up top of Worsley's Rd and hit the dirt.  Rode up at a much better clip than Sunday, cleaning lots more of the mucky bits and feeling not so bad.  Nasty mess where those 4WDs were stuck the other day, but overall maybe a little drier than then.  Up the access to the B-Line Zone and off up the newby, apparently called Tommy's 2 (Tommy apparently being one of the guys building in there; nice job, fella).

Cleaned nearly all the climb this time, bar one or two bits and then I led off into the descent.  Swoopy steep, flowing through, lost it on one corner which Nelson cleaned behind me, then went up to show me how he'd done it again.  On down, more steepness, tho, nothing as steep as in Dave's.  Couple of wee jumpies that you need to know are coming.  I'd forgotten about them from Sunday, but remembered when I saw them and baulked, cos on Sunday they'd nearly thrown me over the bars.  Anyway, down we went for a while, then I figured we were at the point where it cuts back to the left and goes even steeper hangs a right and down into the wooden jump followed by the halfpipey bit and the mudmire, so, here we stopped and dropped the bikes and started scoping out another line off to the right.  I walked ahead looking while Nelson followed me down dragging a stick through the pine needles to guide us later.  I got bluffed, so we found a way further down onto a good bit and continued on down, eventually getting all the way out to where we could see the forestry road.  So, back up towards the bikes, tweaking bits and pieces as we went and then the into the first run.  Both stalled on a rock feature a third of the way down, so dragged the bikes back up a bit and carried rocks and placed them.  Then Nelson did a bunch more work and we gave it another go all the way from the top, all the way through.  I screwed up a couple of bits but the follow through finish is quite good.  Then we rode and pushed back to the top again and rode it again, this time me getting more, and I think Nelson cleaning it all.  Bit of a drop onto the road and back round under Fight Club and on back up to the junction.

Here we headed up the steep forestry bastard climb into a spitty drizzle and mist in the pylon clearing meeting two other guys up there.  Chatted with them and learned the Tommy's details mentioned above, and they continued on up and we peeled off into Fight Club.  Me leading, sweet run down through this, with excellent traction and it felt really easy compared to Tommy's 2, so we had a great run, startling a hare near the top, and a possum at the bottom, me putting the gap on Nelson in the top half, then him starting to catch me in the rougher stuff down lower.  At the exit, my front wheel was looking like it was going off too much to the left, so I stepped off the back of the bike as it went over the drop and it stopped and I kept going and my knee hit my seatpost quick release lever which embedded itself in my knee.  Fucking smarted.  i squatted and stood and moaned for a bit then got it moving and got riding.  had a look at it and it was that kinda white flesh before blood flows, but i covered it and rode on back up, pain subsiding as i rode.  Back to the Junction and in for the final descent, taking a low line below the tank and pretty much missing the worst of the muck there, then the final return to the main track and the worst muck of the evening, and back down to the car through a starfield of water droplets.  At the car, lifted my knee covering to discover a nice wee slit with blood.  And now, at home, its swelled up real nice.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Sunday gloomy afternoon McVicarage

I see a few of the others got out for a bit of a muckfest today, which I couldn't make, so once T was home headed out later in the gloomy afternoon - leaving home after 3.30pm.  Low cloud hanging around the tops as i approached the hills with Jet in the car with me.  My first attempt at taking him for a hill ride, parking at the top of Worsley's Rd, him blisteringly excited when i let him out of the car.

Off we headed, around 4, up the road and onto the dirt, which was not much like dirt and a fair bit more like mud, especially in places.  Bit of a creek running down the ruts and obvious 4wd churning all over the place.  Climbing was greasy, even on the ridges between the ruts, and my tires were hooking up as well as they could, which was pretty good, with minimal slip.  Jet was awesome, tho i had to call him back occasionally, but he got into it the further up we got, staying within 10 or 20 metres pretty much all the time.  There was one or two bits with barely any bikeable trail left on them, due to 4WD churn, coupled with creek flow and soggy muck, so one or two bits were walked.  Up where that 4WD was rolled off the trail (and another time we found one on it's roof), i rounded a bend and there the track was entirely blocked by the 4WD's responsible for all the previously encountered churn.  Luckily it was right where they'd trashed the fence and there was a line to ride in the grass between the track and the forest, so i rode past them then found my way back ontrack where a couple of alcohol-breath-ed youths were standing watching their stuck mates.  Off onwards up Jet and me continued and left up to the B-Lines.

Now, on Friday i was talking to a certain N. Sutcliffe, who has good knowledge of the trails in here, and hinted to me of a new one... (which I'll call FightClub2 until we find out a name)...  So, i followed his hints which involved a little extra climbing to usual, some bits of which were steep and greasy, then it headed off down.  Much like Fight Club in gradient and flow, tho steeper albeit not as steep as Dave's, lots of fun, and would have been waaaay more fun if it wasn't so wet, not that traction was that bad (until lower down).  For the more 'hardcore' bits i made sure Jet was behind me, but mostly he was good cruising ahead.  There was a couple of corners I walked due to total lack of traction.  Then, lower down a wooden jump over a gap I walked, and below that a totally saturated quagmire which would have just dirtied my bike that much too much, so I walked around it...  And finally, rode out the bottom at the same exit point as Fight Club.  Sweeet.  Now, if I'd made the trail, before it headed left across the slope and into the gully with the jump, I'd have run it more to the right, higher and thereby longer down the ridge further, but that's just me, and the forest is open enough that it wont take much to get in and do that (Nelson, next time?) soon.

From here, took the access track back up to the Junction, and headed up the steep 4wd track in the forest, grannying away all the way up to the powerline clearing, nearly to FightClub.  Turned around here cos it was just gonna get darker, and took the first left, then first right, back across the 4wd track and into one of my favourite wee swoopys, Jet on my tail, both of us having a great time, back down to the access track, back up that, and down and out the lower stuff which had a really fucking messy bit below the watertank, and from there on down is a bit ground out.  Finally, the blast down back to the car, Jet enjoying the high speed stretch, and seats down and in the back, "Goood Boy!", 5pm.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Thursday Eastern Night Time Ramble

Nelson and me got out to Taylors last night.  Had to turn on the power and the spa at the bach there for the weekend, and also figured the trails out that way would be the best bet after all this weather we've been getting.  Also, my first night testing out the new lights.  First up, the 'Tail, everything working smoothly so no broken chains or grinding.  Before we started we could see a fellow night rider above us on the trail, and we slowly caught him as we progressed to Boulder Bay.  But on the first swtchbck above Boulder Bay we stopped to de-layer, cos it was really quite mild, altho later i regretted this as the wind was getting around all the non-windproof bits of my top and freezing my kidneys and generally making be cold...  Anyway, he got a fair way ahead of us then and we didnt see him again until we were climbing for the Barracks and he was way up on the hill between us and Breeze Col. 

At top of Godley we decided not to take the Breeze Col trail, figuring it would be slick as pigshit, so we took the 4wd trail up and got onto the wee northside tight (newish) singletrack, followed by a nice descent down to Breeze Col.  It was on this singletrack and descent i had my 3led light on helmet and 2led light on handlebars, both on full beam and fuck it was bright, like daylight...  the 3led light has a broader spread, and later when i swapped them over to trial the 2led on head, i found that the 3led light is best on the head, more of that later. 

At Breeze Col we headed up the Godley singletrack, taking it past the pfmtbc rock rather than up the shortcut, and onto the new benched gravel section (which is bedding in nicely now) and over to Livingston.  Then straight up the guts rather than the usual bike track, where i walked a bit and then carried on up (on newly filled in U channels (no longer U's)) and on up to the top where we stopped.  Here, i swapped over the lights and as soon as i got going again, back down towards Livingston, i realised that the other way round was better...  the 2led light is just too tight a beam and focuses your eye a bit too much, similarly to my last 'new' light (which Andrew has for repair at the moment).  Excellent descent to Livingston, with the newly gravelled stuff REALLY fast.  Over to Breeze was good too, the climb not bad and the new gravel very fast again. 

Then into the snake, Nelson in the lead and a good run all the way down, tho half way down my back started getting really sore which took away from the enjoyment a bit.  Once out, it was back up the road to the truck parked at the top of the steps above the bach.

Sunday, June 02, 2013



Yesterday i fitted a new handlebar and some grips.  750 wide, wiiiide... 

This afternoon i got out for a spin.  Rain due for Monday (day off for the Queen) so figured i had to ride.  Just me and the bike, no bag, not intending on going far.  Headed up Decanter Bay Rd, not a bad wee grind, minimal granny used (unlike this time when i just stood and pushed harder), then nice gravel road descent into Decanter, and then onwards up the road towards Menzies.  Climbed and climbed til there was a respite, whereupon i took in the view, enjoyed the blustery breeze and turned around and headed back the way i'd come.  This time tho i took as much off piste as possible, riding cattle trails mostly, just above above the road, til i rounded over the cattlestop entering Decanter and it was road the rest of the way.  Faaast descent into there, then clamber clamber out of there, stopping to check out the (past it) Cape Gooseberries (was hoping for some wicked anti-oxidants), onwards back up and over, jetting up to warp-speed for the latter half of the road back into the bay.  All up maybe an hour out and 600 odd metres of climb on.

Meanwhile, found and rather enjoyed this vid, Steve Peat mongering Santa Cruz's newest thoroughbred...