Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Eastern Sunny Fun Day.

Plan was to leave Steve's at 8.45 or DotCom at 9.15.  I opted for the latter, and so made my way across there in the Subie, spotting Wayne parked up as I rounded McCormack's Bay, so, parked with him and found my tire flat.  Changed the tube and the others, Steve, Andy and Tony, arrived and we rode on round to Sumner, knowing Marie would be ahead of us up Richmond Hill, up which we duly pedalled.  Layers off at 2nd hairpin and on ever upwards, then up off road, Steve led me up the garden path and the others on the main track were faster and Steve and me suffered slightly.  Marie was spotted on the ridge yonder, so we treadled on upwards to her, meeting her on the gravel near the shearing shed. 

Out up to the trees, then over the road and up the 4wd track that crosses Greenwood, it seemingly never ending, tho not as horridible as I'd remembered it.  On past the track crossing and up to the fence for a short rest while we regrouped.  I led the way up the next section, tussocks much easier to see round at climbing speed, and feeling really good, getting everything further than ever before, before finally dabbing, losing balance, stumbling, dabbing and generally being quite un-co.  Ground up the last bit to the stile and another well earned regroup.  Off again and cleaned it all, including basically falling off the track and somehow riding it out.  Massive group under the antennae, awaiting our arrival.

Off again, down, ripping down the gravel, and through the off camber onto the dirt then weaving and ducking, rolling and pumping our ways round and down to the bottom where we thought we might head up to the gondola but then decided we wouldnt.  A group of the hardcore Gov's bay crew, who obviously hadnt been out this way for a while, asked about the trail we'd just come down, not having known of its existence.  Told them it was good to go, and then saw them a couple times later.

Off up the road now, then onto John Britten, sidling around, taking the low line at the rocky up and then meandering across back on track and over and round and regrouping to roll down the road and into Greenwood.  Lots of work done through the first section, which was definitely showing the wear and tear of winter, and is now supremely good, armouring in most of the right places, and tight bits really opened up.  blazed on round and had a bite to eat at the ruins.  Saw the Gov'sBay guys up the hill, heading over to the gun emplacements. 

I led the way off down Greenwood, straight away putting on the pace and really feeling pretty good.  Riding lightly over the rocky sections, I made good time round to the 'gulch, where i paused til the others were coming through, then off again, fast again, bike, trail and me in a zen state of oneness, back and forth, slow through the wet bits to avoid excessive splecking, then after the wee creek I paused again til i saw the others round the corner and dip through the holey dips.  Off again, faster and floatier than before, one of my favourite sections, truth be told, and changed at just the right moment to roll and pedal through the rocky up, then no worries through the second and it was wafty swoopy out the rest.  Once we'd regrouped, the Gov's bay crew arrived, having had come down the old ridge trail...  They headed off down the Captain ahead of us, and Marie (who took the road down - tired and didnt want to crash) said they cleaned every single bit.

We headed off down the Captain, and walked the first usual, then in the doublewhammy, i got the first one but as i lined up the second I started heading in the wrong direction so bailed and walked it, and then Andrew following took a line i'd never seen before, and cleaned it down no worries.  He got in front then, and proceeded to clean a couple other climby bits and got well ahead til the end of the old and start of the new, where we stopped and regrouped, yet again.  Off down the zigs and zags, rolling nicely through the hairpins and then slowly (again) through all the mud, which was still bad, but less so than last couple times.  Cleaned the creek nicely, no splashy splashy, but then wronggeared on the climb and stalled.  Andrew splashy splashied...  Finally, out, and up the road and then the speed down the last of Evan's Pass Rd got all the mud off the tires, and all over my glasses, my beard, my shirt...  Passed the Gov's guys alongside the container wall, and headed in for a coffee at DotCom.

Final neck of the ride, well paced road haul round to McCormacks.  Feelin' good.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Toosday inappropriate bike night to trip meeting

Nelson picked me up from mine and we drove to Marie's house, him with his townie superslicked singlespeed and me with my townie Troll, just for a laff...  we skedaddled over to Steve's to meet the others, arriving just as Warren and Robin were sneaking round the back of the roadblocked church on the corner, and just as Pete arrived, and so we merrily clusterfucked Ainsley Tce round to the bottom of CrapHappy.  First time up here for whole year, the gearing on the Troll just right.

Right from the start, Nelson just jetted off on his tall gear ahead.  I ground away, feeling the extra weight of the Troll, but still managing a good pace.  Gate at top of trees Pete and me stopped and waited for Wazza and Robin to regroup then we took off and I never saw them again til the top, Nelson long gone.  Full moon rose and set and rose and set on the hill all the way up, providing good light in places, making for small (rack mounted) light necessary only when idiots were riding down the hill towards us.  Quite a few other riders out, and i managed to pass a fair number of them, probably surprising them with my full 'guards and racks.  Bloody strong (b)easterly blowing, pushing us up the hill but then cooling it right down up top for the wait.  Nelson had been there forever.

Off up round Vernon, me thinking maybe the gear wouldn't suit, but it was sweet, following Warren and chatting all the way up.  Even the two small pinches were (Al)fine.  And traction, with the balloon tires was totally fine all the way up and around too.

Onto the Traversii and traction was good again, Nelson pinging his way around in the rocky sections, me very wary, but we kept a good tailwind clip all the way round, Pete backing off under Sugarloaf and then hauling me in to the end, and the welcome shelter of the trees.  Regrouped here and then headed off down Coffeebreak and then i went the 4wd trail, not trusting the cumbersome nigh-on-gripless Troll through the gums, while the others hit the start of Sesame St and then peeled into the gums.  On the steep 4wd section before the skidder my brakes weren't actually holding me back, and even under full pressure i was still accellerating - disconcerting!  I readjusted them at the skidder site, knowing i'd be needing them on the roads below.  It definitely helped.

At the 19th Batt. War Memorial we met Andrew, who'd toodled up wondering whether he'd meet us, and we all blazed down the road, down Hackthorne, Dyers and round into Marie's house.  Steve was here and Alister turned up and we discussed the October Nelson Trip over one or two beers, and fantastic pizza creations of Marie's.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday night Gauntlet pixies

Usual pick up from work, traffic jammin' across town and up Major Aitken and on up to the top.  Changed and on up the trail, taking the dirt rather than the gravel, wending our way up under the pylons and on upwards.  Nelson was reveling in how smooth his climbing was, so i took a go at it, but my weight compresses his suspension so much i could only feel the smooth, but not the 'easier' climbing...  Swapped back pretty quick and continued to the top.  Too many walkers and runners around for a repeat of our recent friday night excursion, so we headed up over Vernon and bombed it round and down, traction a bit random at times, to top of Rapaki.

Explosions have been happening on Witch Hill recently, and so signage was up to stay out, but they'd finished today, apparently, and it was dark, and night time, so we climbed the plastic tape and headed round.  Good wee climb, rocky technical interestingness, one rock getting the better of me, then it was detouring past the sign at the other end and onto the road.  Nice and easy up round and up and through an easily opened gate set up below the Tors, and on up, a few new rocks on the road, from the blasting and loosening that's been going on.  Finally, the top of Castlerock track and a bit of a bite to eat.

Off down the trail we headed, me in the lead, feeling pretty on form all the way down to the first hairpin, only one or two damp spots, tho, a bit of livestock damage.  But, round the first hairpin and half way along, the old wetspot, mucky as, then round the second hairpin, more cattle damage hoof holes and then bad wet bits, bridge, climb started and wet spot we worked on years ago.  Stopped here and Nelson got his spade out and dug and cleared, then back to the next wetspot and we moved a bunch of rocks and built an armoured section, under which was a wee spring, then back up to between the hairpins and dug a few drains but not much else we could do.  After this we were done with maintenance so climb up, we did.  Clamber clamber clamber, did really well, cleaning everything til near the top just outright lost my balance, let Nelson past and onwards up, the last usual rocky steep getting both of us.

Off down the road, crap (literally, crap) flying off our wheels, through the gate, onwards down the road and back onto the Witch Hill trail, better in this direction, short climb then nice rolly return.  Across the top of Rapaki, couple of lights heading up, and straight into the singletrack climb, good pace, big ring the whole way up, finally crossing the road and heading into the singletrack again, blazing across then dropping down the offpistes, sheep trails in the tussocks then down the gravel, then at last, the jumpy (and rutty) trail down and back to the car.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Mcleans spin

H had a friend's birthday party at Orana Park, so O and me took him out there, with Jet and our bikes, and we went for a spin around the forest park.  Jet was great, running running running all the while, happily sniffing and looking and waiting all good boy material.  O was good too, put his seat up early in and it made it heaps better for him.  Annoyingly, my singlespeed rear wheel rubs the frame when i'm standing and cranking for the power.  Not sure what to do about that.  Oh well.  Anyway, Mcleans was as groomed and smooth as ever, but good to spin about with the boy.  And the dog loved it too.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Wednesday Night, Worsley Vicinity Pixies

another week another ride.  Fork service, and new front wheel bearings and new (2nd hand) front derailleur (no more rattle!) all completed last week, bike raring to go!

Collected from Selwyn St by Nelson we battled the traffic across to Worsley's, parking up top.  Nelson packed his folding spade and we headed on up.  Lots of pollen around, a little early this year perhaps?  gorse in flower too, adding to the motes under lights.  Didn't need our lights to start with, up under the power lines and around the corner and into where the washouts are worst, we stopped to move a few rocks in the hope of making it more rideable through this bit.  While we worked, it got a bit darker and lights were needed once we rode the previously unrideable bit and onwards to the next bit that needed some work - this time a small stream of water and diverting it to dry the track taken by us bikers.  Then on up, a cleaning more than last time, except for once or twice and we were at the turn off, gasping wheeze'n'cough.

Off up the grunt and turned off to the newby, Tommy's2, climbing a bunch more, me walking a short bit, Nelson cleaning the lot, and finally to the top.  Nelson leading off and we swooped and twisted our way down down down and down.  Cleaned all the bits I'd botched last time, but one tricky corner with roots caught me out, other than that cleaned it all good.  Our turn off turned up, doesn't look like anyone else has recognised it as a turn off, so we took it anyway, and cruised out the rest of it and out to the forestry track.  Climbing back up to the junction, bit of a rest, and then on back up the main Worsley track, cleaning all the bits we'd fixed earlier, and then stopping for Nelson to carve off a couple of lumps on a particularly bad piece of clay, which made another previously unrideable section rideable.  Good work.  Another wee tweak above it and it was all good, onwards up and off back up to top of B-line trails.

I led in, took the left hand turn and we bombed it, swoop swoop, jumpy, swoop, good run then around and into Fight Club, still in the lead, and really enjoying it, serviced fork performing superbly, getting me through the worst of the rutty sections lower down.  Out the bottom we stopped and had a look at the bottom of Tommy's2, then continued out and back upwards, 2nd time up here for the evening.  As we climbed this time we saw lights of another, then further up when he was climbing behind us, there was lots of noisy lights up on Fight Club, and a guy waiting at the bottom of the singletrack that ends out on this track.  At the Junction we headed over into Dave's/ACJoint/Deliverance, Nelson taking the lead and we skidded (it was really skiddy!) and slid our way down this insanely steep trail.  swooping it all, drops and drops, cleaning it all.  Finally when we made it over where i did my shoulder around the bend and there's a tree across the track.  Climbed up over it and spotted where we could bypass it so did some work on the route, climbed (fuck it's steep!) back up the trail a ways for the run in and cleaned the new line bypassing the tree and then into the final tricky corner and into the gunbarrel finish.  Big slump across exit trail...

Grovelly grunty granny climb out, a couple trees over the trail, carry, lift, and back on, then walking steep rutted washed out skidder tracks.  Nelson put in a good effort and rode heaps, but no one could manage the last corner...  Back up the forestry track, past the bottom of FightClub and for the 3rd time climb climb back up to the junction and then out the bottom section.  All up a good ride.  Fight Club's my favourite bit in there at the moment, for sure.  Dave's/Deliverance is pretty good just for it's shear on-the-edge -ness...