Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday evening McPleasantGreenwoodleyConda Rapido

Nelson picked me up from the usual spot and we traffic jammed through the rushing hour to McCormacks Bay, seeing a blackback gull get squashed dead by a truck ahead of us on Ferrymead bridge, which was weird.  At McCormacks we changed and pedalled upward.  First little bit of steepness got me wheezing, but after the first wee crest, at the water pipes, we stopped and gorged on blackberries, YUM!  Good dose of anti-oxidants to prep our muscles for the rest of the huffy grunt of a climb.  Cleaned, at a good pace, all the climbing bar that second hairpin, then onwards up through to the ziggy zaggy whereupon i totally blew out on the top three corners.  Straight into the road and up and around to Upper Major and up onto the singletrack where we climbed steadily on up at a good pace to the top.  Just before the top my gears started doing something very weird, and lo, there was a wee rock wedged between my two front chainrings, lifting the chain on each revolution making it (and me) think briefly it was shifting to a higher gear, then not...  Took a tweak to get it out, and onwards around the singletrack we treadled to the gate, over, checked out a dumped car just about tipping off the road, trashed tires, before heading for Broadleaf and up up up to the top for a bit of a breather and a munch.

Into the descent, 7pm, southerly clouds just above our heads, and sunshine everywhere below us, kinda bizarre.  The wind was pushing all the tussock over the trail, making route finding almost as hard as it used to be.  Nelson was kept on his toes finding where we were going, and i was kept on mine holding onto his tail.  Blitzed on down and through to the end, and down to the Greenwood entry and swooping through this, tail wind pushing us fast down through the ruins and into the tightness, the whole way me staying close behind.  I got a little baulked up on some of the upper rocks but quickly closed the gap on Nelson again and we skidded and drifted and leapt and weaved and rocketed down the trail, back and forth across the hill til finally through the rock gap and on down, pumping through the uppy downy section and around into Gloopy Gulch and pulling up, at my request, for a quick break.  Stretching my sore back here.   Fresh, we continued on, down the rocky steep section and into the swoopy rolly section, in which I had one of the closest near misses I've ever had.  My pedal hit a rock, catapulting my back wheel off the ground and pushing me forward over the bars.  My front wheel was heading off the trail and I envisaged the bike dropping from under me and me flying through the air down the hill onto rocks and tussocks.  That didnt happen.  Somehow, I managed to reel it in and carried on, adrenalin slowly building as I rapidly caught up to Nelson and followed him onwards down, getting faster and faster and faster.  Fantastic.  Around the corner and the fast section before the rocky ups has been cleaned up a bit and is really fast now, tho i did hit a hard square rock that jarred my front end.  Up the first up, I'd actually changed down too low, so blew it, but scooted onward and chased Nelson down, tailwind pushing through the swoopy back and forth flowy section then around the outside and a biiiig drift around the macracarpa and down to the gate.

Down to Godley, into the climb, both of us fucking up the first rocks.  Both hitting up the usual line and both falling left into the guts then blowing the climbing out.  Oh well.  got the rest.  but my climb from here was struggly for a while.  Once we were up on the flat it was all good.  Around the top, over the boardwalks and around and all the time getting faster and faster.  Blasting from the last wee bridge down, I spotted a rider ahead and in no time she was moving off letting us past and we blazed on down to Livingston and through to the wee fence bridge to a short rest.  Back stretch again.  On up, good climbing now up over the rocks and into the blasting flowy pumpy descent through and back over the PFMTBC rock and flying down to the last cattlestop and onto the road, 7.45 pm.

Into Anaconda and our speed got more and more intense.  SO fast, screaming down the trail.  The whole time me tight on Nelson's tail, thinking "Man a GoPro mounted on my chest right now would be awesome footage!!!"  Through the lower swoops back and forth and on one of the last ones, the one just before the horrible off camber corner, i got all crossed up, front wheel off the left of the trail, back wheel off the right, totally across the trail, still flying, my body weight continuing down the trail and i'm thinking, not unlike before, "here goes" but no, once again, somehow, I managed to escape inevitability and momentum's grasp and squirrelled back into line and "FAARRK that was close, AGAIN" onwards we flew.  Into the tail, swoop swoop and through the sheepstop into 'Briden's Bush', back getting sorer again, on down and finishing off flying down to a waiting rider (and dog - which Nelson was a bit concerned about) at the final jumpy sheepstop, across the paddock and into the carpark.

Grovelly, but pretty fast, for a while, climb out of Taylors then as we approached Nicholson Park i spotted a van coming so i hauled ass to get ahead of it, and streamlined myself down the hill.  Nelson got stuck behind the van, but didnt mind too much.  Finally, around the bays slipstreaming Nelson through Redcliffs increasing speed the whole way and back to the car, 8.30ish .

Good, fast ride.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday 25th Jan, Kaiteriteri Mtnbike Park.

Family all rolling on bikes, we rode from where we were staying at Bethany Kristian Kamp down the road and into the bike park.  Easy Rider now serving double duties as the beginning (or end) of the Great Taste Cycle Trail, O on his 24inch rigid Norco, H on his 20inch 8spd Merida kiddy mtnbike, and T on her (my ex) Schwinner, rode up Easy Rider, around Cruise Control, which climbs surprisingly high, us uttering words of encouragement the whole way.  Into Glade Runner and they got to enjoy some downwardsness, loving it, then into Revelation, at the end of which they all said they'd loved it and would do it again but had had enough and headed off down the forestry track back to Kamp, and i took off up Ziggy, then up Corkscrew all the way to the top.  Phew.  Hot...  Into the descent, whoopeeee, down down back and forth, and into Dive, cutting off heaps of the zigs and zags, and then climbing again, back up to Big Airs, which i rode up to Skullduggery. 

Skullduggery was longer than i'd remembered it, which was cool, and i had a great time on it, taking all the little XX lines and roosting and pumping my way around it.  Eventually I arrived at the Bayview/Rockface intersection and once again was intrigued by the new trail leading off to the south...  Took it.  It was fun.  swoopy and ziggy, like everything in there, but eventually came to a box of tools and no more trail.  middle of no where.!  oops.  Shouldered my bike and climbed straight up a ridge following a pink flagging tape line up to quite near the big tank.  From here i found Remedy and bombed down (or more, along and down) it, loving all the steep-as drops and root sections, before too long reaching Shady Lady and fanging it down here.  Once again, slightly longer than memory held it, but all too soon dropping into the bottom of the gully, (finding a small boy on a small bike on a bridge.? then his mother and another boy) into the climb, and finally repeating Revelation and then out down the road to Kamp and a well earned swim at the beach...

Tuesday (I think), 21st Jan, Totaranui - Awaroa - Totaranui with minor detour

Not much biking to be had in beautiful Totaranui, just lots of swimming and lounging around (drinking a lot of Hop Federation Red IPA... ahem (but oh so much better than MunkeeLizard) oh, and Golden Bear), so, finally, decided one day to brave the dust and the road.  Luckily there'd been a bit of rain to dampen the dust the day before, so it wasnt too bad.  Headed up the 4kms of just shy of 200m climbing to the turn off to Awaroa, and headed down that.  Maybe a 3rd of the way down, I took a short detour onto the Waiharakeke Track.  A steep, root infested jungle singletrack, seldom if ever walked, down into Waiharakeke Bay and the main Abel Tasman Track (naughty me, riding a walking track in a National Park...  Still - no sign saying "no bikes", so... fair game?  You decide).  If you look at it on a topomap, you'll see that after about 200 m it starts to follow a creek.  or rather, the track is the creek, or the creek is the track, anyway, i got to there and turned back, having to negotiate the roots and slickness back up, walking some of it.

Back onto the road, mostly down, the odd up, and then final flat to Awaroa Inlet.  Tide was out, so rode around the edge of it for a wee ways, turned around and rode back.  Only met 1 car on this road the whole way.  Climbed back up to the Totaranui Rd and bombed down this, overtaking a woman who was going very slow riding her brakes the whole way, while i was tucked into aerostylez and pedalling hard out of corners...  16kms total around 500m alt climbed and descended.

Wednesday 15th Jan, Rameka-isation

On our way to Pohara and Totaranui, I was dropped at the turn off to Canaan Downs, pedalled hard for a start, til the heat started getting to me, then just knuckled in for the duration.  Sweet thing was, first vehicle met was when i'd hit the first shade and had already decided to stop.  Dust cleared and i continued on, meeting two more (one each direction) just before the saddle.  Rested in the shade at the top, allowing the inward bound car to get ahead, and then hit the descent.  Two more vehicles before the cattle stop, and a bump in the road nearly knocked my hands off the handlebars just there too.  Easy cruising through the Gathering site and left onto the Rollercoaster.

Grunt of a wee climb then up and down and through, getting the eye in once in the forest and had a nice wee blast through to Harwood's carpark.  Rode on through this, hello to the tourists, signed in the book, and on up to Rameka start.  Big rest here.  Lay in the shade and just chilled a good 10 minutes.

Into the bush, the shade providing much needed relief.  Easy going start, mostly on the level, not pushing like i did last time with Nelson on my tail.  Obviously a fair bit of traffic had been through recently.  Where possible, when their treads had pushed up a mound of dirt on the trail, i rode on top of that to push it down - maintenance on the fly.  Eventually got to the hairpin corner and into the true down, instantly interupted by a recent tree fall over which the bike had to be lifted.  Flow reinstated I started to bomb it.  Into Dozer's section, i took the usual left twisty trail, cleaning it without dabbing the corner that's always caught me in the past, across the Dozer track and across and back round and onto it, the bottom corner newly bermed, railed, flying down and round into the the clearing.  Then down down down the rutty ex-4wd trail, popping, pumping and jumping into the gully.

Clambering up the marble face,off for a second, then back on, finish the climb then the descent began again, rocky, flowy fun, this bit always longer than i remember it, through to the start of the Packhorse Track.  Awesomeness ensued, with me ripping down this, finding it for some reason different, like more hard work, than memory would have had it.  Not far before the road crossing, at high speed, I heard the familiar fish fish fish fish of a pinch flat, (nearly the same spot as on the PFMTBC trip, and it took me a good 30 metres to scrub off all my speed.  Found a spot on the outside of a corner with enough room to swap out tubes (in case someone showed up (at speed)), swapped, pumped and got going again.  Across the road and with more confidence over the jumpy bit before the next road crossing (on account of not having a slow leak like last time) and into the lead in to Great Expectations. 

Another awesome blast down here, hairy outside off camber corners, into the trees, swoopy swoopy, around the outside, biiiig view (and drop) off the side, back into the trees and darkness and pine needles and speed sweet speed.  in and out, back and forth, more times than I remembered, then into the re-gen, bombastic haulin' ass, back and forth, back and forth, lower and lower til finally splashing through the creek at the bottom and stalling...

Into 2Klicks, drops, clambering, tight, popping, Do or Die - took the Die this time, river bed section, and finally onto the road again, speeeeed and squirrelly negotiation into the entry to 1Klick, fanging into here, and remembering the first wooden feature had a back to it, so flew into it, and it nearly faceplanted me, kicked my rear wheel so high i thought i was a goner.  Kept it under control and adrenalin thickening up my blood, i continued on down and out, taking every little bit of trail i could find, before hitting the gravel and powering on down.

Road, all the way to Pohara and a waiting family for 2 nights at the camp ground in our new tent (which has served us very well so far...), before heading into Totaranui (which is another story).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday, R&R Scottswood Lancewood Wortaloo DOCtor...

Finding myself in Nelson for 2 nights,so, hooked up a ride.  Rode and met Ian outside the Prince Albert 9.20am and we headed up Maitai valley in his truck, parking at the start of Sharland's Rd.  Over the gate and off up the road, 9.30ish, chatting and cruising a good pace, occasionally the strong southerly wind pushed us along, otherwise, a lovely sunny day, watching the kms click by, passed some nice fresh log rounds, and following a gark in the trail, then a couple kms later a trailer with a blown wheel and no drawbar, full of nice fresh log rounds, stuck on the track.  Another km and we were at the top.  I had a wee go at the grunty wee climb to the start, but front wheel washed out and I had to walk, an hour after leaving the bottom.

Into the trail, sticking close to Ian's tail, really enjoyed all the switchbacks, and was very pleased to find all of them rideable and not one was nearly as bad as anything on the 629.  Awesome descent, and he warned me well before the first grunty wee climb turned up, gear shifted early, and upwards for a bit, then into douglas fir forest, and a few ups and downs, twists and turns.  All the time i felt like Ian was holding back in order to guide me through.  I reckon he could easily have ripped through here, and i would have followed merrily, probably being caught out here or there.  Was a wee while and we rolled down and through out to Bob's Fern Rd.  Here, instead of dropping straight in, we treadled further up the road to higher up the Scottswood Wiggles and tucked in here.

Flat out down, weaving and wending through the forest, transitioning into Lancewood Wiggles, and on down and through, flowing and speeding, bridges came and went, climbs too.  Eventually, popped out onto the other end of Bob's Fern Rd.  Across, and into PWortaloo.  Another cool descent, in and out of native, the odd bridge(?), the odd uppy bit, and Ian pointing out entrances and exits here and there from other trails (incl SuppleJack, which sounds like one I'll hit up next time I'm around).

And, finally, What the DOCtor ordered.  A little less tech, but some really blasty speediness, and the odd off camber corner that would SO catch you out if you weren't onto it.  Eventually, we were rolling down the bottom of the valley, and I was like, Wow, is that the end?  and it was.  Rolled on out, down the last of the gravel, over the gate and back to the truck, an hour and a quarter after leaving the top of R&R.  Nice!  a longer downhill than ascent!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Thursday evening Worsley Playpen up down repeat until done.

Picked up car from spenny repair job, and drove to top of Worsley's.  On the way there realised i had no water, so swung by Andrew's.  Didnt look like anyone home, no answer to knock, so helped myself to their tap, then surprised a just woken Jenna from dodgy hidden spot behind trellis...  oops.  no matter.  she was fine with it. 

Parked up the hill, changed and waited and in no time Nelson arrived, with Craig behind, riding up.  Craig helped Nelson with some suspension settings, and so i got going ahead just so's i wouldn't be puking my ring out trying to keep up.  They caught me as i was delayering, and we got going.  Struggled my way up behind them and cleaned pretty much the whole way up.  Up the left to the B-Line starters, and on up to Hangloose.  Nelson led in, me following, Craig going it easy on his retro beast.  Excellent run down.  I stopped at the jump to tighten my thru-axle, while Nelson walked back up to try out the drop.  A bit further down, after the clearing we spotted a trail off to the left, but took the right hander on downwards, relishing the steepness and the edgy-ness, finishing off rolling out the bottom and hitting up the climb back up. 

Back up the main drag, cleaning the tiny section i stuffed up first time round, and nearly dying at the top.  On upwards up the trail to the very top again, and back into Hang Loose, this time checking out the beginnings of a line off to the right before the clearing, and finding it a dead end, but also exploring a bit and finding a cliff over the edge, and hearing voices, and Nelson investigated and it was some climbers... Back up onto the trail, and took the left hander this time, which kinda went back to the original Tommy's 2, but dropping a fair way first, and some really steep and hairy, finally some familiar Tommy's 2, taking it all the way down for the first time since the first time...  nice to see a rideable line around that silly wooden jump...

Back up the access track and into up the steep nasty little guts track, me gasping, up through to the cliff top and into Waynes World.  I led in and rolled it, having a nice time, but as i got to Fight Club i realised no one was following me, so stopped and waited.  and waited.  and waited.  Then started walking back up, up, up and nearly at the top finally see them coming.  Nelson's pedal had caught a wire as he entered the rockgarden at the top and he supermanned, thankfully into something soft.  We continued on down, Nelson tight on my tail, all the way down and out the bottom for the third time. 

Back up the access track and up the guts again, this time just to the pylon clearing and turned back for the oldskool descent back down to the access track, up that for the last time and down and out back to the cars around 8pm.  Awesome ride.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Monday Night Solo

Drove across town and parked on Palatine near the Centaurus Rd shops, departing the car just after the 6pm news and weather, earplugs in, phone on random - providing a fantastic soundtrack the whole ride.

Headed up Major Aitken Drive, then Kenmanure, and onto cHuntsbury for the grunts to the top.  A lot of work has been done on Huntsbury to discourage dipshit 4wders, but how long it'll last, we'll see.  Peaked out at the Summit Rd about 40 minutes in and had a stretch, for I was sore.

Off round the summit i went, tail wind behind me, flicking and pumping my way along, early oncomers kindly moving aside to let me through.  I struggled on the ups, but made up for it on the downs.  Can't say i like what they've done around the pond, the humped nature of the fill is a little disconcerting.  Stopped for a rest at our old resting spot below Sugarloaf and munched a partial OSM before continuing my refreshed way with the wind towards Vic.  Through the top and into Thomson and Thompson, nearly taking out a guy marking a harriers run on the lower one, then down through Kiwi and on up the road towards Worsley's.

Huffed and chuffed up to top of Flying Nun and had another stretch up top.  Also, chucked some air in the back tire, cos i'd had a couple of near pinch flats further back along the summit trail.  At the approach of another rider, i dropped in.  Rear tire felt a little less squishy and it was great to be on the once familiar trail again.  A few new humpty features after the second hairpin were interesting.  Otherwise it all flowed very nicely for me.  Railing and hopping, pumping and popping my way down, enjoying it all the way.  Through the half way mark and really getting the speed up, doubling all the yumpies along below the road, railing round the corner and missing the lower new bits entirely cos i wasn't expecting them.  Finally, climbed out onto the road a new man.

Back down through the Kiwi and up the road again, all the way up to top of Vic.  Couldn't be arsed taking the upper Thomson.  Straight into the steepest direct line towards the see-saw, dropping down the rocky drops, by-passing the see-saw itself (wasn't in the mood), and straight down the paddock to the rockgarden and gummies, railing the long way across them and back then into the sweet little left hander dropping down loving one of my old favourites, eventually out to the skidder site.

Took a look at the top of Dazza's, but chose Shazza's instead, and popped and railed down here, across the fire road then back across and into Brents, where i took the most direct line down into bottom of Rad^Sick and out to Flow and then into Bridges and NuBridges and down to HiddenValleyLink track climbing, very slowly but cleaning all of it up to the pylon and finally blazed off down Old Skool.  Excellent blast down here, feeling pretty worn out but good.  Final drops through the rutty bastards quite tricky but cleaned, and out the bottom of the valley.  Recognised Nick playing on the jumps track so stopped for a chat, then rolled on down to the car, arriving just in time for the 8pm radio news.

Great to be back on the bike again, and to revisit a few old friends of trails...

Saturday, January 04, 2014

First ride for 2014, Menziesii

2nd of Jan, 2014, Tom and me headed off on the bikes.  Hup Decanter Bay Rd, waiting at the top for a couple stock trucks through and bombed the gravel down into the valley and then climbed and climbed, nice hot morning, round past Rehutai and down the steep into Menzies.  Past a bull and met a woman on a bike heading back up.  Rested a bit and she came back to us, freaked by the bull...  Turned out she was from the bach below ours!  Rode past the bull with her then Tom proceeded to get away from me at the same rate i was getting away from her, spacing us out for the climb up.

Past Rehutai again, stock truck up there and getting moving, so Tom and me pedalled hard over the last rise to stay ahead of it, and then bombed on down round into Decanter, awesome views to along all the heads to behold.  Down into the valley and started on the climb, about half way to the first hairpin the truck turned up and we stopped to let it's dust settle, and he stopped to comment on how fast we were...  "You guys were flying!"

Onwards upwards, checking on the Cape Gooseberry, should be ripe in a month.  and then over the top and down the seal chip to Little Ak.  Back up to the house and into togs and straight back down for a good swim.