Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday near repeat of last

Had a thing after work, so didnt make it home til about 6, Nelson ringing me as i approached my gate saying him and Craig were already up at the carpark top of Worsley's Rd.  Got sorted, in the car and on the road by about 6.25, making the top of the hill at 6.45, flicking a txt to Nelson saying, Starting Riding Now, and 5 minutes later he replied saying meet us at top of Dave's, probably right when i was riding past them there, but i didnt hear it so cleaned my way up, passing a couple girls struggling in the rocky bits, Jet loping along ahead, and making the bottom of the Body Bag at 7pm.  Bit of a breather and Mr Sutcliffe turns up from the B-Line zone, saying "have ya seen a couple of girls?"  Bit of a chat, and I took off only to stop to take a call from Nelson saying "where are ya?", and Nick rode past off up for another lap before the girls made it up.  I said to Nelson I'd meet them at the start of Fight Club, so i took the original Tommy's down, flowing and jumping quite good near the top, but then totally muppetising myself in the techy rock section (veered Right), and then finding some weird new lines off on the left.

Hooked up with Nelson and Craig, and we headed up the internal 4wd track, them leaving me behind in no time.  Up to the cliff-top, then on up the Original to the entrance to Debbie Does Dallas.  I led off into here and boy was it nice compared to last week.  No grease, and lotsa grip and fun.  Brilliant trail down.  Got to the point where I peeled left on the sidling track last week, and tried out the continuation down this time.  A few swoopy corners, some steep stuff, then round onto a wee narrow North Shore boardwalk over a log which none of us were game to balance on.  Continued on across the slope, up and down, sweet rollers, then a steep drop leading into a rugged chute, which i baulked on, Nelson rode, and Craig baulked on too.  Not far from here was the end.  Into the climb, once again Craig and Nelson leaving me behind, and we met up at the Junction.  Craig had had enough so bailed home, and Nelson and me continued back up the guts track to the top of Waynes World, watching Nick and then the girls rolling through that as we were climbing.

Into the descent, Waynes World, Party On, Excellent.  Fanged on down, into Fight Club and rolling and popping, one of Nick's girl's brakes squealing away behind us, then disappearing.  Fight Club is riding nicely, except for one horrible loose dry bit under a tree where it veers to avoid a windfall from storms past.  The greasiest section of last week was fast and smooth, tho more rutted out now than the past.  Back into the bottom and back into the climb, the young dude on a burly Santa Cruz who passed me last week, and had passed us earlier, passed us again, and Nelson took off to sit on his tail for the climb.  I plodded on up, tho faster than the last round, pushing it for strength building, and from the Junction it was about 7.45 and the sun was lower and we figured another round, or Dave's, would have been getting pretty dark, so, we bailed out the lower trails and back to the cars.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Wharfdale with venom

Tom picked me up at about 8am and we trundled in his truck, north, then via South Eyre Rd to View Hill, through all the gates to the end of the road.  We both had our dogs, my Jet, and his, Jake.  Noticed a few wasps around and commented on how we should probably have brought antihistamines along for the ride.  Oh well, we thought.  Hit the trail around 9.20 at a good pace, climbing steadily to start with.  I'd had a reasonable sized night the night before, so was not feeling on top of the weather, and Tom hadn't ridden since our short Menzies Bay ride early in the new year, so I didn't think we were going very fast at all, but as it turned out we were anything but slow.  All the downs on the way in were awesome, all the ups worked up a good sized sweat, but it was kinda overcast and reasonably cool in the bush, so was pleasant riding all round.  The dogs were awesome.  Mostly off ahead, but once the trail pointed down, I'd catch them up, tell them to wait, they'd let me past then would stay on my tail from there til I started climbing again.  Really cool, seeing them enjoying themselves so much.  A few times, as I was gasping for air, I thought to myself, 'sure would suck if a wasp flew in the mouth...'.  We got to where Nelson and me got last time we did this in seemingly half the time it took us then.

Clambered up the rocky section, over to the creek, and walked up the steep rocky bit after the creek.  Up above, got riding again once things levelled off a bit, and rolled on happily, blasting the descents, and riding well on the ups.  At some stage, I thought I'd been stung by something in my eye.  It really hurt, but it cleared and on I went.  Just before the couple of hairpins not far from the Saddle, I caught up to a guy who was obviously struggling with the technicality.  Greeted and passed, and proceeded to clean a couple of really tricky rooty ups.  On up through the hairpins, around through a small creek and on up in no time to the saddle, basically on an hour square.  Not long after, Tom rolled in, and a wee while later the guy did too, dogs barking vociferously at him.  It'd taken him 2 hours and he was still game enough to continue onwards to do the entire loop out Lees, Ashley Gorge and right back round from Oxford(!). (whilst riding back I thought, how could he miss out on this!)

Tom and me turned back towards the car and rolled on down.  Had a great blast on the downs, ducking and weaving, popping and diving.  Jet and Jake having themselves a nice time.  After the worst of the creek crossings and the rocky interlude, I was climbing, and breathing heavily, and I felt a wasp suddenly in my mouth.  Quick as I could I rolled it out with my tongue, coughing and spitting it away, but I could taste the venom, horrible flavour it is.  Wasn't sure it'd stung me, other than the taste, but the roof of my mouth was going numb, and my swallowing becoming harder.  I upped the pace, figuring to get as close to the car as quickly as possible in case everything started turning to custard.  I was still breathing, so hoped I'd probably be okay.  And I'm sure the adrenalin of fear of my impending suffocation coupled with riding fast down blissful singletrack worked in my favour.  Eventually, just after about the only tree across the track, I stopped and wondered where Tom was.  I waited.  I walked back just a little and waited some more.  Finally he appeared, saying he'd had to stop to get his shirt off on account of the wasp that'd flown in there.  He'd gleaned a few stings on his front for his efforts.  So, on we rode, blasting down the 2nd to last, main, descent, with all the bridges in it, awesome riding.  Climbed well to the gate, then it was the final wide open blast.  Throat getting sorer...

Arrived at the truck and loaded up.  No antihistamines in the first aid kit... drove out, through to Oxford, and thankfully found some Loraclear at the wee supermarket there.   In the mirror i could see my uvula was twice its normal length, and the flap of skin behind it was all pink and swollen and kinda flappy.  Both kinda made me speak like I was snoring a little.  Scarfed a pie and a Ginger Beer each in Oxford, then figured I was feeling okay, so we went and met Nelson and we all spent a couple hours on the chainsaws at Harvey's woodlot.  Got another trailer load back to Nelson's and the families all came out and we drove go-karts and had a BBQ.  All good.  Cheers!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thursday night Quick Jet

Dropped O at Cubs dead on 6.30, then Jet and me navigated our way across the city (of annoyingly slow drivers) to Worsleys Rd, and up to the top.  Not sure what time this was, but after passing one rider, then 2 more, and cleaning every inch of the main drag to the bottom of the Body Bag, it was 7.05 pm.  Rain starting to fall a couple hundred metres shy of the top.  Up the entrance trail, meeting 3 others at the top, and heading off in search of a new one a certain Mr Sutcliffe had told me about, Debbie Does Dallas.  Found it, and headed in.  Fuck it was greasy.  Within metres my tires were caked and slick as shit, and considering the trail is quite off camber, and near the start here- under deep dark Douglas fir, I was grasping for control.  Anything steep was locking up my tractionless tires, to the point where I actually had to step off the bike as I was crashing.  Back onboard, and the trail levelled off a bit, along below the big cliff.  In the dry, this is gonna be one kick ass trail.  Half way across this section, the trail peels right, but also continues across the hill slope.  I stayed straight on across, and it did a couple of downward curves then continued across, eventually reaching the lower reaches of Fight Club, which I tucked into and rolled on down, tractionlessness only getting the better of me once or twice, but otherwise surprisingly good in here...  Even the bottom was rideable out to the logging road.

Up the track, marveling at the fact it was only an hour since I'd dropped O off. Up to the junction, then up the guts track, steeeeep, but riding it all up, under the pylons and on up.  Stopped to put music on, and watch a few riders coming down Tommy's - some totally losing it, another two like pro's, flying down - then i was onwards up to the cliff top.  Hung a left and dropped into Waynes World, excellent blast down here, watching Jet's paws slip out now and then, rolling carefully but smoothly through to Fight Club, and swooped and rolled my way down this, getting jiggy on a few corners, but rolling on down the hill and out the bottom again.  Back into the climb and up the junction, rain easing off now.  Surprised by a young guy on a flash-harry Santa Cruz with massively wide bars suddenly behind me, let him past and off up he blazed ahead.  Having had enough of the damp and grime, Jet and me bombed off down the lower trails, taking the furthest past the water tank, and down and out to the car, dirt embedded in tires flinging up and around, and Jet flying like his name suggests, and we were back to the car at 8.05.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Sunday morning Kranks

Cloudy tops of hills in the distance as I pushed into the head wind to Steve's for 9.15am start.  Got there to find Wayne, Wazzah, Andypandy and Stevo out front.  No other shows so we got rolling, deciding on Crapaki over cHuntsbury for no real reason.  Crapaki was as i remembered it, having been a while since heading up it, last time was on the Troll...    smooth and dull, but I pushed a good gear and survived the journey.  Helluva head wind up the top half, slowing an already slowish progress, and while waiting at the top the wind was very cooling.

Off up round the Vernon, feeling pretty good up here, tailwind assisting the first half of the climb.  On round and over the top for a near miss over the droppy bit below the road before the gate, my shorts getting stuck on my seat.  Good clip round the Traverse, short breaks in a couple of spots, and tailwind assist in the final throes to Vic Park where we had a shady sheltered stop in the trees before heading down Coffee Break and not over the see-saw and down into the Gummies where I had a sweet wee run, ending up down in the skidder site to find a Giant demo day setting up.  I took a Trance SX for a wee spin.  not bad, i spose. 

Off down Spazza's and then into Brent for a weird left hand high line, me wrongturning and Andrew getting in under me, following him blasting down through to the bottom.  Into Bridges, then Flow, Andy staying pretty good on my tail in some bits in there, then speedy blast down to Hidden Valley Linker, blowing the first climb out of the (dry) creek clambering up round the hairpins and on up up up. 

Into Old Skool, excellent speed and fun times, tailwind pushing pushing, then head wind across the pumpy then tail wind again, and finally out the bottom, rutty section getting the better of Andrew and when we got to the bottom it was only 11.20.  Down to the 'eatery' and probably not going back there...

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Family Bottle

Bit of a tootle out at Bottle Lake today.  Bit of a shit in some ways.  Rear brake on singlespeed not working, so took it pretty easy.  Family in tow, T, O and H, plus Tane and Lisa, and of course Jet the dog running alongside.  Had a good long break out at the beach, with Tane, H, Jet and me all swimming a bunch, then into the ride and staying back with H is really very slow.  Eventually we all got split up, and seconds after H and me leaving T, her rear derailleur got eaten by the wheel, locking it up completely.  Someone helped her out and she got moving, and got a message ahead via someone else to Lisa. Meanwhile, H and me were moseying through the middle and stopped and ate a heap of blackberries, then got back to the carpark just after Lisa and the other two boys.  She took all the boys and the dog home, while i went to find T.  Found her not too far away, and sorted out the hanger and derailleur a bit better so she at least could pedal without it skipping the rest of the way back.  Derailleur and hanger (part of frame) are stuffed.  Might be RIP for this frame...  as for H's bike...  ugh.  too slow and painful, he needs O's bike, and O's new 26 inch machine needs to be received and built.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Waitangi Day Special

Left home I'm not sure when, but entered the Crescent for the Farm Track at 10.30 am, earplugs in, music on random, I struggled my way to the top, cleaning everything, grannying away, passing lots of walkers, out the top and across the road onto the Vernon trail, then descending in a very cruisy way down to Rapaki top.  Loads of folk, walking or biking around these parts.  Largely ignored, I cruised into the 'Red Zone' entering Witch Hill trail, cleaning all of this and getting out onto the road at its end, whereupon a very mellow cruise ensued til I went over the, now locked, gate before the Tors, and the climb up to top of Castle Rock track.

Some guy was wandering up the road, so i just dropped straight in and bombed the way down to the hairpin and across to the next and then down some more til climbing on and on up to and over to top of Bridle Path.  Bit of a rest here at about an hour in, 11.30, in the tiny patch of shade provided by the fenced off building and loads of people about here.  Helmet off, and a bit of a drink of water, then back into it, over the stile and carrying for a bit then riding, walking, carrying, riding riding and walking up to the Gondola building and loads of people about from the cruise ship parked in the harbour below.  Onto the trail and riding over the zig and zag trail down to Cavendish Saddle, loads of people here too; everybody enjoying their day off work, I tucked into the climb and clambered whatever pace i could muster up through the spaniards and gate finally to the top of Mt Pleasant where a true rest could be had.  A muesli bar and drink and rest and it was even.

Off the top and moseying, good blast down here, meeting a few runners, rolling and flowing off down to Greenwood, beating some climber guy in, then catching up to and overtaking some guy on a new blue Specialized just after Gloopy Gulch, bombing off down ahead and blasting all the rest of the way through and out the bottom to an audience where to have a bit of a chat.

Next up it was into Godley.  Alas, now only 3 of 5 successful clambers over the opening section, I continued and climbed my way up. Once onto the level, I spotted someone ahead, catching him at the usual break spot, where he pulled up and I carried onwards down, pulling up for a bunch of climbers then continuing my speedy way down, some beautiful flow barrelling me on down, through Livingston, climbing again and over to Breeze, usual floaty flowy cruise, out and back over PfmtbcRock, and flying out to the Col.

Into Anaconda, "In Coming!" to some runners, pass then, blazing.  Rapido like the other night, flying, back and forth, and round, "Incoming!" and runner steps aside, flow past her, jump, weave, dive, and out the bottom onto the Tail where my back needed a bit of a rest but I flowed on down and out, finally resting up through the very very full carpark.

In by the surf club, up the alley, carry up the steps more and more steps. at 12.50pm, 2 1/2 hours after I left home, to the bach, and party celebrating Joy and Jerry's 30th anniversary together.  Happy Anniversary!!!  My last RedIPA from HopFed and a couple of delicious swims later, she's been a grand 6th of Feb.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Sunday morning Eastern cruise

Very rough night, bugger all sleep, so I couldn't be arsed riding to Steve's, or Ferrymead Bridge and riding out to Scumner with them, so drove and parked outside DotCom, meeting Marie there.  She tootled off ahead of us, and the boys, Steve, Andy and Wazzaaah turned up shortly thereafter.  Off up Richmond Hill we cruised, Steve filling me in on the bad news about Charlotte as we rode.  Caught up to Marie at the top of the main drag (up by Sanscrit Pl), and we all rode on up from there together.  Onto the road and on up to Greenwood start.

Into here, it's been a while, and on over to the ruins, good pace held by some through.  Bit of a regroup and off down, blazing away, cleaning the top section much better than Thursday, and boogying on down the rest of it, keeping a good pace but feeling pretty relaxed about it all.  Into the straight before the rocky ups, and there's these two douchebags fixing a flat, ON the fucking track.  Had to totally lose all speed to get round the tosser's big ass.  Same for everyone else.

Onto Goddles, and w00t! cleaned the rocky start climb, much better effort than Thursday's - but, admittedly was feeling a tad fresher.  That's 3 out of the last 4 times.  Cleaned up the rest of it, sort of chasing down the douches, but then we had a break on the top ridge above Scarbro, before blasting down to Livingston, over to Breeze, and final hoon down And-the-conda, Andy on my tail, commenting on how he can't understand how i can go so fast :)

Over the hill to coffee at DotCom, not long after 11.30.  all up a damned fine ride.  Lots of nice breaks and rests leaving me not too worn out, which is exactly what i needed after last night's debacle of sleep.