Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday's Blowhard, lives up to it's name

Out to Nelson's with Jet in the car, about 10, and heading out 10.30ish round through a few frost patches to the end of Maori Reserve Rd, parking up to find a few vehicles and could see some hunters and dogs heading up the hill.  Got riding, 11ish, and ground our ways up, blowing bloody hard, what with the fresh start, Jet leading out miles ahead, excited at the smells of the other dogs ahead of him.  Met them pretty much at the high point before the drop to the big mud puddle where the true climb begins.  Also up there was a quad bike with a dog trailer, so obviously other hunters were ahead too.  Jet was great with these first dogs, hello hello, and straight on with us.

Lot of walking up the rocky steep to start, then a bit of riding and more walking and more riding and a bit more walking just for good measure.  All feeling pretty good, Jet bounding around, covering twice the distance of us, up and back, up and back.  Eventually, the sort of avenue along the ridge bit of a descent and we met the other dogs (and their owners), a couple of which weren't quite so friendly...  Jet was good tho, and had no trouble and on we went, a bit more climbing and walking, Nelson cleaning heaps of it, but not able to use his 42t the whole time cos of some gyp it was giving him.  I was certainly glad of my new 40t.  My old 32:36 ratio would have been a bastard and a lot more walking would have ensued.

Awesome descent down the ridge, then the climbing wasn't too bad, on and on it went, not too much muck about, a few bits of ice around, frozen frosty ground in shady sections, but mostly pretty dry the whole time...  bloody good actually.  By the time we were approaching the top, was around 2 hours, so far, and legs were getting pretty tired.  Made the top and it was blowing a fair bit of nor'west up there, not overly warm either.  Chatted to the 'crowds' up there (an older man and a younger woman (father daughter?), and a separate young guy with a foxy called Jack).  Around 1.10pm it was.  1.20-30 we departed.

Off down, and Nelson lost it in the tussocks, couldn't clip out in time and flopped off the bike.  was spectacular and luckily non-hurting...  I took the lead for a bit, finding a good detour round some mucky shit as we re-entered the forest, and bombing on down, smooth as smooth can be, the 5.Spot becoming more and more a part of me.  Jet was never far behind and was really good about stepping aside for us to go ahead on the fast bits, then catching up and cruising on ahead when we were going slow.  Some sections we bombed down and it was glorious.  Past the Bypass Track and onwards down across the ridge.  Sweet flow, a few climbs and downs and suddenly into the steep walking climb.  Took a lot out of me.

Once clear of it we were riding again and not far up there I got a good cramp in my thigh, yowch!  Stopped for a bit of a rest of it, and then once we got going again there was the top...  W00t! down down down swoop and holla, til Nelson got a flat.  Fixed that, and not long after came upon one of the first dogs we saw, injured, fair bit of blood, walking along in a bit of a daze, not fussed by Jet,  but radio collar on (so his owners will hopefully have found him).  Got going again and the last few metres of the last wee climb hurt but then it was into the really rough stuff.  I got bent out of shape on one bit, got going again, cocked up again, then flowed on down.  No troubles the rest of the way with some sections of insane speed.  Bike was superlative in it's performance.  Wicked.  The bottom seemed to take ages to turn up, a couple stops on the way to make sure Jet was with us - he was never very far behind even when we'd been absolutely hauling ass.  One very close call when my front wheel seemed to roll on about 3 babyhead sized rocks in quick succession, tipping me trackwards til i somehow hooked it up and kept it rolling down the steeeeep bits and finally over the frost hauling up by the muddy puddle, the smell of brakes very very hot.  Nelson's were even starting to fade/seize up.  My XT's were cool as cucumbers.

Round the puddle and up over and on down the 4wd.  Careful round the ruts, and back to the car, 2.30 on the dot.  Awesome day.  Weather couldnt have been better, trail was mint, bike was great, and the dog was the best!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Summit

I drove Obe-wan and our bikes up to the top of Vic Park, and me and him rode the Summit Traverse across to Vernon and back.  He did awesomely, and really enjoyed it.  Didn't complain about any of the climbs, just knuckled in and cleaned them, and he's a total natural at the few technicalities.  Had one off where he just stepped off the bike, on the greasy wee rock feature in the shade just round from the Lava Flow.  the Spot was flowing pretty good too, with it's new 40t Lone Ranger on the inside of the cassette.  Have removed the 15t, and so far it's not bad.  Used the 17t a lot round the summit trail.

Friday night Up and Back down

Not enjoying my tires the last few rides, in the afternoon I slapped on a couple of newbies, a 2.4 Nobby Nic up front and a 2.35 Hans Dampf on the back.  Once mounted the Hans Dampf looks bigger, so I think I'll swap them round.  And, as soon as I got the front on, I could hear the hiss of a flat... didnt have time to repair til Nelson turned up to pick me up.

And so we headed out to Sumner and up to Evans Pass.  Parked up and headed up Greenwood, as we'd not headed up this for quite some time.  Twas good checking out the trail on the way up, spotting where all the potentially dodgy bits were.  Ride up was good, mostly.  Trail condition was good, slightly damp, but not sticky or greasy; well packed.  One or two sloppy bits higher up, but lower down they've filled most of the dips with good piles of rocks.  Jolly good on the 5.Spot.  My climbing was a bit diabolical.  I've still to get used to the full squish in climbing mode.  Hardtail technique doesn't work and I've much to learn.  A case of full suspension NOT improving my riding... as a result, I dabbed a lot, straddle-walked the bike a bit, and spun out a fair few times too.  In the corners below the ruins I put a few more psi into my rear shock, taking it up to 200, and fiddled with the rebound too.  We carried on up and it was much betterer!  Made the ruins, and continued on up up and up.  Surprisingly level above here before the techy rockfest to the top, much of which I walked.

7.47pm at the top, Nelson fiddling with his gears, then I led the way down, wide open.  Total blast down.  Muppetry over the bit where you're looking down into Lyttelton, but once out into the tussocks smoothed it up and got some groove on.  Lost the track a couple times in the dark under the tussocks, but got faster as we progressed.  Into Greenwood proper and what a revelation.  For the first time i was 'getting' the bike, and it was a blast.  Totally comfortable, flying over rocky sections that have stalled me so much in the past.  Fantastic.  Nelson noticed i entered a couple sections like i would have on the BFe, a little slower, but then once in them realisation obviously hit me and I accelerated through them and out.  W00T!  Down down and out the bottom.  Big grins.  I reckon the Hans Dampf needs to be on the front, grip wise too.

Then across to Godley cos Nelson wanted to just hit up the wee beginning.  He cleaned it in one, I failed once, failed twice...    Then turned around and back to the car and home, picking up some beer on Stanmore Rd at 8.50, before they closed at 9.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday arvo quick dog

Landed back from Wellington at 2.15pm, originally because I was going to be doing the school pick up and taking to swimming run, which it turned out the dad of O & H's swimming buddies was able to do, so I got home, faffed about, got dog and bike sorted and headed for the hill.  By the time traffic let me across there it was already 4pm, so we didn't have a lot of light.  Parked up top of Worsley's, Jet and me headed up the main drag for a bit, me wheezing and him running out ahead.  Got my wheeze under control and at the Junction I decided I didnt want to deal with the ruts and muck and rocks and grease of the main drag, so we headed into the forest and up the guts track.  Rode most of the way to start with, but puffed out before the pylon gap and walked a little then managed to ride it on up to clifftop and on up the Originale, all the way out to the top.  Turned back around and headed down peeling left into Tommy's.  Took it pretty easy all the way down, popped a few jumps, still getting used to the bike, not trusting the terrain, grease around any corner, rutted out berms, off camber deluxe, and also the low angle sun was totally giving me gyp flashing my eyes through the trees.  Couple of near misses, but mostly a good run down, then hit back up the central track to clifftop again and headed down into the old original in here, then blended that onto the lower Wayne's World, then straight into Fight Club.  Blasted down this, great whoops, again still not trusting the traction so much.  Cleaned everything i didnt on Tuesday and rolled out the bottom.  The beginning of the climb back out wasnt so bad, but further up it got shit again and i ended up walking heaps of it just cos there was NO traction.  rode a bit, walked a bit then rode and walked the last to the Junction.  Headed down here, taking the righthand low line and missing the messy log drop, popped and rolled out down past the tank and into the rest of it out onto the splecky messed up open main drag, then rolled on down the road to the car clearing the tires nicely.  Jet trying to hump another trail dog as we went past.  All up about an hour, maybe less; good for us both tho.  Sun was fully down by the time i was driving the the road.  Traffic was a fucking nightmare home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tuesday Muckvicars Round 3

Nelson picked me up from mine and we cruised across town post rush hour.  Parked next to Cracroft park and rode up Worsley Rd, checking out the bottom of Farside as a possible option, and choosing it, then regretting the choice.  Not really a climbing track, and greasy as shit, so quite difficult really...  Finally got up onto the road and continued our merry way up, a while since we'd done this climb, having parked up top so often recently, and our legs suffering from the lack of riding in recent weeks.  Got up onto the dirt and it was squishy and sticky and slick.  Was okay most of the time, but occasionally it was just slick as.  Wet enough that the tires didnt carry too much on themselves.  That was to come later.  Up the main track, all the way, the river running in the ruts, minimal bits of rideable terrain the higher we got.  You'd be perched up on the top of the rut, and one wheel would slip and you'd lose it.  So, walk a bit, get rolling again then the same would happen.  Bloody nightmare.  The access track up into the forest was greasy as too, and I ended up walking a fair bit of it.  Nelson cleaned it.

Into the trail, not quite as greasy as Sunday last ridden, but still pretty damned slick, and more churned, but once under the trees, much betterer.  Hung a right into the original line, the wee rocky climb as greasy as something covered in grease, and back under the trees all good again.  Full suspension bliss, squishing my way down and through, one near miss in some slick shit between a cut fallen tree got Nelson ahead of me and we got out onto the clifftop and headed into the original line, all the way down.  Stopped and watched a couple riders coming up the internal track, and then blasted across and down bottom of Tommy's then into Fight Club, great flight down this, swooping over the humpties and railing round the bends.  Lower down, over the log hip, super greasy, then into the steep chute I bailed up right on where we'd trenched the other night ride here.  Nelson headed down through and I followed cautiously to find him off his bike nursing his squashed balls...  yowch.  Took a few minutes and we rolled out the bottom of the trail onto the worst I've ever seen the climbing-out track.  Spun and struggled up this, Nelson's tires gripping, mine just picking up crap and turning into fatbike tires...  I ended up walking a fair bit.

Next up, scraped heaps of crap off my tires and off up the middle internal track, me walking heaps til the pylon gap, then riding a bit, walking a bit and riding a bit more out to the cliff.  This time, into Waynes World and taking it all the way down, but bailing out at Fight Club entrance, and off down through the gap and hard left following the newish trails we had that other night, over a jump that nearly threw me then kinda stalled Nelson, then on down eventually crossing the trail and then through the junction and on out the bottom exit stuff.  Stepped over the log on the left higher line - bloody useless roll in and hopeless landing, so kinda dodgy to be popped.  Down past the tank, some sweet riding through here, then down through the final section, the full suss aiding my travels nicely.  Slowly down the greasy muck to the road, then speed mud removal - the marshguard working exactly as planned, and Nelson holding his head out to the side to avoid his fleck.

Down the road and into Farside, awesomely slick, but manageable for a while.  Til i got to one steep brown slick section where my front wheel lost it and we went down.  handlebar spun and i was super worried the brake hose would stress, but was okay, and I got rolling again no injuries.  the rest of it was good as, and out onto the road to a waiting Nelson.  On down, more mud removal and along out to the car.  Got sticks and scraped and prodded the bikes into some semblance of clean then hit the road home.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Sunday, mucky Sunday.

Very low ceiling of cloud all night, providing no drying opportunities for the hills.  Drove over to Andrew's and met up with him, Wazza, Wayno and Tones, and, after oohing and aahing over my new ride, we headed around Cashmere Rd to Halswell Quarry Park and up C2.  Not so bad under the trees, dry-wise, but once on the Crocodile proper it was a grease fest and we were exactly the types I was complaining about in my post about my last ride up here...  Oh well.  Wasn't as bad as if we were coming down it.  I dabbed out most of the big corners, their ruts and grease just too much, and a technique thing with the new ride too, methinks. 

On up the Low Road for a bit, but when it met the main track we all bailed off it and up that.  Siberia was fun, but sloppy under the dripping trees.  Then the clamber.  Up up up we went, further and further into the clouds, greasy muck under tread.  All made pretty good efforts at the top section, my wee rests helping my heartrate, and Andrew doing a bit of a loop-de-loop - he lost balance, veered to the right until he was heading down again, then juuust about managed to turn it back round before dabbing.  In the rocky guts I lost it once, walked a tiny bit then got rolling again, til the very top ledge sort of up, the back wheel just spun out and sideways.  The narrow broom infested top track was sticky as shit (and actually, there was a lot of actual sticky shit on the trails today, some cows seem to have had laxatives).

Onto the road and around to Worsleys.  A rider on his way down Kennedy's at the time had told us the 'Nun was really bad, so we skipped that and went for Worsleys.  Hoo boy, what a descent.  Just enough grease on the surface of the clay to make for no chance of stopping, and barely a chance to keep the speed down.  I survived it, Andrew lost it, the others took other lines that proved less slick.  Bottom of bodybag we headed up into the forest, the access track a total slick little shit.  Andy cleaned it all, the rest of us walked. 

Then it was into the woods.  Greasy as all hell for a start, we veered right onto the Original.  A couple times my chain dropped off the front.  Annoying.  It was only under zero power, if my rear was up on 1st or 2nd.  Good rolling down under the trees here, full squish doing it's job beautifully.  Lovin' it, I was.  Out over the clifftop and into the trees again, taking the right hander, some new line in here then onto the old, absolutely wafting over the rocky bits, then when we met Waynes World, took it's lower half and pulled up at Fight Club.  Next rider after me was Zane, on his 5.Spot, so we discussed then he headed down.  We followed shortly thereafter, the upper half rolling beaut, the lower half all fixed up and sweet as, lots of tricky off-camber.  Zane was waiting at the bottom an so cruised up the greasy climb behind him to the Juncture. 

Stopped, chatting for a bit at the junction and saw someone climbing the fence across the main track, so after Zane and friends had headed off up the guts track we ventured across to check it out.  A nice we entrance to the trail Nelson and me found a few weeks back, and so we rolled down this, avoiding all the jumps.  Over the fence and there were some bikes (quite flash bikes) parked and lots of fresh trail grooming, rolled on down and found some really young kids working their magic.  We continued on down, doing more of the jumps below here and enjoying the end, the onto the exit track out to the carpark. 

Down the road, a mud clearinghouse for the tires, then into the new Farside Track.  I followed Andy down it as he'd done it before.  What a little beauty!  Sweet sidling and not losing too much, but always downwards with a few wee whoop-de-dos spitting us out above the bottom corner.  Sweet.  Cleared the mud off the tires again as we rolled and then to Andrew's for a coffee and bickies. 

Spot ride report number 2, awesome.  Gonna really enjoy this bike.  Still wondering if I need more air in the chamber tho.  Really must remember to bring the pump for it next time.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Friday night Pinball Wizards

First sort of real test ride for the Spot, and it was a muckfest.  We ended up with limited time, not leaving my place til about 6.20 and kinda needing to be back around 8 for T to go to a gig, and by the time we got out the door, this went from 6
to 7 
 was wandering through with spitty kinda drizzly rain.  So, drove to Sumner, and up to Evans, parking up in the fog here.  Jumped on the bikes and got on up the Godley start.  Poor visibility, but not as bad sounding as the pfmtbc Tuesday's fog fug, but with the added bonus of rain falling.  First few rocks were a revelation to me - the Spot just soaking up everything; unbelievably comfortable.  I'm gonna have to tweak my style of riding a bit, which will take time, and I think I need another 10 or 20 psi in the shock too.

Rocks were greasy, some mud was around, a couple of ruts out towards the high point.  Neither of us cleaned the start, because the grease.  Next few bits tho, the Spot just rolled on up, sweet as.  Tweaking, squirrelly back end, but way less than the BFe would have been.  Dabbed a fair bit, being rather careful with my new treasure.  We only rode to the landing strip, high point, and turned back  A couple of small rutty holes out that end, and one big hole that was there last time, otherwise just slick rocks everywhere else, pinballing us around.  Coming back was awesome.  Wafting down the hill, rolling over stuff that would have used to have hung me up.  And the rocky armoured bits!?  WOW.  The last rocky sections down to the end were a revelation too.  Back to the car, reasonably sprayed in muck - tho, obviously, none in the eyes thanks to the muckynutter.  Gotta get something sorted for the rear, just to keep the crap out of the sweet DW linkages.

Thursday, June 05, 2014


pretty sure this very frame here is now mine...
Purchased last week from Wide Open, ex-demo (with Chris King headset, Fox Float CTD shock and (un-needed) front derailleur) for a very good price, it arrived here in Chch on Tuesday, and I had it built up by Wednesday afternoon.  So far, only a test ride school/dog-run around the river it proves very comfy... here- crappy cellphone pic...

They got nothing but good to say about it...