Monday, December 22, 2014


No rides here, just never really got round to going over to Awaroa and back.  Lots of swimming and snorkling and paddling the canoe on the lagoon and in the sea and also at Awaroa Inlet.  Whilst walking one day over to Anapai we spotted about 6 bikers coming out of Gibbs Hill Track, which is meant to be closed to biking except during the same season as the Heaphy.  So, one morning, O and me got on our bikes and poked our noses up this, just for a look.  We probably only climbed about 50m and then conscience got the better of me and so we turned back and bombed down.  It was kinda good training for him, cos he's never climbed anything that steep before, and was good for him on the brakes coming down too.  It appears to be very much a DOC quadbike track.

Saturday Rameka

So, Nelson and me headed in Canaan Rd, leaving his car in the carpark up there (locked at night) and my car being driven down by Jo.  The family (and Jo) had driven in to walk Harwoods Hole, so we saw the car (and canoe) there while they were in the bush.  We hit the Canaan Loop Rollercoaster section, with it's tidied new climb and rolled and whooped through there with the bush section being really nice down to the carpark.  Bit of cleaning and tweaking of drivetrains and off we set, up the climb to the entrance.  One rider, at least, ahead of us.
Into the Rameka proper and it was wet from the torrential rain overnight.  Roots were pretty greasy and some of the puddles mucky but mostly pretty good riding.  Stopped a few times for photos, and once we were out of the National Park (2/3rds way along this section?) we found a few large tracts of windthrow from the Easter 2014 storms.  Some massive trees down, but the trail is clear to ride.  Finally into the couple of corners before dropping down into the Dozer section, in the tight left hand section the roots were treacherous, and I caught my shorts on my seat and ripped the arse out of them.  Took them off and a lone woman rider turned up.  Down from here and out of the forest and down into the marble cut climb, marble slick as a slick thing. 

Into the Packtrack, Nelson blasting down ahead, me not so much, and I couldn't believe the near carnage he was getting, pinging and flicking all over the place in the greasy marble rocky sections.  Just about crashed a couple times, but somehow he kept it together.  A couple times we stopped, and the woman was never that far behind, but we'd leave her behind each time we took off again.  Into Rameka Project.  Awesome blast down here, forest was pretty slick, but once out of it the traverses back and forth across the hill were dry enough, if a little over grown.  Finally down to the creek crossing, in seemingly no time, and straight through it and a well earned rest.  Heard the woman up the hill away, again a little surprised by how close behind she was, and she walked through the ford and then headed off down the first Klick.  Good roll down this, neat new boardwalk/raised 'bridge' skirting around a rock, floating above the rocky creek bed, past the woman again who was struggling on the riverbed boulders.  And we rode up off the trail onto the road and bombed down this.

Into 2Klicks and I took Do while Nelson took Die.  I had to slow where they rejoined each other or we'd have collided and I followed him down the blasty section towards the wooden jumpies.  The one that has a backside to it he flew over catching mad high air and I did something dumb here, not sure what, baulked at the wrong moment or something, but launched into the air, badly positioned or did something stupid in the air, and landed with my arse out the back of the bike badly balanced and *I think* my left inside thigh hit the tire and my left ribs hit the back of my seat, and I kinda ragdoll-bounced off the bike and flew through the air and landed in the scrub on the right hand side of the trail, a spike impaling my stomach for good measure.  Ugh.  Picked up my bike, nothing broken on it so got chasing again, before I'd had a chance to worry about all the pain I was in.  Caught up to Nelson at the road, him having heard my yelp.  Couple of last sections of trail off the side of the road, with me taking Jazz and Nelson taking Rock'n'Roll.

Then it was gravel road blast to the seal and out to the main road.  Stopped here to cover my indecent bike-undies  with my ripped shorts and the woman rode past on her way to Takaka.  We headed for Pohara, taking turns at slipstreaming, and being passed by my family at Clifton.  Well earned swim and beers in Pohara.  Until I was in the water, my ribs weren't really giving me any gyp, but then it felt like a weird twinge and the pain increased to a level that hasn't changed much since.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Evening Kaiteriteri

[Initially written on my phone so was short but is now embellishmented]. Nelson & me hit the road from Mot via Hop Federation about 6.25 and rolled into Kaiteri parking on the beach. Rode round and into the park. Up the EasyRider and around Cruise Control, Glade Runner, Revelation, a bit of swoopy fun.  Then it was up Ziggy and CorkScrew to top, with a bit of a feed part way up Corky as it was super muggy and we were both pretty worn out from the drive up country in the day. From the view at the top we headed down into the new one, Jaws, which was lots of fun, lots of whoops and crazy wide banks and berms, then blasted briefly (tho longer than I'd expected) down Velocity (above Big Airs) to Skullduggery, across this, completely different to what I'd remembered, which I remember thinking last time I'd done it!  (there was an altered bit in a dark little wet creeky area, but that doesn't explain how different it seemed) then from the RockFace intersection we continued on down Skullduggery's continuance (recognising where the tools had been (and it'd finished) last time) peeling off into Scoot, into Swish and back along the EasyRider, across into that last drop Half Pipe and back along road to beach. Straight into sea, awesome swim, and a Rakau IPA from HopFed. 9ish by the time we got back to Mot

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tuesday muppety shorty followed by meeeeeting

Nelson picked me up outside work at 4.45ish and the Corona jettisoned us through the traffic to the top of Huntsbury Hill in reasonably short shrift.  We needed to be at Wazza's for 7pm...  Parked up, we changed and got riding, (b)easterly blustering it's wearisomeness upon our freshly clothed selves, very cool I was to start and for quite a while after, 5.20 as we passed under the pylons.  Up we treadled against the gravity, friction of rock and tire, and slope - all which worked against our organic and inorganic machinations.  Top of Huntsbury was made in good time and up there was a car with a guy getting screamed at by his lady (who was in the driver's seat), and he'd been wailed OUT of the car  He was also randomly calling for a dog we couldn't see anywhere.  Dumb-ugly domestics, and the dude was all aggressive saying shit like "what are you staring at?" to some of the other bikers around the place, minding their own business like ourselves.  We rode on, and in fact, I lead the charge down the pea-gravel LCD shit-track that is Vernon.  Bursts of speed, but also wary and feeling like a muppet.  Didn't trust the gravel and my balance was plain weird and the shadows and tussocks all conspired to make many sections annoying.  Lost my chain once (REALLY need to do something about that, obviously!).  Had flow occasionally tho, and Nelson said I wasn't going that slow, so I don't know.

Anyway.  Into and across Rapaki Top and Nelson took the climbing lead and I muppetted and he rocketted and then I got going okay and did alright by the end.  Rolled around into the wind and up the hill to Castle-top and chatted to some runner dude here.  Into the trail and for a start Nelson's dust and the rocks and the tussocks made a muppet of me again, but as I got going I got going faster and smoother and on the long straight(ish) approach to the first hairpin I was railing, catching Nelson fast, right on his tail through the hairpin and then hopping and popping through to the next hairpin.  Down, over the rocks and through where we built that rock pile on that leaking spring that time juuust before the well-built wooden structure, pinchflat for Nelson...  Stopped, parked up, very nice spot in the slip-gully out of the wind, nice and calm.  He fixed, two riders rode past, on their ways up.  6.20 here, got rolling back up the trail.  Cleaned the hairpins bar one very slight dab on the second, and then onwards up just grinding away and chatting.  On the final approach to the top, Steve had mentioned he'd cleaned the top, so I dropped it down and perused my way along, Nelson grunting to a standstill and jumping out of the way for me while I said "if Steve can do it, so can I, if Steve can do it, so can I!" as I proceeded past him and on up to the top... :)

Here, there was a guy with a roady who struck up an amicable conversation and we stood and talked with him at great length.  Ten minutes at least, and finally it was time to get a move on so off down the road, tucking towards the bottom rolling around, tail wind, me way out ahead (Nelson stopped to check out a slump's potential for a roller).  Into Witch at a pretty good speed and onwards, climbing it all nicely then feeling pretty good on the way down to Rapaki, Nelson slowly winding me in to be close on my tail by Rapaki-top.  Straight into Vernon, chasing a couple of 29ers who were already through the two hairpins before we made the cattlestop.  Wound them in pretty quick and were on their tail for the last fifth or so before the Farm Track turnoff, where they moseyed to let us go on up.  Burn burn burn to the top then over and onto the Traverse.

Tailwind blaze around and then down through the tussocks, maintrack, tussocks, and onto the old landing strip across to the fence, over, and sheepshit(dry tho) singletrack, crosswinds tweaking front wheels from your grasp, almost, and following Nelson down the hill at a good clip.  Over the gate and shitloads of sheep, and jumps.  Jump, jump, jump, railed berm into jump, across, through tussocks, jump, avoid rut, jump to flat, follow rut, rock drop, more rut, jump, and Nelson peels off the track to the left, I continue, jump to flat again, then wee double and roll to the gate, over and to the car.  Nelson walking the last 50m or so.

Made St Martins New World before 7 then proceeded to find dinner and antioxidants and made Wazza's about 7.20.  A few beers were enjoyed, and the DVD of the trip, which was enjoyed by all, and a damn good job Wazza's done!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday night altitudinals

Rode Spot to work and after that rode to Nelson's work and we rushhoured to park next to Cracroft Reserve.  Proceeded to grind up the road then on up the dirt.  At the 'junction' we hopped over the fence to the right, and rode up a wee singletrack that cruised up the grass between the ruttsville main drag and the trees on the downhill side of the main drag.  Up, under the powerlines, then up into what used to be 'rest corner'.  Back on the main drag and up the techy rocky section, both with limited successes, then riding out the rest of it in good form, crawly crawly granny cruising.  Bottom of the body bag, for a change, headed on up.  Been a long time since I last ventured up this, May 1st in fact, the quagmire just over half way up now but a memory imprinted with scant evidence upon the trail.  Ended up walking a fair bunch at the top as I just wasn't carrying my Bodybag lungs or legs.  Nelson cleaned it all the way.  Back on, and through the Lovers Leap carpark, up the gravel, me speeding up a bit, to top of Nun.  Bit of spitty rain around here, but stopped for a bite to eat before we got rolling again.

Muppetry is the word.  Rolled it all pretty smoothly, but kinda with our Cautious Colin hats on.  There was definitely the potential for greasiness, but we didn't seem to get that much of it, and there was quite the (b)easterly blowing through, making any airborne sections sketchy.  I felt like a rooky most of the way down.  Like I wasn't used to the bike and wasn't used to the trail.  2/3rds of the way down the top section I dropped my chain, so Nelson got a good lead on me then.  Metres before the midway carpark woofdog and son were doing some trail maintenance.  Caught Nelson waiting here and we plowed our way down the rest of it, still not at great speeds, but not too bad either.  No sketchiness, and powered out the end and straight back into the climb back up the road around and up to the top of Worsley's again.

Into the bodybag, me leading, taking the right hand side and regretting it several times.  Good speed towards the bottom but still pretty dodge.  Up the forest access, with Nelson leading straight into the extra bonus climb towards the very top, greasy as a greasy thing, with some slips and slides on the way.  Onwards past Debbie's, and up to the top of T2 and the Goat (or Hangloose as we once knew it).  Carefully into the Goat, but finding carefulness not absolutely necessary.  Top section a little greasy, but manageable, and it kinda dried as we descended, tho was still sketchy in places lower down too.  Did the first log drop after pulling up first round, walking back up a wee ways and dropping it wondering what the hell I'd been worried about all those other times of stepping down it.  Second one further down, not so much.  At least it's got an easier nana line.  Then we stopped at the top of Yoda and walked climbed down it, checking it out.  Hell of a track.  walked climbed down to where Nick crashed on it a couple weeks back, then clambered back up to our bikes.  Onwards down the trail, steeeepnesssss, picking our ways carefully, bailing only one corner that you get to and it doesn't know what it's doing, leaving you guessing.  Out the bottom and sweeet as.  Into the climb.

Up the access to the 'junction', and then up the guts, all the way up to the clifftop, then into Waynes World, one really sketchy part near the top and the rolling out wondering if it's the right one (it was) and then into the lower bit and down into Fight Club and fanging it nicely all the way down and out, and back up the climb.  'Junction' and down, riding a different (older) line for a bit and enjoying it's flow, then jumping well towards the tank and finally out the bottom of it and down to where the groms park.  Over the fence and into the grass track down, then joining the overgrown grassy singletrack down to the normal carpark and down the road (via a couple of sidelines) and eventually, into Farside, bombing down this, bottoming out in some of the dips and clinging for dear life to the side of the hill with the knobs on the sides of the tires, and out.  Back up the road, me verrry slowly this time, for another go at the same trail, faster in places this time and finally out the end, down the road to the car, 8.05pm as we drove away.  Home, and a bit tired after all that effort, close to 1000m of altitude climbed (and the same descended...) - not helped by a 5am start this morning.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sunday mornin' Pleasant Nor'west Green Captains

Quick ride today.  Dropped O off in Lyttelton and then got myself to Ferrymead bridge to meet Andy and Wayne, with Marie somewhere ahead of us toodling up the hill.  We hit up St Andrew's, Marama into Cannon Hill Cres then through the park and on up Major Hornbrook to the top where we found her.  About 10 it was by then, and 10.05 when we cruised on up through Britten with Marie saying for us to just go on ahead, her intending on heading into Greenwood the old way, while we continued on around Britten, then as per Tuesday, back along the Summit Rd and up Broadleaf.  Good times from the top, with it reasonably fresh in memory from Tuesday, I certainly rode it smoother, not screwing up any of the tussocky corners.  Looked at my watch as we rolled down through the ruins, and it was half an hour then since we'd started out from the bottom of Britten. 

Awesome run down Greenwood, with Andy never too far off my tail.  Lost my chain in the upper rocky bits, but a quick reinstall and Andy holding back left me with a continued lead.  Excellent blast down the rest of it into Gloomy Gulch and below.  Then just above Dave's sections there were a couple of guys waiting, and Andy and me rode past them but then they jumped in between us and Wayno.  Good fang all the rest of the way down, with a bit of a dab through wrong gearing the first rocky up followed by a nice roll down the rest, to find Marie awaiting us.

Next, into Captain Thomas, with a runner chick paying more attention to her phone than the trail at hand getting run into by Wayne, after Andy and me had been past her.  They've cleaned up some sections lower down, including around the first of the rock challenges, but we met a big clusterfuck of other riders here and so had to walk down it anyway.  Next wee rocky up and down section is way tidier, and more likely to be rideable upwards, at a point where often we'd step off.  Thankfully, the two rocky challenges further down are still intact, and us first two cleaned them both no prob, but Wayne walked down the second one i think.  Final blast not bad, except for the silly bits near the very bottom.  11am here, we rolled down through the park and roads to Dot Com where we assembled for a coffee and snack.  Then I took off cos I had to be home before 12 to meet our housesitter.  The wind as I rounded into Moncks Bay was horrendous, having shifted from Nor'west to Southerly, i think, but not a cold on, and on the causeway it was coming at me from the left front quarter, making for a wearisome crossing.  Back to the car and was home well before 12.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Tuesday night Pleasantries & Greenwood both ways

Steve had set the plan to meet Upper Hornybrookes at 6.20 so Nelson & me made it with plenty of time to spare, only to discover I'd somehow left my helmet & gloves behind. D'oh!   Never mind, Nelson's spare townie lid fits me as I'd discovered once before at the Wharfdale (back in 010). But I was forced to wear The Emperor's New Gloves, made from only the finest of rarified airs. Anyway, Robin was waiting when we arrived, then turned up Warren, then Andrew. No Steve tho, on account of his guts. Off up Britten we trundled. Then around to the end of the original traverse trail up there. Then back along the road and up Broadleaf all the way.

Into the descent, pinging past the builder of a new cell phone tower, down the rocks to the stile. Over here and in the second corner I dropped my chain. Others all passed and then I was in for the chase. Overtook Robin early-on just after the rocky sections, then through the swoopy tussocks wound in Warren by the end, both of us nearly running over a small black dog not being restrained by its owners.

Nelson led into the Greenwood mainframe with me right on his tail. Good run down, mostly. Rocks were rocky and the dirt was grippy. Chain stayed on all the way til the wee valley before the final blast, and so once again I was behind Warren at the end, much to his satisfaction. At the bottom some discussion was had and a parting of ways was the result, with Nelson and me accepting the challenge of seeing which way up was fastest, Greenwood or the road? Needless to say, it's not rocket surgery to work out which. Didn't help that we stopped pretty much immediately after setting off to check out the dodginess of the drop-off beside the second-to-last corner on the way down.  Then some dude stopped and talked to us too.

Then we got riding. A good honest climb. Only a couple of pinches, nearly all of which we both cleaned, otherwise pretty straightforward. Stopped a couple of times to let riders through, including one enormous group of ten or fifteen or more - they just kept appearing over the brow of the hill!  Some of the tail enders were really struggling on the rocks, including the last one who was carrying his bike. Finally out the top and we commented how seldom we ride that top section any more, and pretty much only ever in this direction these days too.

Up the road and into a rapid descent of Britten back to the car, the others long gone. Got home, and no helmet and gloves... Gone burger. Some fucker has scored.  My doo-rag was across the road, so I'm figuring I left the helmet, gloves and it on the roof of the car as we drove off, and whoever found them left the doo-rag behind.  fuck fuck fuck.