Thursday, December 31, 2015

Totaranui Awaroa Surrounds

No more riding done at Collingwood, and then through to Totaranui.  Not much done here, riding around the campground down to the beach a bit of sand action, some good, some bad.  Lots of swimming, several times a day.  Snorkling, canoeing... 

Extended my usual ride here, headed up the dusty dusty road to the top of the hill.  Early enough that it wasn't actually that dusty, only got passed by about 4 cars in total going up, maybe a couple that were heading down.  At the top I took a little bit of singletrack explore, poaching some of the walking track towards Gibbs Hill.  About 200m in it got really rooty, so turned back out to the road, waiting while about 5 vehicles creamed through, raising up the dust.  Now it was back down the road, then a right into the Awaroa Road, doing my usual trip out to the Inlet and back over to Totes.

22kms, over 700m alt...  dusty.

Then a day or two later, we went for a big family walk, parking the car at the top of the Waiharakeke Track (on the Awaroa Rd) bike rack in the boot.  Walked back to Totes, so I had to bike up and collect the car...  4.7kms, couple hundy alt.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Overgrown Aorere goldfields with the boy

Other than riding about on the beach with the kids, one long ride from the bach to the Para Para inlet, a little bit of Milnethorpe walking tracks and back has been about it for the past few days here in Collingwood.  But today, O and me headed out to the Devil's Boots, parked up and headed along to the Aorere Goldfields.  Couldn't drive to the usual parking spot cos of a tree down across the road in.  HOT day, we went up the 4wd track, with O struggling on the climbs, tho managing many of them really really well.  I pushed both bikes at times, but in the second half he seemed to rally.  We met people exiting the trail from the Dam but we continued up and then took the fast and majorly rutted out trail into Bedstead Gully.  It all looked unfamiliar, including the camp at the bottom, to the degree I even thought we were in a different location. 

I found the trail I used to take towards the main tracks and it was UTTERLY OVERGROWN.  Gorse, manuka, and later cutty grass and lawyer all blocking our way, having to push through them all and just take the scratches.  There were tears.  O really didn't handle it well.  I had to keep going back and wheeling his bike through, and he was wincing at most gorse prickles.  But we persevered and eventually made it to the track the couple we saw had come out of. 

Climbing up a quad type trail to the highest point overlooking the valley and the dam below, and then it was all downhill.  O's spirits increased.  Stopped in the shade on the dam and had a snack and then got riding again.  Surprisingly technical around the water-race when you've got an 11 year old behind you.  Eventually made the caves, and then the fun run began, with a swooping and woot filling descent down down down.  Overtook a man and two women half way down and we rocketed on through to the bottom, then back along the road to the car... 

Surprisingly only 13kms and just over 300m, sure felt like a lot more with the heat and the bushwhacking

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Early Saturday morning Worsley steeps

Left home a bit before 7 and parked up top of Worsley, no other cars in sight, with Jet, headed off pretty much dead on 7, up the main drag and into the forest to ride up the Guts.  Chuff chuff chuff up here, climbing into mist and low cloud.  Up top of the Original B-Line trees were even dripping.  Up the bonus climb to the very top and off down Throw The Goat (aka Hangloose aka Goat).  Just as I was re-entering the trees after the cleared gap, I noticed a trail coming in from the right.  It piqued my interest and so I headed up it.  Followed and rode much of it, but it's obviously in the early stages of development.  Little bit of descending, little bit of climbing and then through a fence and some BIG fallen trees to clamber over, left my bike here and walked the rest of the newly cleared bush, to pop out on one of the corners on Flying Nun.  Right where I'd always thought it'd be great to have a linking trail from.  Nice.  Headed back to Goat and we continued our merry way down.  Cleared the first log jump, not baulking like last time, and rolled on down the hill.  At the second log I rolled right up it but stopped at top and examined.  It's got a gap you wouldn't want to fail, but the drop to the transition is small, so with any speed I think it'd be fine.  Rolled around and on down.  Then rode the beginning of Yoda and had a look down the filter.  wooooo...  Nup.  not today (maybe not ever).  Found an old line back to the main descent and fanged on downwards.  When it met Tommy2's I took that rather than continuing on Goat cos it's less intimidating and I'm used to it.  Rambled out the bottom and onto the exit track.

Up the access to the Junction, and back up the Guts.  Slowly catching up to a couple of very old walking ladies; me sounding like a steam train.  On up, wondering what to do next.  Via the clifftop this time, trundled all the back up to the top, again, and went up the bonus climb, again, and stopped at the top of the 'new' entrance (made by Nick) down to Debbie's.  First time not walking down this and it was MINT.  REally cool descent, steep and sweet.  Joins the old Debbies just where you ride over a log, then across the open, and into the dark trees - past the ruins and into the really dark fir forest, ball-bearing cones, and then on down parallel to Moose Knuckle and around to the right, down into Alice's Restaurant.  Across this, all good, and then was really close to succeeding the stuff I never ride, but didn't quite.  Cleaned the first really steep bit, but then had to get off next to the big rock wall walked the couple of corners next to it.  Back on, and rode out the rest of it, all good, and lots of fun.

Up the access again and left up the Guts for the 3rd and final time.  This time only going as far as Fight Club, and bombing down here and blasting through to the bottom no problem.  Stopped and walked back up a little to check out the jumps down here, but still didn't have a go on the one I was hoping to, but did the next one and rolled on out.

Final trip up the exit and then just hung a right and off down the oldskool descent to the end, then across the way and into Epitaph for the final jaunt to the car for 9am.  Happy Jet showing off his drinking-from-my-camelbak skills to the chick in the car parked behind mine.  She laughed.  As I departed, half of Chch's mtnbiking community seemed to be arriving.  Good timing!

10 and a half kms, 574 m climbed...

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Bottled up Saturday

Fatty on the back of the Brava and Jet in the back, out to Bottle Lake and a bit of a spin of a Saturday morning.  Nice temperature, we headed out to the right, and out to the beach.  At the top of the dune where the sand always blows out, we skidoodled down the washy sand onto the beach.  Sea, spectacular; so inviting, with crystal clear peeling breakers, and wave faces all backed up behind.  Jet was already hot so he was straight in, relishing it.  I moseyed my way about the beach trying to find the best sand to ride on.  None of it was particularly good; definitely struck it better in the past.  Even riding in the compressed tire tracks of a some vehicle wasn't firm enough.  Less air in the tires may have helped, but I just couldn't be arsed stopping and having to pump them up again later, so I persevered and we travelled the whole next section along the coast down on the beach, with no opportunities back into the dunes til the one at the start of the trees again. 

Up over the access path and back onto the main track, into the trees, cruising a few bends til I found my usual dune-top trail entrance, emerging out onto the crest of the dune and the foot-slope of the tops of the salt burned pines, a km or so along this.  Back onto the track and down the hill into the back-dunes, following along for a bit then using a small rise to spin back to a sandy back track I saw, onto it which led me to the singletrack.  Around onto it and back into the main forest park. 

Usual trails through the forest, taking the 'alternative' lines wherever I could, all very obviously seldom traversed.  Toyed with the idea of heading norther into Spencer country, but back onto the descending trail to Muddy Rd and onwards back, for Jet's sake, it being hot and there not be a hell of a lot of water around.  Into the forest trails again, riding all the completely unridden alternative lines, and through into the next lovely tall forest, open between the trunks, up the risers and down the breezeblocked descents, all the while looking for off piste lines, seeing so much potential but not taking any of it for some reason.  Hung a left on the next main road before the short tree'd section, heading for the 'lake' or ponds, for Jet to have a cool off.  Just cruised along no-hands at Jet's pace, taking in the day.

Caught up with a man and dog, Jet having his usual sniff and play, the humans merely acknowledging each other's existences.  Jet had a slurp at the ponds and we continued our way along a fenceline (behind which was all sorts of mystery - I assume quake wreckage? or forest ops).  Down to where was once some of my favourite bits over the years, now a cleared wasteland with brand new pines.  A ranger passed here in a big cloud of dust, and I headed back onto the worst-made section out there, bumpy hard shitty slow section, on the tail Mr 'Form', youngish dude on some Specialized of somesort, weaving his way ahead.  Kinda stayed on him or caught him, but then had to hold back for the dog.  Nice excuse, anywho.  Past some dudes as we entered the open broomy section, across this, back into the trees, first west then around southwards, and then hung a weird right into the forest, no trail, just riding, curving around as the ground allowed, and finding some weird remnants of an old track, wracking my memory for it, wondering maybe circa mid-late 90's?  Held back to let a horse and 'lady' and her small poodle past, then onto the gravel road and westward, finding a horse track and golfcourse, and then following the gravel more til the last tall stand of trees next to the open spaces of the carpark, bmx etc.  Cruised across the paddock and back to the car.

52minutes riding, 13.7 kms, sweet F.A altitude.

Haha, what a lot of words for such a non-event...  10 oclock on a Saturday night, Hardtail Henry my favourite beer of the moment.  Probably explains it.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Scorching Wednesday Night mechanicals

Nelson picked me up from work and we waded across the city's traffic flows to Worsley's Rd.  Parked on the flat by the poplar trees.  Still about 30 degrees, so energy sappingly hot.  Up the road, slowly does it, then into Fluffy Sheep for the climb.  Nelson gapped me and I struggled.  Should have checked, but I was having a few niggles with my shifting... (had been on the way to work as well).  On up the road and then through the gate and up the sort-of-singletrack in the long-grass then into the trees, where the shade was helpful, but the heat was so overbearing and was making me really struggle.  All the way up I had to hold back so's not to puke.  Nelson wasn't waiting for me until the top of the B-Line tracks.  I felt like shit.

On up the further climb, past Debby/Alice's, and on up to top of Tommy2's and Throw The Goat.  Another nice rest here chatting to a young(ish) dude on a nomad.  Nelson was trying out his chest mounted Go Pro so followed me in.  After the first couple of pedal strokes I went to change gears and they dropped straight down to top gear, with no response from the shifter.  Hmmmm...  Continued all the way down, fanging and weaving, dust plume choking back Nelson from my tail.  Good run all the way down, altho the pedalling was a bit slow...  We got to the bottom, arms pumped with braking, and quads burning with the non-stop descent, and proceeded to work out what to do with my gears...  ended up with this fix:
 pulled the cable through and out, and then attached it and wrapped it around the chainstay to hold it in 2nd gear (for the climbing).

Got rolling and it was super low for those bits of climbing, but got me up eventually to the junction (where there were heaps of peeps).  It slipped into 3rd as we entered the Guts track, so I rode as far as I could and then had to walk.  Rode again at the pylon gap and kept on up for a while past Fight Club and then walked again up to the clifftop.  There were some others walking ahead of me so I didn't feel too bad about it.  Nelson was waiting at the cliff top, (where some dickhead 4wders had recently had a fucking fire! dumbshits).  On up the Original B-Line catching the guys that'd been walking, me managing to ride all the way to the rocks that always get me.  Onwards and all the way to top.  Then on further up again (walking this time) and we hooked into the newby with the canyon.  Good run down the top bit then Nelson had a flail on the log, breaking yet another of his flash blade spokes!  Onwards down, through, under, around and back into lower Tommy2's and the dust storm blast down here.  Final climb out, slow for me, then across the main drag and into the jumpy trail in the trees.  Normally quite pedally this one so I was slow down it, but got a couple of good jumpies near the bottom.  then around, Nelson peeled off up to do Epitaph, while I just rolled down the grassy 'single' track.

Onto the road, and rolling rolling rolling down, taking the new grass 'singletrack' on the left of the road where it flattens off and heads around the corners, then down and into the Farside trails.  I chose Utopia, and it was good.  Swoopy swoopy, not too much pedalling (not that I could) to do, kept speed through corners and it was a blast.  Finally, out onto the road and down back to the car, the last hundred metres or so rolling very slow.

693m altitude, 15.43 kms...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday morning Worsley dog run

First ride back after a week in the bush for work.  Went and picked up my wheels off Josh and drove with Jet to the top of Worsley for to park and assemble tubes and tires onto said wheels (weighing in, without rubber (but with cassette and disks) at 2.9 kg).

Headed straight into the track next to the carpark, sun pounding down, and started climbing up through the long grass and then into the trees, steepness got steeperer and I got puffing.  Good climb, Jet having a nice time trotting along ahead sniffing everything there was to sniff and leaving pee-mails everywhere.  Climbed on and on up round through Braille and then out the top to the main Worsley, crossing up into the B-Line entrance.  Breather and rest then onwards upwards to the very top.  Moar breather here, then seat down and into Goat (or what we used to call Hang-Loose...).  Nice float down here, it's a great line with awesome droppy corners.  Baulked on the first log jump, and continued on down.  Rode round the log jump before Yoda turn off and then onwards down.  Where it meets Tommy2's I stayed on the high line and it headed off in a direction I wasn't sure of, and got pretty steep, so I dropped down to the Tommy2's final throes and blazed out the bottom of this.

Up the exit track, then up the Guts track climbing climbing and climbing, grinding away through the pylon gap and onwards up around to the clifftop.  Couple girls here who took off ahead and then I caught higher up in the Original B-Line as we climbed.  Out to the top again and took these pics.

(see, they match my handlebars!)

On up the Tommy2's/Goat access track and grovelled up this, past the Debbie's turn off and up to my new favourite's turn off.  Hung a left here and down the cool canyon bit, which is riding smoother and less loose-cobbly, then down through the dark Douglas Fir forest, through the whoops, and following the creek, then through the clearing and into the off camber.  Excellent run down, whooping through to Tommy2's and blazing out the rest of it down, better than before.  Second time down the bottom, 2nd time up the exit climb, then up the Guts for one last clamber, up through only to Fight Club this time, left down it and blazed in the heat down here.  One whoopsie near miss on one of the lower off camber corners, my front wheel tucked in and very nearly threw me, but managed to stay aboard and got round the next couple and out the bottom safe as houses.

Last time up the exit climb, sun beating down, cooking my poor black dog - stopped regularly throughout the ride to give him drinks, which helps him.  Took the usual exit descending trail, sorta following or riding parallel to these two young groms with full neck braces and big travel bikes, and I was way faster than them...  Practice and experience makes for faster smoother riders... finally down through the dusty main drag and through the cars down the newby down to my car.  Jet lagging now in the heat.

All mapped up, a smidgen under 600 m climbing, in just under 11 kms...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday night the long way home from work

Left work, on the Troll, and headed Selwyn St towards the hills, hung a right at the end, Aylmer and then down Young to the river, right again, and crossed the bridge off the end of Studholme and straight across through Ernie whatsit's Reserve, then Whitstead to the Shell Z station on Colombo.  Then down Malcolm Ave to the river, taking the walking track along to whatever the fuck that street's called, over the bridge onto Waimea Tce, then crossed the bridge at the end of Bowenvale, and around to FuckerWhaka Tce.  Up this, for the first time ever, not really knowing where I was going, but up it I went.  Steep it was too, hard work even in the lowest gear on the 8 spd.  Up to the end, then up a driveway a bit and onto the FuckerWhaka Tce Walkway, which takes you up to a driveway off Vista Pl.  Up this, steep grunt, and then up Huntsbury Ave all the way to the top, surprisingly cleaning even the last section in 1st.  Then it was grovelling up the gravel, bike handing it fine, no slippage even with the super slick worn rear tire, and on up the whole way.  Not a bad wee climb on this bike.

Onto the Summit Rd, and rolling down around Mt Vernon, a bunch of blue tents set up at the top of Farm Track. Cruising nicely, slowly gaining more and more speed til ripping through the top of Rapaki.  Stayed on the road, all the way round and up and ever upwards.  Top of Castlerock, again with the rolling, rolling, ever increasing speed til really blazing through the top of Bridle Path and then moseying around under the Gondola and into the wind and up the hill around through the cutting to the highest point.  Stopped a bit before Broadleaf, out of the wind, and changed into a long sleeve merino.  Wasn't really sure where I was gonna go down the hill, so I got rolling, wondering whether Mt Pleasant, Moncks and Glenstrae; or continue on down to Richmond; or what?  Passed Mt Pleasant Rd and rolled on down the Summit Rd, easterly cold, almost giving me an ice-cream headache.  Pulled off the road at the big pine trees - over the stile, and down the old mtnbike track towards Clifton Hill.  Fun on the singletrack, over the next stile beside the pine tree (magpies lurking but not bombing), then down a bit more singletrack, bald tires gripping fine, and around to the right on the Frog Pond Track, couple of quite hot runners here, then left and onwards down the singletrack to the top of Clifton Hill.  over the fence, and down around Panorama Drive and then left into Clifton itself.  Onto the Sumner Rd and along the containers, through Redcliffs, and onto the causeway, what a blast.  Top gear, totally relaxedly just cruising cruising cruising.  Around under St Andrews and then over the Ferrymead Bridge, and hung a left into the new/old track.  Flew down the wee hill and YIKES!!!  big crack holes on the right, no, on the left, no, on the right, aarrrggh.  Managed to scrub off speed while surprisingly avoiding the first few, then ended up managing to stop without crashing in the 3rd or 4th hole.  Phew!  Round the back on the tow path, then ducked out at an opportunity and across the road into the Mega carpark, around the back of Mega and into Charlesworth Reserve.  Rode through here and up onto the rise in the middle, where I stopped to check out the 360 pathway website to see if it went around the front of the oxidation ponds...  alas not.  Also discovered here that fucking MapMyRide, which I'd started at work, hadn't been talking to my GPS and had recorded NIX of my ride...  bugger it.

So, thought I might as well head for home, albeit slightly exploratively.  Linwood Ave, then hung a right on Kidbrooke, around Bayswater Crescent, right on St Johns, left on Maces, and into the Old Bromley School Reserve, across Cyprus Garden Reserve.  Right on Keighleys Rd,  and along, then up into Linwood Cemetery.  I'd never been in here before.  The view from the top is awesome.  Nice rolling downhill through the cemetery and then across Bromley Park (avoiding the glass) and across Buckley's Rd into Sewell St then homeward bound down Woodham Rd.  But, first, hung a right into Woodham Park and through to Lionel St, then tailwind down Retreat Rd, Swanns Rd Bridge, across the redzone to Vogel St, nearly home, but thought I'd get Chinese.  Bugger, they were closed, so, around the streets and home.  8pm ish.  nearly 3 hours riding...  Quite a ride.  Worked out on a mapping programme that it was about 35-40kms...

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Sunday Packhorse with the Boy

Left home with Otis 10.20 am to meet Tom and Tane at Gebbies.  We got riding about 11, heading up the gravel road and into the singletrack.  Tane was a Gunn down the first descent in the forest.  He fanged it.  Otis was slightly less gungho and slightly more cautious, but still did wickedly well down the steep roots.  Neither of them liked the climb that followed much.  And indeed, later climbs proved a nightmare for them.  Took aaages to get up the final km or so to the forest edge and a couple of times I had to walk back and help O with his bike up steep bits.  Tane tho, lives in Lyttelton, and goes tramping a bunch with his dad, so is quite used to hills, heaps fitter and also slightly more mature than O, managed it all a bit better, but still whinged the way kids do when forced to do stuff that's hard.

Over the fence, and Tane decides to wander off up the hill above (in a bit of a huff), so O and me headed on round the exposed singletrack. O really struggled with the technicality of the trail and the (scary) big drops off the side.  He walked the bike a bunch then dumped it just before the Remarkable Dykes.  I think he was almost broken, tired from a late night, and only running on breakfast and a few nibbles of OneSquares.  Bit of rain started spitting down at this stage too.  From leaving the bike, he perked up a bit and jogged and walked while I rode low-speed along behind.  Tom and Tane appeared behind us and we all got to the hut about the same time.  A few walkers about the place.  Rain got heavier.  Tom and me sat in the hut listening to the rain on the roof while the two boys wandered off up the hill towards Bradley.  They got quite high up and disappeared over the ridge.  Rain eased, so we decided to get moving and started heading up to get them and they appeared.  Back down to hut, Otis headed off jogging ahead and we got ourselves rolling behind him.  Nice ride down, rocks a bit slippery.  Caught him up before the Dykes, and he got back on his bike and riding.  I zooped on through to the fenceline and waited and watched.  He was pretty cautious but did really well.

Over the fence and we whooped and holla'd as we swooped and flew down the singletrack.  One or two techy bits that caught the kids out but Tom and me had a good roll down.  Through the open bit near the wee hut / bach thingy and into the forest again.  Lovely swooping flow down here, and into the steep switchbacks.  Bunch of walkers here, past them.  The boys did good through the steeps, drifting the corners.  Then the descent through the dark douglas fir and onto and up the road, around, rather than the way we'd come down, then into the paddock for a wee bit more climb to the top.  Off down swooping and jumping along the fenceline over the roots and ruts down to the next stile.  Then down under the trees and over the roots, and the barbed-wire edged climb into the steeper rooty one which we all walked up (me pushing two bikes) to the last open climbing over the top and down finally to the road.  Gravel rolling around and Tom and me took the walky track just below the road, bombing down to the cars.

Not even 12 kms, and only 442m gained...

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Wednesday night there and back again

Pick up from work and through the fucktard traffics and up Huntsbury (grabbing some water from a workmate of Nelson's at the bottom of the hill).  Over the stile and off up the jumpy track to the right of the main drag, my wheeze factor kicking in and leaving me well behind Nelson.  Shit city up here, with craploads of sheep and lambs crapping craploads of crap everywhere.  Tires were well filthy by the time we made the first gate.  Up the next section through the tussocks and then over the fence and up the landing strip, up the gravel grovel then Nelson decides to head up the steep singletrack.  I follow and cleanly mostly cleaned it.  Cleaned the bit he dabbed anyway, but blew a bit he didn't.  Got round the steep corner, then up to the Traverse and back towards Vernon.  Chunderbird 2 was parked up here, full of boozing student blokes (wearing boat shoes !yech!).  Off up round Vernon, taking the old switchback line then onwards and down.  Sketchy gravel on a few corners, then across Rapaki-top and straight into Witch Hill.  Good clamber up round here and then onto the road and up the hill.

Bit of a breather at top of Castlerock.  Dropped in and found it very fast and wider.  Plus really noticed the smoothing out by my Vibracore bars.  Been a bit of work down here, widening, but not smoothing too much.  I slowly wound in Nelson a bit before the first hairpin then he got the jump on me on the climb.  Out to Bridle top and decided to head back up the track.  Climby climby climb, Nelson quite quickly losing me, but I cleaned it all the way up except for a teetering topple of balance in the last gutsy rocks.  Back on the road, we decided to explore a little up around the tors.  Headed up the ridge above the road, and hung a left along the walk track.  Somewhat rideable around here with some dodgy steps under a wee bluff and noisy loose rocks.  Down the hill a bit and found the old trail to the right that heads around the back of the whole bluffy top - a trail that I'd ridden years ago (turns out was within blogdom).  Rather overgrown now, with broom plants and tussocks, and rocks all conspiring to stall progress.  Up the first bit and lo there was a whole basin I'd forgotten existed.  Off around this, a few bits of walking.  Actually, mostly walking.  Out to the next bluff and a bit of a walk about, including climbing up onto the top for some awesomeness of viewage. Back on the bikes and back around this trail, riding some more, and walking some more too.  Back up to the ridge above Castlerock and onwards down above the road on the new walking track towards the Tors.  MINT AS.  Pretty much 98% rideable, with only two dodgy rocky bits near the end that needed caution due to the consequences of not making them (biiiig drop to rocks then road below).  Sweet roll down onto the road, then onto the walking track above the road heading back to Witch Hill.  Nice techy wee pedally track this one.  Fun back to Witch, and then the climb, gasp!, then down round and blazed through Rapaki-top again and got knuckled into the climbing again - right calf muscle feeling like it had a braid in it again.  Nelson left me way behind.  He wound in and overtook a rider ahead .  Met him again at the end of the trail, after I'd waited for a whole bunch of riders climbing up, chatting to a dude (on a nice steel hardtail (cheap! Fire-eye from CRC)).  He hadn't ridden the trail to Huntsbury before, so he joined us and followed us.  Around the Traverse for a bit, then dropped down to the gravel and bombed down the landing strip. Over the fence and around the singletrack, then over the gate and into Shitsville.  Jumpy jumpy down here and back over the stile to the car.  Good spin.  17kms and 670m climbed.  Stinky bikes.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sat'day Morning Jettison through the forest

Headed out about 9 with Jet, in the Fiat, across town to Worsley's, for a ride of ever diminishing circles.  Parked up top and headed on up the main drag, riding the ridges - multichoice singletrack I called it.  Cleaned it pretty much all the way up, a couple dabs, and then up past the Forest Closed sign and into the B-Line zone.  Clambered on up the upper access track and dropped straight on into Tommy2, flowing down the loamy trail, swooping 'round the bends and rolling over the drops and roots.  Lovely flowy ride down, just the sound of the birds, happy jet alongside or behind, the brakes hussing all the way down down and occasionally the scrape of a tire on loose dirt, rocks or roots.  Through the bottom and climbing around and up the access track.  At the junction headed up the Guts track, climbing climbing climbing, catching a couple dudes after the pylon gap and passing them up at the corner.  Last leg to the clifftop was a puffer, but rode it all at my own pace, finally selecting granny for that last section.  A few bods at the top, I rode on past and up the Original, with variations.  Blew out the rocky section Nelson cleaned last time, and then headed back up for the top, and on up the upper access.

This time dropped into my new one, up just past the entrance to Deb's, and down through the canyon.  Took a pic in here, cos it was such a nice zone.

Then it was across and down through the dark forest, and across the creek.  Looked like a bloody trailbike had been through, the wankers.  Still, they'd carved the track out a bit, almost defining it better.  Into the open space and around the cool rock, rode it all the way through and into the forest for the long and off camber sidle.  Appeared that motorbike had peeled off up the hill here, while I swooped up and down across the slope and tucked back into Tommy2's.  Down this, once again, lovely buzz down here and through the bottom and back up the access track to the Junction.  What a day.

Next up it was back up the Guts climb, just up to the cliff top this time, so, basically, all the worst of it.  No one else around here.  Was disgusted to see broken bottles on the clifftop and trash chucked over the cliff edge.  Fucking 4wheel-driver cunzors.  Into what was Wayne's World, is looking rather un-ridden, then around and across to the lower reaches, then straight into Fight Club for a swoopy joyful blast down here dropping on through to the bottom and back into the access climb.

Final time up the Guts, this time just to the pylon gap, chatting with a couple guys here before heading back down first on the left hand side then across into our old favourite swooping down through the trees and over that feature that used to seem like such a big vertical drop, then around into the new exit from this, back onto the access climbing track, just above the watertank down there.  Back up to the junction and across the main Worsley Track, into the forest and down the jumpy track, jumping some, rolling round others.  Climbed over the fence gap and then down the final section, jumping more and rolling around others, out the bottom and down the 4wd track, then climbed up to where people park and down the new finishing track, which turns out is called Epitaph, back to the car.  Nicely nicely.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday night eastern

Nelson collected me from mine after work and we headed out to Scumner and up to Evans Pass.  Straight into the Goddles, nasty climb taxing us both and he discovered a weird clunkiness in his back end, so stopped and fiddled, and decided to just ride it.  On up and out, going pretty good.  I was in front for a bit so held him back til the top.  Then he took the lead and we fanged it down towards Livingston.  The last throes I was in utter cruise mode, weaving back and forth, the bike doing everything perfectly.  Smoothest descent of this trail for a long time.  At Livingston we tried a new way, heading around the walking track to the right.  Excellent wee track, sidles around for a while, gradually climbing, some big exposure on the right, then into a pinchy wee climb, struggling up through a couple of steps and steeps, then over the ridge and over a stile and down down down, fun descent with some steps and trickiness to Breeze Col.  He had a fiddle with his handlebars here and then we were off up the narrow track above the road around and into Breeze Bay track, going fast around this.  I had a wee moment of both wheels slipping on our rock, but the rest of it was smooth and funky.  Back at Breeze Col we headed back up the narrow trail again this time bombing down to the end of the road and onto the trail below the road back to Breeze. Then it was the road back towards Evans, slowly climbing til we got to the 4wd trail back up to the singletrack for the final blast back to the car.

Mapped, 14.75 kms, over 500m altitude.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Labour Weekend, Little Akafatty

At the bach, and my fatty was over here left from last time I didn't get out, so this morning got out.  Headed up over to Decanter, bombed down the hill into there and continued on the long climb to the high point below Rehutai and the bomb down into Menzies Bay.  Stopped short at their closed gate and headed back up the hill, high point and bomb back down to Decanter, then back up and over from there.  863 m altitude, 24 kms, 1 hour 50 mins riding.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wellington 6: back to Polhill

Polhill revisited.  Final day of the trip, packed up our shit and loaded it all into the downstairs room, then hit the city traffic across, yet again to Aro St, heading up Holloway road again and into Clinical.  Climb climb climb, tired legs slowing me down, slowing everyone down, except, seemingly, Nelson.  Breather once again in the park, and then into Highbury Fling.  Around this, climbing mostly, then up Sawmill and the short section of fenceline then Windmill, popping up to the Windmill for another look. An actual view of the city and beyond this day, rather different to the cloud we were inside of a couple days prior.  Then it was into Car Parts, bombing down and around, back across the road and some discussion of playing down the Rollercoaster, back up Highbury before heading down Transient, but nope, straight into Sawmill down into Transient, wondering this time how I'd gotten so hung up on the rooty bit at the top.  Good fang down the whole trail again this tiem, dusty.  Regrouped same spot as last time, then down to Serendipity.  On the 'drop' Alistair flatted, so him and Pete and Nelson and Mark stopped to drop it a couple of times, while I ploughed on ahead and ended up down the bottom first.  Steve and Wayne and a few others rolled up and eventually the dropping four turned up.

Mappage, 16.64 kms and only 381 m altitude climbed.  Not much, compared to what we're used to here in Churchur.

And that was the trip.  None of the trails were particularly technical.  All pretty smooth easy tracks, especially when you compare them to such like Greenwood or Godley even, and we don't even consider them to be very technical tracks...  And, there's a fair bit more of Wellington we never did.  I wish we'd gotten out Red Rocks, and out at the West Wind project area, and up into the Akatarawas, and maybe even if we'd ventured up to the Kiriwhakapapa out of the Wairarapa. Always wanted to do that one.  Oh well.  Another time...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wellington 5: Salvation, Deliverance and Makara again

Day Five!  Twas decided to play in Makara again, and include a lap up and down Salvation and Deliverance.  The climb up Salvation was sweet, and waaay shorter than I'd remembered it.  Seemed to take no time at all.  At the top I rolled off up the road for a bit to look for another apparently 'rocky' entrance to Deliverance that I'd read about online, but no.  Rolled back down to see the rest of the crew arrive.  Off into the descent.  Nelson out front, then, i think, Pete then me, and I thought Mark was right on my tail, but it turned out it was Alistair, rattling down the rocks and roots behind me.  Part way down the rockiest section I found myself blind from runny eyes, and had to pull up.  I let Alistair go and then followed.  A few techknuckle features later and there's a bit hold up where Nelson had dropped off the big drop and his front wheel had burped him off the track.  Bike cluttered down into the woods and him left hanging on.  We all gradually regrouped, then Warren wandered down with a flat too.  After that was fixed, off again.  More interspersed techknuckle features then I round a corner and there's Pete with a garked knee (again!) and a very close call to speak of, what with the exposed warratah sticking out of the side of the track that could have pierced his ribs if he'd landed worserer.  Rolling again and into that wee chutey bit, I cleaned all the rocky entry, but got to the root drop into chute and baulked.  Quickly ran down and remounted and rolled through to a regroup before the final up and down and in and out of the creek to final exit climb.  Phew.   DeMaperanced - 4.82 km loop, with only 155m of altitude - surprising that is..

The vehicle drivers took the vehicles to Makara and we all rode through to the Cafe at the Cricket Grounds for lunch.  Then a brief sojourn to Mud Cycles for a good gawk and off back along the roads to the park.  Up Koru, the proper way this time, then Sally Alley and brief regroup to enter new climb Three Bros leading to the Snake Charm up to the top.  Pete and Alistair headed down to do Peak Flow (cos they'd missed it the day before), and then they were chasing back up, while the rest of the crew did North Face, and Nelson, Mark and myself did Trickle Falls, which was super uber techknuckle.  The 'filter' at the top a damned good indication of a few of the features to follow.  I walked a few, but rode a heap.  Nelson rode everything, but even Mark actually walked one or two (one or two less than me tho).  We ended up out on some street, Allington Rd, up which we rode and into Allington Rd Connector track which crossed where JFK becomes Smokin'.  We heard the other's voices here and they arrived and we all rode down Smokin' to where it crossed Snake Charmer where some headed down and out (Steve, Robin, Tony???) and the rest of us clambered on back up to the top again.  From here we thought we'd check out T3 which was cool, lots of interesting features, like a lizard covered in bike tires, and a chain-swing boardwalk thing.  At an intersection there was the option of Vertigo down, or Varley's.  Nelson, Mark, Alistair and me chose Vertigo, while the rest took Varley's.  Vertigo was awesomesauce.  Not as rugged as Trickle, but lots of really fun steeeeeeep sections.  Cleaned it all and felt damned good about it.  It ends on the same final stretch as Trickle, so we rolled up to Allington Rd again and up the connector and then down Smokin', Ridgeline Extension, SWIGG, Starfish, blazing out to the end, then rolling down and out to the Cafe to join the rest of the fellas and fellesse then to head back to base.  All good...Mappedkara - 20kms and nearly 700m alt.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wellington 4: sMakara

Day four of the annual trip.  Alistair had brake trouble, so him and Pete got his bike to a bikeshop and we loaded up the vehicles and headed out to Makara Peak without him. Headed up gentle easy climbing Koru, and then Mark decided the 'Koru Short Cut' looked like a good idea.  It wasn't.  Him and Nelson nearly came to fisticuffs over who had the lead, which played out in front of me, causing me to stop and everyone else (who followed us anyway - some sensible ones plodded on up the normal route), and get off and walk.  Stopped at the 'skills' area and mucked about a little bit.  Nelson dropped the larger drop, I did the middle which I found surprisingly big.  Various others, Pete, Andy, Mark did various versions of the same.  Then we headed off up Sally Alley, cruising around and up this, then into Missing Link and into the Aratihi climb up peeling off for Upper Leaping Lizard.  This was a w00t! fest down, yumpy yumpy and squirrelly squirrelly through the lower sections to the creek bridge.  Up a bit and there's a 'bail out' route or then the possum line route?  Pete got the call from Alistair that his bike was ready, so we got going up the PossumLine - Yuck!  Nasty switchbacky climb, Pete came up with us thinking it would be a quick way out, decided it wasn't, so he headed back down and 'bailed out' to go get Alistair.  The rest of us raged down Nikau Valley which had some hairy corners, then clambered back up to Missing Link, climbing again all the way up Aratihi.  Peaked out at the top and decided that the new flow track Peak Flow would be fun.  It kinda was and kinda wasn't.  Not techy enough, just a big swooping jumpy rolling trail, with sketchy-as grip with it's ballbearing-surface.  Lots of grins tho.  Then was straight back up Snake Charmer to the top again, and this time rode around A to Z and across into North Face.  Now this was fun.  Way more fun than Peak Flow.  We blasted down this and then into JFK and Smokin', then SWIGG and eventually finished off down Starfish.  Finally a good bit of climbing, over 800 for the day, all in only a couple of hours riding.  Pete and Alistair came up and did Ridgeline and we all met up and rolled on out back to camp.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wellington 3: Polhill Barking Parts

Day three of the annual trip.  Headed across town to the Aro Valley again, and met up with Nelson's friend Ken and my work buddy David.  Headed up Holloway Rd, funky house valley, and up into George Denton Park, hitting up Clinical, meandery wee climb zigging and zagging up through nice regenerating native bush, as do most of our fair capital's trails, eventually topping out in a wee park.  Big regroup here for everyone to get their breath back from the final steep of the climb, then through the fence to the edge of Karori Sanctuary, and into Highbury Fling - another climber through similar regen bush.  A couple of ridges it pops out into the viewdom, but mostly in the bush.  Eventually, it finished (observing Transient peeling off to the left) at a suburban street, and we hit up Sawmill Track climbing up to the Sanctuary fence again.  Followed this a bit and then across the road and into Windmill trail which meandered around below the windturbine (swoop swoop swoop as backing sound).  The wind was fierce and blustery and in places the scudding clouds were losing their moisture into trees which were over-dripping the track.  This track turned into Car Parts Extension, then eventually into Barking Emu which was quite a bit of up and down, with one ridge which nearly blew us off our bikes, and eventually ended up at the top of the Tip Track (an infamous Welly climbing track).  Regrouped here and didn't stick around on account of there being very little respite from the wind.  Headed back along Barking Emu and 'Parts Extension, seeming much longer than memory had allowed, and more climbing than I would have thought possible considering how much climbing there was going out.  Popped out at the Windmill and had a good look at it, then dropped into Car Parts, muchly different from my previous memory of it last time Nelson and me rode it, fanging down through drops and twists and turns, I had Ken on my tail and he was fast and hard on me, pushing me.  Managed to survive this and popped out across the road to the fence again.  Regroup then back around to Sawmill and down, and dropped into top of Transient.  Got rather messed up on some roots near the top, nearly losing my shit, juuuust managing to pull it back in and riding it out, then around the corner crossing Highbury and bombing on down the rest of it.  Great flowy trail down here, fast.  Chasing Alistair and once coming upon him extracting himself from a tree, he got moving again ahead and slowly losing me around a corner or so ahead, then not long later I come round a corner and there he is wrapped around a tree again.  I rode past and continued on down.  We did a big regroup where the trail meets a 4wd section, then coasted down and into Serendipity, a socalled Black Trail...  Fun.  Mildly more technical (but not that much) than Transient, swoopy and droppy in places, finishing off with a big steep cobbled bit on the hillside above the bottom of the Polhill Reserve where we all regrouped and headed back to base.  Rather late lunch and then nobody seemed to be in for a 2nd ride of the day cos it was quite late by this time.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Wellington 2: WainuioMiramata

Into the van early, 8 am, and off to Wainuiomata.  Headed for Wainuiomata Mtnbike Park to meet up with Nelson's friend (and Craig's brother) Brendan.  He turned up and led us up through the climbing Jungle Gym, then up Labyrinth, and finally Towai Traverse to the top of Freewheel, which was a hoot of a downhill, even with the heinous northerly howling across the tops.  One point on Nelson's tail, he caught a little air and moved a good metre sideways before he'd landed.  Some mechanical with Marie's bike in a switchbacky section, and then not far below this we were out again at the beginning of Labyrinth.  Up this again, and then where Towai Traverse takes off we headed down 491 which was a neat downhill, lots of rough and a couple of interesting features.  This joined Spoonhill, then peeled off on Nga Tuna, ending down on the Wetland Loop.  Hung a right and rode around past the bottom of Snails up Directa back onto Jungle Gym and up.  Labyrinth again for a little bit and off down Snails, then around Wetland Loop to Directa again and this time jumping onto the lower half of BeeLine down and back to the vehicles.  Good couple hours spent, with 15odd kms travelled, but only 413m gained. Wainuiomapped.

Drove up the hill and at the top all but the drivers jumped out and did the downhill.  This was fun.  Back in the vehicles and Pete (supposedly) mistakenly took a wrong turn taking us back up the hill again.  No U-turn possibilities at the top so over and down around the round about at the bottom and back up to the top.  So this time 2 volunteered not to ride and Pete and Steve got to experience the downhill themselves.  Another excellent run down, except for Nelson's spectacular crash off the trail.

Then it was back into the vehicles, exiting the correct direction across the waterfront of Petone and back down the motorway to Wellington.  Lunch had, and off to Miramar trails for a play.   Up Conviction, which becomes near the top Bootleg and or Juvenile Delinquent.  Bit of a mess about at the top and I took upper Bootleg down while the others all went down the jumpy dual slalom course.  Bit of a look around on the top around the water tanks and off down Jail Break.  Losing Nelson somewhere in the process.  Some confusion around. Around Repeat Offender back onto Conviction up for another blast. Down Bootleg again and this time down Solitary while I think the others went down Jail Break again.  I think I was on my own here.  Waited around, was this when we lost Nelson?  Unknown.  some of them pulled out here, and I went back up for another blast of Jailbreak whereas not sure if others did Solitary or what.  Then we all rode out and it was realised Robin was missing, and somehow he'd totally missed us all riding out past him while he was in waiting to take photos of us riding past...?  Miramapped

Wellington 1: Mounting Victoria

Annual trip, this year to Wellington.  Large group - Steve, Pete, Andy, Wayne, Warren, Tony, Nelson, Alistair, Robin, Mark and Marie, and of course, me.  Flew up Friday morning, got a van and wee truck, got to accommodation about 11.30 and got our bikes sorted up into something rideable.  Quick shop, then off for a short (and shorter for some) ride on Mt Vic, just up the road.  Climbed up onto the ridge then up the ridge to the top.  Here we went down what was thought to be a black diamond track (but was later discovered on the maps (by me) to just be an 'Other' track... oops).  It dropped us down a very steep and rooty which ended on a sidling trail that took us around towards the Majoribanks track.  It was here that the undoing of the party began.  Us faster chaps continued on around another 'block' of trail then climbed up a climbing track.  If the boys, who I'd not realised were on our tails (- thinking they'd taken a much more sensible approach of actually riding bike tracks), had just climbed up the Majoribanks track they would have found us at the top of it - instead they gave up and dropped out.  From here we (Nelson, Mark, Alistair, Pete and me) rode up a bit further and got onto the SuperD track, which turned out to follow the ridge all the way down and had some cool sections on it.  One particularly rooty section Pete smashed up his knee on.  We ended up at the top of Newtown and dropped out by the Bowls Club (next door to where my friends Nik and Blair lived), down past the hospital and down to Basin Reserve and back to base.  I forgot to turn on my MapMyRide so no record here... but this was Pete's... including the treadle to Garage Project we did for an excellent tasting and tour of the brewery...

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Tuesday Night Pleasant quick GreenBrittenwood.

Nelson picked me up out front of work a bit early and we stopped by on a job of his at Falsgrave St, then onwards to the top of Major Hornbrook well before 5.30pm.  Waited for Craig who rang a couple of times lost on the way up the hill, so I got going just after 5.30 and Nelson and him followed behind once he'd turned up.  I had a nice easy going run up Britten, stopping a couple of times to see if they were coming, and finally saw them so kept moving on and awaited their imminent arrival in the trees on the ridge, but moved off before they got to me then had Nelson tight on my tail by the time I reached the road.  Hello to Craig here.

Across the road and over the fence to the new climber, zigged then zagged across the slope til we met the trail up here and on up that towards the top.  I stayed on their tails for a while but eventually had to renege and they slowly moved off ahead.  Up top of Mt Pleasant, first Craig, then Nelson allowed me the lead, Craig on account of him being on his rigid 1988 Yeti, and Nelson due to his cat bite puncture wounds on his hand.  So, I had a nice run, mellow and easy round to the stile, then also here, Nelson noticed his seat wasn't lowering, leaving him stuck in the old skool (but not quite as old skool as Craig!).  Off down below here, through the rocks I got a bit of a groove on and enjoyed it, tho at times my balance was a bit wonky.  Nice swoopy blast down through the tussocks, scattering more sheep the lower we got.

Paused while Nelson checked out his seatpost on the farmtrack above Greenwood, to no avail, and then got going, down, past the ruins, and into the ruination of rocks.  Periods of high speed, periods of just rolling, coasting, cruising, then blazing.  Stinky last big corner, then down, and the yumpy before the narrow big rocks, my foot propelled itself out of my pedal, causing some concern.  Rest of the way was good but I could feel Nelson gaining on me.  Just out of Gloomy Gulch the trail had had some work done, and we pulled up here in my usual stopping place for Craig to catch up.  Off again, taking a bit on the rocks to get my feet in, then it was Nelson chasing the whole way down.  I'd gain, getting away a little then he'd be gaining on me, pushing me harder.  Coming into the wee creek valley it sounded like his hand was pretty painful.  The blast from here down to the rocky-ups was supreme, and I selected the right gear for the first rocky, tho, still had to just push off the rock with my foot to keep moving on, then swooped on down through to the end.  Bit of a rest here, saying gudday to a Surly couple riding up the road, and being ignored by an assortment of roadies passing us by.  6.30ish it was as we sat there, and decided to move on back up the trail.

Climbing Greenwood is not nearly as bad as you might think.  Actually, was pretty good.  Gnarly rocky sections to get through, but mostly it's pretty good.  I was certainly surprised at how not unenjoyable it was.  Near the top, the few rocky sections made me wonder how the hell I was continuing to continue, but once at the ruins, everything was good again.  The other thing that surprised me was that Nelson and Craig really didn't get that far ahead of me.  And, I rode more than Craig, altho, rigidity is harder on techy rocks than is cushy suspension...

So.  Onto the road again, climbing, then blasting down through Britten, and back to the car, the time being about 7.10, allowing us plenty of time to get to the Histed Twop for our PFMTBC Trip Meeting by 7.30.  Beer, food, company.  All good.  Alas, my MapMyRide has thrown a wobbly and not seemed to have synced this ride, so no altitude, speed or distance stats to be relished...

tho, calculated altitude off the Topo maps, we did 420odd metres, which isnt that bad for a short ride...

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sunday reGruppo before the winds.

Forth ride in 5 days.  Left mine at 5-past for an early 8.20 start at Steve's.  Pretty much early, being overtaken by Andy and Tony in the Hydestor van on Opawa Rd and finding Steve out front ready for us.  Short wait for Wayne to show up, whilst the overslept Pete was chasing.  We headed around Aynsley Tce and up Crapaki for a change (most of the year since last up here).  Easy climb, cruising chatting to Tony for a start, Pete catching the boys before the gate regroup.  Steve continued on ahead and got a good lead.  I rode with the boys for a second then engaged pursuit-mode, catching up and chatting for ages til the rest caught up just before the flat.  Up the last climb Andy's turn for the chatter. 

Regruppo'd up top then up Vernon.  I was pushing as hard as my multiple-days-riding-weary legs would allow, finding them surprisingly not lacking.  At the Farmtrack halfway point a young guy on a Nomad got in behind me and so my pressure was on.  He was fresher, younger, and catching me...  Ugh, it hurt getting over the last rocks and along the final stretch before dropping to the road.  Another regrupping here and off around the Traverse.  Nice pace through here too, with tail winds assisting along the downward travelling length before the pond.  Gale force winds forecast (which hit much laterer) hadn't shown up thankfully (cos when they did hit, the hills were obscured by the dust of the Canterbury Plains...).  Brief pause at the usual spot, then onwards through the perfect morning to the top of Vic Park, everybody rolling up in short shrift, before heading down Coffee Break and avoiding the see-saw and heading down across the rabbit paddock into the rocky rocks of the rock garden. 

Gums, fun.  (really must get up there with the chainsaw and clear that lefthand trail).  Skidder site, regrouped and off down Shazza's, weird lines abounding, especially towards the bottom, and then into Brents, managing to nail the pop up to the left, then taking the high line all the way down.  Again, no body too far behind and all for another regroupage betwixt creek and fence.  Off down Flow(?) finding myself untidy at times, but managing to hold off Andy who I felt like was gaining fast.  Into Bridges and some random control, commenting that I always feel like I'm gonna lose it on that dry clay leading across the top before the turn back up valley and dropping down into the swoopiness of (was once called)NuBridges (whether it still deserves the name New... I'm not so sure...).  Fun yumpi-pumpiness down through here and then fast blast down to the creek. 

This time, gear selected well in time and balance in check.  Cleaned the crossing into the first climby bit, then around the first corner, as usual no worries, then up up and somehow cleaned the second corner, rejoicing with a slow pedal, hearing the boys below, then grunting on up the next, Pete not too far behind, and up the steepest bit into the last two corners, polishing everything.  Another regroup at the socalled Bowenvale Bonus, before climbing what we decided was that, and into Old Skool, or Bowenvale as the nom-de-terre.  Sweet blast down this, tho the lower we got the more overgrown it was, hiding holes and rocks in various spots, making for some cautious speed.   A few groms on DH rigs passed under us and we arrived at the bottom, 10am on the dot, to find a DH grom convention.  Lucky we didn't meet any of them up top somewhere. 

Down Bowenvale to Kaizuka, another breakfast had along with a nice Funk Estate Renegade Red, then it was off to Steve's to watch the England Aussie game he'd recorded earlier, a lot while we rode.  Hallertau whisky barrel aged stout as an accompaniment, leaving the day with a rosy glow.

Mapppppd, just about 30kms, with 534 m climbed.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Saturday Hanmerific

Nelson and me met in Amberly after 9.30am and transferred to his car and hoofed it up to Hanmer.  A bite to eat and we got going, around Jacks Pass Rd and on up Chattertons, gravel road section waaay longer than I ever remember it.  Up the walking track for a bit then across and up the seemingly seldom used singletrack, leading to the skidder track up to the pylon.  Steeper and steeper it gets til we topped out just in the trees.  Nelson had a faff with his drivetrain, cleaning and lubing it, then we set off down through the dark forest.  A bit greasy in here, so took it quite easy.  Around, some climbing and a few more wee descents, and Nelson dropped his front wheel into something and went over the bars, not far from the Beehives.  Through these and on around the access track to the road and over this up to the Tank.

Into the Tank Track and descending and cornering like anything.  A tad greasy in places, roots inclusive.  Stopped briefly a little way down to get the lay of the land and spot where the trail was headed.  Onwards and down, getting the groove the further we went, except for one near miss where I seriously thought I was gonna crash, but somehow scraped through.  Into the forest and quick climb out to the open.

Across this and into the climb for the Yankee Zephyr.  Climb climb climb, a couple switchies then into the forest and over a creek and back out to a skidder site.  and into the descent.  We enjoyed the top section, it's a little wider and you can rail stuff and jump a bit and it's fun, but the lower swoopies are too narrow, rutted, and you're constantly fighting for balance.

Finished this and headed off down the Swamp track, which started out too tight, but got better and better, faster and faster.  A blast towards the end.  Then it was across the road and up Timberland trail, nasty climb for me, gasping for air, but eventually out onto the last steep 4wd bit to the skidder site at the top.

A rest here and a bit of a snack.  and off up Joliffe Saddle track, climbing climbing, and around the final corner to find a bunch of guys at the top.  One of them said, "Nice bike", and I looked at theirs and there was an orange 5 Spot.  indeed, it was the dude who'd let me have a wee go on that very 5 Spot and who told me WideOpen were selling ex-demo frames back in May last year that cinched me getting mine.  I told him as much.  They'd just climbed up where we were heading down.  Into it we plummetted.  Mint descent, fast and raily, drops off steps and surprise corners and it was over way quicker than I remembered it.

Across the bridge and up some steps and up to the road, climbing a short distance up to Big Foot...  One that was shut down a few years back (2008 or so (last time I'd ridden it) for logging and apparently has been back in action for about a year.  Great to get into it again.  Sweet climb up, zigging and zagging for ages, up through Fir forest, coming out into the open now and then, where it used to be totally enclosed the whole way.  At the top we caught a young guy.  He took off while we rested for a bit, and then we hit it.  Entirely different to memory, because it used to be in tall tall forest, whereas now it's open and you can see it ahead all the way down.  But it's a great trail and rides really well.

Eventually out to the road, and a quick coast down this and into the Detox climb.  As ALWAYS, longer than memory would permit, and then we're into it and it's again different and yet the same.  After the 'chicken line' option (which we didn't take) we passed a guy fixing a flat, and then it was the steep rutty chute out to the end, where his mates were waiting.

Across into Mach 1 and climbing a bit but not as much as I thought and a few descents and tight corners.  Across Camp track and then up the Dog Stream track, then up Jolliffes road, the climbing really dragging me down here, and into Red Rocks.  Nelson was waiting for me at the top.  We did the short down and up and I stopped to put my glasses away, then continued on.  Quite greasy in places but fun nonetheless.  At Eeny Meeny we decided not to bother with the rest of Redrock and took that instead, which was cool.  Went where Red Rock used to finish, and into more forest and a couple of choices in there.

Then it was just down to Timberland, along and across the Park and then a quick climb to Torquay Terrace and a nice coast down here back to the car.  Went to go for a swim but the queue was so big we bailed and grabbed a bite to eat and then came back home, via me picking up the car in Amberly.  Home by 5.

Mapped.  Surprisingly only 568 m gained, felt like a lot more...

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thursday night Worsley ups and downs

Usual pick up from work and through to bottom of Worsley's, parking on the flat next to the poplar trees (just by what will be the entrance to the new park).  Craig turned up on his 1988 Yeti, crazy classic, mint condition, and we trundled on up the hill.  Hopped onto Fluffy Sheep for the climb up, them bowling on ahead at speed and me left behind gasping for air.  Plugged some asthma gas in and still gasped but made it up and then up the road from here.  Through the gate on the right and into the climb on the right hand side.  Beginning of the steep there was a fallen over bushy vine covered tree, leaning into the gorse on the left.  Had to get off and push through it, then, ugh, breathing killing me up the steepest, and a little greasy in here too.  Finally out to the leveling off, mini stream crossing, then more steep and the other two were awaiting me at the top, Nelson on the phone.  Quick descent, then climb again, but easier, and then another small descent and more climb, around over Braille track and on up up up, a couple of groms wafting down through the jumps next to us as we ascended.  Out the top and onto the main drag, seeing some guys that'd been at the carpark when we rolled through.  We duly ignored the Forest Closed sign and headed up the entrance, then on up the route to Tommy2's.

Took the first left, into Debbie Does Dallas, nice roll down here, into the dark and on down, Craig really enjoying it, then into Alice's Restaurant.  First few sections all good, but then when the going got steep I got chicken and walked a few corners.  Below the rocky wall I got my groove back.  Just before the next creek crossing, Craig lost his front wheel over the edge of where Nelson crashed back in May, breaking a spoke on his nearly 30 year old wheel.  Rolled out the rest and up the exit track to the junction.  Craig bailed out here on account of the wheel... heading down.  Nelson and me headed up the Guts track, cleaned it all, overtook some groms up top at the clifftop and then we rolled on up the old Original line.

On up the Tommy2's access track and all the way to the top (cos Nelson thought the uber-Enduro dude on his tail was me...).  Chatted with him for a bit and another group of huckers passed through and then we headed back down to our new trail down the funky boulder strewn gulch and through the dark forest, a couple of whoopdedoos, then (a trail seeming to come in here from the right (note to self: explore next time...)) following the stream a bit, then out into the open (below Deb's), around the rocks now, then back into the forest, sidling, seemingly just above Alice's, off cambernation, on across the slope to the 2/3rds down Tommy2's, railing and nailing this all, blasting down to the bottom.  Back into the exit climb, light getting a bit dim now, catching 3 guys Nelson knew, chatting with them a bit, before heading on down the outgoing trail, me baulking on the log again, and Nelson smacking his derailleur on a rock just before it, and it somehow locking the switch on it!?!?.  Rolling again and out the finish, down the wee singletrack from the upper carpark.

Down the road and into the Far Side trails.  Utopia appears to be no longer, and light was failing, so Fluffy Sheep, out in the open, it was, back down again.  Swoopy swoopy, popping yumpies at the bottom and down round the corner and down back to the car, streetlights on by this stage.

Noodle Canteen and a BOOM to finish.  

Mapped, nearly 16 kms, and just over 680m altitude climbed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday night Godley there and back

Day off work - school holidays - picked up the Spot from Josh, all suspension and linkages very nicely tickled up.  Deposited the famdamnly at the airport at 3.30, got home (via Punky Brewster) and about 5.30 Nelson turned up and we headed out to Scumner and up to Evans Pass.  Parked up, and Nelson discovered he didn't have his shoes, so had to ride in some lace-less Chuck Taylor low tops... I led the way up and out, as he struggled on the technicalities.  One rider at the highest point, then another at the fence where the climb up from Scarborough meets the singletrack where he'd just climbed up.  Off down towards Livingston, nice and quick, flow was good and the whole back end felt true and tight, and front end had no dive and was a relevation, like a new bike!  Very nice.

Grunted up from Livingston, displaying some muppetry on the rocks near the top, and then off down to Breeze.  From here we headed above the road around the tight little narrow trail, scattering sheep and collecting samples of their byproducts kindly deposited on the trail for us.  Up and around to see a few of the new 360 Walkway signs, over the stile into the Breeze Bay track.  Mildly sketchy in places around here where a little bit of it's southfacing  moisture retaining dirt was making our tires slippery on the rocks.  Good blast down the hill once we'd negotiated the rocks and the flax bush.  Over the stile and into the 'conda.  Fun blast down here ducking and weaving, bike feeling really good.  Bit of a rest at the start of the 'tail, and then the grunt back up began.  Ugh.  Survivable, but the lower reaches definitely a pain in the arse compared to the top half.

Across Breeze Col again and back into the singletrack climbing climbing over, more muppetry on the rocks, then down to Livingston, and more climbing.  Noticed a couple of WW2 pillboxes in the hill side above here that I'd never noticed before, then up and over and the flow back to Evans.  Good run down here, not too fast to start with but slowly getting my groove on.  Right near the end I finally flicked the switch to 'Descend' and the last rocky guts (that always gets us climbing) was mint. Down and out to the car, and home...

Mapped, only 14.3 kms, but 572m altitude gained...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Fat Loop with Travis Planting

Rained all night and was looking to fine up a bit but with showers, so Steve called off the group ride via Bottle Lake to the planting at Travis which was meant to leave his at 8.  Was raining at his place cos of the hills, but not really at mine so I headed out for a spin anyway, and figured I'd swing by the planting if it wasn't cancelled, which in the end, it wasn't.  Left home 8.30.

Headed out from here, round the river, then up Banks Ave on the singletrack, then Archilles and Ajax past the Mall and round Horseshoe Lake Rd, detouring alongside the reserve for a bit, then over into Lakewood Drive and then north on Burwood and into Waitikiri Drive entrance, to find a Robbie 44 chopper, and a bunch of high viz Civil Defence and Police and LandSAR folk all assembled.  No one would tell me what was going on but none of them stopped me, so I went on my merry way (turns out it was this guy).  Into the forest, and hung a left and on through to the pond, releasing some air on the way.  Past the pond and took the lesser used trails, stopping in here to lose a layer.  Second section through then found a fence and gate at the corner of Lima and 20th Ave Closed "due to logging" so had to back track along an old track for a while til it was a bit blocked by windthrow.  Hung a right on Kilo Rd and moseyed north, following the blue walking track signs.  Eventually at 15th Ave headed down and met the Mtnbike track, travelled the "Wrong Way" on it for a block, then along muddy road, aka 13th, and then on the 2 way trail towards Spencerville.  Took this through with a bit of off piste, then turned right and across the top out to the dune trail and followed that back south.  Took my usual detour off the top of the dune along the top for a while, checking googlemaps for the best route to Travis then tucked back into the forest when the sandtrail ran out.  With my route planned, onwards I cruised, cut through to the right and out parallel with Ascot Drive then through Broadhaven Park and a couple of back streets to Inwoods Rd, south directly to Travis. Walking track to the main base, then followed the signs through the middle where I spotted Steve just riding across the paddock to where everyone was assembled to plant.  Planted a bunch of plants, with a southerly shower or two coming through on us, it was cold,  Finished the planting, rode back to base, ate some saussies, then took my leave and rode back through the middle again, past the planting and out, Bassett St, round the river, then redzoned through to McBratneys and home along the river.

Mapped: 30 odd kms, 1 hour 36 minutes riding time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday night Pleasantries.

Picked up as usual from work and we cruised Moorhouse and Ferry, up St Andrews and parked up top of Upper Major Hornbrook.  The boys were meeting up here at 6.30, giving us about an hour ahead of them.

Pushed off at 5.25 and hoofed it up the Britten Reserve, around the top then back along the road and up Broadleaf.  Into the descent down to Cavendish Saddle, then up the trail towards the gondola.  5.50pm as we went through the new(ish) gate here, then on up and over, both taking different routes lower down.  6pm at the Bridle Path, then the climb up the road to top of Castle Rock.

Sun had just come under the nor'west arch, and was shining through before it set.  Awesome light.  Into Castle descent, Nelson first, speedy speedy, no flats this time.  Good pace down and around, him dropping me on the climb over and then off round the road under the Gondola.  Climbing around and then into the Mt Pleasant singletrack up to the very top.

6.30 here, so rang Steve to see where they were, just starting out.  Lights on, we set off, intending on meeting them top of Britten, but Nelson suddenly noticed the top cap on his fork was missing!  He was splattered in oil, his bike was too, and we followed the oil trail back up the track to not far from the start and he found the offending piece.  No idea how it fits in there, wouldn't screw in or anything, so electrical tape to hold it in place.  Txtd Steve to say we were gonna bail.  Off we set again, bombing on down the descent, down into the Greenwood entrance, using it as an exit.  Thought we saw the boy's lights at the top of Britten from around here, but maybe not.

Decided to keep riding, so headed up the road and around past the bottom of Broadleaf and then at the cattlestop grabbed a new climbing trail just weed-killed into the hill (that I'd noticed the other end of earlier), and headed up this, first txting Steve that we were chasing.  Up the singletrack, again, and found the boys at the top.  Off in a strange order, but was good.  Steve first, then Wazza and me, then Wayne and Nelson and Robin.  Better bomb down here this time for me, following Wazza with his light leading me and also it fresh in my mind from previously.  Nelson led the way around the Greenwood exit then up the road again around, and back up Broadleaf.

Climb climb climb then descend descend descend.  Wazza got the better of me on one corner but I got him back on the next.  Fanged down around the hill, in the dark this time was trickier and couldn't see the undulations in the trail quite as well as before.  Flying down the last final bad-traction descent, through the little shortcut and wham! lights out for me...  Couldn't see a thing, and had to scrub off speed without knowing what I was riding over or whether I was even on the trail...  Managed to stop without incident before the stile and followed Nelson's light down the hill and onto the road.  Up the road through the cutting, and at the start to Britten, Wayne kindly lent me his light, on the handlebar.

Good spin round Britten and up over then down the main drag, troublesome seeing for me, light never seemed to be pointing in the right direction.  Finally back at the cars,8pm or so  Quick pint at the Twisted, and then home.

21 kms, with 690m altitude played with, all in an hour forty of riding time.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday Long(ish) and quite tiring Posse

8.30 start from Steve's, so attempted to leave by 8.15, but didn't actually get out the door til 8.20.  Hauled ass and made it by departure time, finding Steve, Pete, Wazza, Andy, Tony and Wahayno awaiting me.  Off round Hansens and up Ramahana Aotea Huntsbury, huffing away. Regroup at the top of the seal, all stopping for a rest, but Andy and Steve continued on ahead.  Up the dirt, sticking to the road, chatting variously, I caught Andy and Steve above the pylons and rode on chatting to Andy.  Eventually Pete caught us before the top, where we found Mark and Marie.

Into Vernon, took the old line with the corners and rocks in it, and then hammered it down and around to the top of Rapaki.  Regroup again and Marie moseyed on through and ahead into Witch Hill.  We got going and I cleaned it all up, catching up to Marie just as we hit the road.  Good cruise round here, her telling me about the parasailer they saw crash yesterday an how she helped with first aid and calling the chopper and waiting til the chopper came and winched him off. Totes cray cray.

Top of Castle Rock we had another break as we all accumulated together again.  I led off, flying down, smooth to start with, slowly reeling in a guy that'd headed in (and I'd given a big gap to), then at the point where the trail is probably closest to the road above, coming into the straight that heads down to the first hairpin my back tire started going soft...  Bugger, was going really well, having gapped Mark and everything!  Pulled up, and got to swapping in a fresh(er) tube as everyone rolled on by below me, including a few other riders.  Air pressure re-established, and off I went again, suddenly feeling all wonky and off balance and tired.  Groove slowly came back, but not quite, into the climb and puffed and pushed, over and through and down to the end where Pete was waiting.  The others had all rolled on ahead.  We pushed hard and caught most of them before end of the road-closure, tho Steve was well ahead.  Up through the road-cutting and into the Britten singletrack, reeling in Steve a bit, over the top and down back to the road, then roll roll roll around and into the main Greenwood entrance.  Break here?  Nah, how bout the ruins.  Off we went up around and down pulling up and having a brief feed in the sunshine on the concrete.

Mark led the way into Greenwood, and I attempted to sit tight on his tail, never letting a gap get too big and reeling him back in.  Around into gloomy gulch, through this and just before my usual back-stretching point he pulled over, puffing, saying something about how I'd certainly taken to the full-sus...  Bit of a break here and then Pete rolled up.  Then Warren rode through! The Wayne was approaching so I took off after Wazza.  Down the steep(ish) rocky section here and there's a guy carrying his bike up the hill below the trail, and I had to double-take thinking it was Wazza ('but, but, he couldnt have???) having crashed off miles below the trail, but nope (the dude carrying the bike thought I was someone else too).  Power on No, actually, gravity applied and shooting down the hill after Wazz, catching, slowly catching, reeling and eventually I'm right on his tail as we came into the tight wee gully (that's got a stream in the winter) and around into the last straights where I usually go really quick, screaming behind Wazza "FASTER, FASTER, FASTER" but it was fine, he kept a good pace.  Into the first rocky up, and he blew it, as did I.  Through the second no worries then the last blast down to the road.  One by one each of the posse arrived, 11.15 it was.

Here it was decided to head down Capt Thomas rather than complete the Godley, so off we went.  Marie ahead, I caught her at the annoying gate, then Mark led off down the single, both of us cleaning the first rocky, then the second group, then over and into the tricky climb.  Mark cleaned it, I neeaarly did, and then blasting around and the corner just before the hairpin there's a woman with a dog, and evidence of Mark's surprise skidding in sheepshit  and then down through the switchbacks, me directing him into the new bit with the cabbage tree.  Nice couple steep corners and then fanging down the last, him splooshing through a muddy puddle, (which I then avoided) and final trail sections to the stile at the end.  One by one the posse rolled in, but where were Tony and Steve??  Tony had had a nasty crash (OTB) on the first of the techy rock bits.  Badly sore shoulder and a bunch of nice red skin loss patches on knee, wrist, shin, etc...  Head okay, and he was pretty stoic.  Down the road into Sumner my top gear was playing up.

Coffee and cake at Dotcom and then the blast home, Pete and me peeling off for Humphreys and Linwood home.  home 12.20 or so.  40 kms for me, 923 metres climbed.
(been trying this, it's handy... )

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Tuesday pre meeting quick blast

Got the txt from Nelson saying "Leaving now" at 4.30, so he picked me up out front of work and we rushhoured to the top of Huntsbury with but a quick OneSquare pickup on the way.  FREEZING cold easterly blasting across where we parked, so good to get going, off over the fence, up beside or on the jumps line trail where I checked my watch and it was 5.15. (wanting to be back to car by 6.45 to allow time to get eats and make my 7.30 meeting)  Checked out the jumps as we climbed and over the gate and onwards, brief stop for a couple of txts, on up the singletrack and over the fence and up the landing strip then the gravel to the top.  Straight into Vernon, good run, taking the old, disused line and switchbacks then blaring down the swoopies and into the dumb corners above Farmtrack, and on down, pulling off piste a couple times to let climbers through. 

Straight through the top of Rapaki, hardly anyone about, and into Witch.  Nelson blew the first rocky section, nearly putting his foot in the hole again, then a downhill rider came thru, but let us through and on we climbed around, good run through here and down onto the road.  Round the road and up, top of Castle Rock before 5.50, sun still sitting above the horizon, but as the trail was in the shade, was time to lose the sunnies.  I led into here and realised within metres that my Climb setting was still on, so pulled up ever-so-briefly to flick it over to Descend, then we were off agin.  Blasting down here, not noticing the wind, but later Nelson mentioned his bladed spokes (and his weight-weenie-ness) were getting pushed about by the wind.  Absolute form, I had, down here, weaving, me travelling one beautiful sine-curved line back and forth, my bike travelling its own independent, yet coincident, line, leaning this way and that following the contours of the trail and everything was just perfect, speed was my friend, trail-bliss was mine.  Into the hairpin and I think I holla'd "Trail Gold!"  Ducked and dived the next sequence, and the rock that caught Nelson last time sent my front wheel askance, thankfully not fatally, onwards into the next corner and down to the bridge and climb time.  Nelson caught quick and my fast-twitch muscles just aren't as explosive as his so I bogged, but pushed harder than ever, and he powered on up behind me.  Across the 'flatter' bit and I was gasping for air from the previous efforts, then, still puffing like mad, down the rockgarden and around through the last couple curves to the end at the Bridle Path.

Up the road, good pace and over the top, spotting someone with a bike right up the top of the hill above (on the left) before we began our descent, rolling, Nelson dropped his seat and aero-styled, while I sat up normally with my larger mass and slowly accelerated faster than him til quite a bit lower down, when my air resistance outweighed his lack thereof.  Then, I peeled across (in front of some other riders) onto the new(ish) Crater Rim walking track just above the road and had myself a wee singletrack time while Nelson continued to aero-coast ahead. Once he must've noticed he'd lost me he got onto my trail and we rode the rest of it through.  Great in this direction.  Back onto the road to cross onto Witch Hill trail and on up this then the blast down to Rapaki-top, nearly taking out a couple walkers crossing the road at the end.  Huge group of fellas on bikes parked up here, and we rolled on past and hooked straight into Vernon.  Pushed up through the haipins and above, Nelson leaving me behind, then I met Matt (Tom's bro) and paused to chat with him while Nelson got miles ahead.  Rolling again, nice climb round to the road again, and whattayaknow, it was only 6.15 - heaps of time left.  Group of runners coming down off the top of Mt Vernon towards us, so we huffed it up over the stile into Scott's Knob track.  Lights on finally in here, climbing the sweet singletrack around through the trees and then descending, nice roots and steps and more roots, down to the road.  Decided to stay on the road for a bit around til we could see a good spot to jump the fence onto the highest part of the Traverse, upon which we rode back towards Huntsbury.  Pulled over to let some of the Rapaki-massive past, and again, and then, again.  Then the trail was ours and past Lavaflow-top and down through the tussocks and more tussocks and lost the trail and found it and lost and then down the landing strip, over the fence and singletrack around and down, jumping some and some not and Nelson got most of them, and then arrived back to the car at 6.40ish.  An excellently well spend hour and a half under our belts, and plenty of time to spare...

Nasi Gorengs from Ferry Rd, to Trees For Canterbury and scoffed, meeting, then Twisted Hop where we found Wazza and Wayno having just completed their ride.  Darkest Days were followed by Victory at Sea.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Saturday Posse

What a pitiful effort of rides for August.  Three whole rides, wow...  Hopefully September can do better, and yet it's already the 5th, and here's the first.  9am start from Steve's, me arriving dead on 9 to find a good sized posse, something not seen for quite some time.  We had a newby, Johnny, Steve's neighbour Mike's bro.  And the rest, Wazza, Wayno, Pete (on the 575), Robin and of course the ever affable Steve.  Round through Hanson's and up Ramahana, picking up Andy at the bottom.  Meander meander, layers off at the first corner on Aotea, crossing paths with a couple of older ladies treadling up, a couple of times.  Big regroup at the top of the seal, then off up the gravel, with a car driving up past us before the pylons.

Another regroup at the top, and the off round the Traverse.  Nice spin around here, quite a few items of traffic, including several bicycles and the odd walker/runner.  Caught a guy near the pond and passed under him where there's the non- and rocky split before our usual regroup spot.  Waited here and he went through again and then all the rest piled on up.  Off round again, previous guy in my sights, slowly reeled him in, crossing paths with a few more 2s or so, and then chased him down the faster descent, catching him as I landed the jump at the end, him stuck behind a couple of quite slow rookies.  They all pulled up before the trees and off up through the trees to top of Vic we parked here for a bit too.Andy bailed here, a pivot link loose on his machine.  Also, chatted to a bloke who'd been leading the rookies (who were bailing down the road, while he was riding back to Diamond Harbour via Lyttelton)

Into Thomson and Thompson, great blast down these, across the Kiwi and regoup at the bottom of the nun.  Up the road, around and up to top where I helped out some young ill-equipped guys with their chain while the posse all headed off in their own order.  When I finally came to drop in they were all probably at the bottom.  Had a great run down here, fastest and smoothest I've ridden it in years.  Was happy with lack of pinch flat rocks and floated well over any that might have tried.  Second half, my arms were getting pumped and sore, hands tired.  Rolled up the end and we were regrouped.  Steve had just chatted with someone who said a couple weeks ago Old Dyers was soggy as shit and there was logging mess lower down, so we gave that a miss and headed up the road back to top of Vic.

Dropped straight into the rocky descent in the direction of the see-saw, then down round past this and through the fence and down the rabbit paddock and into the rockies and Gummies.  Nice run down here, I hadn't taken the main trail of it for years, previously opting for the more interesting tighter trail that was blocked by logs last time.  Kept left tho and got the lower bits and the straight out to the skidder site.  In ones and twos the posse arrived, some having kept left and some not.  Into Shazza's, back and forth and down into Brents country, keeping left and catching the young chain-broken dudes from earlier, blasted down through the trees, and then all assembled in the trees around the creek bridge.  Pete discovered a loose seat, so tightened this here.  Off down bridges and flow or whatever they're all called now, fun blast down here, seat dropper really coming into it's own. Caught another couple young guys just at the end, then Wazza and me zoomed down the wide track to the Hidden Valley Link.

I went first, negotiated the creek, I thought quite well, gear selection not bad, and then whoomph! I'm over the bars landing hard on my elbows and knees.  Yowch.  Untangled myself and walked up to the first corner and discovered my handlebars and stem had turned slightly, so dug the tool out and got to work as Pete, Johnny and Steve approached (Robin having pulled off (and Wayne?)), and Wazza had headed off ahead.  Straightened up and got spinning again, messing the next corner, but cleaning up all the rest nicely.  Out the top and a massive breather on the grass.  Whew!  Into Old Skool and a great trip down.  Railing the corners and pumping through the middle section nicely.  Trail in good knick, no wetness about from last week's rain.  Into the bottom and I chose one of the droppy lines in between the two main lines, and it was a narrow 6inch deep tire-width rut, walked this bit and dropped onto the main drag rolling out to the bottom. Regruppage and rolling down Bowenvale chatting.

I split from what was left of the posse (off for kaffee at Kaizuka, methinks), onto Eastern Tce and homeward bound, by 12.10.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday sunset night time ramble.

Nelson picked me up from out front of work, as has become our custom, and off to the top of Mt Pleasant, Upper Major Hornbroke to be precise. Cold easterly blasting through here, made getting changed rather UNpleasant.  Off up Britten we treadled, cold wind pushing us about a bit, and trying to get into our bones, but by the top we were warmed up enough that it wasn't such a bother anymore.  Around below the road, nice sunset lowering the sky, photographers seemingly everywhere.  Onto the road and backtracking to Broadleaf Lane, watching the sun disappear behind the mountains just before we headed up here (which would make it 6pm on the dot).  Considered cutting across to the singletrack just past the gates, but then decided just to climb on up and get it all in.  Still light enough not to need the lights, down to Cavendish Saddle and then up the trail to the Gondola.  Biting wind across the top, we headed down around the front of the Gondola building, through the new gate and onto the No Bikes (is that a new No Bikes sign, or was it always there...  it used to be there, eh?).  Seats down and down the steps, bompity bompity bompity, manualing the last couple and it was starting to get harder and harder to see, but still no lights really necessary - better on the west facing side of the ridge, line sussing, then across the top and down to top of the Bridle Path.

Hit the road here and it was getting darker, but good moon out and still no need for lights on the road.  Sat down for a 1 square at the top of Castle Rock.  Nelson led off down this, lights on, and I slowly reeled him in as we jaunted around the hill towards the first hairpin.  Once I was on his tail I pulled up and adjusted my handlebar light (which was shining up the hill) then got going again.  Around the first hairpin and I could see Nelson had had a moment on the rocky section between corners, and so caught him a little, then round the next hairpin and down then into the climb, him dropping me rapidly.  Clamber clamber and over and down and back to the road.  Moonlight nice and bright on the road, off around back around under the Gondola and into the wind up to Cavendish Saddle, then clambering up the singletrack to Mt Pleasant, me lagging behind.  Up to the towers and into it.  Me taking the lead momentarily when Nelson stopped to unlock his fork, but relinquishing it again at the stile.  Greasy rocks and wind blown tussocks were the order of the descent, trickiness making for a bit of muppetry.  A couple of times I completely blew corners in the tussocks cos I just couldn't see where the track was going!  Final bomb down to above the ruins was okay and we had a breather on the connecting farmtrack.

Into Greenwood, down through the ruins and I had the strange sensation of finding myself riding through clouds of dust, even tho the ground around the trail was damp.  Past the ruins and that first rocky section blew Nelson out of his pedal, squashing is dick on his seat, and nearly crashing.  Caught up to him and off we went again him getting away and me slowly gaining speed.  Seems a hell of a lot more boney all the way down here now.  Winter has removed a heap of dirt, exposing the rocks more and more.  Mostly good run for me and Nelson was on fire.  Round through Gloomy Gulch was greasy as, so care was taken.  I took a wee break at my wee break spot and Nelson was miles ahead.  Got going again and couldn't see his light anywhere ahead.  Down where it flattens off he was waiting, having just had a gnarly near miss.  Off again and this time really fanging down through Dangerous Dave's corners and pumping round into the wee valley, then the last blast down to the rocky ups, Nelson cleaning and me choosing too low a gear, one dab, and the the final swoops down and around above Evan's Pass Rd, where loose gravel on the inside of the corner gave me the shits by drifting both wheels  in a way that had me puckering.  Rolled it out and just about shaking rolled down to the stile.

Onto the road and a steady pace all the way up up up up up around and up, seemingly forever til finally back to John Britten and off down, good blast back to the car.  Txtd Wazza here and he rang back, they were just up top of Mt Pleasant, about to head down Greenwood and the Captain.  Loosely arranged to meet at the Twisted Hop, where we went and had beer and food.  Wazza txtd about when we thought they'd be there saying they'd had a flat and were just leaving Sumner and wouldn't make it to the pub.