Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Lapping up the laps

An hour or so to use tonight, before a PFMTBC trip organising meeting at Pete's, so Nelson picked me up from work and we twisted and turned through heavy traffic to Worsley's Rd.  Parked up just round the first corner, at the bottom of the Farside tracks.  First lap, up the old skool dirt track close to the road, puffing like crazy, gasping in fact.  Then took Valhalla, first time down here, not having any idea where it was taking us or how.  Steep few off camber corners, dropping quite a bit of altitude, close to the old original zig zag track that used to be in here, then it peeled across the slope, dropping now and then, and climbing a little towards the end.  Lots of interesting features, but quite low speed on account of the off camberness.

Back onto the road and up for lap 2.  This time, the next track on the left, 1 Trick Lucy.  I'd been down the top of this once before, but peeled back across to Farside that time.  This time, all the way.  Somehow it squeezes in between Valhalla and Farside and finds it's way down in a similar nature to Valhalla.  A few very cool wee features on it, lots of fun.  Ends up joining Farside towards the end.

Back onto the road and up for lap 3.  This time, skipping over Farside, and taking Utopia.  Woot.  Had done this once before with jet back in November, so it felt vaguely familiar.  It blends into lower end of Fluffy Sheep which we got onto the next lap.

Back up the road for Lap 4.  Into Fluffy Sheep this time, the first time either of us had been down this (tho I'd been up back in Nov.)  Sweet wee blast down here, quite flowy and swoopy.  A couple of really small 'jump' features, and smooth.

Lap 5, into the original Farside.  Bloody brake ruts in the first steep section, but the rest of it was alright.  Usual woopdewoops and squirrelly drops.

Lap 6, gave Valhalla another go, with me in the lead this time.  Good spin down here again.  Gonna take a while to get used to those off camber corners tho.

Lap 7, final lap.  This time 1 Trick Lucy again.  Haha, this time, Nelson missed the entrance, so I led the way down with him well behind me.  Had a good run down and finished it in no time.

Each lap was about 5 minutes or less up, and 5 minutes or less down.  Seven round trips done in 1 hour.  Total altitude of the trail network is around 60 metres, so we did a bit over 400 m in total.  Not bad for an hour's up and down. (updated with more accurate information from the boys doing it a week later and MapMyRiding it, measuring the altitude more accurately(ish) than my Topomapping guestimation).

Grabbed Noodle Canteen and a couple of beverages on the way to Pete's and made it there only minutes late.  Wellington seems to be the go for the Annual Trippage this year...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Swansong in the woods, Tuesday Worsley

Well, quite a nice wee ride tonight.  Met the boyz on the flat approaching Worsley's at 6.20 or so, Andrew and Tony rolling in from their nearby abodes, Steve and Robin in the TFC van, and Wayne, Warren, Pete and me all in our own vehicles.  Bikes all onto racks of Wayne and Warren and we drove to nearly the top of the road, riding from there up into the woods to find a sign saying Forest Closed, and Danger Keep Out tape that we promptly decided to ignore, riding up the guts of it all. Andrew had been through in the weekend, so how much could they have done in 2 days?  Put up some tape or something???  Yeah, nearly.  So, grunty grunty up the guts to the clifftop where a well earned break was had, then onwards up to the top of the forest, and up the steeeep to the top of Debbie Does...

Into here and one or two difficulties for one or two but a great run had.  As we came into the darkness of the spruce, and the old stone ruins, I noticed how low the forest was, way more branches than usual kinda in your face.  I led the boys up the garden path, peeling left onto the wee exit traverse track, but hell it was overgrown, and they, as usual, gave me stick (pun intended) about "Richard leading the way again".  Weird, considering only 2 and a 1/2 months ago it was sweet...  Anyway, once out of the dark forest it was alright, and back into the bigger woods and down a short bit of The Original B-Line before hopping over onto Tommy's, where I chose the left hand choice, bombing it down, swoopty woopty through veering very slightly left as far as you can swoop towards the pylon clearing then leading back to the main guts drag.

From here it was decided to have one last swansong on Fight Club, seeing as how it might all be shut up and ruined, so, short climb and then into it.  Awesome run, swoopty woopty again, down and down, dusty as all get up, out to the exit climb, only to be greeted with a Closed Keep Out sign and tape.  Also a brit Blur TR rider was coming down, and we gave him directions back up, so he was ahead and round the corner there's the bloody big skidder machine and a fair bit of forest already cleared - removing all the windthrow from last year's storm.  Met him again at the junction and followed him down the exit trail out, then down the road, again giving directions to Farside.

Past the cars and down the road to Farside.  Straight into it and what a wee blast.  The brit on Wazza's tail on Pete's tail on my tail.  Both Pete and Steve were first timers on this and enjoyed the crap out of it.  Finally, down the road to the cars.  Ribulet feeling the ride with a bit of an ache.  I took the other two shuttle drivers back up while the others very kindly waited, and then Pete and me stopped at Poms for well earned beverages.  Yummo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday evening East End meander (700th Post!)

Welcome to post number 700!!! (coming up on 10 years of this blog too...)

Nelson met at my place and we cruised out to Slumner, parking up at the beach.  Headed up Stoke St and on up into Scumnervale and up the Captain.  Insta-wheeze kicked in for me, and Nelson dropped me after the first corner.  Top of the switchbacks I wheezed past a couple of guys waiting for us to roll through and it was up in the rocky ups that I caught Nelson, who was waiting for a couple more guys.  Ride from here was okay, less wheezing but still struggling.  Realising as we climbed and further into the ride that my rib was inhibiting my breathing, allowing me only to breath shallowly.

Top of Captain Thomas finally and a bit of a rest before we hit the Godley entrance.  Nelson cleaned it all up, and I just about did.  Paused briefly in the middle, but continued on up from where I'd stopped.  On up and through, the ribs getting sorer and sorer the whole way out.  Into the descent for Livingston, hot on Nelson's tail we flew down here.  I had a couple of wee moments towards the bottom but survived it and rolled through the col and into the climb.  Nelson pulled away again and then was waiting at the top again before the descent to Breeze, fun times on the rolling trail, but Nelson got some thistle splinters in his leg.

Decided to head up the little trail that climbs above the road, around the tight narrow sheep path, then up to the cool ass track that heads around above the harbour back to Breeze Col.  Stopped and fixed up a rock feature we'd done before that someone had wrecked, and then rode on around, reveling at how much longer it was than we'd remembered it.  Great ride around here and then a short break for food at top of Anaconda. A woman turned up on a bike around the road and headed down the snake as we sat, and so we sat for a while waiting for her to get a bit further ahead.  Then it was into it, Nelson ahead.  I was on his tail, just cruising along for a start, but once we were over the first cattle stop and around a couple corners I lost my chain so stopped to replace it, letting Nelson get miles ahead.  From here on down I went pretty good but no chance of catching him.  Into the 'tail and I could see the woman on going through the gate on the walking track, and then further round I could see Nelson ahead.  Bit loose down this last section, hands holding the bars too tight and rib really starting to bite.

Into the climb, I delayered at the first corner, and then it was onwards and up and over.  Catching the woman half way up Nelson chatted with her as I slowly gained on them.  At the top she headed down the road and we headed into Nicholson Park, taking all the faster lines down, and then onto the hairpins and steps, then finally out the neat wee 'secret' trail out to Whitewash Head Rd, then down and back to the car around the waterfront... 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Friday quick Sharlands

Swimming in the Maitai again wth the family I scarpered back to base, grabbed the bike and then drove back up past them and parked up at the bottom of Sharlands.  Rode in, in the heat, about 3pm, up the road for a while, then pulled off down onto the creekside tracks, moseying up and finding the bottom of What The DOCtor Ordered, hung a left and followed the Sharlands Creek Track up cos it looked okay.  Wasn't long and it got steep, so rode til I had to push a bit, ride and push for a bit, singletrack which seemed to become more and more overgrown.  Then I passed the exit of Supplejack, then a couple more ups and downs and the exit of Matai.  Continued on up for a bit to a bit of a juncture.  Hmmmm, figured I wanted to look at one or t'other of those previous two so kept left and ended up pushing a lot, and riding a little, up some unknown to me trail, all in native forest, very nice, thinking all the way up, 'this'd be nice.  this'd be tricky...' until I eventually got to an intersection of Matai and the one I was climbing, Rimu.  Carried on climbing til I reached a fire-road and from here the view looking across towards Fringed Hill was telling me I was probably pretty near 400m up (actually only about 300 and something - ed).  Headed back down Matai, and actually followed it all the way.  Looked totally unridden for ages, and yet Ian had said they'd ridden it earlier this week.   The leaf litter on it was undisturbed and it obviously doesn't get that much use, whereas Rimu had been well trodden.  Quite a few corners I wasn't game to even think about attempting, too steep, too much exposure into the bush below, and my rib wouldn't thank me.  As it was, I scuffed my wound on my thigh with my tire (exactly how it came into existence...), yowchy!  Eventually got to the bottom of Matai and continued up Sharland's Creek Track which involved a few walky bits, and then crossed the creek where another one meets it, and climbed up for a bit and through to eventually where What The DOCtor Ordered 'officially' begins.  Seat up here, and headed down this, at full tilt...  Fast scuffy descent.  One or two close calls, but mostly pretty good control.  Lots of vegetation overgrowing the track, scraping me a bunch and killing sight lines.  Blasty flow on (semi) familiar trails.  Ending up back out to the car just after 4 and I went and joined the family and hit the swimming hole, cooling down nicely.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Wednesday First Ride of the Year - Peeaaking

In Nelson for the week, so met Ian and Leigh (Lee? Leah?) on the Cathedral steps at 8.50am and we headed for the hills.  Usual route through town up the Brook to Codgers and up the main drag to Tantragee, turning out to be a bit of a scorcher...  Easy, but good pace all the way, then up Fringed Hill.  Hot, baking sun, pounding down on us; no shade round here.  A good grind, grovelling away in granny, but chatting most of the time except for the few grunts.  Shade in one valley, rest and water, then onwards to the top.  Walked the steep approach to the communication towers and sat for well earned feed and rest at the very top of 793m.

Off into Black Diamond Ridge.  Short riding section then steep climb, ride, steep climb up to 839m and then a good descent with a few wee walky up sections thrown in for good measure down to 732, then a last climb up to the 812 intersection.  Another rest here then into Sunshine Ridge...  Hooo.  Roots, roots, roots, drops and more roots.  I walked once or twice.  Was a lot longer than I remembered and was goooood.  Rib was holding together, but getting pretty sore the further down we went.  All the braking and twisting and controlling was flexing it something wicked.  I'ma be sore for a few days from this I think.  Many many features down this ridge, with roots being the predominant one.  So many roots!

Finally we made it to the top of Peaking Ridge, must be on about the 670m point.  Waaaay better signposted to the first time I ever rode it (possibly this one?)... Off down here with the steepest bit about to hit.  Of course Ian just flew down it - I got a little way down it then bailed and walked, as did Leigh.  From here tho, it was all pretty good.  One or two sections walked but mostly a good roll.  Lower down I was getting pretty peaked, looking foward to the bottom.  Once section in the manuka which I'm sure I've ridden in the past just looked too much, so walked that and we watched as Leigh psyched herself and then cleaned it down.  Great blast from here down to the finish, hot and dry in the manuka.  3.5 hours to this point. 

Off down the Maitai, staying on the singletrack alongside the pipeline and then leaping into the bottom of the 629 trail to the road.  Down the road, gravel becoming seal and then down and down til past Sharlands Rd, found my family having a picnic on the Maitai, 4hrs riding done..  Said seeya's to Ian and Leah and joined the family and coooooled off in the river.