Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday morning Jet in the Forest

Quick one with Jet this morning.  Not much time due to things doing, so left home a bit after 9 and were hitting the trail at 9.35, parking up top of Worsleys Rd and heading up the same one Nelson and me took on Tuesday.  Jet doing his usual lope along ahead.  Beautiful morning, and was thankful for the shade provided once up under the forest.  Rode all the way up scoping out where trails off the side were, but getting to the last big corner where the jumpy track crossed.  Just looking at it, wondering where to go when a guy on a 29er came up, also only his second time up here too.  Chatted a bit then he headed on up and I took off down below the main track following the swoopy jumpy track, with easy lines either side of each jump.  Dropped down a ways, using the altitude well, back and forth then sort of petering out after crossing a pylon access track.  Followed this down to the pylon thinking there might be another way out of there, but nope, so, back up the pylon access track, seemingly not that long back to the main track I'd left earlier.

From here I headed back down it, and checked out first one trail above it, which ended nowhere, then off another corner another pylon type track down, which I never got to the end of, then back up this, and onwards down the main track, finding a singletrack dropping down, which I followed, finding that when it reached it's bottom it turned around and headed back up, too steep to ride...  back to the main track, and down hill a bit then down another singletrack, this time it was promising but didn't really amount to much and headed back across and ending at the intersection below the powerlines.  So, all possibilities explored, I headed back off up hill, with roughly 15 minutes to spare.  All the way up to the top, saying gudday to these young groms on the jumpy track, then hitting up the main Worsley Drag, straight up the entry to the BeeLines, and straight into Tommy's.  Good swoopy blast down this, holding the right hand line most of the way down, then taking it all the way down around the bottom and coming out onto the guts track just above the pylon gap and below Fight Club entrance.  Down through the gap, hung a left, kept right and dropped across the guts track and down the old favourite that had the steep droppy bit but doesn't go all the way down anymore, but pops out not far down from the Junction.  Up to this, and down the final stretches back to the car.  1 hour's riding all up.  A hot and happy dog in the car on the way home.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tuesday's Social Worsley Nun Guv'nor

Had left my cellphone at home today, so never got a message from Andy about riding, and had organised with Nelson for something so he picked me up from work and we cruised across to Worsley's and up the hill.  5.45 by the time we unloaded and hit the trail.  This time something new.  Over the gate by the carpark and up the double singletrack through the gorse and broom strewn field, past the bottom of that jumpy trail and into new country.  Good steady climb on well trodden 'singletrack', stopping to check out potential trails below this track.  A guy on a Pivot appeared and told us a bit about the trails, and we cruised on up the hill with him, chatting away now and then, and us in awe of this cool new area.  At a big corner a trail crossed the our track with jumps visible, and it was parallel to our track the rest of the way up.  I'd been in the top of this area another time with Jet.  The jumpy track crossed our track once or twice, and eventually we made the top, across the top of the forest and we were on the main drag of Worsley's just below the Body Bag.

Up the BodyBag we went.  I struggled to keep my lunch down, Nelson and the Pivot dude rolled on apparently effortlessly to the top.  I stopped in the steepest section and breathed very heavily for some time then got rolling again and managed to clean the rest of it, wanting to puke so bad as I laboured across the carpark and just getting it in check as I followed Nelson up the entrance to the Nun.  He was a ways ahead and got off to walk...  Puncture number one.  I rode past him and collapsed at the top of the Nun and he arrived and got to fixing the leak.  Some other riders turned up and we all chatted friendly like for a bit.  One was even on a Switchback, and his mate was on a brandnew XC type bike, first time ever mountainbiking.  One or two other riders cruised through and these guys took off.  Then another guy on a Santa Cruz turned up and was from Rotovegas and after chatting with him for a bit he asked if he could tag along.  No problem, so off down the Nun I led, then Nelson, then him.  Lost the chain just before the steeeep corner, so, got that on again and off down we went - keeping it in a spinnier gear.  Blast down here, swoopy swoopy fun times, easy going, and Nelson sorta holding back a bit to allow the other guy to keep him in view.  I paused at the halfway point, waited for them both to nearly get to me then took off again.  Good blast down the lower section with no sketchy nose wheelies due to the kicker part way down.  I paused again down in the lower swoopies and heard Nelson curse, then spotted the other dude, so got rolling again out to the end.  Our new friend turned up and indeed, another flat for Nels.  Saw him up at the corner on the road waving and fixing so we rolled on up and he patched that.

Rolled on again, up the road, and at the carpark the guy decided he needed to make tracks, timewise, so we gave him directions to the Worsley trails and said goodbye.  Nelson and me headed off over into the Gov's Bay track, which was rolling pretty good.  Nice and tight and close knit, it was good rolling down round that side of the hill, having been practically a year since the last time.  We decided we didn't have time, again, to go lower down and explore into the valley on the new(ish) section of trail, so continued around and up, me cleaning most of it, Nelson all of it, including the very top, which I fluffed and puffed-out on.

Onwards up the road again, this time all the way, with a short singletrack detour on the last section of the walktrack above the road before Worsleys Rd.  Up this, and into the the descent.  Hussin' down the Bodybag, nearly losing it just below the flat (was what a quagmire) spot but just saving it.  Up into the B-Line trails and on up to the top of these.  Short exploration looking for the supposed trail from the top, no sight of it, and then we hit Tommy2's... Awesome blaze down here, brakes getting hotter and hotter, some sketchy moments, but good descending.  Two corners caught me out, and I ended up stopping, perched off the back of the bike, barely able to climb away from it, but rolling away straight away and riding the rest out.  So steep!  At the bottom there was an audience, and as I rolled through announced "woosy lines, me" in case they were expecting me to jump stuff.

Climb climb climb up to the junction then up the Guts track, gasping yet again, but cleaning it all up.  Another chat stop with a random under the power lines, then onwards and upwards to the cliff top.  Into Wayne's World, taking a couple of weird corners but then finding the one I wanted and across and down, Nelson not knowing where he was, thinking I was leading him down the shit track descent shortcut, but no, across to Fight Club and swooping down this, relishing the pump and the flow.  All the way down and through then back into the climb out, faster this time, for some reason, then into the final descent, some time around or after 8 back at the car.  Good ride.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thursday Slippery when wet

Nelson picked me up opposite work and the traffic was typically heavy, slowing our journey to Mt Pleasant, eventually we parked up top on the Upper Major as the rain began.  Paused briefly in the car thinking it might desist, and it did, until we actually got riding and then it just opened up properly, but we were riding, Nelson had his jacket on, and I just resigned myself to getting 'a bit' wet.  Up Britten Reserve and then around on the first (of many) rocky slickages, around the original Britten track.  Brief pause in the dry under the trees deciding where to go, then onwards around, slick-as greasy-arse rocks squirrelling us all around the show.  Onto the road and a slow (to avoid splecky splashage) descent to Cavendish Saddle.

Up the climb, nice pace, trail in good nick, water just starting to flow down it in spots.  Near the top, some fucking imbeciles in a 4wd have obviously driven over it - dicks have run down all the tussocks on first one side of the track then the other.  At the top, the rain was still falling and so we figured the descent might be a bit dodge...  It was.  We picked our way down through the first rocky sections, getting the hang of descending, braking and not braking, and squirellations, before the stile.  Over that and down through the first steep rocks, hmmm... no problemo.  Onwards down and sweet running, allowing the back wheel to make it's own path down and hoping it wouldn't make that path too far from the one the front was taking.  Once in the open tussocks section the rain continued, but the trail was less pin-bally, tho the dirt looked to have potential slickness (but seemed to flow okay).  Some quite eerie low cloud through here too.  Then, in the even heavier rain, on the 4wd bit down to Greenwood, we stopped for Nelson to eat something.  I was utterly drenched to the skin at this point.

Onwards down, past the ruins and into the trail, rocks dicey but we were getting used to it, and speed was not high.  All the way down, bit of water starting to run or pool in places, rocks pinging wheels about the place, but not as bad as it could have been.  Rain continuing to fall heavily on this lee side of the hill.  Lower down, where the nasty quag was before the wee valley, the clay here would stick to the tires, but the rest of the browner dirt was good to go.  Bollocksed both rocky ups.  Neither of us trusted them.  Last blast to the road was fine, tho a bit of pooling on the swoopy stuff before the last corners.

Up the road, the rain easing now that we were off the singletrack.  And almost gone by the rounding of the corner under the pines, but returning as we climbed to top of Britten.  Final descent: dirt looked untrustworthy and so we were careful.  Nelson said it was slick, but I didn't really notice it so much.  May have just been the one corner tho.  Back to the car, and the rain stopped...  typical.  I was totally soaked, so instead of him dropping me at TFC and me biking home, he dropped me off at home and I had to hustle to get back to the meeting at TFC a little late.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday's easternlinguists

No riding this week on account of Robin's Wednesday's 50th bollocksing up my form disabling me from riding with Nelson Thursday night, then Mum going into a freakin' coma - which I'm glad to say she's out of now, but still with a long road to recovery.

Met the posse at Ferrymead bridge.  I drove there, whereas they'd all biked. There, were Pete, Steve, Andy, Wazza, Wayno and Marie.  We battled road cones around to the Causeway then cruised through to Scumner and up Bitch-mond Hill.  Usual staggering out of the group and regrouping top of road and then the trees at the top and then it was up the 4wd track to Greenwood and a nice long rest.  Headed into the singletrack and I seemed to be on fire.  Good flow most of the way, one or two weird stall-ups but mostly just blazed down the hill.  Very good.  Dropped the chain just before the wee valley near the bottom, and then again just before the very end.  Pete practically had a flat front tire by the end.  Tiny hole in his tire pissing air and goo, which stopped once it got hole side down.  Air inserted.  Steve complained of a bad run, but most others seemed chuffed.  Re-assembled here and rode across Evans Pass to Godley.

Nice and easy into here, tootling up the first bits, and then I dug it in and cleaned up the grunty rocky climb.  Dabbed in the second one up top but felt pretty good having got the first one.  No one else had my luck, and Steve had another bad run out the climby bits.  Re-grouped at the 'landing strip' top, and Marie continued on through, Steve and Wazza jumping in behind her, while the other 4 of us just hung back for a bit, Andy pumping air into his now-low pressure tire.  I took off and had an awesome run down here.  Everything flowed, was mint.  Across Livingston, the others in view on the climb.  Passed Marie before the rockiest section, spotted Steve ahead and gunned it but didn't catch him before the end.  His riding had improved and his descent to Livingston and the rest was goooood.

Another regroup at Breeze and off down Anaconda.  Again.  Speed was my friend, with very few dodginesses.  As I got lower I contemplated the, shall we say, risk of my endeavours and would have crossed my fingers to not crash had I been able to.  Seemed to work cos I jettisoned across the final stile into the field at the bottom at a ridiculous speed. Cant remember the last time I had such a good run down here.  The others all agreeing they'd had pretty damned fine descents too.

Regroupage and off up the road.  Pete and me gapped the others, keeping a good pace all the way and got a nice rest at the top before I led everyone off down through the new-ish route through Nicholson Park that Nelson and me have done the last couple times.  Awesome blast through dirt sections and fun wee hoon down between the houses.  Finally flying down Whitewash and onto the road around the water front and kai at Dotcom.  Got word here that Mum was out of the coma, which was good news.  Last but not least, a bit of slipstreaming across the Causeway and me back to the car, home around 1.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Sunday Bottled Klunking

Maybe some of the boys met at Steve's and rode, but i know Steve, Pete and Wazza were all out.  And I pulled out last minute cos of wedding in Ashvegas yesterday and only getting home at 1.40am - not enough sleep.

So.  Somewhere between 10.30 and 11 - O, Jet and me got out to Bottle Lake - me with the Klunker for the first time.  I've been using it round the redzone plenty regular, but this was it's first 'trail' outing.  2:1 ratio perfect for out there, and the back pedal brake was fine, except for one little steep out near North Beach (re-opened trails) that was a bit of a sketchy locked up skid.  Ooops.

So, we headed in and hung a right.  Kinda followed a family for a bit, but their boy (who looked bigger than O) was slower than O was, so eventually they let us past.  Me and O bombed the first section through towards the pagoda hill.  I managed to grovel up to the pagoda, but was sure breathing hard at the top.  Next section along the top and down was good, tho O could have gone faster on that descent.  I was having to feather the brake a little.  In hear for the last year or more we've been having to head through past those ponds, but now it's opened up again to the right, through some trees I cant believe are so big then into major clearance since last we were in there.  Looks like that jump might still be in existence, but shit's sure changed.  Along where i had my moment, and then short regroup before heading north along the beach trail.  At the top where the sand blow-outs always are (and were today) we stopped and headed onto the beach.  Jet went in to cool off, and then so did we!  I stripped to my gruds, O was wearing boardies.  Dived in and it was magnificently refreshing.  Got out and whipped off the gruds and back into my short liners then shorts and off we went again.

Along the beach north, then in and back onto the usual trail, taking in all the older less used trails where the splits happen later, then along 'muddy' road and back towards base.  O slowing down, and it getting pretty hot for Jet, but he was lapping it up and loving it all.  Ended up back at the car about 12.30?  Nice

3 years of the Troll...!!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Wednesday Spriving Lings

Nelson collected me from across the road from work and we crawled through the usual muppetry that is rush 'hour' towards the hills.  Up and over Dyers Pass Rd and through to Bamford Rd, parking up under the macracarpas.  TWO years since we'd last visited!  A warm and windy evening.  Through the gate and across the creek and on around the foot of the hill with the rutty downhill and through the tight bermed corner before the first grunty climb to take us up to the Pines.  Plodded our ways up this and into the trees where it was rather dark for shades, dead on 6pm as we entered here.  Left the sunnies on for a while but about 2/3rds of the way up there was a small pine across the track, which we shifted and shoved out of the way.  Sunnies off here.  On up to the top and a brief stop for air on Rhymes with Orange.

Then we detoured around the Outdoor Camp area looking for trails we vaguely remembered, not really seeing any, and looking further up the road a bit for trails I thought were meant to be going in there, but nope.  So, back past the camp and down onto Mississippi for the swoopy loose and tight-as-tight-can-be descent before winding around and back up a bit and into Zanes -  again with the swoopiness and looseness and tightness.  We were thinking a 29r with 800 wide bars would be treacherous.   A leaf got caught in my marshguard and buzzed annoyingly, so stopped to back it out.  Then off again and down.  Out the bottom, launching nice air on the hump by the bridge.

Second lap, around the bottom sidling trail, this time taking in the wee 'canyon drop' and then turning around heading up the steeeeeeep track in the middle, me walking 3 times, that takes us to the top of Mississippi and around onto Rhymes with Orange where we stopped for a well earned rest.  Into the Pines for an, at times, skiddy descent.  But mostly nice and flowy.  Turned around at the bottom and rode back up it, me gasping more this time.  Resting again in Oranges, watching a falcon cruising the thermals, looking for rodentia.  Then across and down Mississippi again, Nelson in the lead this time, and both flowing much better.  Round and into Zanes and fanging it down here, a leaf getting stuck, again(!), I stopped to release it, and then squashed a testicle on my seat - much pain - which lasted til the bottom.  Nelson got well ahead due to my agonising pause.

Third time lucky, across the sidler again, canyon drop, and down, then up up up to the pines, me slowing riiight down for these climbings, and Nelson doing reps or sets or whatever, going hard then buttoning off, going hard etc.  Resting again in the Orange Rhymes.  Final descent, into Mississippi, really getting the hang of it this time, the trees all mysteriously having stepped back from the track to make room for us.  All tightness loosened, and way less sketchy.  Powering up to Zanes and me staying tight on Nelson's tail this time, no bollocking and no leaf.  7.40pm back at the car.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Sunday scorcher

Early start to beat the heat, meeting at Steve's at 8.15.  Four of us - Wazza, Andy, Steve and me.  Around Aynsley Tce and up Crap Happy.  Man, what a crowd...  Just a constant stream of people, on bikes, walking, running, as far as the eye could see, all the way up.  None of us gapping out too much, brief regroup at the top then into Vernon, chasing down the large group a fair ways ahead.  I caught the last of them up on the top flat before the road.  Across the road and another pause letting the big group and some other guys get ahead before we headed off.  Caught up the three oldies, confusing them each time I caught one them thinking that I was one of their buddies...  Slowed descent down and I finally passed the last one at the pond.  Alas, at our old regroup spot there's the biiig group ahead, clusterfucked on the rocky sequence just round from there.  I got going and caught their tail end Charlie not far round and so at the highest point I stopped and let the boys catch up and they kinda paused too, and let the muppets get ahead.  Good enough gap, so got moving again, not a bad run around and at the next high spot, just after the cattle grate there was Mark and Marie.  They turned back and joined us back to the forest where we had a nice long cool break in the shade.

Down the Thomsons, Steve leading the first half, me the second.  Nice wee blasts, then across the Dyers Pass and into Old Dyers (first time since September (and 18 months before that!)).  Fast blast down the first section, and I could hear someone on my tail.  Finally I buttoned off and it was Mark.  Continued our way down all the way, gleaning some shade, and strangely a few spits of rain as we rolled through the lower section before the climb to the road.  Across the road and up into the trees, for another shady pause for regroup.  Climbing together we topped, across and into the wee singletrack that leads to the skidder site.  Another pause here, and then decided to hit up Cool Runnings, which I hadn't been down since 2012(!!!).  It's quite unused, by the look of it.  Some massive jumps, and in a couple of spots no bypass, but was a fun wee doddle and next into Flow and Bridges blasting out the bottom (again, catching someone), then into the Hidden Valley Link Track.  Cleaned the creek, cleaned the first hairpin, then botched the second hairpin, balance rolling me off to the right.  Cleaned up the rest of it, gasping for air and stopping in the last shade for a regroup as each team member caught up.  Over the fence and another rest, Steve shooting the shit with some guy. 

Marie headed on ahead, and Mark led the way to catch her.  I nearly bollocksed one of the big corners (the one with that had a slip in it a year or so ago), but otherwise had a good run, passing Marie not long after the stile, then bombing it, chasing Mark all the way.  He cleaned the final rut, but I baulked just before it.  The others all hung a left avoiding the messy hole, and re all regrouped finally in the shade next to the jump park.  Where to have coffee???  No local cafes appealed, so Elevate was decided on, and we (nearly) all ended up having an Erdinger - well earned.  Home well before 12.