Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Chooseday night, Mucky Vicar

Crafty brew session at the end of the work day, a farewell and a baby's headwetting, and Nelson joined the fun for a couple of tastings.  Then we headed across town for the top of Worsley's Rd - 6.30ish?.  Headed up to be greeted with mud in the gutters.  Nelson only had his handlebar light.  The going was tough with a quarter of a bottle of each of Pernicious Weed, Conehead, HopFed PaleAle, Renaissance MPA, and a VPA, but that soon burned off.  At the 'junction' we took a wee singletrack on the west side which led up between the forest and the main track.  My intention was that we head down to the climbing trail in that forest, but I blew out and Nelson got ahead and we ended up on the main track again, at the big corner just uphill from the Pylon gap.  On up, both cleaning the usual rocky bit, but then further up both of us had one or two wee walks.  Greasy ain't the half of it.  Bottom of the 'bag and we headed up the access track.

Stopped at the top for a bit and a few rider dudes rolled up.  We set off down Tommy's and had a woot of a time, me in the lead on account of Nelson's handlebar-only light.  Grip was good, flow was sweet and it was a good roll down, heaps straighter than we remembered (it has been a while (February)) but then it got twisty(ish) again and in and out of the trees, over the yumpies and down down down through lower and further left than I remembered too.  Then back round above the pylon, and back up to the entrance to FightClub.  Here we decided further up wouldn't hurt (it did tho...), and grunt up the 4wd track we did.  To the cliff top and the waxing moon was shining down.

Off down into Wayne's World, tho taking the original trail on the right, then veering right lower down onto the lower section of Wayne's and through down onto Fight Club, which was riding mint.  Was expecting mucky slickness lower down but it was all perfect with the roots and rocks and off camber corners all the more washed out and exposed.  Out the bottom and up the exit trail to the 'junction'. 

Across the main Worsles track to where we'd gone earlier, this time taking a wee singletrack into the forest and up the one in here with all the jumpies.  When we got to the pylon clearing we headed down to the 4wd trail down here, and up this; greasy in a couple of the corners, then the longer-than-you-ever-remember grunt on up to the top of Braille.  Into this, checking out the jumps for a future time, bypassing the un-rollable ones, enjoying the sweet berms, and heading all the way down the the bottom in the short macracarpa forest.  Climby climby back into the tall pines, onto the 4wd track we'd ridden up before, up the couple wee ups and then downs to where we'd come down below the pylons, pushed up this trail to the jumpy trail we'd ridden up earlier, and then it was the last downhill.  Rolling round most of these jumps, tho the lower ones are much more rideable.  Part way down here Nelson's light cut out, so we put my handlebar light on his, and we finished it off, then down the final paddock track to the carpark about 8.30.  Off to Noodle Canteen for a number 3 and whatever # his Teriyaki was.... 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday morning Greasterly wanderings

They were leaving Steve's at 9, so I left mine just before 5-to and puffed into a strong easterly out Linwood and Humphreys to the bridge.  Bit of frost around, but air temp had warmed up nicely with the wind.  At the bridge, Marie turned up and continued on ahead up the hill, and then Wayne, Wazza, and finally Andy, Tony and Steve (with only one ear...).  Also, Mark arrived on his roadie.  Off up the hill we trundled, Warren and me soon getting a big gap on the others, riding up Cannon Hill, whereas we think they stayed on Marama.  Up on Major Hornbrook we slowed right down to a rolling stop and soon Mark and Andy appeared, then the rest.  In the upper reaches of Upper Major we spotted Marie ahead and then we all regrouped at the beginnings of Britten.  Mark nearly joined us on the soft Britten trail, but thought better of it, but a challenge was made, Warren would buy him a coffee if he rode Greenwood.  Steve and Marie got a bit of a headstart while the rest of us chatted before putting on the chase.  Another regroup at the top and a team of 4 (Wayne, Warren, Andy and me) headed around the original Britten track, then up Broadleaf to the top, while the others all went down to the original Greenwood entry, saying they'd wait for us at the ruins.

Top of Mt Pleasant, hell of a wind blowing, text from Steve saying they were heading down.  Rocks slick as a slick thing, more slippery than I've remembered them in a while.  Warren got a good start and the whole way down I just couldn't reel him in.  I just couldn't get any extra speed on, due to self-preservation in the slick conditions.  The gap between us was steady all the way til the lower reaches of Greenwood when he stretched it heaps.  Spotted the skinny slick tiretread just below the ruins.  Stayed a steady distance behind Warren for a while, and saw as he caught Mark just after Gloomy Gulch as I was rounding the corner into it, then I caught Mark down where he had the flat two weeks ago.  Warren must have been flying from here, cos next time I spotted him he was heading into the wee gully and then when he came out of there he was ahead of Steve and one of the others, miles ahead of me.  Rest of the run down wasn't too bad, but Greenwood probably shouldn't have been open.  Was messy as fuck.

At Evans we split up.  I was meeting the family for lunch at Taylor's, so I stayed high and the others took Das Kapitan.  Greasy as hell start to the Godley, but I slowly reeled in three riders that'd been on Greenwood behind us, catching them at the highest point where I stopped for a snack and let them go on ahead.  Never saw them again.  Onwards and the trail was mint.  Waaaay drier than anything on Greenwood.  Even the usual mucky bits were dry, it was fantastic.  Good descent to Livingston, climb out over to Breeze, then above the road around the tight wee track and rocketship down to the end of the road and onto the below-road singletrack back to Breeze, all riding mint.  Into the Anaconda and again, perfect trail conditions, speedy buzz round and down, through the whoopdedoos down below, all dry-as.  My marsh guard was buzzing a bit so stopped to check that out and let two riders by coming up, then back into it.  Best run down here for ages, and same for the Tail.  Sweet.

Pushed the bike up the steps to the Joy's place and was cold from my sweat, so jumped in the spa (which ended up leaving my legs really weak feeling...)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Snow Fat

Missed the planting ride on Saturday, and unable to get out Sunday, except that the family decided a trip to the snow might be fun.  Into the car, Cooker on the back, and off up the plains.  Met the first snow on the before Waddington, less and less opportunities to pull off the road as we progressed through Sheffield (with a queue out the door for pies - didn't stop), then Springfield (with cars all over the road side (some stuck in snow)) and people playing on the hillside behind the cafe...  Onwards and up into the Porters.  At the big 30kph corner just before the main climb (Coach Stream Route - Korowai Tussocklands Reserve) we pulled up and played.  I took the fat bike up the packed walk track, finding it all a bit tricky.  Ice-crustal-topped melty-below snow, too deep to ride on virgin, and stuff that'd been walked on was rideable but hella tricky.  Obviously not ideal conditions for a fatty, and backcountry snow touring in such conditions would mean a fair bit of walking; defeating the purpose.. hmmmm.  Still, nice time had with the boys playing in the snow getting freezing toes once the snow got into their gumboots, and the dog had a good time too.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sunday Fatter than the Green Captain.

Sunday morning ride, met Wayne, Mark and Marie, Pete, and Warren at Ferrymead.  Tones, Andeez, and Steviant were all in absentia.  Mark and me were representing the fatbike community - me, mainly cos he'd said he was riding his, but also cos of the derailleur on the Spot.

So, following Steviant's suggestion, we headed up St Andrews, Marama, Cannon, up through the park and on up Major Hornbroke.  Seemed to take a while, with lots of stops and chatting.  Up through Britten and down round the road into the Greenwood 'old' entrance.  Good grip round here and at the 4wd crossing we stopped for a bite and I relinquished a little air from my rubber balloons.  Pete led the way, with Wazza and Mark(?) and then me for a while with Wayne and Marie behind.  As expected, I took a battering on my rigid framed machine.  Kept on the faster boys tails for a while then eased up just past Gloomy Gulch and had a wee rest, maybe let some more air out.  Here i think maybe Mark passed actually, then I followed down and Mark flatted on the flatter bit before swoopy switchbacks Dangerous Dave used to work on.  I stopped with him for a bit, Marie went past, and the others were all waiting down the bottom.  I let yet more air out of my front tire here too. I thought he was pretty much done so took off and got all the way down and he was still up there...  We all waited down the bottom and eventually saw him get moving.  At this stage it was like 11.30 so we decided not to do Godley and the Conda so took the Captain instead.  Half way down Pete flatted so Marie sidled by and after a bit I took off too.  Down in the switchbacks I took the new line off the 2nd lefthand switchback.  Got a couple nice wee corners in it.  Met up with Marie at the bottom.  I put back the air I'd let out earlier, and we watched for the others for quite some time, then eventually they came into view.  Down the road to Dot Coma.  Mark and Marie went shopping in Slumner, and the rest of us had a good blast round the causeway all peeling off at the bridge.  Andy's van was parked up next to Wayno's car, so he musta been out there somewhere, and i was home by 1

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Gale force Tuesday Pleasant Green Castle

Nice early departure from work to beat the traffic and make my TFC meeting 7.30 deadline, Nelson collected me from outside work not long after 4.30 and we got across town and up to Upper Major Hornbrook around 5.  Looked at my watch part way up John Britten Reserve and it was 5.15, I was wheezing and Nelson was gaining ground on me, but it wasn't long and the top was got and around into the blustery nor'wester we treadled.  Off-pushing to say the least, whenever we were on a crest facing the wind, which was most of the ride, we were in it's powerful grip, being pushed and bolshed and steered awry.  Around Britten and onto the road, fast descent then up the Cavendish zig-zags, with a fucking fence and gate smacked in the middle of them... That's going to kill the buzz on the descent, not that anyone probably does that now that the road's open.  Visibility decreasing.   My gears were playing up, throughout the ride, with anything in the middle range being self-shifty, never quite able to stay in the gear I wanted...but seemingly okay in low gears or high.  Over the top, and lights on.  I led down the walking track steps and steeps and the wind pushed us about and we got lower down the ridge.  The odd dab due to windage.  Snack break at the top of Bridle Path, and then up the road, nearly blown to standstills on the final approach to the top.

Into Castle, wind behind once or twice, but mostly beside and pushing.  Nelson was forced off the track a few times due to the bladed spokes.  I had trouble, but otherwise a pretty good run.  The climb was wind-assisted making my gear trouble less of an issue.  Onto the road and around, side wind, head wind, tail wind, mega headwind under the gondola, then no wind, then extreme tail wind pushing us up through the gate and through the cattle stop onto the singletrack.  Granny climb, with buffetting and then around the corner and pussssshhhhheddd up the corners to the top.  And pusshheed up through the gate and the towers on Mt Pleasant howling.  6.15 here.  Plenty of time.

I led the way down, on account of Nelson being pushed around so much with his lightweight bike and lightweight body, and the bladed spokes of course.  Me; heavy bike, heavy bones and good-living weight allowing gravity to do it's thing against the pissant gale.  Good run down through the tussocks and then around and fighting the wind down to Greenwood.  Into this and pushed about a fair bit with, again, tail winds, side winds and head winds, seemingly coming from all directions as we descended.  Sometimes Nelson would be on my tail, sometimes not.  Mostly good run down and no stops, just blazing.  Down through the fence and a hundred biker lights riding up the Captain below us.  Massive long string of them.  Bombed it on down and onto the road.  Hit the climb, I managed to get a gear I liked that didn't shift itself out of itself and just ground that up the hill. Nelson sometimes dropped me but then would slow up a bit and let me catch up and then drop me again.  Only one vehicle passed us going up.  Seemed to take a while, wind not too affecting on most of the climb and then we hit Britten and bombed on down, getting to the car at 7.

Thai Talay, Pahd Thai for me, Red Curry for him, and off to TFC to scoff it down all in time for the 7.30 meeting.  Perfect.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Red Zone Meanderings

Lazy start to the day, so txtd Steve that I wouldn't make the group ride.  Did some much needed maintenance on the Turner, getting a new BB bearing from Josh, and installing it, and cleaning all the Heaphy grit off everything and greasing the pulley wheels.  Next job it so squirt some grease through the pivots and get the wheels back on.

Jet, and me on the Cooker headed off around River Rd towards Banks Ave, then along Dallington Tce into the redzone and across to Glenarm and onto Locksley, following the gravel and tarseal track down river.  Met a couple other dogs along here, and we rode along below the stopbank towards New Brighton Rd.  Across here and into the Horseshoe Lake Walk.  Nice bit of singeltrack in here, but unfortunately it's a dead end.  I went as far as possible, and then some - really pushing the envelope on how far in.  It's SO overgrown in there, and the boardwalks are all higglety pigglety and slippery and have boggy swampwater all around them...  Bit of blackberry about too, and my arms and legs were rather itchy in the shower later.  Got to a dead end, and backtracked, then took a side trail off to what was the end of Liggins St, then up what was Jean Batten Pl.  Followed the edge of the reserve, in the redzone, all the way round to where Moncrief Pl used to be, and onto the track that ended at the end of a boardwalk.  Turned back and headed round to Broomfield, around north, through some plantings of ours from years back, up onto Horseshoe Lake Rd, and round back onto New Brighton Rd, and Ajax, down onto the Banks Ave singletrack which took me back to River Rd, and back along the stopbank, around the riverbank trail then through one last piece of redzone behind hours and home.  All up maybe just over an hour.  Only about 10kms...  But slow and interesting exploring.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Thursday night mucky puddle klunk

Not a lot of riding of late, with my knee giving me gyp riding to work etc, so Queen's Birthday weekend at the bach with no riding had been a good rest.  It's finally coming kinda right, so last night Nelson came to mine after work and we had some dinner then headed out to the Puddle.  Lotsa rain over the last couple days meant the hills would have been useless, so Bottle Lake was the best bet.  Lots of puddles around, Nelson was on his singlespeed and I was on the Klunker, which is a fun bike, but hard work.  Handles really well tho, and the backpedal brake is really all you need out there.  We both wore jackets and our G.Effect leggings, meaning when we got back to the car we wouldn't dirty it up.

Did the usual lap, headed in, hung a right and out to North Beach and then up the coast track, where the sand washouts have been dug out with a digger, then north of open section, where the track ends up top of the dune, we stopped for a look at the sea and the just starting to wane moon.  The big seas of last week had cut right into the dunes leaving a big drop down to the sand that was being washed by the waves, leaving practically no beach for walking on...  A couple of riders rode past as we got back up to the bikes and so we chased them down, passing them as we came back into the forest.  Headed all the way up to Spencer Park cos Nelson didn't have any water, then bombed it back south to the car.  Hard work pushing the Klunker with the seat being too low for sitting and not wanting to stand all the way.  We swapped bikes for a little bit and Nelson's felt twitchy and short with it's steep angles compared to the slackness that is Klunk.

Back to the car and stripped off the outer layers and it was looking like she was gonna be a frosty night, bloody cold.