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.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Finally a ride, Sunday morning, Jet in the forest

After bad weather and multiple trips away (2 weeks running to Wellington, and then 3 days in Hamiltron) all conspiring with family time to not let me out on the bike, I managed to get out this morning.  Dropped a friend at the airport at 8.30 and proceeded to the top of Worsley's Rd with Jet and bike in tow.  Ending up doing basically the same ride as last with Nelson.

Headed up the main trunk line, oldskool worlseys, chuffing away, mildly asthmatic to start.  9.05 about half way up just before a couple of heinous greasy sections further up which incited walking, and required the cleaning of the shoes and tires before further progress could be made.  Finally made the top of the main network and headed up the way towards Tommy2's.  Stopped to examine a fallen branch across the entry to the new trail Nelson and me found last time we were up there.  Cleared a couple of smaller bits off it but more work needs doing if this track is ever going to be regularly used.  A guy rode past as I was doing this, and so I followed off up after him, seeing him disappear into the forest at the top and therefore couldn't tell which choice he took.  For the first time I sat my ass down whilst pushing the new button on my handlebar and the seat lowered, and off I popped, down Tommy 2's.  Excellent blast down here, expecting it to be slippery but it wasn't and I cleaned it all perfectly, lowered seat really out of the way.  Right down near the bottom was a couple of guys walking up, and the guy I'd seen before chatting with them, I rode past and then avoided a saturated muddy looking section before heading through the bottom and out onto the main exit track.  Push button, seat up, and keep rolling, pedalling onwards upwards around.  Dude I'd seen before caught me up and we chatted a bit towards the top.

Up the guts track I went cleaning all the lower section, albeit with a short rest 2/3rds of the way up.  Rolled through the pylon clearing, gasping for air and onwards up the straight then round the corner where I just had to get off and walk.  Too fat from too much time off the bike and too much beer and too much good food.  Too much!  Out onto the cliff top, "lovely day for it" to the rider here, and onwards up the Original 'B' Line as we called it.  Actually stayed on it this time, and saw that where we came up last time is now signposted called "Basically Simple"  A little further up, between this and Tommy's is one called Wasabi.  Onwards to the top, and on up the Tommy'2's access to the new track.  Rested here for a bit, ate the rest of a onesquare, then dropped in.  Seat not-so-down this time, and into the cool gulch and rocky cobble trail, through a couple different forest types, following the creek for a bit, then into the open section, red rocks, and back into the steep off camber forest and across to Tommy2's and then on down faster than the previous run.  Out the bottom again, seat up and rolling on back up the climbing access track. 

Up the guts again, walking a bit of the first section, and then riding out all the rest of the top bit to the Clifftop again, and a sit-down rest on the rocks admiring the view.  Into the Original trail down then onto lower Waynes World and into  Fight Club, roosting and blazing and popping and floating.  Sticky quagmire just after that fallen-log berm, then smooth runnings the rest of the way down and out.  Seat up again and climbing up the exit trail, phonecall on the way.  Finally out the top and into the last downhill section, baulking on the fucking log again, but blasting out the rest of it.  Down to the upper carpark, and through the broken fence onto the new section we found last time down to the lower main carpark.  Wet and greasy this was, cos of being open to the elements and frost having thawed.  Took it pretty slowly, and then on the rocks right next to the carpark my front wheel slipped then wedged, my weight was too far forward, and so over the bars I went, crashing to the solid rock ground with no aplomb whatsoever.  Cranked my left knee, right shin, right hip, and mildly tweaked wrists and shoulder.  damn.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Tuesday Worsley lappagia

Nelson picked me up, as usual, outside work at 5ish.  Top of Worsley's, parking above the gate for a change.  Cold wind blowing through here.  Nelson needed to lube his chain, so I took off down this new trail in the grass and broom, fun wee blast, with a couple of dumb corners, a nice wee jump, and a rocky section, down to the lower gate on the main carpark.  Back up to the car via the entry track from here, wheeeeezing something wicked, and he's gone, already chased me.  So, waited here and layered off til he got there, and off down the new section of trail again, then onwards up the climbing entry track, dying in the steep section, losing traction, and wheeezing more to the point I thought I was gonna die, again.  Walked a bit, then got rolling again and eventually caught up to Nelson waiting.  We rode on up, taking a wee side detour, for which we turned our lights on briefly, then continued climbing without them again.  Up through the climb amongst the Braille track I led and set the pace, which was good, while Nelson talked.  Swooped through the top to the main track and then on up to the top of the forest.  Lights on for heading up towards Tommy2's, cleaning it all despite the 32-36 gear ratio.  Spotted a new trail, just up the track from the old entrance to upper Debbie's.  Walked down to check it out, and it looked promising.  Decided to save it for the next round, so continued on up, snacked briefly and got into it. 

Nelson led the way, setting a good speed, swooping back and forth dropping down through the forest.  Got steeper and steeper, brakes got noisier and noisier.  I baulked the rocky corner above the one I offed on back in May (and had a run in with back in Feb too).  But got back on straight after it and rode through the corner I'd offed on, which now has a line out of the bit I was avoiding those other two times.  Off down the rest of it, steeeeeeepage down and just above all the jumps in the bottom, Nelson spotted a line coming down from above.  We walked up to check it out.  INSANE, vertical.  On we went and looked at a wee jump I've always wanted to do.  I rolled into it a couple times but just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Nelson did it after a couple of other dudes rode through it.  Followed them up the exit track, me overtaking one, and Nelson leaving all of us for dead.

Up the guts track, I walked a bunch of the lower half, but cleaned the rest to the clifftop.  Onwards up and found a caterpillar track through the forest, then a new track that sort of headed towards Tommy's but then joined back up to the original track above that rocky guts we never cleaned (except Nelson did once!).  On up to top and then continued on up towards Tommy2's again, only this time stopping for a rest at the top of the newby we'd found.  Waiting here we spotted a light coming, thinking it would be the dudes who were behind us earlier, but no, it was a lone woman.  She was obviously spooked, two random guys hanging out in the forest, so she didn't engage with us and rode on up.  We headed down the new track.  What a blast.  Rough as guts to start, with loose cobbly rocks  moving about under pine needles, and probably 100m long section between these two rock walls.  Quite spectacular hunk of country.  Couple of logs in the way, but mostly rideable, and a nice gradient, not heinously steep like so many in here.  Then we were under douglas fir, dark low forest, then into an open area, and over these slippery red rocks, then back into the forest and off camber slopes with swoops and eventually met Tommy2's again, surprisingly high up, maybe half to 2/3rds down.  Blazed down all this faster than before, and cleaning the corner I'd baulked earlier.  Through the bottom and still I didn't have the groove for the jump. 

Up the exit track and met the lone woman waiting up here.  Chatted with her this time  Couple other guys and a dog (she knew them all) turned up and they all got riding, then we followed, Nelson soon over taking the woman, but not me.  Still, I cleaned the entire climb this time, to the clifftop and then into the top of the Original and excellent trip down here, and into Fight Club for the most fun of anything.  Love this track.  Know it so well, just swoop and pop and jump and flow all the way down it.  Final climb and into the final section, now, due to logging, quite open, and forcing you over the line with the log drop in the middle of it.  Last blast below the water-tank is cut short now.  Down to the car and while we're getting ready to go, another lone woman turned up with her dog, getting into the car next to us, obviously not comfortable again...