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.