Thursday, December 31, 2015

Totaranui Awaroa Surrounds

No more riding done at Collingwood, and then through to Totaranui.  Not much done here, riding around the campground down to the beach a bit of sand action, some good, some bad.  Lots of swimming, several times a day.  Snorkling, canoeing... 

Extended my usual ride here, headed up the dusty dusty road to the top of the hill.  Early enough that it wasn't actually that dusty, only got passed by about 4 cars in total going up, maybe a couple that were heading down.  At the top I took a little bit of singletrack explore, poaching some of the walking track towards Gibbs Hill.  About 200m in it got really rooty, so turned back out to the road, waiting while about 5 vehicles creamed through, raising up the dust.  Now it was back down the road, then a right into the Awaroa Road, doing my usual trip out to the Inlet and back over to Totes.

22kms, over 700m alt...  dusty.

Then a day or two later, we went for a big family walk, parking the car at the top of the Waiharakeke Track (on the Awaroa Rd) bike rack in the boot.  Walked back to Totes, so I had to bike up and collect the car...  4.7kms, couple hundy alt.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Overgrown Aorere goldfields with the boy

Other than riding about on the beach with the kids, one long ride from the bach to the Para Para inlet, a little bit of Milnethorpe walking tracks and back has been about it for the past few days here in Collingwood.  But today, O and me headed out to the Devil's Boots, parked up and headed along to the Aorere Goldfields.  Couldn't drive to the usual parking spot cos of a tree down across the road in.  HOT day, we went up the 4wd track, with O struggling on the climbs, tho managing many of them really really well.  I pushed both bikes at times, but in the second half he seemed to rally.  We met people exiting the trail from the Dam but we continued up and then took the fast and majorly rutted out trail into Bedstead Gully.  It all looked unfamiliar, including the camp at the bottom, to the degree I even thought we were in a different location. 

I found the trail I used to take towards the main tracks and it was UTTERLY OVERGROWN.  Gorse, manuka, and later cutty grass and lawyer all blocking our way, having to push through them all and just take the scratches.  There were tears.  O really didn't handle it well.  I had to keep going back and wheeling his bike through, and he was wincing at most gorse prickles.  But we persevered and eventually made it to the track the couple we saw had come out of. 

Climbing up a quad type trail to the highest point overlooking the valley and the dam below, and then it was all downhill.  O's spirits increased.  Stopped in the shade on the dam and had a snack and then got riding again.  Surprisingly technical around the water-race when you've got an 11 year old behind you.  Eventually made the caves, and then the fun run began, with a swooping and woot filling descent down down down.  Overtook a man and two women half way down and we rocketed on through to the bottom, then back along the road to the car... 

Surprisingly only 13kms and just over 300m, sure felt like a lot more with the heat and the bushwhacking

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Early Saturday morning Worsley steeps

Left home a bit before 7 and parked up top of Worsley, no other cars in sight, with Jet, headed off pretty much dead on 7, up the main drag and into the forest to ride up the Guts.  Chuff chuff chuff up here, climbing into mist and low cloud.  Up top of the Original B-Line trees were even dripping.  Up the bonus climb to the very top and off down Throw The Goat (aka Hangloose aka Goat).  Just as I was re-entering the trees after the cleared gap, I noticed a trail coming in from the right.  It piqued my interest and so I headed up it.  Followed and rode much of it, but it's obviously in the early stages of development.  Little bit of descending, little bit of climbing and then through a fence and some BIG fallen trees to clamber over, left my bike here and walked the rest of the newly cleared bush, to pop out on one of the corners on Flying Nun.  Right where I'd always thought it'd be great to have a linking trail from.  Nice.  Headed back to Goat and we continued our merry way down.  Cleared the first log jump, not baulking like last time, and rolled on down the hill.  At the second log I rolled right up it but stopped at top and examined.  It's got a gap you wouldn't want to fail, but the drop to the transition is small, so with any speed I think it'd be fine.  Rolled around and on down.  Then rode the beginning of Yoda and had a look down the filter.  wooooo...  Nup.  not today (maybe not ever).  Found an old line back to the main descent and fanged on downwards.  When it met Tommy2's I took that rather than continuing on Goat cos it's less intimidating and I'm used to it.  Rambled out the bottom and onto the exit track.

Up the access to the Junction, and back up the Guts.  Slowly catching up to a couple of very old walking ladies; me sounding like a steam train.  On up, wondering what to do next.  Via the clifftop this time, trundled all the back up to the top, again, and went up the bonus climb, again, and stopped at the top of the 'new' entrance (made by Nick) down to Debbie's.  First time not walking down this and it was MINT.  REally cool descent, steep and sweet.  Joins the old Debbies just where you ride over a log, then across the open, and into the dark trees - past the ruins and into the really dark fir forest, ball-bearing cones, and then on down parallel to Moose Knuckle and around to the right, down into Alice's Restaurant.  Across this, all good, and then was really close to succeeding the stuff I never ride, but didn't quite.  Cleaned the first really steep bit, but then had to get off next to the big rock wall walked the couple of corners next to it.  Back on, and rode out the rest of it, all good, and lots of fun.

Up the access again and left up the Guts for the 3rd and final time.  This time only going as far as Fight Club, and bombing down here and blasting through to the bottom no problem.  Stopped and walked back up a little to check out the jumps down here, but still didn't have a go on the one I was hoping to, but did the next one and rolled on out.

Final trip up the exit and then just hung a right and off down the oldskool descent to the end, then across the way and into Epitaph for the final jaunt to the car for 9am.  Happy Jet showing off his drinking-from-my-camelbak skills to the chick in the car parked behind mine.  She laughed.  As I departed, half of Chch's mtnbiking community seemed to be arriving.  Good timing!

10 and a half kms, 574 m climbed...

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Bottled up Saturday

Fatty on the back of the Brava and Jet in the back, out to Bottle Lake and a bit of a spin of a Saturday morning.  Nice temperature, we headed out to the right, and out to the beach.  At the top of the dune where the sand always blows out, we skidoodled down the washy sand onto the beach.  Sea, spectacular; so inviting, with crystal clear peeling breakers, and wave faces all backed up behind.  Jet was already hot so he was straight in, relishing it.  I moseyed my way about the beach trying to find the best sand to ride on.  None of it was particularly good; definitely struck it better in the past.  Even riding in the compressed tire tracks of a some vehicle wasn't firm enough.  Less air in the tires may have helped, but I just couldn't be arsed stopping and having to pump them up again later, so I persevered and we travelled the whole next section along the coast down on the beach, with no opportunities back into the dunes til the one at the start of the trees again. 

Up over the access path and back onto the main track, into the trees, cruising a few bends til I found my usual dune-top trail entrance, emerging out onto the crest of the dune and the foot-slope of the tops of the salt burned pines, a km or so along this.  Back onto the track and down the hill into the back-dunes, following along for a bit then using a small rise to spin back to a sandy back track I saw, onto it which led me to the singletrack.  Around onto it and back into the main forest park. 

Usual trails through the forest, taking the 'alternative' lines wherever I could, all very obviously seldom traversed.  Toyed with the idea of heading norther into Spencer country, but back onto the descending trail to Muddy Rd and onwards back, for Jet's sake, it being hot and there not be a hell of a lot of water around.  Into the forest trails again, riding all the completely unridden alternative lines, and through into the next lovely tall forest, open between the trunks, up the risers and down the breezeblocked descents, all the while looking for off piste lines, seeing so much potential but not taking any of it for some reason.  Hung a left on the next main road before the short tree'd section, heading for the 'lake' or ponds, for Jet to have a cool off.  Just cruised along no-hands at Jet's pace, taking in the day.

Caught up with a man and dog, Jet having his usual sniff and play, the humans merely acknowledging each other's existences.  Jet had a slurp at the ponds and we continued our way along a fenceline (behind which was all sorts of mystery - I assume quake wreckage? or forest ops).  Down to where was once some of my favourite bits over the years, now a cleared wasteland with brand new pines.  A ranger passed here in a big cloud of dust, and I headed back onto the worst-made section out there, bumpy hard shitty slow section, on the tail Mr 'Form', youngish dude on some Specialized of somesort, weaving his way ahead.  Kinda stayed on him or caught him, but then had to hold back for the dog.  Nice excuse, anywho.  Past some dudes as we entered the open broomy section, across this, back into the trees, first west then around southwards, and then hung a weird right into the forest, no trail, just riding, curving around as the ground allowed, and finding some weird remnants of an old track, wracking my memory for it, wondering maybe circa mid-late 90's?  Held back to let a horse and 'lady' and her small poodle past, then onto the gravel road and westward, finding a horse track and golfcourse, and then following the gravel more til the last tall stand of trees next to the open spaces of the carpark, bmx etc.  Cruised across the paddock and back to the car.

52minutes riding, 13.7 kms, sweet F.A altitude.

Haha, what a lot of words for such a non-event...  10 oclock on a Saturday night, Hardtail Henry my favourite beer of the moment.  Probably explains it.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Scorching Wednesday Night mechanicals

Nelson picked me up from work and we waded across the city's traffic flows to Worsley's Rd.  Parked on the flat by the poplar trees.  Still about 30 degrees, so energy sappingly hot.  Up the road, slowly does it, then into Fluffy Sheep for the climb.  Nelson gapped me and I struggled.  Should have checked, but I was having a few niggles with my shifting... (had been on the way to work as well).  On up the road and then through the gate and up the sort-of-singletrack in the long-grass then into the trees, where the shade was helpful, but the heat was so overbearing and was making me really struggle.  All the way up I had to hold back so's not to puke.  Nelson wasn't waiting for me until the top of the B-Line tracks.  I felt like shit.

On up the further climb, past Debby/Alice's, and on up to top of Tommy2's and Throw The Goat.  Another nice rest here chatting to a young(ish) dude on a nomad.  Nelson was trying out his chest mounted Go Pro so followed me in.  After the first couple of pedal strokes I went to change gears and they dropped straight down to top gear, with no response from the shifter.  Hmmmm...  Continued all the way down, fanging and weaving, dust plume choking back Nelson from my tail.  Good run all the way down, altho the pedalling was a bit slow...  We got to the bottom, arms pumped with braking, and quads burning with the non-stop descent, and proceeded to work out what to do with my gears...  ended up with this fix:
 pulled the cable through and out, and then attached it and wrapped it around the chainstay to hold it in 2nd gear (for the climbing).

Got rolling and it was super low for those bits of climbing, but got me up eventually to the junction (where there were heaps of peeps).  It slipped into 3rd as we entered the Guts track, so I rode as far as I could and then had to walk.  Rode again at the pylon gap and kept on up for a while past Fight Club and then walked again up to the clifftop.  There were some others walking ahead of me so I didn't feel too bad about it.  Nelson was waiting at the cliff top, (where some dickhead 4wders had recently had a fucking fire! dumbshits).  On up the Original B-Line catching the guys that'd been walking, me managing to ride all the way to the rocks that always get me.  Onwards and all the way to top.  Then on further up again (walking this time) and we hooked into the newby with the canyon.  Good run down the top bit then Nelson had a flail on the log, breaking yet another of his flash blade spokes!  Onwards down, through, under, around and back into lower Tommy2's and the dust storm blast down here.  Final climb out, slow for me, then across the main drag and into the jumpy trail in the trees.  Normally quite pedally this one so I was slow down it, but got a couple of good jumpies near the bottom.  then around, Nelson peeled off up to do Epitaph, while I just rolled down the grassy 'single' track.

Onto the road, and rolling rolling rolling down, taking the new grass 'singletrack' on the left of the road where it flattens off and heads around the corners, then down and into the Farside trails.  I chose Utopia, and it was good.  Swoopy swoopy, not too much pedalling (not that I could) to do, kept speed through corners and it was a blast.  Finally, out onto the road and down back to the car, the last hundred metres or so rolling very slow.

693m altitude, 15.43 kms...