Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday morning Crapaki to Sketchy Worsles

Left my place 8.30 for an 8.45 start from Steve's, finding him and Tones awaiting myself, Pete and Wayne who both turned up shortly.  Everybody wanted a shortish one, so we toodled off up cRapaki, making reasonable time up here.  Bit of a regroup at the end-of-trees-gate, where Steve continued on ahead, just disappearing around the first bend as we followed, and it took me a bit of effort to chase him down, catching him up just before the manuka tree.  On up to the top, feeling pretty good, then while we waited, Steve cruised on ahead.  As we got to the first hairpin, he'd just disappeared around the hill, and then I didn't see him again til I'd got around past the Farm Track and up a bit, saw him disappearing over the ridge.  He was waiting for us at the Traverse.  Lots of Pioneer Race signs all over the place...  Good pace around here, startling a couple of jogger-women but otherwise uneventful.  All the way around under Sugarloaf and just after that wee jumpy bit there were some people lying around and on the phone and looking worried.  Didn't stop to see, but they seemed to have it under control, whatever had happened... 

Regroup before the trees, and it was only 10am, so I convinced them not to bail down Vic/Bowenvale, and to check out my most recent favourite in McVicars, so we headed through and down the Thompsons and across Dyer's Pass.  Here we saw what must have been the tailenders of the first Pioneer race of the day (blue numberplates), a whole bunch of them heading from the Nun and down into the Old Dyers.  As we climbed the road, the riders on the Nun were pretty hopeless looking.  Many of them were walking the rocky bits and going REALLY slow...  On up and around and up to top of Worsley's.  TVNZ camera guy (who's name i've forgotten) was up here chatting to another guy I remember from the shop rides of old...  We bombed down the Body Bag and up into the forest.  It was wet.  Wasn't as greasy a climb as Tuesday night, but it'd soaked up a shitload of water, and was pretty bad.  Made it up to the entry to my trail and I led them all in.  All did pretty good for a first time down something.  And it didn't help that it was a bit greasy either...  So, was good anyway.  They could see the potential.  Nice lines down and through then across the off-camber was hard work keeping traction...  and when we got to T2 I was a bit surprised.  It'd been pretty churned by riders and the roots were all super sketchy.  Pete and me cleaned it all the way down except for my one old nemesis corner.  The boys had varying degrees of success and walked a few bits, but that's not surprising.  I probably would have too if I hadn't been down there so often recently.  At the bottom, we cruised on up to the exit trails, down, across and onto Epitaph.

Down the road and into the Farside trails.  Tony bailed off down the road.  Wayno took 1 Shot Lucy, Pete and me took the original Farside Track, and Steve shot down Fluffy Sheep.  Regrouped at the bottom, then down the rest of the trail to the corner, and down the road to Cracroft Reserve.  Through this, up the steps and there's the 2nd race of the day, a bunch of Pioneers with orange numberplates heading around towards Kennedy's.  We meandered along following the river all the way past the Library, then eventually went our separate ways at the St Martins shops, Wayno peeling off from us at the roundabout and Pete and me heading Wilson's etc through towards his place...

Just over 34kms round trip, with just under 700m of altitude...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Twosdee Knight Worsley chuffing

Nelson collected me outside work just after 5 as usual and as usual the traffic was diabolical, hindering our progress towards Worsley Rd.  Up to the top into the misty cloud, drizzle threatening and rain forecast later.  Found a park, the place was packed with vehicles (and yet did we see many people in there??? - the place is a sponge!).  For a change we headed up the main track, all the way.  No rain means it's smoothed out quite nicely, and both of us cleaned the whole way up with maybe one light foot dab each.  Good to go.  I was struggling with air, and stopped part way to have a puff of some asthma.  Takes a while to kick in, so I took it easier from there on up. 

At the top of the forest we were surprised by how wet it was under the edge trees.  The moving mist was accumulating and dripping on all the trees around the usual meeting point.  We got going up the extra climb and it was greeeaasy in here, on account of it being on the edge of the forest, but you could see that just a few metres in it was all dry.  All the way up to the top and we dropped into Tommy2's.  Bombed on down and the trail was good.  Maybe a quarter of the way down we saw a trail off to the left called Sargent Choco.  So, figured we'd give it a look.  A few metres in and there's a massive gap jump, with no real bunny route round either, so walked this, then another jump further in...  One of 'those' tracks...  Persevered and there was some super steep stuff, a couple bits Nelson rode that I walked, and some obvious jumpy drops that only someone insane (or indeed wearing fullface, armour, on a big travel bike) would ride.  It tapped back into Tommy2's maybe half way down and we rolled to a stop for Nelson to have a snack.  I had one too.  One rider rode past while we sat there, and we could hear scuffing of other riders off in the distance on Throw The Goat to our right, and on Alices below us.  (but considering all the cars, where was everybody?).  Rolling again, onwards down, awesome flow on down to the bottom where I think we encountered a few riders...

Into the climb out and up back onto the main track for round two, saying gudday to Nick at the Junction.  Climb climb climb and cleaned it all again, including the hardest rocky section with an audience of a couple of guys who weren't cleaning it.  In the deepest darkest gorsey section there was a guy with loppers taking off overhanging gorse.  Thanks, bro!  Cleaned out to the top and there were a bunch of girls including Ann from work on her first ever ride.  They headed down and we headed up again.  This time dropping into my recent favourite newby, dropping down through the cool canyon and then into the sweet dark fir forest, across the creek, through the meadow over the rocks then across the slope for ages finally joining back into Tommy2's and blitzing it all down again to the bottom, this time finding a fun, fast trail dog and a couple other riders.

Up the climb again and into the Guts climb track up to the cliff top, cleaning it all but suffering endlessly.  Here we met up with Ann and the girls again, Nelson took their photo (for them!) and they headed down Waynes and Listerine while we headed on up the Original to the very top, watching riders on the jump that's on the left just before the rocky section, and checking out Wasabi a little further up.  Turned around at the top and headed down Tommy's.  Pretty greasy on the roots in the first sections, but not bad.  Nelson did the big jump and landed with a krunk and a burp.  Then we rode back up a ways to a trail I'd spotted off to the left (downhill side) quite near the start.  Down this, found some large gap jumps (with bunny lines this time) and quite a lot more country in here.  Got to the point where it looked freshly scratched out and unfinished, had a look (down steep rocky droppy into tight corner (nearly to the main track?).  But rode off down the older looking trail which eventually took us across to Tommy's again (but with another extension off to the left below).  Into Tommy's bomb bomb bomb and then into Fight Club.  A new log drop (not very big) just in from the original 'start' of Fight Club and down we fanged.  Nelson had a record time down here, I wasn't quite so fast, especially not after the shits were put up me by the losing of a foot on some rough roots...  We dropped into the end at the same time as other riders were bombing down the next trail to the exit...  Rude little non-hello-saying groms. 

Climbed out again, and up the first section of the Guts climb up to the pylon gap where we turned around and dropped into Shortcut to Suva.  Picked the right hand line and bombed down this. I'd ridden this ages ago, cleaning the steeeeeep rock rollover part way down this time, bombing down finally to the climbing track again.  Climbing this again, out, across the main track and over into the Jumpy (fence gap) track.  Once again I didn't do the fence jump, but got good air on some of the lower down jumps, rolled out the end, up to Epitaph and fanged down this to the carpark, where we found Ann and the girls again, having a beer.

Not even 14kms, but 690 m of altitude climbed...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Saturday Blowin' Hard with a twist.

Left home just after 7am, stopping for gas and snacks, then got my way out to the end of Maori Reserve Rd, finding Nelson already there.  He disappeared for ages getting a beer into a creek (apparently miles down a bank) and we got going up the steep trail just after 8am, granny gear and grinding away, track in well graded form compared to the rutsville it's been in the past, making it a lot easier to handle the steep.  Rode the all the way to the big boggy hole then we walked all the bits you walk, rode a few times, and walked some more, as you do on the Blowhard.  Snack at the top natural stopping bit, then down and across a bit, stopping at the bush edge and being blown away by the view of Banks Peninsula out there.  A lot of norwest wind blowing across the tops here too.  Into the steep gravelly downhill, dropper posts earning their keep, and then through sweet twisty singletrack before getting out on the ridge again.  Then climbing again, out in the open and eventually getting to the Bypass track, and continuing on up.  Usual amount of walking and riding, meeting a woman with 2 dogs near the top of Richardson.  Topped out dead on 2 hours since departing the bottom.  Awesome views from up there too, and wind, so we sheltered behind a dracophyllum for snacks before heading back down.

W00tfest downhill, back down, steep fun and at the Bypass we took a right.  Now, this was a track.  Some annoying boggy bits at the start but they soon vanished and steepness began.  Tricknical sections abounded and steep techy rocks and roots were fun to be had.  Passed the woman and dogs part way down and she couldn't believe we could ride it.  On down, steeper and steeper, so much fun, brakes getting pretty hot.  Just before what was probably the steepest little section, Nelson decided he needed to change out his rear pads.  So, walked down this bit and parked up.  The woman turned up half way through and continued on down, and I had a rest while he changed his pads.  Just after here the trail turned rooty.  Unrideably rooty.  Walked these sections, then steep riding again.

Then a junction, hung a right down to a wee creek and over the bridge and steep steps climb, then cramp set into my left hamstring.  Paaaiiinnnn.  Struggled to get on and off the bike for the next couple bits, but stretched it and was careful and we made the Mt Richardson main track and descended down on through Glentui.  Around the gravel road and then super fast (over 80kph) downhill on road, and more gravel then out to the main road for the long hot slog back towards the cars.  Part way along a straight we found some cherries which were small but delicious.  Then up the gravel road towards the cars the wind was strong in our face making it hard work.  Exhausted back to the car at 12.  Cold beer.  gooood.  Scorching hot trip back to town, and slow due to the Bogan-fest in Rangoon.  Home around 1.20..

27 kms, and I did 1m shy of 1000 (Nelson did 1004 somehow).

Friday, January 22, 2016

Thursday evening, kids and dog shorty

Gave the dog and the kids a wee spin in the 'Pond last night.  I's on the fat bike, we treadled into the main trail on the right, then after the dump road we hung a left on a walking track, then another left a bit further along that which took us back across the dump road onto a sweet wee trail i'd found another time, then around a running trail that crosses the bike trail further round.  It was hot and there wasnt any water on us or about, so we turned left and headed towards the pond on another walking trail (instead of riding the wrong way on the bike trail) to where Jetty had a nice drink.  Then down a road, and along a fence and then across to the bike track and back to the carpark.  short and sweet. (and i forgot to turn the mmr off til down the road)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Messy Sunday ride to dinner

Dinner at Joy's in Taylor's so I biked before the family drove.  Left home after 3, and headed across town, weather deteriorating as I navigated the streets.  Originally I thought I might head up Huntsbury, but with the drizzle seeming to thicken I decided cRapaki might have to be endured.  Pretty uneventful climb, usual people out there, running, biking down it(!), one guy just ahead of me all the way up riding too.  Mist/cloud seemed to come and go and I thought maybe it was lightening a few times.  Hung a left and onto Witch Hill.  Trail was in good nick, rocks pretty slick but the dirt was hard enough, even with the water.  Obvious that maybe 2 or 3 other bikes had been through prior and they certainly hadn't done any damage.  Cow poo and hoof prints were another story tho...   Stopped and changed at the highest point, into my jacket and 3/4 leggings, then got rolling again, pin-balling off the rocks, squirrelling being the motion of the day. 

Onto the road and around, sometimes in complete mist with no visibility, sometimes able to see down into the valleys.  Up to Castle, saying good-day to a roady, then blitzing on into the trail.  Once again, the rocks were slick as sheep shit (of which there was much), and the dirt wasn't bad, except where sheep had been at it (as I was to discover a bit later on...).  One or two puddles, but nothing bad, and the recent work down here had really helped with drainage and rock armour.  A couple of dodgy bits, but mostly a good run, down then up then down to the end.

Onto the road again and around into the wind and mist and drizzle below the Gondola, mostly no view to be had below or much around.  Up past the saddle entrance to Mt Pleasant trail, and up through the cutting then decided to give Britten a blast.  Headed around and the rocks were slick and the dirt pretty good, but the wet tussocks and grass really made my feet wet.  Decided to see what all the fuss was about the 'new' route around below the rock outcrop and trees, instead of up and over, and it was a MAJOR mistake.  The fucking sheep had been trotting up and down on this track, and as it was level, their little hoof divets had captured the water along with their shit and my tires were slipping and sliding all around in it and also picking it all up, to the point where they were mud tires shaped like my fork and rear triangle frame profiles...  Got off and walked a bit then rode off the trail for a bit til I was out of the worst of the sheep trodden zone and then tootle, tires clearing in the wet grass somewhat, as I proceeded to the end of the track. 

Onto the road and down to the old Greenwood entrance.  Figured, how bad can it be? and headed in.  Hmm...  not bad.  Slick rocks and good dirt most of the time.  Had a sketchy and slow wee trip around to the ruins, nearly lost it below here where the first rocks are, then had a good run through all the top rocks and switchbacks.  Around across the face before Gloomy Gulch the sheep had had a go at the trail and it was a bit messy, but not too bad, then into Gloomy Gulch and no worries.  Down the rocks after this it was good, cautious-Colin, me, and down down down.  A few mucky bits, especially that shitty clay zone after the cattle stop, and super careful down the blasty bit before the rocky ups.  Totally woosed out on the first rocky up, on account of not knowing where my wheels were going.  Final blast down to the road was a bit specky but no real harm done. 

Onto the road again, and down over Evan's Pass.  Decided against the Godley track, as I just couldn't face the slick rocks whilst climbing.  So, up and around the road, treated with (seemingly) clearing weather and views of Sumner and beyond.  At the launching spot for paragliders tossed up between Anaconda and the walking track, and decided Anaconda would have some nasty wet clay lower down, plus the 'tail would have been slicky too, so chose the walking track down.  This was good.  Super fast blast down the gravel road, then over the stile and a fast wee run down the fenceline, then around and into the hairpins, all good, and the last section down to the fence and stile was nice.  Over the stile and onto the road down to Joy's place and down the steps. 

My legs were brown, my bike was brown.  Everything was dripping brown.  Mucky...  Hosed it all down, including my legs and feet and leggings and changed on the door step into a completely dry set of clothes, then down for a nice feast.  Sweet as.

Mapped up, 25kms, and 740m of climbing...

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday night Worsley's Nun Worsleys

Out and about so made my way to Nelson's work and awaited his return.  We negotiated traffic in both our cars to Worsley Rd and parked by the poplars on the flat.  5.45 by the time we got rolling, up the damned hill, chuffing and puffing, him powering away from my gasping self.  Rode up Fluffy Sheep and then on up the new 'singletrack' mowed in above the road.  Above here we were passed by a heap of bikes on cars and arrived at the carpark to see shitloads of #enduro groms.  Straight through the gate to the right and on up that singletrack, climbing ever climbing, gasping for air and chuffing.  Nelson disappearing as usual, and me plodding away, legs burning.  Caught up to him chatting to some blokes, and we rolled on ahead on and up.  Where the exit climb out of the bottom of Braille turns up we caught some girls who'd come up from there, and a dude.  We both overtook the girls and the dude followed on my tail all the rest of the way up to the main track.  Chatted a bit with him here, and then we all headed up the BodyBag.  Puke making, kinda.  Got nearly all the way up there, but me and the new dude walked the top section. 

Then, up into the Nun.  We were gonna show him the corner where the link from Nun to Goat peels off, so he followed us down.  Nelson set a searing pace.  We followed and our new friend sat on my tail.  I pointed out the corner then said "you wanna pass me?" but he was okay.  Then, before we got to the carpark exit he'd backed right off, with a flat we found later.  On down the lower Nun we were flying, first time down here for me since September.  Burning forearms and hands and feet and calves at the bottom. 

Back up the road where we met our new friend finishing off fixing his flat, then the three of us headed up the old 4wd track that bisects the Nun, grunting up the climb, to the corner where Ghost track cuts out.  Ice Cream container lid for a sign post.  Over the fence and a little riding then climbing over logs, then walking and then a bit more riding and a couple dabs and walks and more riding out to Throw the Goat.  Nice.  Our friend was planning on heading the other way from here so we said catchyalater and headed off down the Goat.  Nice descent, dusty as hell.  Jumped the first log no worries, and rolled on down, then second log, pulled up.  Nelson went back up a bit and rolled/jumped it while I watched.  Then we poked our noses down Yoda.  Nelson decided he could ride it, and did.  I scrambled down, struggling to get the bike down, but then rode lower sections no problem at all.  Got to a sign Chutes'n'Ladders, and off to the right Raiders of the Lost Rockface.  Bloody Hell!  Vertical rockface, we walked down to look, no way.  Chutes was almost but not quite rideable for me.  Nelson struggled too.  But the lower section was fine, and wham, we were at the bottom of all the trails - goat, t2, alice's, fightclub etc... 

Climbed out of here and headed up the guts, ugh, but I cleaned it all nicely and survived and we met again on the cliff top.  From here we headed down old Waynes World line, jumping to an audience with much whooping, then cut across to the old line into Fight Club and then fanged it down here, awesome blast down.  Back up the exit climb and then across the main track and into the trees for the jumpy trail.  Nelson showed off how he does all these gap jumps now and I popped a couple of the easier ones.  Then he showed me how the fence gap is done, and I rolled in several times and nearly did it but bailed each time getting the fear more and more each time.  I'll do it one day.  Down the rest, jumping many, nearly taking out a clusterfuck of groms in the lower section, then out onto the descent track we'd climbed up to start with.  Then up for Epitaph for a final blast down to the carpark.  Caught up with our friend here and actually introduced ourselves, Quetty, or something, was his name. 

Down the road, over 50kph, and onto the 'singletrack' then down to the Farside trails, choosing 1 Trick Lucy (second left) for a change.  It's changed slightly, but is still tight as anything in the trees lower down.  Madcore.  Then out and down the road back to the cars.

18 kms, over 700m alt.  followed by yummy burger and beer at burgers'n'beers...

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

First 'Proper' ride of the New Year

Not much in the way of rides after Totaranui.  Was in Nelson-town for a few days over New Year's but the rain kicked in before I got a chance to get out.  Then a week at Little Ak with just the singlist which has a dodgy rear brake meaning no mileage completed. 

So, finally, tonight, Nelson picked me up from home about 5.30 and we headed up Mt Pleasant, parking on the Upper Major (-Tom, your circuit's dead, there's something wrong, can you hear me Major Tom?... (R.I.P.)).  I's tired as heck from catching up with old friend Matt last night and therefore sleepdeprived, and not having ridden 'proper' like for weeks my mojo was all skewhiff.  Up Britten, got a bit of a headstart on Nelson so he took a wee ways to catch me then respectfully stayed behind the rest of the way up and around.  Seemed, all evening, I was weaving all over the trails and catching rocks I really shouldn'a been catching, especially across the top of Britten.  Crossed the road at the cattlestop and onto the new(ish) climbing trail and then on up the rest to the top, both of us overtaking a bunch of riders, first three slower dudes, then a few true (bright) blue #enduro dudes.  At the top they all suited up, while we picked our way off and down.  Muppetry was the order of the day.  I pinged left and I pinged right, braked at the wrong times, wallowed in my suspension and generally musta looked like a complete rube.  Slowly progressively I kinda got the hang of things, and by the final tussocks I was flying, sort of.

Into Greenwood, Nelson rarking up the dust ahead, and we were chewing our way down it.  He bombed it, and I plodded my muppet-like way down behind.  We passed a guy (who crashed right in front of me), and then the trail was our own. Well, it was Nelson's.  I took my time and started getting a sore back.  Did I mention I was tired?  Gloomy Gulch and Nelson was disappearing over the exit of it, and I took my time through here, expunging a little air from the front tire at my usual rest spot.  This definitely helped.  Grip improved, and the rock section after the gulch was far better.  I made a futile push to chase him down a little.  To no avail.  By the time I was rounding the corner over the cattle stop before the clay section he was already dealing with the rocky ups further down.  My usual speedy bit just before them was not very speedy, and I borked on the first rocky bit, having to dab at the top (altho, Nelson's experience on it was a total backwards bounce from both wheels hitting the rock simultaneously).  Back ache really dealing to me for the last swoopy sections around, and foot escaped pedal right before that last left hander under the macracarpa.

Where too next?  Hmmm...   Decided on a little bit of Godley.  Across Evans and into it.  Nelson failed the first rocky climb, so came back down for another go.  I failed it, and did the same.  He failed it again, I had a go and made it but then failed on the top exit rocks, and continued anyway.  Then I think he got it.  On upwards, cleaning the next techy bit and onwards along.  Bony as hell, rocks trying to stop me at every opportunity.  Nelson gapped out by miles and eventually I caught him at the end high point landing strippy kinda bit where he'd stopped.  Here we turned around and he filmed from behind so I led the way and had one or two muppetty moments, but lots more grace and flow than any time tonight.  Finally back to Evans and on up the Summit Rd, good pace but hard work for a tired bod.

Britten descent, Nelson filming again, and a good run down here  with the top speed of the night, a whopping 35kph, and fun.

Ride mapped, 16kms, 530m climbed.