Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday Slickery El Capitano Livingstoned

Usual pick up from work, with more diabolicalness than ever before on the traffic front.  But, eventually we made our way to Scumner and up to Slumnervale, whereuponst we parked and changed and got riding.  Up past the horse paddock and around up the steps and onto the Captain.  Clamber clamber, me not dying as hard as usual.  However, just after the cabbage tree diversion exit I snot-rocketted my nose and proceeded to bleed from said nose...  annoying.  Staunched it a bit then got riding again, sniffing the blood for a good while up through the hairpins, finally settling it down along the flatter bits.  Through the first rocky wee descent and up the first of the techy challenges, and the drizzle set in, finally wetting the place up a bunch.  We debated what to do and continued onwards up, the rocks getting doused slightly more than was desirable.  Dirt was still okay, although it was starting to sort of cake a little on the tires, still dry underneath.  We took a break under a tree up at the old stile (to the road) and watched roadies negotiating their climb in the wet.  The drizzle kinda eased, but was still there in a very light manner, so we continued up, desperate to have some altitude.

Across Evans and up onto the Godley track, cleaning entirely all the first climbing bits, and onwards still.  Nelson I think managed everything, but much further on I dabbed once or twice, but never stopped.  Eventually to the high point and overlooking Scarborough and south-east towards all the headlands and View Hill (above Little Ak), we were out of the drizzle, but up the harbour and Mt Herbert was engulfed.  While we stood there it seemed to be looming so we thought to Livingston and back would be okay. Off down and a great speedy descent, traction all good and trail our friend.  Lower down they've lowest-common-demoninated the fuck out of it, somewhat pointlessly.  The swoopy cornery stuff near the bottom was still raw like it should be tho.  At the col we could see the drizzle approaching again so we headed on back up, straight up the face and then veering slightly to the right.  Nelson cleaned it all, but it was too steep for me a couple of times so I walked.  Rode out and spotted that they're building a zig and a zag, which will be good for the climb in the future.  On up and around and the drizzle increased a bit, and we peaked and then skedaddled for the Pass.  Rocks were slick as slipperiness, and pinged our wheels leftwards, rightwards, and centrewards.  I baulked twice, dabbing to a stop, but also flowed and grooved some of the hairiest rocky sections, pinballing down the track.  Nelson blazed ahead, seemingly not worried about the wetness at all.

Across the pass again and into the Captain, slick rocks and nice friendly dirt, all the way down.  Cleaned 2 of the techs, but saw Nelson blow out the bottom one, so walked that then watched him do it again (nearly getting pinged off again).  The rest of the descent was pretty decent, and we rolled through the bottom and back to the car in due course.

12 and a half kms, and 485 m climbed there and back again

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Saturday Worsley Jet Loner

Finally got out for a ride... A week in Fiordland, then family time all week.  Couldn't join Steve and others on their meander today, so got out a little later after dropping H off at a friend's.  Parked just above the hairpin on Worsleys Rd and headed up the singletrack next to the road.  Hung a right and having a look found that there is no longer an entrance to my old favourite, Utopia.  So, jumped into Farside for a quick blast down.  This is still fun, and less open ground so less overgrown than OneShotLucy (which I rode down later on).  Fun to the bottom and then back up the grinding climb, this time continuing on up on the grass beside the road and up the next bit of overgrown-by-long-grass singletrack and then up the road proper, Jet loping along side me all the way.

Headed through the gate from the carpark and up the singletrack-doubletrack up into the relief of some shade in the trees.  Ground up the steeps and clambered onwards and upwards, noting all the exits from above as I climbed.  Up round and through Braille and up to the top to find a whole bunch of bikers resting, including a dog (and it's accompanying rider) Nelson and me saw another time right here.  I headed off down the newby that travels below the Worsley main-drag, bombing down and ticking off the entrances to the alternative routes down, choosing number 3 (or 4, depending), and blasting down it.  It's one of the shorter ones, spitting you out onto the 4wd climber in no time.

Back up the 4wd climbing track, and back up through Braille and there're all the riders again...  Jet talked to the other dog this time, and tried to have his way with her - dirty boy.  Back into the singletrack again and a sweet blast, all the way on the high line all the way to the end this time, finding some of the riders at the bottom again (weird).  I walked up the steep walking bit to the jumpy trail entrance and the blitzed down this, popping some of the jumps but not the big ones and not the fence gap, again.  Down through the lower section, more popping and weaving and out the bottom then up to Epitaph and riding down this to the carpark.

Jet got a nice drink (belonging to the other dog, methinks), from an icecream container that I kept refilling, and he had a wee rest here too.  Then I made him follow me down the road, not rocketship fast like usual, as I didn't wanna get too far ahead of him, then down the overgrown-by-long-grass singletrack and down the roadside into the Farside zone, this time blitzing down OneShotLucy, all the way.  Man, it's overgrown now, moreso than the other week with Nelson.  Finally the last climby bits and back down to the car.  Hot and bothered, jetty panting happily but me a little worried about his heat.

Only 12.35 kms, and only 468 m climbed...  but they wuz steeeeep(ish)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sunday Morning Hilltop Meander

T was out doing the stupidmarket shopping and so I couldn't leave home til 9am, the same time as Steve and Wayno were leaving his.  I cruised at a good pace across town and followed them up Crapaki Track, getting a text about half way up but not reading it til I got up to the flat bit, less than 10 minutes later.  Sat on a seat and read the text which was saying they were doing the new 'Full Monty' ride out round Montgomery Spur.  I didn't want to chase them around that, so I sat and watched the punters ride- and jog- and walk-by below me for about 15 minutes til the two boys turned up.  We got rolling again on the singletrack above the main drag, and then continued up the newest section (just finished the day before as per link above), above the top section.  Got a little steep in here and Wayne bailed while Steve ran out of oomph exactly where I had.  We walked maybe 20 m and then got steep riding again, then across to the gate.  Quite good up there...  Suggested improvement is a zig and zag or two out for the steepest bit...

Onto Witch Hill, cleaning all the technicals and cruising around, along the road, into Castle Rock, me chasing down a woman on a Santa Cruz.  I had insane bursts of speed at times, weaving and gnarling down the trail, catching her just around the first hairpin, her pulling over to let me by, climbing nicely out and over and then awaiting the two boyz.  Dampness of previous days rain keeping the dust nice and low.

Around the road, and figured why not head over Mt Pleasant and get the top section down to Greenwood, so that's what we did.  Slightly damper riding up here than further back (cos its higher, I guess), but nice down the rocks, boogying through to the end.  Then my ride around the original Greenwood entrance was smooth and sweet.

Finally, up the road and into Britten.  Quite long grass down here, so trail narrowing a little.  Good fang down and around, then where the old stile and fence/gate were I noticed a new trail to the left, so followed.  I wove right across the Britten Reserve, one nice rock section, in the middle, then all the way over the far side, and around under some rocks and cool descending down to the top of Longridge Pl.  The boys had missed the turn and arrived above me down one of the original trails in there... 

Zoooom down the road to Craigieburn, and into the zigs and zags, nice roll down through McCormacks, enjoying it except for the carefulness on the spikey boardwalk bridges, then the final blast down the bottom reaching rocketship speeds.  Finally, around the bay, onto the main road and I split at the bridge and cruised the length of Linwood Ave home.

Good number of kms (30+), 750 m climbed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Wednesday Evening Worsle None Guv

Usual pick-up from work with the usual traffic issues getting to where we were going.  Parked by the poplars next to the Adventure Park entrance, and we headed up the hill. Next to the road for the first steep, and up the singletrack beside the road higher up too.  Finally to the carpark and then on up the main drag, meandering out left of the trees overlooking the park again (like last time) climbing the singletrack to the watertank then on up, this all way more overgrown than last time.  Then over the fence and up the main rutted usual Worsley old skool track.  Nelson pulled ahead, chasing some other rider, and passing a walker, who I took ages to catch, dabbing out in lots of the technical stuff, til finally I passed her and kept on rolling.  Brief stop at the bottom of the Body Bag, deciding where to go, and choosing the same, heading on up, with me dying a slow death up here til eventually I had to walk. 

Over and up to the top of the nun, chatting to some folks up here before following them in. Not a bad run down here for me, with Nelson pulling over to add air to his rather soft rear-end, and so I flowed and popped and wound my way down.  Pulling out at the half way(ish) stop and watching as Nelson came down the hill.  

We crossed the road here and headed into the Governors Bay trail, down this, with a close call for me (nearly launching myself off the trail) and then around the hill and up the grunty climb, most of which Nelson cleaned (seemingly effortlessly), while I cleaned heaps, but just blew up towards the end, dying on the final steep bit that I'm sure wasn't there last time.  

From here we headed up onto the Crater Rim walkeway above the road, walking the first few rocks then riding the rest nicely, back to the start of the Gov's Bay track, then across the road again, and onto the next section of Crater Rim walkway, walking all the bigger steps and steeps.  Up to Worsley Rd and over the top and down the fang-worthy Body Bag, keeping on top of the rut-ridge at speed is tricky, and I couldn't see a thing as I approached the big launchy jump at the bottom due to Nelson-raised dust.  

Down a little and off to the left, into the 'new' trail in the forest before the Braille entrance.  Into here and, 'huh!', a new track peeling off to the left not too far in. Explored this and it flowed quite nicely, with one or two wee pops but eventually it petered out (in an area we'd explored before), and so we rolled on down through the sort of trail to the 4wd track, and climbed this back up the 4wd thru Braille, nearly getting taken out by a speeding youngster who was ripping down Braille (obviously fast enough to clear all the gap jumps).  Finally reached the top and headed back into the 'new' trail.  Nelson took the wrong turn towards the jump (that's too big), and I blindly followed him, then got back on track and led the way down, keeping the gap a reasonabl size.  Great flow down here with nice wee jumps over roots and some rocketship speed zones and skiddy loose rear endage.  Kept on the highline all the way down, and dropped out onto the 4wd just above the wee creek.  

Peeled right here, and walked and walked up the hill (under the powerlines) to the jumpy trail.  Nelson did the first really big double, and I followed him through most of the other jumps pretty well, but baulked, as usual, on the fence gap.  Good speed through the rest, tho I pulled over for a grom who was bombing through, and then over the last few jumps and down onto the 4wd again.  Peeled right again, climbing up to do the final Epitaph and out through the gate.  

Down the road tucked into speed mode, grabbed One Trick Lucy - which was a little on the overgrown side.  I got loose in the lower gummy/wattle area, and Nelson got past me, then this vine got all tangled in his rear wheel, so we stopped and cleared that, then lower down everything was really overgrown, hard to see the trail ahead.  Final wee climb out and bombed down the last dirt trail and onto the road at the corner, rolling fast back to car.

17 kms and 700m gained...  all good
What wasn't good was listening to the US Election coverage on the way home.  What a bunch of fucking morons.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Saturday morning Hanmerlicious

Hanmer for the weekend.  Got out and did a short loop with my boys, about half an hour, then dropped them back at the house and took off for my own ride.  Together we did Swamp and Swoop, H doing well on the climb, and pretty cool on the descent, and O just flying the lot of it, both really enjoying the downhill.

Dropped them back at the house, and headed up Chalet Cres, finding my way firstly down a long drive to a house, turning around and then cutting through onto a walking track down to the end of Swoop.  From here I went up Timberlands, huffing and chuffing like crazy, then up Jolliffe Saddle Track, gasping and grovelling the top few tens of metres.  Had a rest at the top here, and then headed off down Upper Dogstream to the first bridge.  Awesome descent, with some really tight trees for the wide bars.

Across the bridge and up to Bigfoot, climbing away zigging and zagging like crazy up through the forest, then ducking out into the open on every second corner whilst gaining more and more height.  Descending, this trail with it's aspect and views reminded me a lot of K2 in Rotorua, except there were none of the log-droppy challenges that K2 had.  Heaps of fun, and had me wondering when it was gonna stop it went on for so long.

Out to the road and down a little to the entrance of Detox.  As usual, seemingly long climb up and around then I had a nice rest and ate the only food I had in the shade of a tree.  Off again, and a nice blast down, nearly having a mishap or two, but not quite, and blitzing it down, and across the road straight into Mach 1.  Nice ups and downs along here, kept my speed up and pedaled hard on the climbs.

Across the road onto Camp Track, and finding a brand new trail off here.  Headed into it, freshly gravelled, and under-bermed corners meant keeping speed was hard, but it was quite fun, albeit very easy.  It seemed to go for ages, looping out then back, with a couple of nice descents, very short, and short climbs back up to the level.  Eventually it spat me back out onto Camp Track, and so headed along here and then up the Dog Stream Track to half way or so, and up the road to Jolliffe Saddle again.

From here, headed into Red Rocks, climb climb, false descent, final climb, then bombing...  rocks and fun.  Grabbed Eeny Meeny, then chose Meeny this time (had taken Eeny the last two times (and just now realised these last two options should be called Miney and Mo)).

Back out to the road and decided randomly to head back up Swamp, then stupidly all the way up Pawson's Rd, which was a nightmare due to the logging that's gone on - think: extremely churned up mud by big machinery and logs, turned hard by drying out...  nasty.  From here it was Tank Track down, swooping and weaving and launching, lots of fun, and then straight onto Flax Gully Trail down.  Don't remember ever riding it this way, (but may have back with Al years ago), short climbs, but mostly nice, and back out to Jacks Pass Rd, and bombed down (nearly 60kph on the gravel) back to town, straight to the bakery to fill my starving belly.

24.5 kms and 600 m gained.  Felt like more, I guess cos the climbs are mostly pretty steep, even tho never that long or high in themselves.  Highlights are Bigfoot, Tank, and Red Rocks...  all three by far my favourites up there.  I considered doing two laps of Bigfoot, but alas...  Was feeling really good the whole way, even tho I was a bit seedy to start, but climbing Pawsons really killed me, made me starving and tired.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Wedkneesday Night, XC beat up

Pick up on Moorhouse by Nelson and as per usual we trafficjammed it, tonight to the top of Huntsbury.  I headed off up the jumpsy track, gasping away on the clunk that's still in the bottom of my lungs.  Part way up I looked back expecting to see him catching me up but he wasn't there.  Hmmm, that's strange.  Figured I'd keep going and check further up.  Again, not there.  Over the brow of the hill now and up to the gate, wondering what was keeping him.  So, from the gate I rang him, and then saw him right down at the bottom, so killed the call and settled in to wait.  Eventually he turned up across the fenceline, having come up the main track - it being faster.  Then we set off up the singletrack, me in the lead and pushing hard, getting the air into the lungs and burning up the legs...  Over the fence and up the landingstrip onto the gravel, where another, older, rider was powering off ahead of us.  Nelson overtook him up past the cattlestop, and I didn't catch him til the top.

Off over Vernon, for a start, blasting down the older line and then peeling off down across the road into the top of Farm Track.  Been a while, that's for sure (all the last few times have been upwards).  We avoided the main track, choosing the tussocks and sheep trails instead, meandering down finding a really good line, albeit slightly rutted in places, to the pond above the gate.  Dropped to the gate, over this, and on down the main track for a while, until I chose a sheeptrail off to the right, around through tussocks to the pylon track.  Ignored the (obviously out of date) No Bikes sign on the gate, and headed up and over, into the steeper and steeperer descent into the Rapaki Valley, stopping to admire the view of all the wee bods cruising up and down Rapaki, then dropping in, down down down to the bottom, some fun techy steep shit near the end.

Over the gate and up the valley, reminiscing on the old singletrack up here, cleaning lots of the fun tech, before eventually cutting across onto Rapaki at the bottom of the last climb.  Headed back down Crapaki, on the singletrack above, down to the new sheep/cattlestops and into the new Montgomery Spur (Taramea) Loop the boys explored the day before.  Good zig zaggy climb then swoopy, some off camber weaving down.  I took the 'Harder' line and Nelson took the 'Easier' line and I ended up miles ahead of him.  Enjoyed the vista across here, and the carved in bits were quite cool.  Thought the trail was a lot further than it looked too.  Finally, lots of climb back up to the start, and off down back to the singletrack above Crapaki until the drudging climb continued.  My right calf feeling knotted and sore all the way up, puffing and chuffing, to the top where the views were spectacular and the breeze nice and cool.

Into Witch, both cleaning everything, and powering through it all pretty good.  Onto the road and Nelson chose the walking track above, while I took the easy option of riding along the road below.  I ended up at the top of CastleRock track first, Nelson having cruised up on the verge-side of the road to save his tires.  Whilst here the sun finally disappeared behind the clouds in the west and it suddenly got really cold.  I layered on, and we decided light was gonna be pushing it to loop Castle Rock, so up above the road and up onto the Tors track.  I found this more technical than usual, but cleaned nearly all of it, then rolled down across the road and onto the walking track Nelson had climbed.  Nice blast down this and through onto Witch for to climb hard, cleaning it all to where Nelson was waiting at the high point.  Then off down, popping and grooving all the knobbly rocky bits, making for a much smoother roll than usual stalling on the rocks.

Across Crapaki Top, no one around now, and into Vernon, me starting to get pretty tired, climbing climbing up and around and over.  Then across the road, where there was an Enduro-as-fuck group of guys, who took off down Huntsbury and then into Old Skool.  We took the traverse across then dropped down through the tussocks and blasted down the gravel (on account of slowly losing light) and across the landing strip, over the fence and onto the singletrack, sweet blast down this, Nelson messing up the big jump.  Then over the gate and down, jumping all the jumps (except the wooden one for me), and flying down to the car.  Awesome.

20.4 kms, and over 700 climbed.  All good.  I was really feeling it, the beat up by the rocky sections, and the overall size of the ride, having not done much lately.