Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday Mt Oxford Epic

Rather large ride today, and likely the last of the year for me. 

Paul and Luka arrived at mine at 7.15 and we Brava'd out to Nelson's. Weeded my garlic in short time then we hit the road for Coopers Creek, Nelson following in his own car.  Parked at the end of Mountain Road and got riding about 8.50... When I say ride, all was well for a start, but eventually ducked down over a bridge and there was a bit of a walk, then rideable climbing, but it got steeper and steeper with less opportunities for riding and more opportunities for walking. Eventually we were all walking, pushing at first, then carrying. One or two small taunts of riding and then above the treeline we were all carrying (tho Luka held out and managed to push (rather than carry) most of the way).  All of us found a method of carrying that worked for us - Nelson, kinda seattube across his soulders, back wheel behind his head, rest of bike hanging down behind; Paul - either arm through the triangle, top tube on shoulder, pedal in elbow, hand on front wheel; me - sort of top tube across my shoulders, wheels out either side, but for a long haul I somehow managed to have it similar to Nelson, with maybe my pedal hooked on my pack and I was hands free walking, trudging, up the incline. We probably carried for an hour, at least. It was very long and quite arduous, taking around 2 hours 40 mins to reach the top.  A couple of women and 3 kids up there when we arrived, tho they'd gone by the time Nelson got there.

Bit of a break and feed, then off down the ridge to the west. Passing the family on the way.  Some steep stuff, and a little bit of climb. Then down the side into the bush and wicked steepness. A few nasty climbs thrown in for good measure just to keep the rinsing, and rooty gnarl and steep steep steep. Stopped at one stage and Nelson took out his brake pads to see if the spares he had were any good, they weren't, and the ones he'd taken out weren't as worn as he'd thought, so got going again.  More steep rooty goodness, with a few really flowy sections chucked in.  Then finally(!), Wharfdale hove-to and we hung a left and clambered up this to the Link Track. 

This held a HELL of a lot more climbing than I'd ever recalled, and lots of getting off and walking/carrying over rooty boggy bits. Met a few walkers on on their way up while we were on the way down too.  We were all getting pretty rinsed by the time we got out, just over 5 hours after we'd departed

We climbed 1075m in total, over a 19.25 km loop.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Boxing Day Picnic, Park, Home

Eight Hundred and Fiftieth Post!!!!!

Big extended family picnic in Vic Park, so I took the bike and rode from there, - up the hill thru skidder site, up the steep bastard, past Brake Free, and up into the Thomsons.Across the Kiwi, txting-base with Nelson who was doing laps in the Park,  planning to meet at the top.  Up the road to top of Worsley and fanged it down the Body Bag.

Through the gate and chatted with some guys here before heading up the uphill track to the Chair, 3pm. Sat there expecting Nelson to show any second, to no avail. So rang him as I needed to get going, they still hadn't hit the lift, so off I went on my own. Considered doing the old favourite Throw the Goat, but figured I should explore a new one, so headed down Lord of the Possums... Berms berms and more berms. Through familiar country including an area from Wayne's World to Fight Club (R.I.P.). Caught up to some guys near the bottom, so mustn't have been going too slow.

Big open area with only 2 choices today due to some Muppet having crashed on the one I wanted to do, DOHC and requiring helicoptering out, so, it was either the easy riding green track, Active Rest, or the black option, Airtearoa. I chose the latter. Boost after boost after jump after jump, taking it pretty easy and never giving momentum too much free reign against gravity. Eventually made it down in one piece and headed down the access road (a surprisingly long way out!), then hoofed it into the wind home by about 3.45pm.

This here being the start of my ride...  it seems to stop around where I stopped to turn ON the clutch on my new derailleur, part way down Possum.  263m gained, and wouldn't have gained much more than that as it was all downhill from here.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Morning Fat Posse

9am meeting at Steve's, and I was on the Commando because I'd only gotten the parts (SLX 11spd cluster, shifter, chain, and derailleur + Blackspire Snaggletooth) to repair the Turner's drivetrain on Saturday afternoon and hadn't had a chance to put them on it yet.  So, angry bees buzzed across town to find Steve, Tony, Andy and Wayne waiting on the corner for Pete (who didn't show) and finding me instead.  Then I got a text from Paul saying he was 5 minutes away.  The boys took off at a leisurely pace and Paul arrived and we chased, catching them just after Grange.

Around Aynsley Tce and then on up Crapaki - busy as always.  Reasonable pace up here but Steve was complaining of his guts when we headed into the Taramea Loop.  I stopped to adjust my suspension - ie, let a little air out of the tires.  Nice climb up and around with me at the back, then fun bits, with only me taking the 'harder' option, getting in behind Andy and Steve for the next section rolling across the face of the hill.  Fat tires gripping so so well on the off camber corners; very sure footed.  We stopped and peered down at Glenelg spur (just now realised Glenelg is a palindrome) looking for potential ways up here.  Steve, here, decided that he'd be bailing when we got back to the main track.  We cruised the climb through to the end, Steve bailed and I led the way up the singletrack above the main drag.  Good roll up here, the fat bike feeling pretty good.  All the smooth trails were sweet on it, but the rough stuff is hard work.  Only Paul and me stayed on the singletrack, the others choosing the easier climb, and I blew up at exactly the same place as last time, just before a rocky steep.  Walked that and then rode the rest just fine, peaking before the others, then a regroup at the top.

Up around Vernon, easy riding, and then into Traverse, speaking with a clusterfuck of riders all seemingly taking turns at attempting to fix some guy's tire...  Left them to it and had an awesome run around the Traverse.. Regroup at the usual spot, and let some riders through, then on around to Vic Park for another regroup before the trees.  Into the trees and down past the see-saw then down through the rockgarden and my favourite gummies trail.  Even this was fun on the fatty, tho the roughest stuff was hard, and the seat doesn't drop easily, so it was oldskool stylez.  Rolled out to the skidder site and there's a guy under a space-blanket being tended to, blood on his head, not looking too flash.  Usual over cooking of the jump, landing nose first and being polevaulted head first into the ground.  Ambulance on it's way.

Off down Spazza's, the lower rooty bits bloody difficult, battling the bike with who's steering it.  Then straight down between Pono's and Brents and out the ridge straight ahead, and into a new wee one I'd done a wee while back on my own.  Sweet steep entry, then a couple of techy features, then more steep and then zigs and zags in an oak forest, then onto Flow (or bridges?).  Down this main trail into the lower swoopy zigs and zags and down the bottom of the valley.

Into Hidden Valley Track, I cleaned the creek nicely and was just making my way up the steep bit after it when I couldn't hold onto my balance and started tipping.  Left foot wouldn't eject and over I went, landing upside down, bike pretty much still on the trail, with me attached, lying in a big old pile of blackberry.  Elbow blooded, and knee must have smacked the bike somewhere, and arm a little shredded by the blackberry, but managed to climb out and get riding, cleaning the first and last two switchbacks but not the second.

Into Old Skool.  Mostly a good run, some of the rocks proving a bit pushy, but I reckon I'm getting the jist of this fatbike thing, and quite enjoyed it til the last few corners.

Down Bowenvale, and Paul and I went our separate ways (and it looks like Andy, Tones and Wayno went for coffee).

So, what with all the riding across town and all, totalled 31 kms, and climbed 585.

Replaced the drivetrain on the Turner when I got home, and then we headed out to Bottle Lake for a family ride with Lisa and Tane, and Ollie...  Alas, Hugo had a big smash on one of the jumps on the pump track before we left for the ride, smacking his head and scraping up his whole right side.  I took him home and the others went for their ride.  However, the chain on the fatbike snapped when they were most of the way out and T had to walk back.  (my bad I think, I should have checked the click -- click -- click -- I'd noticed on the way back across town in the morning... ooops).

Also.  On Saturday, Mark had his first session in the Chch Adventure Park, and Nelson had his first day on Monday...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday Evening Lungs Sprung around up and back

Usual pick up, traffic navigations, up Hackthorn, Dyers and over the hill - parking at the Governor's Bay jetty. Rode round the waterfront trail, quite enjoying high tide and pleasant odours, -ish. Thru Allandale, spotting kingfishers galore, and then some kereru swooping around as we headed up the road and into the bottom of Living Springs. Climbed in the valley, cross the stream a couple times and around onto the nice new Totara Valley climb into the Pines then on up up up - noticing a lot of onga-onga around the place, looking lush and vigorous.  Clamber clamber, through Rhymes with Orange and then up the grass and through a couple of gates.

Above the Outdoor Centre, climbing through the gums, through a dodgy gate, then into the forest, sidling and climbing, up more, in the bush on the awesome twisty turny climbing trail.  Stopped to pull some weeds (foxgloves), and then I brushed my arm through some onga-onga and no dock was to be found.  Yowch a bit.  Thru the difficult fence and then a bit more bush before coming out onto the open lands.  Across to the cabbage tree, and back up the other direction, getting steeperer and steeperer til I walked a bit.  Re-mounted and rode on for a while, through the gate and the trail was nice and cleared, having been weedsprayed at some stage recently.  On a particularly steep grunt I completely exploded my drive train. Got to work fixing, and half an hour it took, using rocks and breaking Nelson's mini pliers in the process, we managed to remove a couple of bent-arse links, cobble together the chain with a couple of 9spd quicklinks, and bash my granny ring out of the way sufficiently for me to continue upwards using the 36t (2nd gear).

Nelson rode most of it, but I walked a bunch of the steepest bits, and eventually we made the top, walking over the fence and up the hill a bit; observing dickhead boyracers taking blind corners on the wrong side of the road at speed.

The view from the top:

brief snackage, and then it was time to head down. Fun blast. So so good. Back down into the bush and it was exhausting, twisting and turning, avoiding bar-strike, sketchy, slightly greasy bush soils, but just so good. Puffing a lot by the time we got to the dodgy gate.  Then down past the Outdoor Ed Centre, gates, and into Mississippi, me nearly getting taken out by a couple of big lambs, but catching up Nelson, and swooping down and through the kanuka forest.  Then around to Zane's, the climb not so bad, and then down, what a blast.  An off camber root and my own muppetry made me stop briefly (without crashing) about half way down, and Nelson got a good lead on me which I never gained back.  Finishing off with an awesome floaty jump at the bottom.  

And nearly done, back around into the new Totara Gully for a super fun downhill and then around the hill and down again, funtimes, finally cruising down between the fences to the road again.  Thru the Freedom Campers at Allandale and we blazed back around the waterfront to the car.  All good.

16kms travelled, 638m climbed and descended

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sunday Bottle Ache with the kids

Another round of Bottle Lake.  T away for weekend, so sole charge parenting in action.  Picked up H's new (tardme purchase) Xmas present bike from Rangoon, then home and load the other bikes, O, H, O's friend Ollie, and Jet, out to the pond.  Did the main loop, me on the fatty.  H found the new (26 inch) bike much faster than his old 24 incher. And had the hang of the gears by the end too, which was cool.  Jet, as usual, had a glorious time.  And O and O were pretty quick.

13.4 kms, and a massive 85m climbed... Family fun.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Wednesday night family ride

I was gagging for a ride, and asked my boys if they wanted to come then T said why don't we all go...  The Turner was at Josh's getting new suspension bushes and lower linkage so we were short one bike, meaning T needed to ride the Fatty, and I had to settle for the townie...  So, chucked all the weight bikes on the back of the Fiat (cos T had a work car home), and we wallowed out to the forest.  Hit the trail, me with my be-slicked tires, cruiser bars and basket(ish thing) on front, T on the fatbike and the two boys on theirs, Jet racing off ahead.  Headed in, hung a left and headed through to the pond, then on through and out to the beach.  Stopped and checked out the beach, Jet had a swim, I was tempted to skinny dip, but no one else was keen.  On southwards.  An encounter for Jet with a slightly dodgy dog, then in the quickest way back and through the forest back to the car by 9pm, a late night for the boys...

Slow, no altitude, and short, but fun.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sunday Morning HuntsTraversiVicOldSkool

Needed to be home by 11, so left home before 8am, drove to Paul(deSp)'s and we parked over in Bowenvale Ave.  Headed around the road and up Major Aitken Drive, then up Kenmure.  Paul's just gotten a new (to him) bike, but it only had slicks on it, which we let some air out of once we were up on the gravel.  But they sure were noticeably fast on the seal...  Up the gravel of Huntsbury and then short detour up onto the singletrack for the final bit of climb through to the landing strip and then on up to the top.

Onto the Traverse.  Nice roll across here, Paul really enjoying it, with his skills-of-old coming back to him.  Been more than 10 years since he's had an off-road bike.  Under Sugarloaf and then into Vic Park, down past the see-saw and down the rabbit paddock into the rock garden and into the gums.  My usual favourite lines down through here and out to the skidder.  Then into Spazza's, winding our way down and Brent's, taking the right-hand direct route, which slips into the bottom 50m or so of Rad^Sick.  Then into Bridges and Flow or whatever and down the valley.

Into Hidden Valley Link track, I cleaned the creek crossing and bit after, then the first hairpin.  Second hairpin, however, caught me out.  Onwards and upwards, relishing the climb and the top couple corners, which Paul didn't do so well on.  Out to Old Skool and down this, lots of fun, pumping and weaving the way down here and out, back to the car. 

1 hour 9 minutes riding, 14 kms, and just shy of 500m climbed.  Back to his place for a coffee just after 10, and I was home well before 11.