Friday, January 27, 2017

Family Adventure Parking

Borrowed a spanky SC Bullitt from Josh for Tra'y and we loaded up and trekked off to the Park.  First time up the lifts for all of us, bought myself a 10 ride pass and the family all had the 3 ride samplers we'd got for Xmas.  So, off up the lift, (the top of which I turned on the MMR).  Off down Duncan's Donuts to start with, O and me soon putting some distance between T and H.  Regrouped and I rode with H and T jetted on ahead with O.  Nice cruisy descent, a little on the slow side, and H was really getting bumped around.  It looked like his forks weren't doing anything ( - they weren't, I discovered a little lower down).  Bit of whinging ensued, from the start of Active Rest and for the rest of the way down.  O and me jetted off ahead again and got regrouped a couple times eventually getting to the bottom tho and waiting and waiting for them.  H was not happy, and I really was wondering if we'd get him up again.  But, sorted out his fork a bit, and got his brake lever closer to the bar, and put a bandaid on the blister forming on his hand, and off up the lift we went again.  Caught up with Mark down here too.

This time, O and me hooked up with Mark at the top and we headed into Yeah Yeah Gnar.  Nice, the old top bit of T2, so was good.  O did amazingly well, handing the 'tech' really well.  We blazed on down this, him only walking one steep section just below the volcanic rock wall (on Alice's), and cleaning out the rest nicely.  Then we headed into Double Overhead Cam, and it was a hoot.  Both of us really enjoying it and blazing down, overtaking a slower couple on hardtails, and I'd blast ahead for a bit, then stop and wait for him, the blast ahead again.  Was good.  At the bottom again we watched and waited for H and T, and chatted to Mark again.  H and T turned up, we jollied H along again and he was much happier after that descent and another bandaid and a juice and he perked up well.  Whilst waiting down here I managed to witness a guy crash pretty bad on the last Airtearoa jump, landing on his side and smacking down just out of view.  He didn't get up again.  We watched while the medics all arrived and actually while I was getting bandaid for H there was a guy in the First Aid bay with a broken collarbone too...  2 crashes within 10 minutes of each other. 

Off up the lift again, and this time O and me did Lord of the Possums and regrouped with H and T at the mid point.  Stupidly I sent T off with O down DOHC...  oh dear, what a mistake.  H and me had a nice time down Active Rest and spotted T and O below and T was cursing me.  Then much much lower down I saw O finishing off DOHC and we stopped right where they nearly touch and waited for T.  Eventually I saw her walking down with the bike.  As soon as she saw me she yelled she was leaving it there, and did and walked off.  I had to send H on his way and clamber my way through gorse and up to get her bike, ride it down to mine, then ride mine and wheel hers down the rest of the Green trail.  Not a happy girl...  I'd totally misjudged her ability, and just thought no worries, it's easy (for me and O, obvs)...

End of day, with unhappiness in the car.  Made up now, but she'll never trust my trail judgement again.  "yeah, it's easy", when it's not.

three rounds...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday night Eastern noose

Home with the boys for school holidays cos T was back at work today, so Nelson came to mine and we ate a little then headed out to Scumner.  Parked again in Slumnervale and headed up the Captain, not quite slow pace we'd had last week with Craig, but probably not much faster, as I was gasping down the air as usual.  I nearly offed on the wee descent before the rocky challenges, having dropped my front wheel into a dip or behind a rock badly, and only just got it under control, with visions of myself toppling head first down the steep hill onto more rocks.  Adrenalin pumped big time...  Walked the usual bits and rode everything else, including cleaning one bit I haven't cleaned in years...  Eventually the Summit Rd was reached and across Evans Pass we trundled.

Into Godley, cleaning the easy climb and then the beginnings of me-not-doing-very-well began.  I proceeded to dab a bunch of times on the various rocky outcrops that ensued, balance all off, and struggling with power.  Made it in the end and found I wasn't that far behind Nelson towards the end.  Brief regroup and then off down towards Livingston Col with a bunch of parasailers floating about above the last (fast) section of track.  Man we hooned down there.  The track's seen some work so is really fast again, swooping through to the cool swoopy bits.  Then Nelson flatted.  At least, got a hole in his tire the the goop didn't fix. Waited for ages, perched on the hillside, watching the parasailing people catching updrafts of the persistent easterly.  But no, it wasn't going to heal itself, so he pulled it off and whipped in a tube.  Off again and down through Livingston, then climbing again.  Good wee climb this.  I remember in the past I used to hate it but it's really pretty short now.  Over the top and around, gravel a little sketchy around here then onto sweet trail flying tailwind to the last bend and around to PFMTBC Rock, Nelson launching it and not even touching the rocks on the down side of it, me picking the line and kinda floating down them on my back wheel.

Next into Anaconda.  Fuck.  What a fucking debacle that is.  Who the fuck did that.  Stupid fucking highway of gravel, not so bad for a start, but in the corners it's just like riding on ballbearings, skittery as all shit.  Glad to be off it, and onto dirt again and the speed increased again.  Nelson jetted on ahead, but I somehow managed to keep him at least in sight until the 'Tail, where he vanished and I didn't see him til much further down it, disappearing around the last corner...  Nice run down this, especially the floaty bit in the grass above the walking track, tail wind and smooth runnings.  Not so bad through the rock sections and then was flying down to the paddock and out to the carpark. 

Climby climb climb, delayered at the first corner, then climb climb, into the zig-zag singletrack that took us back up to the Godley Head Rd.  Fricking steep, I walked a section along the fenceline near the top, but rode everything else, huffing and chuffing.  Around the road and up the track back to the Godley Track, where we pointed our noses into the sun and rode like the wind.  I was doing okay but then I started to muppet my way along, and had good and bad moments down to Evans. 

Across the pass again and into the Captain.  Nice blast down this, both of us rolling really well, cleaning everything (except the climb) and then Nelson flatted down in the lower zig zags, just before the turn-off to the Cabbage Tree diversion.  I rode on, having a sweet blast down round the cabbage tree, and he nursed it down til he walked out.  I waited at the stile, then we cruised slowly down back to the car.

Ride time 1 and half hours, 17.6 kms, 712m climbed...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday afternoon 'Tour'

Youngest deSpa's 21st birthday party being held out at Little River Campground in the Okuti Valley, and my family headed out earlier in the day, so I figured I'd bike it.  Headed from work at 3.30pm, straight down Lincoln Rd, brief stop at the Halswell Supermarket for a couple of beers and some Powerade, and then headed out round the Old Tai Tapu Rd.  Wind nicely low around here, nice countryside views of all the fancy houses along there.  Golf Links Rd to the main Highway briefly into Tai Tapu, then towards Lincoln for a km or so.  Turned left into Davis, then River Rd meandering around to the start of the Rail Trail.  The head-wind started here and never let up, getting stronger and stronger as I approached Birdlings Flat - reflected in my ever lowering average speed.  Met two touring cyclists racing towards me along here, then further along I caught up to a guy with a pack on his back (and totally crossed gears), headphones on so he couldn't hear me til I went past.  Park Rd past Motukarara then onto the original bit of the Rail Trail.  Onwards for multiple kilometers, into the fricking wind, through Kaituna and then around past Birdlings and towards Forsythe, the wind turning around into my face again.  Ugh.  Getting pretty sore by this stage.  Halfway along Lake Forsythe spotted a few ripe blackberries, so I stopped and gorged myself on them, giving me the energy to continue.  On round past  the pub, then the final stretch to the road where I hung a right and headed up the Okuti Valley.  Final hill climbs really tapping out my sapped legs.  Rolling in 3 hours after I'd left work...  Beer, water, dinner and a good evening had...

58kms, bugger all altitudes

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday night Captain GreenHeat Pleasant and back

Nelson picked me up from work in his big blue van and we went to Craig's place to pick him up.  He had a very flash new Commencal that he'd only built up the night before.  Nelson had forgotten his shoes (in his car) so grabbed some regular pedals off Craig.

Hot nor-west day, blustery winds and sunshine, we parked up in Sumnervale and headed up the Captain Thomas.  Craig took the lead and set a really pleasant pace that even I could keep up with, which meant the three of us stuck together all the way up.  He made various adjustments to the new bike as we proceeded.  Cleaned everything we'd normally clean and not those we don't.

At Evans we headed into Greenwood, the first 'new' 50m or so fricking steep, the rest a nice cruise.  This is a great climb, and with Craig setting the pace again I got ahead of Nelson cos he was struggling on rocks so much with not being clipped in.  We stopped for a break at the top of the steepest rocky section (just before Gloomy Gulch) and then got going again, cleaning most until some of the rocky bits up in the corners section.  As we approached the ruins I spotted a new trail over to the right.  I'd heard something of this but had looked for it in the past and not seen it, but there it was, so we headed on up to take it in.  Craig decided here that he was tired and wanted to go home so he headed onwards and Nelson and me headed down into the new trail  Sweet rolling flowing wee trail takes you across above that bush reserve below there and then across to the big trees on the Richmond Hill corner.  From here we headed back up the 4wd track, chatting to a bloke on a big Yeti most of the way.  We peeled right and he headed off down Greenwood.  Around to the road and met another guy here (on an interesting Banshee Paradox (29r Hardtail)) we chatted to for ages - watching roadies struggling on the newly sealed and chipped road, up which eventually we headed into Britten.

Around Britten the overgrowth making it perilous and once on the west side the wind and overgrown tussocks making for some even more bloody tricky riding.  Across the road and into the climb, tail wind helping here and all the way I was in the lead and feeling pretty good.  Clambered up to the top of Pleasant and sat down for a snack.  Up rolls another rider, older guy, but fit (on some crabon 29r HT), just climbed up from Greenwood and proceeds to chat away with us for a good while, laughing about how someone's been feeding the rocks something to make them grow bigger.  Talk about a friendly night out...

Into the descent.  Lee of the hill or tail winds, made for fantastic riding, quiet, just the sound of freewheel, tires scuffing dirt and rocks, and flowy.  Had a really awesome blast down, grip in corners was magic and blazed down through the tussocks to the 4wd.  Then down into Greenwood, again, fast, and in pretty good form.  Some stumbling in some rocky sections, Nelson would catch me up, then I'd drop him, only to have him catch up again, then drop him again.  Was a game of cat'n'mouse with him never quite getting me, being pinball pinged rock to rock and losing his footing.  Took a break where we'd breaked before and (stupidly) I let a little air out of my tires.  Off again, blazing down, Nelson dropped the drop (and finding it bigger than he remembered), and then down through Dave's corners, I was thinking my rear tire felt a little washy, but figured it was just grippy...  til through the fence, fssh fssh fssh...  damn!  Quick turn-around replacing the tube and putting plenty of air in, then checked my front axle and found it loose - another thing contributing to the washiness of earlier...  On down, steaming down to the first rocky up, wrong-geared, and then out the rest at speed.

Across the road and I gave Nelson the lead, and we blasted down the Captain.  There was a couple further ahead I'd spotted, but they were miles ahead.  Cleaned everything beautifully and at speed and then both wrong geared on the climby bit, then blasted out the rest, catching the woman of the couple as we entered the cabbage tree detour, (the guy was a little further down, but behind us when we got out of the detour), then fanged it down to the bottom, amped at 9pm.

1 hour 36 riding time, 600m climbed in 18.7kms

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Parapara round 2 Explorations

Allowed out on the last day of Collingwood headed back round to Parapara Valley Rd and rode up the highway much I did the other day. This time I detoured exploring anywhere I could. Up the 4wd DOC road, checking out a singletrack up the first knoll, with seemingly several options, none of which bore fruit.  Back down to the road and onwards up, past the access points to the zig-zag trail, up the straight and into the sort of hidden entrance to one I'd checked out the other day.  This, I thought was going to go down to the pond, but nope, it just curved back around to the 4wd lower down.  So, on up the 4wd track to the seat and onwards beyond eventually arriving at a funky gate (albeit with crosses on it) of a private Christian hideaway, next gate had lots of "Keep Out Private Property Electronic Surveillance" signs. Turned around, and climbed and rolled and back to the seat for a snack and this picture
(note the tide in, vs the tide mostly out on the previous pic from up here)...
Then zoomed down to the steep trail.  

Faster this time, fun down the steep tightness, bombing between manuka trunks and ferns.  Some flow, but also a bit of brakeage to make it around the tight bits.  Down into the valley...checked out another trail I'd spotted on Tuesday, back uphill for a bit, around a slip and then met tightness and a few steps.  Left the bike and followed it up and up for a while before giving up as it wasn't rideable.  Rode out and on down the trail, checking out another bit of track leading into this one briefly, riding through to a creek and back out and onwards down.  Fun wee blast, again faster than last time but with the stally bits included.  Across the creek and some climbing but not much out to the quad-track.  Now, another explore up a singletrack, which ended at a dam for the pond, back down this and up the zig-zag trail, not a bad climb at all, upwards chuffing to the 4wd track.  

Climbed back up this to the 'steep track' and at the top of this spotted a track heading off towards the Tukurua catchment...  hmmmmmm...  Walked down this 50m or so and could see it continuing down, wondering, wondering.  Walked back up and sat on the bike thinking, "should I? Should I? I kinda wanna. Nah, who knows where I'll end up, Onekaka? then have to bike all the way back around the road or back up...  Should I?"  Decided not to.  Headed down the steep trail, faster even than the previous time, getting into the flow of it more so and relishing it.  Around the first hairpin smoothly and on down, next hairpin, next corner, down through over the bridge and on down.  This time noticing for the first time lower down some evidence of goldworkings (piles and walls of rocks).  Across the creek and up to the quad track, and down, speeeeeeed down here and peeling off to the quarry this time.  Other bike tracks from when it was wet had turned back here but I followed onwards and found a trail off up to the left which I rode through, getting ever slower and less rideable til I was walking the bike. Then I walked a bit, more exploring, finding more gold workings, gullys, trenches, and some really deep holes.  Wandered back to the bike and back along the track to the quarry, and back onto the fast descending trail.  More speeeeed.  Wooohoooooo.

Another trail entering from the left in one of the last corners, I stopped and rode a wee way up it, finding a wee bridge over trench of a creek, then steps.  Walked a bit up this, deciding it must be coming from the walking track I'd found earlier, and also finding an old goldworking tunnel.  Deep, couldn't see much up it.  Scary.  Back to the bike, rode back to the main track, rode out to the road, and back along the gravel to the car.

More than the other day, with the extra climbing... 467m climbed and 14.4 kms covered

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Aorere Gold, Wednesday 11th

Today, family headed round to the Devil's Boots and parked at the gate at the end of the road. O and me riding, the rest walking. The two of us headed up the 4wd track (the others, the walktrack that we'd ride down later). Steep heat, hot sun pounding down, hardly any shade, resting in it when we could. Got to the turn off left and headed into some trail I'd never done, but some of the boys had come thru on the Golden Bay trip of a few years back.  More up and down than I'd expected, but eventually we got to where the ill-fated Bedstead Gully track came out (having been cleared apparently a couple weeks after O and me ride it last year). Last couple of climbs and we descended to Druggans Dam. Snacked here and got going again dropping the tech down to the water race, O crashing hard on the steep - front wheel dropping into a hole and OTB onto a prostrate tree, scuffing his four corners.  He lay there a while before getting up, but soldiered on brilliantly, keeping up with me on most of the waterrace from there on around.

Around the water race to the caves, popped down to both, nice and cool in the Ballroom cave, total respite from the muggy heat outside, but the others weren't at either, so we kept going down the trail. Woot!!! Caught them up, giving them a hell of a fright, then bombed onwards the car, meeting some other riders on their way up.  Loaded up our bikes on the car and then drove cloading it up and driving through the gate and further up to the beginning of the tracks to wait, only a few minutes, forty the family.

Roughly 10kms and a hot steep 270m climbed

Mill Rd, Parapara trails, Tuesday 10th

Staying at Collingwood, rode along the beach 4kms to Milnethorpe for a bit of a leg stretch.  Whilst there, I bumped into one of the Ground Effectors, who has a bach at Milnethorpe, brief chat and then I rode a couple of slightly dodgy (but sweet) tracks back to the beach, and then back the 4kms along the sand to the house.  Later in the day him and family popped in and visited for a bit.  He knows his way around these parts, and so told me about the local riding: built and maintained mostly by Martin who runs the Takaka bike shop.

So, on his advice, later on, I drove round and parked at corner of Parapara Valley Rd, then headed up the highway a km or so then up a DOC access track. Climbed to the seat at pretty near the top,
somewhere around 300m.  Had spotted about 3 different options off the climbing track on way up, so hooned back to the last one, chasing a falcon spectacularly on the way, and dropped in (bars unable to fit one of the entrance options). Tight rough single track meandering quite steeply down thru the regenerating scrub, manuka trunks trying their darnedest to snag my bars. Eventually down into valley bottoms and flats across, a couple creek crossings, then opening up and out to a quad bike sized trail.

Headed upwards and found my way onto what turned out to be one of the earlier tracks off the climb; zigged and zagged my up it back to the DOC track, up this a little way then back down to and down that which I'd just climbed.  Fun descent back to where I'd come out earlier.  (Spotted an exit here right next to where I'd come out earlier - filed for future reference). On from here down fast descending on quite open trail, regen bush, flying, one other option to explore next time, then more valley bottom rolling, out to a groovy gate and a driveway down to the road and then back along a km or so of gravel road to the car.


Totes and the Rameka Projection Fatstas, Wednesday 4th

Fat bike on holiday...

One ride from Totaranui, up the road and over towards Awaroa, down to the car we'd left at the top of the Waiharakeke Track. 200m up in 4kms, down a hundred if I's lucky, in about 1.5kms...

Wednesday 4th, O and me headed out of the bay, brief detour thru Takaka, then up the Rameka Valley. Parked at the bottom of the Klicks and rode up the road to the top of Great Expectations. The last km I pushed both bikes as he just couldn't keep up the climbing.

I let him lead down. Awesome ride, such a great trail and he really enjoyed it, as did I. Across the creek at the bottom and into the Klicks, taking in all of them, no broken ribs this time, fat bike handling nicely thank you.

9.4 kms, only 270 m climbed