Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday evening off the eastern beaten track

Pick up from the Countdown carpark and through to Sumner in traffic and off up the Captain at 5.46pm.  Good climb, me not struggling quite as much as usual, even given the small head-cold I'm suffering from at present.  At Evans we spotted a clusterfuck of riders (group of more than 10) heading into the Godley, so decided to try something new.  Into the bottom of Greenwood, and up the worksite track up the ridge above.  STEEEEP.  Nelson cleaned it the whole way, I managed about half and then it got too much for me.  We had a wee look around and then got onto the walking track and headed up through some pines, over a fence, looked down Chalmers Track (into Lytt), and then headed on up some techy rocks and onwards to the Gun Emplacements.  From here we got onto what we usually descend down through the tussocks, climbing all the way up, quite enjoying it, to the stile.  Talked to a guy who didn't know where he was, explained to him how to get back to his car, and then we peaked up.... resting at the top for a bite with one more rider riding through while we were there.

Off down the trail, I nearly lost it after the first descent losing balance on the rocks on the way to the stile.  Over this, and flying.  I was tight on Nelson's tail the whole way, catching him on the corners, not quite so much on the straightaways.  My cornering was magic perfection.  So fast, and we were down to the 4wd in no time flat.  Down this and left into the old Greenwood start, flying around this, with Nelson getting the goods on me on the couple of climbs.  Before the end/start of the trail we hung the right onto the new track, getting good speed through this down and across above the road and under the rocks.  Awesome blast, tho one of the lower corners could really use a berm - sketchy.  Across the 4wd track, down near the gate, and into the other new one, this one mostly climbing but with a couple of small descents, hovering along close to the top of Jollies Bush, then numerous zig zags climbing up to above the ruins on Greenwood.

Into Greenwood at great speed, fanging down through the rocky top sections, me right on Nelson's tail right through this section, flowing good.  As we rounded through the rock gap and across the pumpy face to gloomy gulch he got the gap on me, and then I started to slow after the gulch where I usually rest, but I pushed on, and got good speed down the rocky section and through the swoopy bits.  I hauled up at the drop jump, and Nelson was in the tussocks just below here, resting.  I pushed back up a bit and then rode down and rolled the drop.  Easy, will drop it next time.  We got going before the next riders came down and bombed it all the way on down, me gaining on Nelson in sections, especially the face down to the first rocky up.  He cleaned this, I dabbed through it, and off again and out the bottom.

Stopped before entering Captain Thomas, let a few riders through and watched for the others who were all out and about tonight.  First, we spotted Robin finishing off Godley.  He rolled up to us and we chatted, then we saw Pete and Alistair doing the same, they rolled up and we all talked.  Robin was parked up here so the rest of us took off down, Nelson, Alistair, me then Pete.  Ali was tight on Nelson's tail for a good while, and I stayed latched on Ali's tail, pushing him harder in places.  Fast run down just over 7 minutes all done.  Good show on the first of the techy rocks with some other riders walking it as we rode through.  They were impressed.

These trails are getting a lot of traffic with the other end of the hills out of action.

All told, 18kms, 578m climbed.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saturday Kaiteri Scribblings

Nelson and me scribbled or way around Kaiteriteri today. It was fun. Parked at beach, headed into Easy Rider for a start, then across to Cruise Control and up Tank.  Dropped into Remedy, which was fun, with some nice wee drops and pops, across into Shady Lady, which is still as tight as ever, weaving down through handlebar clipping trees.  Then into Revelation, around to and up Ziggy then the Cork Screw.  In here I was starting to struggle.  I'd had stuff all sleep the night before and I was tired, so was gasping and legs were dying and I'd not eaten enough breakfast so my tummy was geting dodgy too.  Struggled up the last bit to the top rest area and had a big rest and snacks and stood in the breeze at the top.

Off down and into Jaws which wasn't nearly as fun as I'd remembered.  I was pretty tight on Nelson's tail most of the way down.  Certainly I enjoyed the lower new bit, that was fun, but the jumpiness at the top half wasn't as good as I'd remembered, and she was getting a little overgrown too.  Anyway, brief climb out of the valley before the last fun section to the intersection.  Bit of a rest here then off up Big Ups, and watched a bunch of groms dropping into to Big Air before we ourselves dropped in.  Funtimes.  Catching good air on everything, even clearing quite a few of the doubly tables.  The groms all bailed at the exit to the intersection and we continued on down, some of the corners getting crazy near the bottom, but fun.

Brief rest at the bottom then off up Zigg again, struggling struggling, me, and then up Big Ups again, and into Skullduggery.  Always a bit of a favourite, narrower and more 'old skool' than those big machine built things.  More climbing than I remembered, but I think I always remember that.  At the Bay View intersection we'd been recommended Tree Hugger, and so we dropped into it.  Definitely fun.  long enough to be interesting and lots of cool features, and narrow and gooood.  Ending at the bottom of ShadyLady, we headed up Puff and around to Tank for pretty much the last biggish climb, in which Nelson got a new set of lungs and powered ahead, while I slowly found my demise.

Into Scoot for a nice short blast across to Swish - a wrong turn off this thinking Humphrey's might be good, but decided it wasnt so we back tracked and headed across til we got onto the Lower Skullduggery and bombed that down and down and down some interesting corners eventually ending up right at the Riwaka end of the entrance to the park and Easy Rider.  Jumped on this and got grinding, me struggling so much on the uphill even tho it was nothing really, then over and down and across to Half Pipe for the last few corners, a couple of fun jumps and out the exit of the park and down for a cool and refreshing swim at the beach, glorious views to be beheld.

22kms and only 550m climbed...  felt like a lot more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday pre-meeting blat.

New office, downtown now, so skedaddled and met Nelson in the Countdown carpark, Moorhouse. Limited time having to get all riding in before the 7.30 TFC meeting.  Traffic hell til we hit the hill, parking up same place as the other week on Parkridge off Longridge. Headed up the steep new single, both cleaning all of it this time (and gasping for air as a result). Around and up the usual Britten then around to and up Broadleaf Lane.

At the top we walked up to the Trig to have a look into the Harbour, seeing fires burning behind Governors Bay - not to mention all the smoke and choppers working.  Back on the bikes and heading down, the steep start here loose as and almost traction-free which threw me out a little but propelled Nelson pretty much off trail.  Battered our way around to the stile and over.  From here it was smooth flowy blazing.  I was tight on his tail all the way, weaving and grooving down and across through the tussocks.  Down the 4wd and into the original Greenwood entrance as if heading back up towards Mt Pleasant Rd, keeping a really good pace around here we turned onto the new trail we'd climbed last time, finding it to be quite a cool flowy wee descent.  Flew down this and into the other one we'd only descended before, finding it to be a really fun climb, with really not that much climbing, ending just up above the Ruins.

From here it was back up the Greenwood entrance, out to the road, up the road and into Britten, for the fang down here, me leading and keeping a good pace, railing around the bermy corners and then across the way we'd come up, flying down the steep descent and back to the car.  My watch said it was about 7.15, (but Nelson's car said 6.40something, which he thought was really slow), so we headed down and made it to TFC dead on 7.30... (nelson's car saying 6.56)... gates were locked and I was very confused, rang Steve to see what was up, and him saying it's only 7!...my watch had somehow wound itself ahead.  Oh well, gave Nelson and me time to get some food, making it back just in time for the meeting...

So, all up a short ride, but was intense and fun...  under 10kms, and only 320m gained.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday, hot hill work

Out on my lonesome leaving home about 9.20, drove and parked at bottom of Bowenvale on Eastern Tce - and caught up with an old friend, Ben, who I'll definitely ride with sometime soon.  Headed up Major Aitken Drive, figuring there might be a bit shade on the way up.  There was, tho it was still pretty warm getting up there.  Ground away and got to the gravel and grabbed some shade up the first section on a nice singletrack next to the gravel.  Then out in the open thankfully a bit of breeze around.  Under the pylons and then up to the high part hung a right and climbed up onto the singletrack, heading for the landing strip then up the last gravel, feeling a bit weak from the heat and the downhilling yesterday.

Brief break at the start of the Traverse, breeze cooling a bit, then I was off.  Good ride around here, tho the wind was a headwind for a start.  Met a couple of uni-cyclists (one of which was a young girl (9 or so?)), and was sort of chasing a guy on a carbon XC steed.  Good blast down to Vic Park-top and then through Thomson and Thompson and across an insanely busy Kiwi, cars clusterfucked everywhere...  Up the road slowly gaining on XC dude, catching him juuuust at the top of Worsley.  Cooled right off here in the breeze under that big pine and chatted to a few other bikers.

Off down the Body Bag, hugging the left hand lane (on account of a guy riding up the middle), which only gave me a little bit of gorse sting on the way down.  Into the park, climbing up the steep trail, and touching base with Paul and family who were celebrating Luka's birthday down at base.  Into Yeah Yeah Gnar and then a little way down decided Tommy2's, why not (just over a year since last down here).  Into here, it was cool, following pretty much exactly where it used to.  Bloody dusty as hell, but fun, and familiar and I rocked my way down it, cleaning everything.  Out the bottom and into DOHC, blasting.  By the bottom my arm pump was mental, and quite sore.  Popped into the base and said happy birthday and caught up with peeps and had a beer (nothing else on the menu or in the fridge appealed!).  Then off again, down the road, freshly watered, so not dusty, and then around the foot of the hills back to the car.

A smidge under 20kms, 660m climbed, 1.5 hours.  Hot.

Later Edit:  the next day the fires started, burning for a week, over 2000 hectares, including most of the park, and the Thompsons, top of Harry Ell and Marleys, and all the way across the top of Worsleys Rd to Kennedy's and into Gov's Bay.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday Parking with the boys

Took O and his buddy Tane into the park, buying Tane a 10 pass for his near-future-birthday, plus one for O. We lifted up and did the green all the way down to get Tane's eye in.  Rough as, but everybody enjoyed it.  I followed for a start, and Tane crashed in about the third corner, a high-side that he leaped off and ran with, then a little lower down I got past him and then O.  Then I stopped and turned on the MMR.  Caught them again and overtook and sped on ahead.  On Active Rest I zoomed ahead again, getting quite a lead, then stopped and waited til I could see them coming and got going again.  All good.  Both boys enjoyed it and were game for more. 

Round 2, hit Possum Lord and DOHC. Tane REALLY liked these ones.  We all had good blasts down, I think Tane offed a couple times but he was fine.  Back to the car for a bit of lunch after this run.

Then round 3, we headed down Yeah Gnar.  Pretty dusty, and I caught some rookies (who probably shouldn't really have been in here, I mean, they were really struggling).  I got past them and then the boys did too.  Then some faster guys got past the boys, and I let them by, but a little lower down they let me by again cos I was definitely riding it quicker than them.  The boys walked the worst steep bit, but rode everything else.  Across the midpoint and into DOHC again. This was another good run and faster than the last.  I'd been texting with Paul a bit earlier, and he was in the vicinity so came in and we caught up with him at the base, juices for the boys and an iced coffee for me. We were talking about another run, but after a quick blat on the pump track (while I hung with Paul) the boys decided they were knackered enough that we didn't need to do a final fourth run.

I forgot to turn the MMR off til most of the way down the access road...

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Wednesday Night Adventure Climb Worse Nun Traverse Lava OldsKool

Pick up from work and across town to park on Ashgrove Tce next to the bridge into Ernle Reserve.  Over this and a mellow cruise up the Heathcote River past Cracroft and then up the gravel into the Park.  Straight into the Uphill climb, ziggy zaggy, jiggy jaggy...  we caught up to some other guys and sat behind them for a while, got past one and were happy enough having a rest behind the next guy, til it opened up and we plodded on ahead, up and over and down and through the midpoint and then on upwards the old way we used to climb out of Fightclub etc.  around and through the gate and up the techknuckle grovel little bitty shitty rut-city.  Cleaned our ways up this and then had a bit of a social rest outside the gate of the park, chatting with others, snacking and resting before heading off up the Bodybag.  Cleaned it a long way up.  Nelson got it all the way, but I blew out pretty near the top, rested, breathed and then got going again, cleaning up the rest.  Nice - best effort for a long time.

Over and into the Nun climb, quick piss stop and off down.  Nelson on fire, me chasing and struggling a little, flying down the Flying Nun, popping and grooving.  Big fuck up on the trail just after the big corner closest to the park - the Pioneer Race had been through on the weekend and all the muppets had fucked up the entrance to that rock you used to jump over...  On down through the rocky sections feeling pretty good, keeping Nelson in sight, but struggling a little to keep up.  Past the carpark and bombing through the lower section, no wuckers, Nelson still getting away but not too far ahead.  Strangely we met some dude riding up, near the bottom, and we finished it off. 

Across Dyers Pass and up the road, Nelson taking the lower Thompson, me staying on the road.  Up here were some dipshit boy racers with a lowered ute, mashed up front and tires off the scuffed up rims.  Dumb-arses had lost it into the barrier.  "Ohh, That doesn't look good.  Whoops" from me, and "Looks like you're gonna need a wheel alignment" from Nelson, to which they slung him some abuse, little shits.  Lucky no one had been riding or driving up cos they'd crossed the centre line to hit the barrier, obviously at some speed, the skid marks were lonnnng - hope the little fuckers get done for dangerous driving.  Into the upper Thomson for us, dropping down the recent wood-chip entrance, laughing at their misfortune all the way.  At the top there was a couple with electric plus-size bikes with kid trailers hitched up.  They'd come up Bowenvale Valley and the K2s!!!

Into the Traverse and a good blat round here, meeting quite a few other riders.  Legs were getting tired on the last few climbs, ending up at the top of Lava Flow.  Guy and a dog were here getting ready to go down, so we headed in and Nelson rode everything...  I walked one or two bits, but rode a heap I'd never had thought of in the past.  Was fun. It's a cool track (7 years since I'd last attempted it).  At the bottom we headed up the steps next to the 3rd bridge (we'd come down them one night back with the Thursday Night Crew).  Bit of a hike, but once you're up it's a cool singletrack across to the Hidden Valley Link Track - avoiding losing altitude on boring track, the creek crossing and the first two hairpins.  Into this and climbing climbing up to Old Skool. Great blast down this, seems to have been cleaned up a bit in the middle traversing section and looks to be seeing quite a bit of traffic.  Fast down the bottom and then out and down the road and round the river and back through Ernle to the car.

All up, 634 m climbed, in 22.1 kms over an hour and three-quarters riding.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Thursday Night loopy loopy convolutey

Nelson picked me up from mine and we headed east not really knowing where we might go - considering Lyttelton or Mt Pleasant localities.  Low easterly cloud (that had drizzled earlier in the day) was scudding across the hills, and for some reason we headed up into it, parking up on Parkridge Place.  Some sun to the west but also fast moving dampness ploughing in from the east, we headed up the new track I'd come down when riding with the boys (that they'd missed) back in November.  Quite a crunty wee climb, with even Nelson having to get off and walk a little, then across the face of the park and onto the old well trodden path up.  We held a good pace up here, ensconced in the fast moving fog, grass and tussocks rather damp, and Nelson only dropped me a couple hundy metres from the top.  Around the 'long' way across the top of Britten with the tail wind pushing Nelson off the trail as we rounded the top of the ridge, I took the lead from here through to where the climbers park their cars.

Across the road and up the Mt Pleasant access climb, but turning right and bombing down the steep single to the stile and over and down and into the ziggy zaggy climb to the Gondola building.  Sunglasses had to come off as they were steaming up big time.  Grunt grunt and clamber, up we went, the fog chasing us, and spectacularly swirling out over the bridle path.  At the gondola building we headed down the Crater Rim steppy section towards the Bridle Path top, with the fog starting to burn off and the sun shining through.  Good bomb down here, seemed bonier than usual, and we struggled to find a good way onto our sidling-around-the-munty-bits track (that hugs the fenceline just above the road).

At the Bridle-top we headed up the Crater Rim / 360 degree track that we've come down a couple times now, and found it quite good most of the way.  Further up than we remembered coming down, but got up through the overgrowing broom and steps.  We took a break on the way up and watched some loony riders climbing the Bridle Path, doing well.  Around the ridge top and downhill began back towards the Tors and CastleRock, nice flow down here with fun rocks to jump off.  Then across a light saddle and climbing again, up around to above the Castle Rock, final fun little descent down to there.  Sat and snacked and watched the loony climbers climbing up Castle Rock track, all three of them cleaning it to the top.  Chatted with them a bit, they'd come around from Gov's Bay, and were the builders of the steep singletrack over there, the reknowned "Governors Bay crew"...  They took off and a guy that'd chuffed up the road dropped into the trail ahead of us so we gave him some space and then Nelson led the way in.  I mumbled my way through the first descent and rocks, but once around the bend I started to flow, and quickly reeled Nelson in gaining on his tail before the first hairpin.  Around this and chasing again til the climb when I started to drop back again - just not enough oomph up the hills.  Easy roll out to the road and he was really huffing as we started our way along the Summit Rd under the gondola.

Around the bend just after the gondola the winds funneling through here nearly had us stopped.  SO strong.  Battled our way up around and into the singletrack at Cavendish Saddle, climbing up the steep mother and onwards up to Mt Pleasant, fog now but a memory, just damp tussocks and a little bit of dirt to show for it.  Straight into the descent from the top of Pleasant, fanging down through the rocks and over the stile.  From here, looking down on the Greenwood entrance, I spotted a new ribbon of singletrack coming up the hill to that entrance, filing it for later...  then onwards down, awesome blast down the singletrack, weaving through the tussocks and out to the 4wd track.  Into the Greenwood, but only to the first jump, where we peeled off to the left and onto the new trail I'd discovered last time up (the other week).  Great wee weavy trail, ducking and diving across the slope towards the big Richmond Hill pines, we had a very hurried and urgent time.  Out to the gate and 4wd, and found the entrance to the new climbing track (back up to original Greenwood entrance) that I'd spotted from above.  This was a great wee climber, zigging when it needed to, and looking quite established and like it's been there a while.  How we'd ever missed in the past I don't know.  It's even got gravel in places that would have been wheelbarrowed in.  Made our way up (and would be a fun down too) to the original Greenwood entrance and onto the road, climbing back up this short stretch to Britten.

Bombed into Britten, me tight on Nelson's tail the whole way, til the sun came piercing into our left eyes as we rounded down to the corner...  This sun made most of the rest of the trail quite tricky, but we found the left hander easily enough onto the new stretch of trail and absolutely flew across the slope and down the new techy bits back to the car.

A hard won 16kms with over 600m climbed, nearly all minty singletrack.