Monday, August 28, 2017

Sunday Planting non-existent ride...

The boys (plus Jenna) were all riding to Otakaikino planting, but I couldn't make it cos T was away leaving me on childminding duty.  So, MY boys and me drove out to the end of Sawyers Arms Rd, passing the crew at the big roundabout and as we unloaded our bikes they rolled up and we treadled the last couple of kms in with them, past the lakes and through the tunnel and past Omaka and down the stream to the planting site.  Jet galloped along having a lovely run, and we all caught up.  H was slow but kept up, good - considering he was just coming off the back of a puking sickness of a couple days before.  Did the planting, planting a lot of plants, ate some sossies and then rode back, not quite the way we'd come, me choosing a slightly shorter route than the others (on account of H.).

About a 5-6 km round trip.  Not a lot and didn't bother to MMR it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wedknees Night Victoriana Witch Sugar

First off, yesterday saw me ride to Joy's for dinner, 9kms with a good climb up Canon and Pleasant on the Troll (except the stupid MMR skipped me from High St to Cannon Hill, missing my detour around the south side of the river/estuary from Tunnel Rd past the golf place and Ferrymead Historic.

Tonight, usual post work pick up from the Countdown carpark and over to Bowenvale Ave. Rode up the valley, a group of 3 other riders ahead most of the way, grunting up K2, right onto a wee singletrack section, up to the 23footer, then up under the pylon and up to the 40footer.  The other three were tweaking one of their bikes and set off ahead of us again, us following up past rad^sick, around the zig zag and on up to the skidder site.  Climbed more from here straight up the 4wd, thru brake free, up through the fence and then left along and up Worm to the Traverse.

We could see a tonne of lights coming towards us all the way around the Traverse ahead, but set off anyway, meeting the first few just after the dipper.  More at the usual stop place, and then one dick on the rocky drop after the pond, who didn't say anything and made Nelson stop and nearly got me as he came over the rocky jumpy bit.  Obviously oblivious to the general give way rule of thumb....On up and around, I was feeling surprisingly good all the way still, and at top of Huntsbury, just past the Lavaflow, we headed down the new line I'd found a couple weeks ago.  Nice flowy downhill, swooping through the tussocks down to the landing strip and start of downhill into Bowenvale.  Back up the gravel Huntsbury to Vernon.  Again, loads of lights around.  Common as muck these be-lighted mtnbikers...

Good run around Vernon to Rapaki, meeting only a few riders and a couple of runners.  Flew through the top and around into Witch Hill for a good rocky climb up and around to the highest point.  Rest-stop and a bite to eat here, watching Quetty(?) out on ridge between Avoca and Horotane Valleys.  On down towards the Summit Rd, then turned around and back the way we'd come.  The climb starting to get to me.  Flowed around, meeting one on a blind corner, and back down through Rapakitop, a whole bunch waiting for us before they entered Witch.  Up around Vernon, the climbing really getting to me this time, slower and slower.

Instead of across the road into Traverse, we headed up and into Scotts Knob, nice climb up and fun descent, roots and rocks, finishing with steps, then a walk up the next section wet rocky bits, more climbing and switchbacks than I ever remembered, followed by a sketchy techy slicky rocky dropping descent back down the road near the pond.  Into the next section of walk track, open ground, climbing up to a rocky section then descending to the carpark where a couple of fire trucks were packing up after some sort of exercise.  Staying on this side of the road, we headed up the side of Sugar Loaf, carrying the bikes for a little bit (upon later looking at g.maps we probably should have ridden Gilpins Track, and then up onto ridge from it), then getting onto a walking track around the front, fun riding, to the car park, and on down the ridge to Vic Park.

Down through the pines, mucky rabbit paddock and into the rockgarden and gummies.  Usual left into the old favourite, good traction and no muck, down through this and out to the skidder site.  Yet another group of riders here.  From here it was up the secret singletracks towards the top of 19th memorial, and over the back across and eventually down through the blind drop to a walking track, past a 'No Mtbs in this area' sign across the walking tracks, a couple of zigs and zags, and then steep fun down (another sign), into the drop zone, steeeeeeep, and new lines since we'd last ridden in here, dropping down down down into the gulley.  Nelson railroaded the curves, while I lost all traction in both wheels and careened to a halt, having to walk down the insanity he'd just ridden.  Across the creek, short walk and dropping again down to walking track and finally valley bottom just above the bridge that guy died at a few years ago, letting a string of riders through first.  Final bomb down the wide open track to the bottom and we were done.

A struggly 770m climbed, over 17.7 kms...

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday night rode-y

Riding the Troll, I met Nelson at the usual Moorhouse carpark, him with the skinny-tyred machine in the back, cos with all the rain we knew we couldn't be mtnbiking.  We headed to Woolston, parking by Holy Smoke and got changed then headed thru to the river, over the bridges and through the streets (stopping to look at all the classic cars next to the railway tracks) to Aynsley Tce and around to Rapaki.

Up, both climbing at a good clip - Nelson cos his bike's so light, and me cos my lowest gear on the Alfine is not as low as your average mtnbikes.  As a result, it wasn't long before we were overtaking other bikers.  No one commenting on our 'inappropriate' bikes but I swear some laughter was at my expense as I passed.  Hard work, and Nelson jetting ahead, I just slogged it up.  We regrouped on the flat, then he gapped me out again on the final climb.  I was glad I managed to get all the way to the top - legs truly pumped.

From the top we headed left, around the road, following it all the way, under Witch, under the Tors, past Castlerock, fast descent no brakes over 60 down to Bridle, and around under the Gondola into the wind on the corner, climbing up through the cutting.  A brief detour up Broadleaf Lane to the gate, just for the extra altitude and back, then the blast all the way down to Evans Pass, nice smooth rolling speed, over 50kph, then down into Sumner, blazing down through the red light and good high speeds over 60kph again down here.

Finally, taking a couple of turns slipstreaming each other around through Redcliffs and down the causeway clipping a nice 37 kph, then Ferry Rd back to the car.  Beer and food at Twisted Hop, and home about 9pm.

Just under 30kms, and over 800m climbed...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sundaze Farm Vern Witch Hunt

Catching up with York in London put me behind time not getting away til 10.30., so took Jet to Hillsborough Tce parking near the end.  We headed up the Crescent and onto the Farm Track. Not something I'd done for a long while. Hand written sign on gate said "No Bikes, Too Wet - Mt Vernon Management" which I ignored, because it hadn't rained for a few days, and what damage is a single climbing bike gonna do to a farm track?  Overall, I didn't find it "too wet" at all... Climbed the grunty bastard of a climb, taking plenty of rest breaks, cleaning everything bar about 4 metres just up around the corner through the gate (on the southfacing section).  Met plenty of walkers coming down, altho the whole top section I was on my own.

Up onto Vernon and down towards Rapaki.  Nice blast down here, pulling over for a few climbers and some of them letting me through.  Across into Witch Hill track.  This is in really good nick, looks like someone's been through it tidying, or it's had a fair bit of traffic.  But, no wetspots at all, and nice riding.  From here, headed along the Summit Road, and then was thinking, hmmm, 11.40, not really enough time for loop of Castlerock (cos we were booked at Adrenalin Forest at 1.30pm), so at the end of the walking track (just above the road), I hung a left back up onto it and rode it back towards Rapaki.  Across the road into Witch Hill, howling easterly on the climb, up over and around, then climbed Vernon, good pace, catching a guy ahead before the top, and dropping another guy behind me in the process.

Then onto the Traverse along through the first cattlestop and hung a right onto a new downhill line that's been scrubbed into the tussocks exactly as I've always thought we should do, all the way down to the entry to Bowenvale downhill and the landing strip.  Down the openlands and over fence onto the Huntsbury singletrack.  Good for a start but around towards the first big jump it got mucky as for a bit (where Quetty crashed last time).  Past the jump it improved down to the fence. Over this, and there's a few new wee jumps at the start of the jumpy section.  As I got further down it just got wetter and muckier, so I bailed out onto the Huntsbury Track proper, and headed down to the road.

Jet made friends with a dog down here and took ages to get away, then down at a slow pace (him trotting along) down the road, catching Derek and Babs carrying their old foxy Poppy for bit, chatted and rode with them, then headed on down, right into Aotea, and down to the corner.  Walked the top steps, rode next to the next lot of steps, and then blasted down the sealed track to St Martins School.  Then round the last couple of streets back up to the car.

Jet having had a lovely time.

A relatively honest 600m climbed, over 14kms.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Wednesday night, Fatty and Skinny strike out *post 900* - In Memoriam

Met Nelson at Countdown carpark after work, on the fatbike, and then I proceeded to get a call from an old friend, Bat, who insisted she had to come and see me to tell me something that she couldn't tell me over the phone.  I'm thinking, great, someone's died... but who?  Helen? Jen? were the ones I thought of, as mutual friends we have and don't really see much anymore.  But no, it was much worse.  Matt, my best friend of 34 years since week 1 third form 1984, R.I.P. of a heart attack on this morning, Wednesday 2nd of August, 2017.

He joined us riding once, and, being a roadie himself, was always in awe of us mountainbikers and the intensity of our workouts coupled with the technicality of the riding.  So, i thought it fitting that I continued with my ride tonight, in his honour.  The whole thing seeming unreal and not quite believing it to be true... I'm so glad we caught up when I was in Melbourne back in June.

So, Nelson and me headed out to Moncks Bay, parking in the carpark of the Yacht Club where I took a call from Pete Gillespie, then we headed up Mulgans, first time for a lonnnnnng time (coincidentally only a couple of weeks before that ride with Matt).  Steep mother that it is, it was actually pretty good.  Walking the steps, but riding everything else, up to Panorama Rd, then along this up to Clifton Tce.  Over the stile and up to the rooty singletrack, Nelson's slicks spinning him out continuously.  Into Frog Pond track, which was super mucky in places leading to a bit of walking to save the trail, then once up on the ridge it was smooth clean riding to the trees.

Hit the Summit Rd down to Evans, fatbike tires screaming in agony and a slight headwind and thick cool damp air acting like a parachute on us.  Onto Godley Head Rd, climbing around til I got a call from another old friend Jase, then continuing on right out to the end of the road.

Through the carpark and onto the track over to the right, down the zigs and zags, then up the zigs and zags and over to the top, grabbing a snack stop here, another phonecall incoming, then off down to Boulder Bay and back around towards Taylors.  Met a couple of riders heading outways just near the beach.  Down to carpark and the final slog up the hill.  Nelson disappeared off on his super skinny tires, and just after the last dark corner he appeared back downhill towards me, and we rode the rest of the way up to the top of Scarborough together, before my ears were deafened again descending at over 60kph down the Scarborough Rd.

Across the Esplanade and back along under the cliffs to the car.

Just on 24 kms and a staggering 879 m climbed...  Pretty good for a 'road' ride.

And!  This has been blog POST NUMBER 900 ! ! !