Friday, September 29, 2017

Thursday evening short family Vic

Bikes on back we drove to top on Vic Park. Rode down thru to Brake Free and did a few laps in here, the boys loving it, and O especially liking the 3 jumps in a row (after the Sesame St turn off). After my second lap I rode off into the rabbit paddock, following a barely sketched singletrack across to the rocky knob, giving Jet a sniff for the rabbits, and then back to the fambily waiting at Sesame St.

Into Sesame St we headed, T struggling on the first rocky steep.  O disappeared into the gums, so we followed him, me letting H go first, guiding him from behind, with T following me, and walking lots.  Regrouped at the skidder site for a play on the pumptrack, then we split, the others heading down to my folks house while I rode back up to the car.

Map My Ride took too long to find me so I bailed on it.  Wouldn't have been more than a couple of kms and a hundy or so metres of climb.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meandering Night Monday

After-work pick-up from my place, and we drove across to park by the bridge opposite the end of Bowenvale Ave.  Craig showed up not long after we'd headed up the start of Bowenvale Ave and we all headed up valley.  He was on a new (to him) 1992 Diamondback.  We headed up Old Skool, me dropping back somewhat, but them waiting after long hard bits.  I was feeling fricking awful on the climbing, like I had no lungs and no legs, or like whenever I turned the pedals there was something like a 40% drain of my power.  Walked a couple of bits I've never walked before.  Eventually we made it up to where you either turn left up under the pylon or right and head down Hidden Valley Link.  We turned left, and at this point Craig turned back saying he had some stuff to do.

Up into the zig zags, I started to die.  Then, I actually did die - and suffered hell for the duration of the climb.  At the gate we regrouped and Nelson had cleaned the whole damned thing.  I managed to ride from here, up onto the new descending track from the Traverse (that's next to Huntsbury).  We bumped into Robin near the top, who was on his way down.  Then it was off round the Traverse, Nelson chasing some XC dude, and me just trailing along feeling like Captain Slow.  Through the top of Vic trees, the sun boring straight into our eyes, and into Thompsons for a swoopy fun ride through the burned terrain.  Across the road and up it, my struggling legs barely managing the climb to the top of the Nun.

Good flow down the top section, reeling Nelson in then not, and then once around the rocky corner into the slightly lower stuff I started feeling tired, maybe?  Anyway, pinchflatted somewhere after the wooden bridge bit, and ended up having to walk the last 20 m or so to the carpark pull out.  Nelson had stopped in those corners, so we got to it and changed the tube in record time, he got my old one out while I put some air in the fresh one, then he got that into while I folded up and put everything away, then I finished off the pumping-up.  Was careful on the rear end for the rest of the way down, then under the Kiwi and back up the road into top of Vic Park, me gasping and dying on the climb.

Sun had set, and it was gloaming time, so we headed the most direct way down, through Brake Free, into Sesame St, straightlined down Spazzers, then across the ridge line into the new bit straight ahead, fun tech down this, then zig and zag (in some muck) and over the wee jump onto Bridges, weaving down the rest of this and blasting down the valley bottom out, all in near darkness.  Finally, down the road back to the car by about 7.45pm.

Twas 18 or so km, and we climbed 633m.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Soaking Night Rodey

Nelson met at mine after work.  Wet weathers on, and we headed out into the worst of it. Across town, Stanmore, Nursery, Wilsons, Eastern, and up the Major Aitken, bit of a jiggle up top there then up onto Huntsbury, me walking steepest sections.  Rain thicker, coming in sideways, into cloud to the top.  Hung a right along Summit Rd, down the Ell, zig zag down Cashmere and back across town. Wet...

29kms, 570odd m climbed

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Night Crock and Dile

Countdown carpark pick up and over to Halswell Quarry park, parking at Cashmere Rd entrance. Headed up and into C2, then up the new 'easy' which sidles alnng nicely thank you above the original Crocodile. Onto Crocodile just above Deviation turn off, and up this to the Low Rd.  Avoided the muck for a bit then detoured onto the main Kennedys, but got to the gate at the top which was telling us to Go No Further. There went that plan out the door (of going to the top, doing a lap of the nun and back) , so back off down Low Rd, finding it actually pretty dry, (worst wet was just above the houses where we'd already come up) and then onto Crocodile bombing down the original line all the way to C2 and hanging a right on Murphs, fun slightly techy down hill, finally rolling out into the valley bottom.

Checked out the Upload track, twisty turny up steep, then down Download, dropping through where Nelson's tire burped a bunch of air out.  Topped that up and off up C2 again, huffing and wheezing, and up the Easy again, this time wanting to check out Deviation, which we soon found closed, so we checked out Al's Alternative, down the valley onto the original Crocodile switchbacks, and then up the Gorge track back onto Al's Alternative, then across the bridge and up the 'access to Deviation', one very muddy switchback, then across and into the forest trails of old.

Down download again, and up C2 lots of lights wafting around, with an Orienteering even on.  We waited while some of them went down this track ahead of us and off down into the short black diamond track we followed, scattering them lower down.  Fun little techy down, but not that long, and ending at the bottom of Murphs.

Off round for one more climb up C2 to the top of Murphs, down this for a fun blast down and then back up the original finish of C2 and down through the dog park back to the car.  1 hour 13 of riding.

My Mapmyride did some crazy shit, so here's Nelson's track.  Around 12 kms, with 312 climbed.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Saturday Afternoon-Evening Eastern Loop

Nelson finished work at 3 and picked me up. We parked in Sumner and headed up valley and into Sumnervale, onto the Captain Thomas, which was dry to the point of almost being dusty, except for the odd wet spot.  Made good time up here, tho taking it easy with my legs still tired from the 80kms earlier in the week riding and kinda hungry from lack of eats in the day.

At Evans we headed up onto the bottom of Greenwood, sidling up the chainlink fence to look over the view of the harbour, then up the old track around the orange plastic fencing onto the main track and climbed.  Cruising and enjoying the techknuckleness, only meeting two men lower down, and up around the Gulch, two ~12 year old boys struggling with the boniness.  Clamber clamber up through the rocky upper reaches, with Nelson crashing off near the top, then through to the ruins and a bit of a break and snack.  Cold nor-west blowing across the tops.

Up here Nelson set up his new gimbal for his GoPro.  Got it all running and the sun was lowering in the sky, so off I led back down, him filming.  I had an excellent run, weaving and flowing smoothly all the way.  A couple of stops to align the camera, and onwards, flowing fast and smooth.  Excellent blast, tho I was getting bloody exhausted by the bottom.

Sun well behind the hill, but still plenty of light left, we headed up onto Godley.  First section all good, but second section the bony rocks were chucking us all over the place. Nelson seemed to struggle to stay on a bit more than me, but I wasn't finding it that easy either.  Once up on tops it was better, except for that cold nor-west blasting across the hill, so we stopped just around the corner through the cattlestop, and before we hit the descent Nelson got the camera going again.  Another awesome blast, with some massive speed being carried through the lower section towards Livingston Col, with whoops and w00ts when we got there.  Camera stayed on as we climbed up the next bit, enjoying the techy rocks and then a good blaze around towards Breeze, mind the nasty wetspot heading across the slope above the PFMTBC Rock, and just before it too, I bailed out to the right, whereas Nelson kept flying through the mucky bit and over the rock.  Blasting cold breeze through Breeze Col.

So I chucked on my vest and we headed off down Anaconda, not knowing what to expect, but expecting the worst.  Top half was mint, second third was mint, lower wiggles were okay - one hole I avoided but Nelson smacked a back wheel through, and one wet bit that was below where you rode, so no problem.  Into the Tail and cruised the first, then I's getting sorer towards the end, (which I always do if I don't stop at the bottom of the snake), but enjoyed the final rocky bits and down through the paddock, me slowing right down for the muckfest before the bridge.

Last slog, up the hill, light getting pretty diminished (street lights may even have come on, actually), over the hill and down into Nicholson Park, Nelson turning on his light, but I found I could still see okay, taking the steeeeeeeeep drop down to Flowers, then three switchbacks in there then across the narrow trail between the houses and down Whitewash Head, blasting through onto the esplanade and cruising back to the car.

Good blast, 21kms, 740 m gained

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Tuesday Night Threes Ride Night

With trails posted shut or otherwise likely to be mucky we did a weird thing and rode three different rides in three different locations...

First off was checking out Farside which we hadn't been to since before the park closed.  Parked just up hill from the corner.  Rode up, rode down.  It wasn't mucky, but it wasn't exactly hardpack either...  no spleck, but plenty of grease and a fair bit of fun.  Short and sweet - 1.16kms, 60m gained.

Drove back down around and up Hackthorne, Dyers, parking at the halfway Nun park.  Headed up the walking track, and right at the start noticed what looked to be a newly built trail...  hmmmm... Nelson wandered up and looked and came back, then we got riding up the walking track, walking around any mucky flat bits and up the various steps, onto the road and past all the Nun Closed signs, actually finding that the Nun would have been fine, except that we saw the new trail entrance, unfinished, and decided to explore...  Fun, DH oriented trail, one or two reasonable sized drops (off big rocks), but mostly pretty rideable, and in nice condition, no damage done.  It petered out when it crossed the old 4wd track in there, so we followed it's route down through the scorched earth scrub to find the Nun just before the final bends into the carpark.  Short and curly this time (with a big MMR skip).  2.45 kms, 109 m altitude.

And finally, drove round the Summit Road to the top of Rapaki, and headed into Witch Hill, (past the Track Closed sign, again, it needn't have been there, there wasn't a wetspot on the whole thing).  Climbed over and around, across the road onto the walking track, this is quite techy in this direction, and only 2 puddles and one cowpoo the whole way.  We'd thought about exploring over the fence in a new area of trail Quetty had told us about, but decided it looked too cattle pugged and mucky, so off up the road to the Castle Rock corner.  Up above the corner onto the Tors track, and a wonderful blast down this.  Two flat wet bits, and the most techy rock also had water and muck over it, so I walked that (but Nelson rode it, of course!).  Last tricky descent was a bit clipped out but rode it all.  Then back on the walking track just above the road, around, and up Witch Hill, stopping for a nice rest out of the wind and to look at the moon and view, before a final fast blast around, enjoying the boniness of the trail back to the car.  Slowly increasing in ridings - There and back again, 4.8kms, with over 200 m gained.

Making a grand total for the night, 8.4 km, 375 m altitude gained.  Third day of riding in three days (nearly 80kms ridden), my legumes are burned OUT.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Monday Night Roadlings

Nelson picked me up from home after work and we headed out and parked where we usually park for riding McCormack's Bay. I had the Troll and he had his skinny-tyred commuter. Hit Glenstrae, hard climb up, standing to the first hairpin where I was gasping, then we swapped bikes for the next leg, up to where it flattened off, then swapped back for another standing working hard the whole way climb up to the Moncks Spur turn off. Up this top of Moncks Spur section, sitting mostly but slogging away, to Mt Pleasant Rd.  This dragged on all the way to the top seeming oh so much longer than I've ever seemed to remember it.

Summit Road, and jacket on, ready for the downhill.  Rolled off, coasting nicely, sometimes tucked, raising up for airbrakes into corners, or not, then coasting again, I barely pushed the pedals at all, my superior weight propelled me effortlessly downward, easier and faster than weight weenie Nelson, who said later it was like he was wearing a parachute.

At Evans we explored a nice little section of singletrack. skinny and slick town tires greasing around all over the place in the short mucky section, and fun tight rolling the rest, coming out at the first hairpin corner.  Then it was off down the road at greater speed well over 60kph, wondering if I was going to get taken out by a possum on the road, and then a cat, doing a good rate of knots into the 50 zone, and rolling down into Scuznor, tucked and coasting for as long as possible past Van Asch.

Rolled around thru Moncks Bay, drafting each other through Redcliffs (til Nelson dropped me) back round to the car.

1 hour round trip, 543 m altitude climbed, thru 15.3 kms.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Sunday Father's Day micro-Tour.

On the Troll, headed for Bottle Lake, through Banks Ave, backstreets, Horseshoe Lake Rd, Lake Terrace, Burwood, sneaking along the edge of the forest and in the side onto the singletrack, up past the gazebo and down (nearly losing my bag - fastening it better) then through ponds, out to the beach trail, and headed north as far as I could go overtaking a couple of girls and their dog.

Then it was on the road from Spencer Park thru what was once Brooklands, left and along to Stuart's Gully hillbilly camp, feels like deliverance riding through their street, and finally found my way onto the 360 trail.  This became a nice little singletrack along the Waimak edge, twisting and turning, then eventually under the two bridges.  Headed along Coutts Island but realised I'd gone a little far, so backtracked (through a Fulton Hogan gravel yard) to Dickies Rd, riding down this and checking out the new motorway.  Past the Peg Pub, and found my way through to the Otakaikino Track, back under the new motorway, and following this thru to and through The Groynes, in behind Clearwater, then further upstream past previous year's and last week's plantings, Stopped for a snack at Omaka and some texts on the 40km mark.

Got going again, and headed through past the lakes and over the hillock onto Sawyer's Arms Rd, (with a brief detour down Veitches Rd and Cavendish) to one block of the Railtrail, then onto the new cycleway down Sawyers Arms, past Northlands, down Grassmere, Rutland, and Trafalgar St to Edgeware Rd.  Along this and finally home via the Supermarket for a well earned Berkenhead Ninkasi.  Rather tired I was.

55 km loop, 170 m 'climbed'...