Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Captain Ridge Green Captain

Nelson was working til 3 and picked me up afterwards. Out to Scumner, parking in Slumnervale, and off up the Captain we trundled.  Not a bad climb, once I'd gotten over my wheezing, which took until about the short downwards bit, and the two rocky ups.  Rest of the way wasn't so bad.  Made the Summit and headed up to the Greenwood exit (or entrance, for us).  Here multiple people turned up down Greenwood, every last one of them having come up Rapaki and across.  Nelson knew one guy so we all chatted for a bit, then the two of us headed up the steep-ass ridge track above Greenwood to above where they're blasting for the Lyt-Sumner Rd.  Peaked along here then down to a small saddle, where we popped over the fence for a look.  Wouldn't be that hard (or stupid) to put a trail from here across to Urumau Reserve.  Could be quite a nice gradient with a couple switchbacks here and there below the cliffs.

Back on the bikes and up the walking track to the copse of pines and stinging nettle, then over the fence to top of Chalmers Track, and then walking for a bit, up the steep bits (where we met a mum and some boys walking) towards the gun emplacements.  Rode the last few hundred metres to the concrete embattlements, Beasterly wind howling across the tops, and decided here to head down to the singletrack that wends it's way across to the Richmond Hill corner pines.  Nice blast down here, with me pumping well having played at Kyle Park BMX track on the fat bike with Hugo in the morning.  I seemed to have much more easily gained speed than Nelson.  Once we hit the ups tho, it was another story.  Up the singletrack to the original Greenwood entrance (exit for us, today).   Around Summit Rd to Britten Reserve for a repeat of the long grass tricksy-ness we did on Tuesday.  Around the front and back to the cattlestop then up onto Mt Pleasant climb.  Peaked this and had a bit of a rest in the wind (or, out of it).

Off down, for the final blast.  Good flow down from the top, then around and down onto the Greenwood proper.  Feck it's boney.  The winter has made all the rocks bigger and it was haaarrrd work getting down.  We played good speed, but it was just such damned hard work.  Hardest damned downhill I've suffered in a long time.  Into Captain Thomas, and good run down here, not as bony as Greenwood.  Part way down we found these two indian guys, one of whom had crashed off the trail, and his bike was halfway down to the bottom of the valley.  We all had a good laugh and the two of us continued on.  Rest of the way down was fast as usual, but both were pretty knackered by the time we made the car.  

18 or so kms again, with 614 climbed

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tuesday Night Overgrowth and New Places

Countdown pick-up and down Ferry to the mead. Parked in the park and rode around to McCormack's whereupon we trundled up the hay-feverish asthma-inducing hill - me walking more than usual but then getting all but one of the upper switchbacks. Up the roads into steep under-the-pylons Britten.Up top, long grass overgrown round the top front trail; long grass up to our ballbearings.  Not much better once we were below the road with hidden rocks jumping out to catch us multiple times.  Up, across the road over the fence and quick zig to zag up to the Mt Pleasant trail, flying down this over the stile and across Cavendish Saddle, to climb the zigs and zags up the back of the Gondola building.

The signs up here now say that Mtnbikes are allowed on this section of the 360 trail, including the stretch down back to the Major Hornbrook track and Cavendish Saddle...  Anyway, down the steppy bits and on down the rocks cranking and clushing through to the Bridle Path.  From here, climbing up the walking track (Crater Rim / 360), up, up and around, brief jumpy-off-rocky descent and into a grovelly climb up towards the ridge above the Castle Rock.  Bit of a break here out of the (blasting) (b)easterly, and then into the fun descent below the Tors, cleaning the techy descent rock bits near the bottom, but not the poppy-over bits, which required small dabbages of foot on rock.

Down on the saddle, horrible wind powering through, and just before the walking track above the road starts, we jumped over the gate and headed up the ridge up a cattle track for the top, eventually pushing through the tussocks to a high point of rocks, where I found 'the track'.  Started off, a nicely scratched singletrack heading off down to the right side of the ridge, progressively exploring more and more interesting droppy features over natural rock.  This is Port Hills mountain biking at it's best.  Sketchy, techy, steep and interesting. Down then to the left of a rocky knob, with Nelson checking out a super sketchy wooden feature up on the right.  On down, a little further finding the trail to the right which took us down more techy drops, and on down the ridge.  Super long descent, at surprisingly low speeds, arses over back wheels.  Nelson rode most of the super techy stuff, while usually I found ways around.  Eventually, we got to the bottom, a big pylon, and fences and gates.

Proceeded over these, and followed a singletrack around towards the block of pine forest on the right, in which we found an insane number of trails and jumps, yuge jumps.  Down we meandered finally cruising out along the bottom edge of Mary Duncan Park, onto Port Hills Rd, under the motorway, then Martindales, Trustcott and through the park to the car.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Labour('s) Day Short Sinclair Fatty.

On the way home from the bach in the Fiat loaded with kids bikes (T had the kids in the Hyundy) I stopped for a quick blat up Mt Sinclair. Parked on Pettigrews Rd and rode, strategically ignoring the "Closed for lambing and calving 1st September to 25th October", on account that that was only 2 days away, and how 'sensitive' could lambs be by this time?  I did however abide by the No Dogs sign, leaving poor little Jetty in the car.

Climbed up the farm track keeping an eye on some magpies who were croaking around above.  Over the first stile into a paddock with some sheep and (quite big) lambs, then next stile and climbing to the next stile, into the bush, over another stile, climbing up to another stile, and then climbing again, this time to another stile.  Up through bush and open, amazing views all around, to, you guessed it, another stile, nope, actually, a gate that was open, through this and on to another stile.  This was the top of Sinclair and as I'd remembered half way up that the rear passenger door of the Fiat doesn't lock on the Central Locking, the car was therefore unsecure.  Damn.  Was kinda planning on peaking Fitzgerald too but felt I should get back to Jet.  So, turned around and bombed.  Quite wet under tread, cos it'd rained heavily maybe an hour before I parked, so I was duly spattered all the way back.  Lots of downhill, over all the stiles, and eventually a fast blat down to the car, untouched, and a happy Jet.

Short and sweet, a measly 9 kms, with 381 m climbed...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Gondola Gonzos

With Pete's broken wheel and Robin's broken frame we decided to head to Queenstown to play on Skyline. Twas fun. Not sure of exact order but started with Hammy's and Thunder Goat. Then Vertigo and Singletrack Sandwich. Then I'm not sure, Vertigo and Huck Yeah (with good drop to start), and Thunder Goat with a detour off to the right down something interestingly tech, and Singletrack Sammie again but with Jungle Adventure. Then we stuffed up thinking we were gonna find Thingamajig off Hammy's but it wasn't then I've no idea exactly what but included Original, some of Battle Stag, and other laps included Rock Garden, and Coal Pith, and Armageddon and repeats of others. At 12.55 I was at the top, the others were getting coffee, and I reckoned I couldn't just maybe get one more run, so Nelson and me hauled ass down Vertigo and Thunder Goat making it into the gondola at 1.01 for my last uplift. Pete was a couple cars behind so once back at the top the 3 of us did my final run, Vert, Thingy, Single, and Jungle. 8 uplifts in total for me.  Nelson and Pete continued for a few more laps of their 4 hours while I went and caught up with Bex at Bespoke, just down the hill. 

My mapmyride went a completely mental, but overall I must have descended over 3 kilometres.  Nelson's rode pretty much the same, but has 2 or three more laps on it., 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Flat Top, useless Alex, and Sluicings Awesomesauce

Flat Top was fantastic.
Alex was closed for lambing.
Bannockburn Sluicings were pretty cool, except that Pete completely toasted his rear wheel, and we discovered a big crack thru Robin's headtube.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Dean's Blank and Sticky Fun

Started the day at Albert Town. Dean's Bank Track. Basically your local's Bottle Lake track. About 500m contained some interesting bits but the rest of it was a bit blah.

Then into Wanaka for some early kai and then up to the Sticky Forest. Brilliant fun had in here. Dunno what Map My Ride is thinking but pretty sure we must have done more like 800m climb. Up and down ten times or so

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday's Nase Be.

Cruised thru the countryside to Naseby and parked up.  Checked out a Trekka, and talked to a the owner and also checked out his bikes.  Headed up and explored - a bit.  Lots of good stuff has been trashed by the logging, so it'll be a few more years before stuff re-establishes.  Still, we found some cool bits and pieces.  As always, we wandered around lost for a bit, then finally got into a groove and found our way around.

Friday Tekapo Road Trip Break

Brief stop at the Lake Tekapo Regional Park.  We arrived and my front axle was missing, assumed fallen out along the road.  I was like, damn.  And wondered if a trick was being played, but had resigned myself to sitting out this ride and seeing about where to find a new axle.  Wazza turned up with the goods a few minutes later, funny ha ha, so I got ready and we rode.

Not rivetting, but a fun loop none-the-less.  It certainly had enjoyable sections.  We clambered to a high lookout point, and did any other extra bits.  Bikes all performed flawlessly.

Not even 8 kms, with a massive hundred metres of altitude.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Evening Red Zone and Non, meander

Town bike ride tonight following a shitty wet weekend.  I'd hoped to get a good ride in Saturday morning, but nope, woke up to solid rain which lasted til this morning.  Nelson came round after work and we jumped on our townbikes, me on the Troll, him on his skinny.  We headed down river from Swanns Rd bridge on the Avonside side, staying on that side all the way to the end of the trail.  Along Kerrs Reach we rode on a newly built track which ran out half way down, and the dirt on the sides was soggy as hell.  Nelson managed to ride down it, sinking almost to his hub, but stupidly I walked down the bank, winning for a start til my both feet sank into slurry.  ugh.  Cleaned our tires off in a puddle, and further downstream I washed my feet off too.  Crossed Anzac Drive at the bridge and onwards downstream, bumpy rough packed shingle stopbank trails.  Past  Andrew's old place and right to the end of the line.

Then we headed through and checked out the old bmx track, now munted, then into the wind along Dyers Rd, taking turns to slipstream, to Brookhaven, through Charlesworth, and over onto the Ferrymead Tow Path round the back.  Brief break near Ground Effect for a snack, then up Bridle Path Rd, and up Morgan's Valley Rd, right to the top.  Hard graft up the last steep seal, but 80 kph on the return back down.  Wheeeee.  Light was starting to get low at this stage so we headed on up Bridle Path and then Port Hills Rd through to Opawa Rd, a lap around Steve's block just for a laff, and then straight shot up Opawa, Shakespeare, Wilsons, Nursery, Stanmore (into supermarket) and home.

All up, 34.5 kms, apparently 251m climbed which was slowly accumulated around the traps with the 100m boost of Morgans Valley.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Thursday Night Solo Loop

Nelson had a crook neck so I was out on my own tonight.

Installed new PD530 pedals (5 grams lighter than the XTs, and half the price!), oiled chain and put grease into all suspension pivots before departure. Parked same place we did last time and headed in Major 8ken Drive. Felt like a bit of an explore so rode into that catchment pond park in the gully. The track headed seriously up with numerous flights of steps and steep bits in between so there wasn't a lot of riding. Sort of told off by a dog-walker, but I reassured him I was walking my bike, and wouldn't be riding down (tho, at night, some time, might be a good one...).  Last section across to Vista Pl was ok, then up this and on up the road.  A nasty beasterly wind blasting across made me chuck my top on above the pylons.

Up onto the singletrack then up the landing strip and up the gravel to the top. Onto the Traverse across the tops, tail wind helping me along.  Overtaking a guy moaning on the side of the track just before the Lavaflow.  He'd come off navigating that rock just there, and was suffering a post crash calf cramp.  Good toodle round the Traverse, tail-wind, and slowly winding in a guy ahead, but not much.  He was stopped at the end when I went past and straight into the trees and down to the Rabbit Paddock.  Brief breather here then off down into rockgarden, then gums, my usual left hander fun blast.  Tires were both feeling a little low pressured and rolly (would've been burping if tubeless), and I even heard a clunk I expected to turn into a pinchflat at the top of the gums.  Luckily not (cos i still hadn't patched my tube from last week), so at the skidder site I chucked some air in both ends.

Into Spazzer's, weaving and grooving down this, then straight across and into Sneaky Ridge, fun wee drop over the rocks and down through here, spotting a guy ahead as I came into the deciduous section at the bottom.  Nice pop over the jump onto Bridges, and then across and down the usual zig zaggy way, slowly gaining on some other guy (or the same ?) towards the bottom.  Fang down the valley bottom and hooked a right into Hidden Valley.  Man the creek crossing and climb out is a hole now - walked it, then remounted to take in the first hairpin.  Balance was wonky but juuuust about cleaned the second hairpin.  Good climb from there on around and up.

Finally, up onto the Old Skool.  Awesome run down this, seeing someone across at the stile as I was going under the pylon, I'd caught him before the lower zig zags, overtaking and leaving him behind.  Then a nice cruise down the road back to the car.

Just under 14kms, with nearly 500m altitudinal gain

HOPEfully I'll get a couple more rides in before the Annual Trip, next Friday 13th.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Sunday No-View Hill

Over at the bach for the weekend, with the Fat bike.  Everyone else seemed to have a good ride on Saturday, with Pete and Nelsie heading up the Blowhard, and Steve and the boys doing some mileage on the Port Hills.  Sunday morning I jumped on the fatty and headed out.  MMR wasn't playing ball so I just started it and hoped for the best, heading up the road (it finally kicked in up by Factory Rd).  Usual 15-20 mins to the start of the steep (Misty Hills gate), then around 45mins from there to the top, pain in the arse steep that it is, grovelling away in low gear the whole way (one km with a top speed of 6.8kph).  Up into the bottom of the clouds here, with a smattering of spittage falling too.  I contemplated Mt Pearce, but decided against it, and hung a left along the Summit Rd, finally enjoying the lack of steepness.  Up to the corner saddle (between L.Ak and Okains), and over the gate out across the ridge, riding cattle trails and clambering over the rocky ridgeline.  Up to a gate where I stopped for a quick rest and snack.  Then over the gate and on up and around the back side of View Hill, then up the farmtrack, zig and zag, and up to the top, highest point, having another rest here and finishing the last 1/4 of a OneSquare.  Totally in the cloud up here, about 100m visibility.

Then it was time for descending.  Down the top ridge, down the zig and zag, down onto the paper-road, fat bike friendly speed.  Over the gate into the doublefenced run, and down down down, getting faster and faster as the road got smoother.  Top speed of 65kph reached on the gravel, bombing, fat bike tires gripping so comfortably.  Down to Chorlton, around the corner and half deafened by the tire noise on tarmac as I tucked and flew down the road, past the beach, then back up the road and in our gate.

19kms, and 785m climbed.