Saturday, December 30, 2017

Saturday's Sinclair Fitzgerald Tops

At the bach for 3 weeks.  Had a the fatbike with me.  Drove out of the bay and around the Summit Rd, parking on Pettigrews Rd and rode, up up up into scudding easterly clouds. Nice climb then over stile after stile, up Mt Sinclair, stopping to breathe, rather than walking.  Up to where I rode last time, and onwards down the other side, around the side of the cool bush up there, easterly clouds juuust above my head, roaring over the tops.  Across the saddle between the peaks, then into the climb up Fitzgerald.  Stopped to check out the walking track section, just to see how rough it was.  Looked rideable, so walked back to bike and headed on.  Here's where I met the first 'other people', a group of 4 older guys who looked familiar (from all my years of riding the Port Hills).  Then a tiny bit of walking and up to the ridge, then up the ridge to the top.  Meandered across the grasslands towards a nice bluffy peak, and parked myself out of the wind for a snack, cloud ploughing over top of me.

Back on the bike, back across to the trail, and decided to check out the walking track section.  Steep, and technical, with a couple of unrideables, and lots of scooting technique required, but plenty rideable, and on a normal bike probably a bit more.  Not long and I was back down to the main track, riding on, under the speeding clouds, and on up the back of Sinclair again.  Nice and sheltered downwind of the bush up this climb, and across the back and down again, around the last steep corner and there's three picnickers on the track.  One hastily leapt out of the way, while I said "don't worry, I won't hit you".  Back across the ridge and speeeeeed down the track to the car.

There and back again... 14.5 kms with 627m climbed

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tuesday CAP Lap.

Final Pfmtbc get together for the year, at Poms for 7.30, so Nelson picked me up from Washington Way and we went through heinous traffic to CAP.  Initially we were gonna park next to Cracroft Reserve, but then decided to just drive in.  Maybe not next time, the speed bumps are a total pain in the arse for 'normal' cars.  Headed up the steep Uphill track, both of us cleaning all the twisty zig zags, then it was into the howling sou'wester up the gravelly grovelly ridge, and around.  Where it used to spit you onto Worsley's, it now heads up the old guts track, sort of following it's old line past where Fight Club used to be, and sort of along where Tommy's used to be.  Man the landscape has changed from the past, torn to bits, desolate and wasted.  I walked a couple of times up the top of the guts and up another bit, it was just too steep for my lungs and legs to continue.  Nelsie cleaned it all I think.  Finally up the last climb to the top of the lift and Nelson checked out the map.

Into the Summit Connector, fun wee trail, tho Nelson put a hole in his rear tire and the goo came out a bit.  Stopped to pump up, then on downwards.  Met the Nun and he needed more air.  Then we got going, and half way down the lower Nun I pinch flatted on the rocks, so we stopped to patch (my spare tube was still holed from Sunday).  Time was ticking with them supposedly closing the Park at 7 and it was pushing on after this, so it was a quick patch and pump and off we rolled again, me being quite light in the rear end.

Fast down Old Dyers (now called Choir Boy, for some reason?), catching a guy and he let us pass and then blasted around and pedalled the climb towards the end, catching up with the last guy's mates who were wondering where he was.

Dropped into - new to us - Loess Rider, which proved to be a super fun, twisty, jumpy, corner after corner after corner downhill.  Good pace down this and it just went on forever.  Caught up to a girlrider, who let us pass, and then we were gaining on her mates ahead, pretty much catching them by the bottom.

A nice 12 km loop, with only 475 m climbed.  They were a steep climb in parts tho.

Then it was a cruisey drive through town to catch up with the crew who'd done a townie lap via Tone's and Andy'n'Jenna's.  Enjoyed a nice single pint of Hopwired (been a while).

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Stifling Sunday Hilltop Loop

Hot morning, all to meet at Steve's at 8.30.  I had an appointment at 12, so I left home at about 8 and drove to Ferrymead Bridge, parking there, then riding around the towpath, up the Heathcote, through Radley Park, Chichester St, and around to Steve's, arriving in good time with Andy and Jenna, Tony and Robin all in attendance.  Soon after, Pete, Nelsie (with a new toy) and Wayno arrived, and out came Steve. We trundled around the various whole and half Ford Roads, through to the Ramahana and Aotea climbing, heat already pushing us down.   Up we strove, Nelson, me, and Wayne taking the singletrack diversion to the landing strip.  Up here I seemed to lose all power in my legs, suffering I was.  Managed to finally peak out and we all cowered in the shade provided by the roadside.

Onto Vernon, and through... Pete and me getting a lead on the others (due to a muck up with Nelson and another dude on the zig zags up top), through Witch Hill, heat a killer but I kept a good pace ahead of Pete through there.  Then I flatted, front wheel on a rock, so Nelson and me did the speed change, and we caught up with the others up top of Castle.

Into this, and excellent clip on Nelson's tail the whole way down round the hairpin and he heard a shout and Robin had crashed above.  Waited, he got moving, we got moving, and met Jenna in the shade of the stone building.  Cool down.

Up road onto Britten, around, grass heaps shorter now, then into Greenwood, and down the skinny singletrack, then across through the pines and down Richmond.  more crashes with people.  a close call for me before Frog Pond, and on down Panorama, Mulgans, and back round to the car.  good spin.

more details later, maybe.

A 28 km loop, with 800m climbed.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Thursday Night Easy Loop in the Park with the Boy

Quick blat up the lift and down the easy trails, first ride in the park since reopening week before last.  H and me parked and rode.  Trail is a bit boring. 420m of descent.  The place is a desolate wasteland.  Charred logs everywhere, stumps, dust, and easterly wind howling through everything, making us have to pedal into it downhill at one stage.  Views from the lift are improved because there're no trees in the way, but man, it's heartbreaking.  All the old forest we used to ride in over the other side of Worsley's, gone, or just bare black sticks in places - ie where the jumpy trail used to be.  And looking up the gully that Alices/Tommy2s/etc were in?  Mess and bare.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Evening Lyttel-Urumau-ton of heat

Needed to collect O from Lyttelton, and Paul was keen to ride, so figured a couple of birds with one stone. Drove thru and parked on St David's St. Headed up Stevenson's Steep and up to Fosters Tce, and up into the reserve...New switchbacks, then across with a rideable but steep path across to the climbing track, left on this and I was gasping in the heat and with my rumbling infected lungs.  Climb climb climb, which seems to be the norm in here.  Then up Stormer to the very top.  To get a feel for the place, we took Stormer (blue) down the ridge, this was swoopy and fun, eventually down and around onto Grommies.  I stopped a couple of times and Paul was having some challenge, which is good for him.  Grommies was a fun yumpy roll (bypassing the log drop).  At the bottom there's a Do Not Go Beyond This Point sign due to blasting etc.  So, up Sloanstar we treadled, steep switchback corners getting the better of Paul most times.  Around the sunny side, bit of descent and climb back to the hub.

Climbing again, this time, into Looper and following it down.  I'd thought it was going to be something new but it was one I'd ridden before - fun swoopy and easy back and forth back to the hub.  Another climb back up and Looper entrance cutting up to Stormer and I took the black ridge droppy track.  Paul took the blue Stormer down next to me, but I found myself heading to the right around the ridge on I think a trail I'd not been down before.  Found myself at the top of a massive rocky cliffy drop, which was very difficult to clamber down, then made it down to the main track where I found Paul.  We headed on down Grommies again, swoop swoop, bomb bomb, and then climbed back up Sloanstar and around the Sunnyside for the descent back down, steep through the grasslands to the entrance track and then across, bypassing the Fosters Tce exit and down lots of new steps to Reserve Tce.  Then bombed down this and Stevensons back to the car.

414 m climbed in just over 7 kms.  That's more than a 10%er...

Monday, December 04, 2017

Monday Night Big Hot and Grey

Met Nelson at Rangoon after work and we headed up thru Loburn, checking out Journey's End first, but finding lots of No Entry; Private Property; Tresspassers Prosecuted signs, so back down to Feathers and up Mt Grey Rd to park at the bottom of Paringa.  Had a brief chat with a local and his pitbulls then around 6.15, headed up the road, over the locked gate and up a bit to hit up Banks Rd.  Two wheel tracks, slightly overgrown in places, nice surface, easy rolling, up.  It was pretty hot, but mostly in the shade climbing up here, so not bad.  Then a nice rolling descent down to the Okuku Rd intersection, which then led steeper down past beehives, more beehives, another gate, and down to the campground and ford/bridge at the bottom of our singletrack.  The next and longest climb began...  Up up up to Lake Janet, about one hour in, then, instead of up the singletrack, (somewhat misguidedly) we chose the road to climb (thinking the switchbacks would be in full sun and HOT).  This road seemed to go on for ever nearly killing me, but at least it was shady.  For once I actually used my 'lock-outs' front and rear.  They worked pretty good, tho the rear had weird clunkiness when I stood and cranked.  Had a rest at the turn off to the fire lookout, and then headed up to the singletrack.  This was steep but eminently cleanable til much higher up, in the shade, good to concentrate on, and we made the top of the hill at 8.10 pm.  50 minutes left til sunset.

Into the descent.  I got super skittery on the gravel as we hung a left onto the main track, nearly losing it, but dropped a bit of air out of my front wheel and chased onwards, Nelson long gone.  Was a little careful down here, feeling super sketchy, but after the worst (of only 2) boggy bits, caught up to Nelson and we continued on down.  He was trying out his new gangnam switchback stylez the whole way, getting better (and quicker) all the way down.  I had variable luck with mine.  Nose wheelies with a flick to re-align.  Definitely the way to go...  Down through the spectacular forest singletrack, delightfully rocky and gnarly and the usual cornflakes scatterings.  Near the bottom of the pine section Nelson popped a jump and landed sideways giving massive blowout of goo and air.  From here on down, the lower we got, the more bugs Nelson was stirring in my path and the more I was having to contend.  By the last km to the bottom it was getting really bad, and I was having to ride mouth shut and blinking like crazy.  Made the camp site at 8.50, 10 minutes of sun left...

Stopped and chatted with some campers who'd asked for directions while we were climbing and then got climbing.  Long slog, but nothing on what we'd already done earlier.  Finally made the Paringa turn-off, then followed this all the way up (higher than Banks), and then bombed down.  Gravel road flying, well over 60kph and finally arrived back at the car at about 9.15 - 3 hours, of which 2 1/2 hours was riding time.  Not much mucking around...

A whopping 1115 m climbed, over 28 kms

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Roasting Saturday Morning Cashmere Vic Blowenvaled

Had a little time to ride - had to be home by 10am. Parked on Eastern opposite Bowenvale and headed around to Lansdowne thru to Hollis and up. Steep grind up the seal, but with a bit of welcome shade part way up.  Into the walking track, stairs, ride, stairs, push, stairs. Across Longhurst into next section of walking track cruising up under the houses, up the zig zag, under more houses, and eventually into the barbed-wire roots next to the pines track up to the dog park. Up through this and then up to skidder site.  From here I followed a couple of other riders up K2, one walking, one riding and me stopping for a gasping breather before continuing.  Through Brake Free and I stopped for a rest in the shade on the rabbit paddock. It. Was. So. Hot.

Back on and down through rock garden, gums, and hung my usual left, but then further left into a new left off my favourite left.  Bombed down this, some nice wee bermies and a couple of pop-over jumps, then scrabbled into the lower sections of the usual, and then out to the skidder site.  Lots of people walking in here with tools, so I headed up the middle road over to Cool Runnings, that's been newly rebuilt. Passed more of the people heading in to work, apparently, on Tilted Sally. Cool Runnings was really dusty,but fun, - big table top jumpy flow. Then into Bridges where a guy came into the trail ahead of me off Sneaky Ridge jump and was a couple of corners ahead of me but I rounded one and he was gone, cloud of dust. Then I saw him on his back on the trail below! Stopped to see if he was ok. He'd pulled over to let me pass and had toppled over the bank!!  He said he was alright and started hobbling, said he was gonna take it easy from now.  

I continued onwards down nu bridges then down valley and into the Hidden Valley Bonus climb.  Ooosh hot too, and up onto Old Skool for a good blast, finally cruising down the road to car. HOT ride.

11kms and 400 m altitude.