Sunday, December 09, 2018

Sunday Posse to- and in- the Park

Met Andy, Wayne, Robin and Paul at Steve's (he'd left at 8.30), and we chased Steve up Ramahana, Aotea and Huntsbury.  Hot work, with Robin struggling in the heat and all of us feeling it a bit.  After the grind up the gravel, we found him (and his old flatmate VJ) at the top.

Into the Traverse, a good pace apart from getting stuck behind rookie slowbos, who (being the lead) I'd stop to let get ahead, and my team to catch up, before setting off and reeling the rookies in.  At the usual sugarloaf pullover they pulled over and I was chasing another semi-rookie again, catching him in the dipper, where he struggled with the 'tech'.  I got the lead then and blasted the rest of the way round to Vic.  Regroup in the shade.

Up and into the Thomson and Thompson, freaking some walkers in the 2nd one.  Then into Choirboy/Old Dyers, good blast down this, tho lost my chain part way down (first time on this bike).  Treadled around to top of park and when the others rolled up Paul was showing signs of a crash - front all dusted, knees and elbows scraped...  nice. 

Into Captain Cooker, and we split up a little, with Andy, Wayne and me taking Shredzilla, the others Loess Rider.  Excellent bomb down Shred, with me in the lead for a start, then Andy stealing it and leading the way, quite fast, down the rest.  He baulked slightly in the steep rocky, which I cleaned for the first time, but kept the lead and I followed him at speed the rest of the way.  Awesome fang, with our rear shocks quite hot at the bottom.  The others all lagged in in dribs and drabs, then up to base, VJ bought a pass, and off up the lift.  I sat with Andy, Wayne and Robin. 

Andy, Wayne and me hit Swingers Party, my first time down here.  I led.  It was fun.  I enjoyed it profusely.  Then Robin and Paul and Me hit DOHC (while the others hit Jandal), which was also super fun.  And I did it fast.  It's heaps smoother than last time. 

Twenty-five after 11, so Paul and me decided to bail, but the others all headed up to the lift for another go.  Put me home about 12.15...

28 kms all up, with 975 m climbed (albeit, (a smidge under) 400 of those on the chairlift).

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Tuesday Night Rambling Sneaks and Climbers Before the Squall

Met at Nelson's after work and we rode around Centaurus not really knowing quite where to go yet, but formulating a bit of a plan as we rode.  Turned left into Rossmore Tce, riding up this with my bottombracket creaking like a mo'fo.  Pushed up the steep steps and then rode out Whareora Tce, across Dyers into MacMillan, and up the Whisby 'Rd' walky-steep.  From here it was up Dyers Pass Rd, left into Hackthorne and I grabbed a drink from the fountain at Takahe (cos I'd left my backpack at home).  Up Dyers around a few bends, and we dived into the Sneaky-35 trails.  Last time I kept right, this time we dropped into the left (which proceeded to swoop across the right hand lane).  Back and forth we dropped, swoopy swoopy.  I lost my front wheel momentarily in some loose loam, but kept it together.  A couple of quite greasy spots were interesting.  We travelled further down and to the right than I did last time.  Eventually tho into the lowest section I'd experience then, and finally across the bottom of the valley, over the log, and up onto Loess for a flowy fun finishing descent.

Across the bottom of the park and straight into the bastard Uphill track.  Nelson motored away, as usual, and I just plodded away as good as my legs could handle.  The whole time we were in the park, from 35 through to this climb and beyond, a helicopter was hovering over (probably) Lord of the Possums.  Cleaned all the zigs and zags, no dabs, and by the time I got to the easier 4wd section, Nelson was miles ahead.  He waited at the top, before the quick speed down then climbing again as the chopper flew over and away.  Around and up to a locked gate, so we pushed around the fence, and on up Worsleys.  Nelson totally gapping me again..  Ambulance and CAP quad came down the road while we climbed.  Up the Body Bag, a couple of guys ahead.  I managed most of the way up, whereas Nelson obviously cleaned it.

Up to the Nun, and we decided on Gnarly Nun.  First time since the scorched earth of yesteryear, was vaguely overgrown, but we picked our way down, cleaning everything very nicely, including some good rocky droppy sections I probably wouldn't have on the Turner.  Then across the 4wd track and onto the super gnarly rocky dh descent down to lower Nun.  One non-rollable, pop-the-front-wheel jump that I mastered perfectly, and we zoomed through the first swoops of lower Nun.  Nelson pulled up with a flat, leaky pig of a tubeless tire that wouldn't seal.  Pumped, rode on down, up road above Thomsons and pumped again at top of Vic.

Could see a big squall making its way across the city towards us from the northwest, so we bailed quickly, straight down to the rabbit paddock, rain and wind howling in as we flew into the rockgarden, and around through the gums.  Felt like trees could come crashing down with the wind thrashing around us, and indeed, a couple had lower down before the last sweep across to the skidder site.  Straight into Shazza's and bombed out the bottom of that straightlining down to Sneaky Ridge, bombing the rocks and through this, over the jump to Bridges and straightlining across and down to Hospital Corner, before fanging it down the valley bottom and out.  Road wet with rain as we made our way back around to Nelson's whereupon the weather fined up again.

Lots of climbing, for not a lot of downward rewards.  19.6 kms, and 712 m climbed.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Soaking Sunday Drenching

O was gonna mow the lawns at Joy's again, so we headed up into the clouds, and had arranged to meet Nelson there.  The clouds at that end of town had actualy droplets, and it was quite wet.  No lawnmowing was to ensue so he ended up walking their dog and doing some painting for them.

We decided to ride anyway, and headed up Mt Pleasant Rd, then up the steep wee park, and up onto Upper Major Hornbrook.  Checked out the singletrack on Britten, but it was so greasy and lots of poo around, so we just hit the road.  It wasn't cold, but it sure was wet.  Up to Summit Rd, hung a right, around down under the gondola and across the top of the Bridle Path, and on up to Castlerock.  Very low visibility, IN the clouds, and wetter by the minute.  Soaked to the skin I was. 

Turned around at Castlerock and bombed down the road, eyeballs washed by the rain, back around under Gondola, meeting the odd single or group of roadies out enjoying the wetness.  Final climb up through the cutting, standing and cranking it up.   Then, blast down Mt Pleasant Rd, left into Upper Major Horny, down through the byways - Ridgeview and Clearview - then down back onto (the real) Major Hornbrook, across Madeley, and back to Joy's.

Drenched, 13.1 kms, 534 m climbed.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Thursday Night Hunts the Vernon Witch Tors, with a Skooling for the boy.

I'd, inclusively, asked O if he wanted to come riding while he was mowing the lawn.  Initially he'd said no but then said, "actually yeah, okay". 

So we drove to Nelson's through painful traffic getting us started quite late (6.20pm).  We rode up from there.  Steep bastard Parklands, then steep section Huntsbury, O struggling away like a trooper in his not very low low gear.  Up the gravel, and a right-hander across the fenceline, then up the singletrack.  Next, up the old landing strip, sheepshit everywhere, then up the grovelly gravel to the top.  O was stuffed, and didn't want to continue, and he was happy to wait for us, out of the wind and in the sun, so Nelson and me headed off down Vernon, pulling over for quite a few climbers, before bombing the descent to Rapaki Top.  Through here and into the Witch, climby climb, both stalling in the same place, tho he kept rolling while I foot-downed outright stopped.  Oh well.  The rest of the climb was good, and then we hit the descent, seats up for some reason.

To save time, we took to the road, heading for Castle.  Met the boys on our climb below the Tors; Robin, Wayne and Wazza, and couldn't convince them to turn back uphill to ride the Tors with us.  Castlerock was too wet, so we climbed up and headed down a very overgrown Tors track.  Hard to find the way.  Fun descent, with a couple of dabs in the usual spots.

Harder still was the singletrack above the road back towards Witch Hill.  SO overgrown was very slow and therefore more technical than usual.  Back into the Witch, me slowing on the climb, but racing the descent, and then off up the road around Vernon, legs tiring, back to find O, roughly 40 mins after we'd left him.

About 8 pm now we headed across the Traverse, and straight into the jumpy fun descent.  O doing well to keep up with us mostly, me hard on Nelson's tail.  Down the 'landing strip' attempting to avoid the crap, and then struggling to find and see the trail off to the left.  Well overgrown, bloody tricky, but we got to the stile alright.  Over this, and down, all the fun sections more difficult on account of not seeing the trail, and thistles smacking needles into our knuckles all the way.  Owie.  Dropping over the rocky sections, all good and fun, then in the off camber corners below, thistles of last time all cleared off, nice - what a relief.

Into the Old Skool, all breathing a sigh of relief at the lack of thistle action.  Good fang down this, O keeping up pretty good.  We'd gapped him a bit, so after the dip (after the back and forth pumpy section) we stopped and watched him proceed to jump, then crash into a rock and over the bars to disappear down behind/into a gorse bush!  Yelled out, "you okay?" "Yep." "Injured?" "Nope." I went back to him and his knees were a bit garked and the blood proceeded to trickle down his shins for the rest of the ride.  His hoodie was all full of gorse needles too.  Brushed him off, joked a bit about it and off we rode.  Good blat for the rest of it, then down the road and back around to Nelson's where he cleaned up under a tap a bit before heading home, 8.40ish.  LATE!

18.8 kms for Nelson and me, with 705 m climbed.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sunday Hunted the Duncan

Parked and rode again. Parked off Centaurus on Hillsborough, and headed around and up Ramarama and Aotea, and on up Huntsbury.  Gravel grovel, into an uneventful (but fast) Vernon and a good clean Witch, catching up to some guy on the road (on a mtnbike), across the road and riding on the singletrack up to the gate.  Over the gate and the grass is very long, up the steep arse farm track to the bit of fence you climb over, then up through the tussocks to the top.  Everything super overgrown and hard to find the trail.  Kinda stayed on it most of the way. down the Mary Duncan steeps, cleaning lots, and taking the more technical version below the rocky knob.  Kept the flow on all the way down, and cleaned stuff I'd not before.  Finally the steep arse slope down to the pylon, new signage here talking about the Summit Road Society ownership and that it's public land and there are no trails but cautious transit is acceptable.  Never seen it so overgrown tho.  Into the trees, and there's new jumpworx in there, fun descent weaving down through these and then out to the road and the tarmac return to the car.

The view from half way down. (trail sightly off to the left of the bike and ridge)

Only a 13.7 km loop, with a nice 588 climbed.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday Solo Sneaky Park Gov Vic Skool

Parked on Ashgrove Tce and rode around and up the trails behind Princess Margaret, up onto Lady Polson Lane and on up Hack and Dye.  Above the Takahe I stayed on the road and at the 35 km sign, just out of the houses, headed down a trail someone (here at work) told me about.  Upon entering I found a gazillion trails to try from, so mostly kept right, with the occasional crossing of other trails, made my way down the steeps.  Some excessively steep stuff in here, and eventually across a log in the bottom and a short clamber to the lower reaches of Loess Rider.  Into the park and up the lift, chatting with Josh and riding with a couple of his mates (who are trail volunteer crew for the park (and who told me of lots of plans)).

Off the lift, and Slummit Connector into Nun, then across the road and dropped into the Gov's Bay Trail.  Dropping down this, it's running pretty smooth and then decided why the hell not all the way down, and zigged and zagged to the road corner driveway and dropped into the lower reaches, only my second time ever down this, first in daylight.  Good wee trail down tho not as fun as it possibly should be, considering the climb it is back out.  Which is what I did next.  Ugh.  Long bits of walking cos it was just too steep and hot.
On the way back up, looking back down.  Nice bushy shade to rest in.

Up and up and up, riding as much as I could.  Finally, out the top, across the road into the lowest end of Nun and then up the road and into Vic Park, dropping down across the rabbit paddock and into the rocks and gums, then Spazza's into Sneaky Ridge and bridges, off new bridges into old and down to hospital corner.  Then up the hidden link into Old Skool.  Finally following the roads back around to the car.  Good spin.

20.96 kms ridden (and lifted), and 990 m climbed, of which 400 odd was lift...

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday All Over the Show, Britten, Pleasant, Greenwood, Godley, Chalmers

Fam time visit, and O mowing the lawn again, so I rode from Joys.  Up the road, and up the walk track over the bathtub fence, then up Britten, around the front, across the road and up the zigs and zags to the top of Mt Pleasant.  Chatted to some peeps up here, then dropped into the fun down, rocking the groove.  Straight through and down Greenwood, making some of my best time ever I reckon, absolutely fanging it.  Brief pause after Gloomy, then on down, and dropping the drop properly for a change.  Down and around, keeping good pace the whole way and off the ground a lot.

Out the bottom through Evans Pass and headed out Godley Rd for a bit, enjoying the view and the nice day all the way, then thru the new bike-cattlestop at the gate we always use and up the farm track to the mtb track where I turned back towards Evans. Received a quick phone-call from Tra'y which informed me of changes of plans: they were off to Lyttelton.  I didn't commit, but said I'd be in touch when I was at a crossroads further up the hill.  I continued on down Godley to Evans, having a good bomb, finishing by passing a bunch of oldfolk walkers who were sitting down to lunch next to the walking track section just above the end/start of the track (which I was on).

Next, it was up the Summit Rd under Greenwood, good pace, watching the age old battle between a harrier and a magpie for a good while before Jollies Bush, then at the Richmond Pines, over the stile and into the climbing singletrack up to original Greenwood entrance.  Here I rang Tra'y and decided to go that way, so, rode in the old Greenwood entrance track, then up the 4wd track to the gun emplacements on top of the ridge.  Straight into the descent down the ridge walkway, cleaning more of the rocks below the stile than nighttime wetness in winter usually allows, and then at the saddle struggled to find Chalmers Track...

Found it, VERY overgrown, (closed, apparently) but headed into it, and man was it steep, at times entirely unrideable, and full of stinging nettle - every stop I'd find the nettle at face height, and millimetres from my elbows, knees, shins.

Amazingly, no stingings received, and lower down more riding than stumbling-avoiding-nettles, then out the bottom through a couple gates and the final super speedy bomb down the streets into the town for a delicious huevos rancheros at Lyttelton Coffee Co with the family.

An excellent, 20.5 kms, with a surprising 742 m climbed (but 900 descended due to starting the ride ~150 m higher than the finish).

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Wednesday Solo Cashmere Vic Skool

Straight from work, parked up top end of Bowenvale Ave and rode back down this, left, right, left into Holliss. Stopped up the first corner and lubed my chain which was sounding rather dry.  Then into the steep going, grinding up the road to the top, and into the steps, which I rode down for the first time ever.  Don't know what I was ever so cautious about...  Brief roll, then up the first steps, and then up more steps, resorting to carrying the bike on some of them.  Then, across Longhurst Pl into the singletrack climb, cleaned all but one of the hairpins higher up under the houses.  Good ride the rest up to the stile. Then the barbed-wire roots track up to the dog park, cleaning more of the rocks than I'd have expected, then and up thru Vic Park, through the skidder site, and up K2 climbing up to and through Brake Free finally all the way to the top. 6pm here.

Down thru a few of the Brake Free jumps, then back out and down to rock garden, into the Gummies, usual left on my fave, and rocking on through back to the Skidder.  Into Shazza's, bermy bermy jumpy jumpy, and down into Sneaky Ridge for a nice bomb down the rocks and jumps and oaks, over onto Bridges, and the Nu, back and forth into the valley bottom.  6.10pm here.

Into the climb up Hidden Valley bonus, cleaning it all, climbed into Old Skool for a fun last descent which went quite well, and spat me out the bottom back to the car before 6.30.  Very warm...

Another 10km loop (like Sunday), with 396 m climbed.  Hot stuff.

Grabbed a No.3 from Noodle Canteen and headed to band practice. Gig on Friday!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Sunday Solo Short and Howlin' Windy

Short amount of time available to me before a 1pm band practice. Parked in Bowenvale Ave and headed down the road and around and up the Major Aitken.  Kept a pretty steady pace all the way, overtaking some dude (who I feel like I always see on Huntsbury), and up Kenmanure and on up Huntsbury to the top.  Up the gravel, still a good pace, and up onto the singletrack, then the rest of the grovelly way to the top.  Howling nor'wester on all the exposed parts.

Howling head wind across the Traverse, and then dropped into the fun jumpy trail down, wind nearly pushing me off and I definitely traveled sideways on the first jump.  Easy roll down the landing strip and left into the groovy droppy down to the stile.  Then on down, wind less of an issue, but really howling across these parts.  Cleaned it all down and in the lower switchbacks the thistles are really bitey.  Nasty fuckers just at the right height to spike the shins and forearms and knuckles.

Into the Old Skool, marginally slower on the headwind bits, and flowing across the tailwind bits.  Nice bomb in the lower reaches, tho pretty cruisy, then dropped into the vallybottom track and rolled on out.  Easy going roll down to the car.

A 10 km loop taking in 421 m of climb.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Sunday Pooch Britten Pleasant

O had the job of mowing Joy's lawn so I took him and Jet up there.  Jet and me headed up the roadways (with O on Joy's electric bike for a ways), then up Longridge and Clearview into Britten at the bathtub water trough. As I rode up the couple of zigs I saw a guy riding down above, so pulled over in plenty of time to let him by (and hold Jet out of his way), and lo it was Steve on his way down from leaving the boyz who were off down Greenwood. We chatted for a bit as a bunch of older very slow women (including my Physio - Carol) rode past.  Then we parted ways and I continued my way up.  Round the top front then along and across the road and up the relatively not un-Pleasant climb.

Bombed down into the trail, Jet in behind, tho once below the rocky sections me having to stop now and then to check he was catching up and just making sure he really wasn't interested in the sheep (he isn't).  Down across above the ruins (on the singletrack not the 4wd) and then across over onto the single track across above Jollies Bush, pumping through all this flowy stuff toward the Richmond Hill pines, holding up a couple of times for Jet to catch up.  Near the trees, headed on up the nice singletrack back up to the original Greenwood entrance, (struggling with Jet and that last cattlestop) then slowly up the road to the cafe water tap where I used the cup to pour water for him to lap up. 

Finally, last little bit of road, open the gate for Jetty, and into the bomb down Britten.  Flow flow flow, stop, wait, "good boy", flow flow flow, repeat a couple times, lastly bombing down the rocky section under the pylon and over the two stiles, then down to Major Hornbrook, slow pace, him just trotting now, across Madeley, around the corner and back down to Joy's.  Thirsty puffed doggy with a happier human.

11 and a half kms, with 388m gained.  Clever doggy!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Labour Day Fatty and Skinny View Hilling

Last day of a wonderful long weekend and Nelson came over to the bay for a ride. I had the fatty and he brought the 29er. Up to Chorlton on the seal then up the gravel. Steeper and steeperer. Lots of sun and heat. A break under the big pines in the shade, then onwards up the double fenced track.  Through the gate and up the grassy steep zig and zag to the top, just over an hour and a half all up. Awesome views all around; Kaikouras to the north, looming massive, and low sea cloud below us, out beyond the heads, and banked up on Godley, Taylors and Scarborough.

Made an adjustment to my suspension (released air from my tires) and then we turned around and bombed on down. Fun, but bumpy ride down the top section, extreme speed on gravel and screaming tires on seal, and 15 minutes or so after departing the top we cruised up the drive to the bach.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

And one I forgot - Sunday Afternoon, Day3, ride 2, Smashed It.

On Sunday after riding at Richmond and after we'd settled into the units, the boys had already started having a beer but Nelson and me were still keen to ride, so we went into Codgers, climbing to the Turners/Firball skidder then down to the Smasher entry. Climbed up this and dived on in. Steep steep steep, with the usual 3 corners catching me out as usual. I blame it being a bit wet.  Ended up landing out by the Sunday Hole from whence we toodled back down river and back to base.

Meanwhile the boys had seen the errors of their ways and headed out for a ride (about 20 minutes behind us).  They went up Codgers, Jacks, Middle, Wayne's Passage (to much laughs and jokes at Wayne's expense - it never died...) and down Firball, P51 etc.  they had fun, and got back half an hour behind us.

Base to base, 15.3 kms, 389 climbed.

Wednesday, Trip, final ride on way home, Teetotals

Departed Nelson, fueled up and headed south.  At Belgrove, hung a left through to Golden Downs, and left here on a road I'd never travelled before.  A LOT of forestry through here, massive country.  Eventually, over to St Arnaud and we parked down by the lake.  Rode up, into Beechnest Ave through to a DOC built link track that switchbacked up then down and through to the main Teetotal Trails area.  From here we took Rattling Rim track along the terraces, winding in and out through matagouri and kanuka following a road now and then, then eventually big open country.  Met a couple of women who said a few tracks were shut.  We continued up the road and into Big Bush, for a long climb in beech forest (or half and half beech and doug. fir) eventually to the top of Flying Moa (which we should have gone down).  Thinking maybe we could ride the dark blues / blacks i led us down the ridge from here to the top of Kaka, where there was a big barrier saying Tracks Closed for the dark blue and black tracks (Duck Drop and Rocky Horror), so we headed down Kaka which was a bit boring, but still fun.  Then it was back to Teetotal base and across the road onto a nice smooth singletrack back to the village, through some back ways past the visitor centre and back down to the lake.

Cool ride,  but we'll do it a different direction next time...

20 kms, 433 m climbed.  Great views and some nice bush.

Tuesday, Trip Day 5, Sharlands Wiggling and Sucking

Bit of rain in the morning, so stuff was gonna be wet, so we all had a restful morning hangin' out at base and then headed into town for lunch and a wander about then headed back for naps and lie arounds.  Later in the afternoon we headed out, down into town and up Nile St and up the Maitai into Sharlands Rd.  Debatable as to whether we should have entered the forestry, but didn't look like there was any action, and it was after 3, so Wazza reckoned they'd be done and out by now.  So, rode up all the way to the old 506 trig point, waaay the hell up.  RnR had been logged which I now realise is why it's no longer on any maps.

Photos etc taken and off down the G.Effect Slingshot trail.  Now, 10 (or more) years ago, this seemed like a good trail.  Today, it's overgrown and has WAAAY too much uphill in it.  Pain in the ass.  Below this, Scottswood Wiggles, was just as bad.  Promising sections ruined by being too flat or climbing, and the flat bits were all full of water.  I punched a hidden pine cone which very hurt my hand.  Lower down, into the dark redwoods things were wet to start but sort of got better, except for dumbly designed corners that were tight at the bottom of steep downs, followed by abrupt ups.  Just bad trail design.  The lower we got, the better things got.  The Lancewood Wiggles were better, and then Waterloo was better again, and What the DOCtor Ordered better again.  And finally, out down the road, cruise cruise cruise. 

I stopped into Anthony's and him and Lynne plied me with strong Green Ginger wine and chicken noodle soup which both hit the spot, then i headed on back up to base.

A reasonable sized, 34 kms, with 905 climbed...  Considering we only went to 506, that shows another 400 was climbed while coming down.  heesh.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Monday, Trip Day 4, ride 2. Codgers - Firball, P51, Firball

From the Free House we headed back up the Brook and up the Codgers climb, and into Jack's. Split here with the boys on Middle Rd, with them heading down and across to P51, while Nelson and me headed up to the top and up to the Fireball Trig. We hit it, hell-for-leather down, getting more and more floaty on the jumps galore, having a stoker of a time. Then it was across and climbing up the track that starts with a W, up, and into the top of P51.  This gave us more speed and jumps, flying down through, into lower Firball, more old skool this, and out to the Brook and down through town and back up to base

A nice 17 kms, and just under 400 m climbed.

Monday, Day 4, Ride 1, Fringe climb The Ara Koa

A relaxed 10ish a.m. start, we rolled down Vanguard and dropped into Flamedaisy for a coffee then headed up the Brook and into Codgers headed for the Tantragee Saddle.  From here, we headed up Fringe Hill Climb, gravel road, and a good lonnnnng climb. Took a good hour or more, and finally we made the towers (after a rather rough rocky section that only Nelson cleaned.  From the top, the view is spectacular. 

Then it was into the descent.  The first section is as sketchy as fuck, with many many roots, all of them still damp from many days' previous rain, and no doubt cloud, and both front and rear tires were pinging with multidirectional madness, leaving us all pretty wary but allowing our glorious skills to be transcended.  From where the main road corner meets it (not too far down), the trail got a bit more used, tho roots continued to be one of the main factors of tech the rest of the way, albeit with less and less frequency.  Fun descent, that went on for 45 minutes, a couple of breaks here and there to let the brakes cool or for a catch up.  Brilliant ride.  Highly recommended.  Eventually, we made it down into The Brook, from whence we rolled down into town for lunch (and a pint) just before 2 at Prig and Sperm, with which we followed a pint at The Free House just after 3. 

All up, from base to lunch, 21kms, and 822 climbed 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Trip Day 3. Richmond

Exited our Mot accommodation and drove to Richmond, exploring our way through to some park somewhere and here we entered said park and climbed and climbed and climbed up the Escalator.  Bit of a break at a skidder site, talked to a couple of electric 'mtnbikers' (more like motocrossers) then proceeded to explore, losing Robin in the process, and climbing bloody steep firebreaks to the top of Richmond Hill.

From here it was Into Upper Slippery Rail which ended up proving pretty fricking steep, beyond the majority of our capabilities (obviously Nelson managed it).  Then across and up slightly on a forestry road to the Lower Slippery Rail, fanging it down through fun roots and yumpies, diving into dark forest in places, and around onto to some serious berminess and beyond. Eventually we found our way back on to the Escalator, riding it down and taking all the shortcuts to the finish and Robin awaiting our return.

8.5 kms, with quite a good sized 443 m climbed.

Off for lunch at the Richmond Mall (quite the experience!), and then through to Nelson and our accommodation in Vanguard St.

After settling in, Nelson and me got out for a spin (the boys followed for their own about 20 minutes later).  I forgot to write this up, so here it is here...

Saturday 2nd Trip Day 2nd Ride -Mill Rd Singles

The boys all buggered off back to Mot but Nelson and me wanted more so we took the TFC Ute to Parapara inlet and parked up.

Another rider passed by and we chatted, then headed up the road (after I rechecked the locking of the truck). Steep gravel low speed then onto tight narrow descent. Fun,!

Less than 8 kms, and around 260 climbed (for some reason mmr not showing it).

Saturday 2nd Trip Ride - Rameka

A bunch of vehicle shuffling resulted in us dropping off the boys at the cafe at the start of Canaan Rd and Nelson and me driving down to Takaka and back up, then chasing them in the Canaan Rd. They'd stopped for a while at the cafe before heading in and so were waiting (patiently) for us at the Roller Coaster and we proceeded from there. Fun downs, sucky ups, and wet as hell through the last bit tot he Harwoods Hole carpark.  Then into the climb up to the Rameka.

Quite a splecky and messy but fun trail through the forest, with the final downhills an absolute blast.  Nice break just after the rocky ledge climb near the end.  Then into the Pack Track, for a much funnerer downward blast, and over the hill into Great Expectations, which was also as fun as a fun thing on a fun day.  At the bottom of this, over the nice new bridge, and missing the Klicks, we headed up onto the road, and back up it to the top of Great Hexpectations again. Ugh what a dastardly climb that was.  Back into the top of Great Exp's, and then left into the new one, the mighty Historic Rameka Track.  It was nice.  Bit of climbing at the start, but nothing major, and once you start down it's all down, very high up, amazing views out over the valley, you seem to ride for ages and the valley is still miles below you.  Then suddenly you look out and it's looming nearer.  Great blast down, tho there's another (Odyssey) that we're yet to try.  If we'd had more legs we might have ridden it, then back up, and down this, but no.  Next time.  anyway.  ... Nice.

Anyway, a worthy 36 kms, with a mere 572 m climbed, plus the 680 or so we started from making for a whopping 1300 or so descended.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday. First Trip Ride - Kaiteriteri

Quite a bit of rain around so was pretty late (after 5) before we got out to the park. Headed up Easy Street, hooking a left onto Swish, to Scoot, into Remedy for a fun blast down.  New bits in here for me, no longer taking in any of the Mary or whatever she was called.  Nice couple of gappy jumps at the bottom that various of us rode with various levels of success...  Next into Revelation, and then the climb up Ziggy and the lower end of Corkscrew, into Big Ups, and a fun blast down Big Airs.  Back into Ziggy, climbing climbing climbing, into Corkscrew, all the way up to the top and a good view lookout regroup. 

Back down the way we'd come, and right into Jaws, blasty blast down down and down (then climbing again...) and back into Big Ups climbing up to the top of Big Airs again.  This time we dived into Skulldrudgery, waaay more climbing than I'd remembered across the valleys, but once crossed the RockFace, downhill fun all the way...

In generaly, the whole park was a bit wet, and therefore slower as a result and any roots encountered were well techy.

A nice 15kms, but only 417 m climbed

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wednesday Night Bowenvale Steeps

After biking home into a nor'west and feeding dog, I navigated traffic across to Nelson's and we got going about 5.30pm.  Up Parklands Dr briefly to first cul-de-sac then down the walkway to Centaurus, and around to and up Bowenvale Ave.  We hit straight into the Old Skool climbing bastard steep in places, and it didn't help that the wind was now round to southerly and howling down the valley, trying to push us off at every turn.  The few zags with it behind us were sweet tho.  I walked many techy bits.  Seemed like ages but eventually we made the pylon and headed around and down Hidden Valley Link.  All the way down this and into the the 'road' in the bottom of the valley. 

Up the valley walk track, past bottom of Lavaflow, and into techy good/badass-ness.  At the junction where we usually turn right (around to bottom of Brent's), we stopped for a snack, and then thought, 'lets explore up valley a bit.'  Up we went, riding and walking, lots of steep tech rocks (which Nelson had ridden down once (and crashed on)) - and he faced his demons by riding the bit he'd crashed on.  Then around sidling for a bit then climbing.  Heaps more country in this neck of the woods than I thought was there.  Another junction - downwards towards bottom of Lavaflow? or right, and up?  We chose up.  Feck that is steep.  Farm track, Nelson cleaned it all, I walked a tonne.  Finally up onto the Traverse and headed, lee of the hill - wind not so bad, around to Vic Park. 

Stopped just before the trees, and I decided we hadn't been down Upper Fenceline for years, maybe worth a look.  Poked our noses down another new track briefly, but stuck to the plan and rode Fenceline.  Nice trail across into the trees, fun jumpies, then now there's options, one straight down (old way), and one that sweeps around and then takes you across back into the park, crossing Tilted Sally and other named or nameless DH tracks, then eventually to the intersection that Cool Runnings starts at.  We headed down this.  If you knew it well, it'd be super fun jumpy, but even just taking it as it comes it was pretty good.  Bombed out the bottom and through the fence onto Flow, and Bridges - Nu Bridges down the bottom of the valley again. 

Back into and up Hidden Valley Link, climbing climbing and cleaning, then the epic blast down Old Skool. Wind still howling, pushing us along the trail except where it sidles back up valley midway, where normally you can carry your speed, pumping, had to pedal hard this time.  I was getting really tired in the bottom reaches rolling out the bottom relieved to be done!... Finishing with a nice tailwind coast down Bowenvale Ave and around back to Nelsies.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Monday Night HuntsMary Duncan

Had to bike home to feed the dog after work, then drove across and parked at Nelson's place.  We rode up his street, into the first cul-de-sac and then up the 2 steppy walk track sections (I walked a lot) up to Huntsbury Ave.  A very direct route, and although steep, is like an elevator, you miss the worst bit of Parklands Drive too.  Up the road to the top, and over the stile onto the singletrack - steep little bugger it is, up the jumps then over the gate, and up under the cabbage tree rocks around to the fence and onto the landing strip, then up the gravel grovel.  Into Vernon, nice descent, only having to pause/pull-over a couple times for climbers before bombing the final skittery gravel mix.  Straight through Rapaki-top and clambering up onto the Witch.  Nelson got the drop on me here, and I was struggling around the front when I could see him already flying out the last section.  Legs. Just. Wouldn't. Push...

Across the road and we rode the first section of singletrack to the gate.  Over this and we took in the view of the valley (Avoca) below.  Nelson was saying this is all Council land now...?  Wow!  Scope for trails is massive.  Climbed up the steep farm track to the top of the ridge, climbing over the fence to look for the trail to the rocky top, which we couldn't really find cos of all the tussocks.  From the top, the trail is obvious (kinda), and after a coupla pics we hit the down.  The Mary Duncan (this almost exactly a year since we first ever did it).  Feck it's a steeep-arsed descent, in places.  A few splits where there's awesome (or mad) techy lines, but always a bunny route next to it.  Nelson crashed on the first truly tech rock drop, hitting something he thought was just grass (that was solid).  Picked himself up and rode it again.  Then we're down the ridge for a bit.  STINKY bloated dead cattlebeast carcass just over the fence, and Nelsie rode a couple of bits I didn't.  Then down next to the rocky knob and took the tricknical trail off to the right, up onto the ridge.  Here's some awesomely steep rocky technical shit, down the razor back ridge.  Just before a super hard rock garden, I see Nelson lying upside down bike on top of him on some bushes.  He'd stopped, put his foot down and it'd gone into a hole...  He extricated himself and I rode down next to the rock garden and watched him ride it.  Then on down more awesome tech, then nearly lost the trail but found it again as it headed down the face towards the pylon, several interesting (but not as hard? as last time) techrock droppy bits.

Over the gate and across into the forest, weaving back and forth, staying a bit higher up on what seemed to be cow or sheep trodden bike track.  Had a bit of an explore in here, pushing up and riding various jumpy sections, then off down the final trail, rooty exit to the grassy straightline out to Port Hills Rd.  Onto the road and round to Centaurus.  We explored up Stonehaven, where I'd never been before, climbing to the top, then cutting across and seeing if a dirt sidling track took us anywhere (it didn't).  Back down and over Centaurus, Nelson powering up it, me not so much.  Then bombing down past Rapaki-bottom and across the flats.  One last climb, up View Tce.  Never been up this before either.  Fricking steep pig, up to Huntsbury, and finally blast down to Nelson's.

Good sized loop, with extras... 16.3 kms, and 703 m climbed.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Wednesday Night Windy Misty Daylight Tops Savings.

Met at Nelson's about 6 and we took our own cars up the hill parking at the top of the seal. Rode up the main drag, me getting my wheeze on before the pylon, and having to stop for a puff.  Onwards up, just through the cattlestop we hung a right, along the fenceline then up the singletrack from there.  Up the landing strip then up the gravel drudge to the Summit Rd.  Nice views up here.  Onto Vernon, down around, stopping to let a million riders through a couple of times, before a final stop-free blast to the finish. Into the Witch, good techy climb and fun descent, then across the road and onto the singletrack above the road.  At the end of this, before the Tors, stopped for photos (see mmr) at the new stile here (new memorial seat for a farmer), then up the road under the Tors.  A well earned snack before getting into Castle Rock - fast!  Rocket ships down the first section, slightly less so through the middle and then Nelson powered up the ups while I just plodded on up.

Bridle Path top: headed back up the road to the Castle, and climbed up onto the Tors track.  Excellent descent down this, cleaning everything, but stalled briefly just after the wee lump that normally gets me.  Down onto the road and across onto the singletrack again for the better direction, nice run through this, then straight into Witch, clamber clamber, racing the light now, bombing down the Rapaki side.  Then, instead of Vernon singletrack, we headed up the road to save time, sun having pretty much fully set.  Across the start of the Traverse, dropped into the jumpy descender, lights on tho not really needing them yet, easterly wind nearly blowing us off the jumps, then down the landing strip and over the fence into the singletrack.  Pretty good run down this, Nelson doing all the jumps, me skipping one or two, down down down, to the cars.

15 kms with 596m climbed.  Not bad!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Tuesday CAP with my Boys

School holidays, so took the boys to the Park.  We uplifted, and H and me headed down Duncan's Donuts, while O went off down Possums by himself.  Met him in the middle.  I found Donuts a bit boring, but H's smile on his face said it all.  Man it's long.  I tried to carry as much speed through every corner as possible, getting way higher on the berms than most obviously are, given the vegetation I was riding over.  Jumped every opportunity I could too.  Met O in the middle (he'd been waiting a while, and said Possums was cut up as, rutty and blown out.  Him and me headed down DOHC, while H went off down Active Rest on his own.  DOHC was fun.  Some good steep bits and I trailed O all the way, he's a really good wee rider.  Bombed out the bottom and got to waiting for H.

He arrived eventually (having passed some others), and we I took some stuff to the car, and we used the loo, and H crashed off one of those wooden jumpy things, hurting his back. 

Then we got on the lift and he'd left his (brand new, $10 from T7) gloves at the bottom...  O and me convinced him into coming down the Summit Connector with us, and he struggled with the steeper bits, but then was okay once it leveled off a bit.  I took the Nun but they took the road, and we regrouped for Choir Boy, bombing down this, waiting for H a few times, then into Loess.  The entrance is steep, and H struggled, but made it down no problem (bit of coaching from O and me), and then into the Loess...  Rode that sucker.  H's hands were getting really sore, blisters, etc, and he was just getting so beaten up by the track.  Forks need more suppleness, methinks.  I had a good run, jumping everything I could.  Meanwhile O had rocketted on ahead.  When we got to the bottom he'd already been up and rescued H's gloves.  Nice one. 

Called it a day, I don't think H would've handled another lap...  he was pretty fragile by that stage.

2 laps

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Grey Sunday under a Nor'west Arch - Happy 1000 blog posts!

Firstly, let me welcome you to post number 1000.  This is the 1000th post posted to this blog by me since May 2005.  Not bad going, eh!?

Looked to do something a little more interesting than a bash on the Port Hills, so this morning Nelson picked me up at about 8.20 (new time) and we hooned out to "Lake" Janet. Straight into the steep, we rode (and walked) up bastardly steep walking track from the 'Lake'.  We had a wee explore out the recently opened trail to the road that we've always thought must be there, finding and identifying the landmarks as to where it comes off the road.  Turned around and headed back through it.  Future rides will most certainly enter this way up the road first, methinks. Back on to the main singletrack and on up huffing and chuffing all the while, past some guys walking with dogs. Zig and zag, there's always one extra dog leg on this climb that I forget about. Got to the Lookout and looked out. Haze over the city, planes tracking in for the nor'west runway, and massive spectacular nor'west arch overhead.

From here we headed up the walking track, nice climbing now between the broom, through some scrappy beech, with a better gradient than the zigs below.  Usual tussock trickiness higher up and we stopped for a perusal of the view and rest out of the wind.  We spotted some other riders struggling up the scree to the trigpoint top across the way, and they hung out up there for a while.  A few photos

Nelson's bike and foot, Arch, and people on the other summit
Out towards Amberly...
and
Over the other side, looking west. (trail below)...

Nelson set up his gopro and gimbal and it was time to head off down.  I led the way, and we bombed it... cleaning more of the switchbacks than ever before.  Our new switchback technique is unstoppable.  Made for one of the fastest trips, if not the fastest trip, down, Nelson on my tail pretty much the whole way filming.  Met one walker in the switchbacks right at the top of the bush.  After him, we had a mint trip down, speed carried through so much, and more clean corners than ever before.  Stopped at the bottom of the most numerous pile of switchbacks and rested our fingers and hands, and had a snack.
Got going again, and fanged the rest of the way out.  The (usually) boggy muckhole was pretty good, some new looking drainage finally having been inserted.  Much much lower down near the bottom we met a dog, followed by his people, and that was it for other trail users.  Finally out the bottom, hands aching from the brake control, massive grins on our faces.

Into the road climb, once again, several sections we always forget about before landmarks loom, like, after the beehives, I always think it's just a corner and a straight to the ridge, but no...  and from the bridge after the brief descent, not far up to the level of the car from there?  Nope, way further, lots of corners, and a couple of side roads I feel like I've never noticed before.  Finally onto the level and slight descent back to the car.  Loads of cars in the carpark. We dropped off packs, pocketed phones, and headed up the road (~7 minutes) to the new singletrack entry for a wee bonus.  Another minute or so up this and it was into the descent, steep skiddy section to start, then under the big trees over their roots, across and into an old DH track, a few jumps, lots of loose tree litter / bark and a couple of stops to look at stuff, and after carving a few corners, we were back out to the car.

A sweet 15.6kms looped, with 756m gained.  (couple other pics associated with this MMR).

.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tuesday Night Moonlit Godley

Drove to Nelson's after work and parked up, then we hooned in his car, with Fatty and skinny bikes onboard, to Taylor's Mistake.  Got riding, straight into the grunt, up the Tail, pausing at the cattlestop to chat to a friend of mine running her dog, then on out the Boulder Bay track.  A couple of photo ops along here,
Scar, bro.
and then took a singletrack down into Boulder Bay, slightly more interesting than the highway, but ending in overly tech rocks before dropping into the macracarpas behind the houses.  Steep climb out of here, back onto the main track, then the usual climb up the zigs and zags, round to the full-arsed moon hanging out just above the horizon.  Parked up at the gun emplacements and took a couple pics,
MooonZooom
then rolled on up to the the end.  Over the top and down the other side, zig and zag and zig and zag, then up the steps and climbing again back up to the old buildings.  Phone call and more pics from in here.
Arty farty had a party...


Then it was out to the carpark to watch a massive posse of riders bombing down the hill and onto the trail below the road back to Anaconda.  Nelson and me climbed up the hill and around onto the Breeze Bay track.  Fun times around this and as we got to the stile the big posse were heading off down Anaconda (not very fast, we thought).  Next, we took the skinny fun trail above the road around, stopping to enjoy the view for a bit just before that weird half buried shed, then onwards around and instead of down the 4wd track we went a little bit further towards Breeze Bay track again and headed down the walking track back to the car park, along the fence, and over the road onto the original Godley section below the road.  The climb from the bridge slowed me up and Nelson got a big lead on me.  I had a nice run around until the last slight climb to Breeze Col.  Ugh.

Finally, into the 'Conda.  Good blast around here, and it was surprisingly dry considering the rain we'd got over night and this morning.  A total beat up on the Fatty, rocky sections pounding through my arms, and a bit of a battle with the steering in some of the narrower slightly rutted sections.  Out the bottom and onto the tail, this REALLY beat me up, with all its pesky rocks I'd normally just flow over on the full-suss.  Oh well.  Got to the bottom and felt like I'd had a ride, for sure.

A good 13 kms, with just over 500m climbed...  Nice.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Morning Shorty and Jetty.

Headed across and parked up top end of Bowenvale Ave with Jet and O. We rode up the valley, Jet on the lead the whole way.  I delayered at Hidden Valley Link track, and we headed up that.  Nice new bridge at the bottom now, much easier than that pesky creek crossing was.  Let the dog off the lead once we were in here.  Good climb up.  Otis walked a couple of bits, cos his gear isn't low enough.  Got up to the fence and over, bit of a rest, then up under the pylon and up the 4wd zig zag track. Bloody steep.  We both walked a bunch, little bit of ride, then walk.  Up up up to the gate, then rode on up to the landing strip.  Here we headed down, onto the fun descender, back to the gate in no time flat.  Over this stile and down all the best lines, Otis managing everything with aplomb.  He rocks it, no trouble.  Jet was very happy, panting and running, big smile on his face.  Then down all the rocky bits and around the off cambers, and into the Old Skool, for a flowy bomb down this.  Awesome run, stopping a few times to see how O was going, and make sure Jet was still in pursuit.  Family fun!

Only 6.7 kms, and 323 m climbed, but they were mostly a pretty steep 323.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wednesday Night Farside Worsley Nun Traverse Skooling

Quite a sizeable ride this evening. Met at Nelson's after work and we moseyed across the loop and Thorrington, along the river, Cracroft, to Worsley Rd. Headed up the grassy side and dropped back down into the Farside. Excellent wee roller this, and has been cleaned up since the other month when I did it - with fallen tree removed. We blasted it it all the way to the bottom down in the catchment pond dam valley, and then explored up the valley towards Andy's new place.  Ran out of tight singletrack in the valley, so climbed up onto the 4wd track, then up the old zig zags back up to Worsleys Rd and on up - riding the brand new seal above the road before onto the old singletrack above the road.  Then up past Worsley Heights, and just past Agaia Pl, Nelson noticed a wee trail off to the right, which google maps tells me is called Helius Way.  Could be a nice lead in sidling track around to the Worsley zone if it continued...  unfortunately it ended at a planting area so we rode back out.

At the old carpark (end of the seal) we rode through the gate, into our old entrance up towards the burned forest...  Rode up this for a ways, under the burned trees, but up near where the stream used to be, decided not to continue on that track, as it was looking less used, so we climbed up to the road and continued our way up.  Seems steeper than it ever was in the past, even tho it's smoother.  We think it used to level off, and have short steep bits, now it's just constant.  A van passed me just before the top of the smoother stuff.  Nelson was waiting for me there.  Next section is more old skool then it's up into the Body Bag.  What a prick.  I ended up walking quite a long way up top.  For some reason my legs just about run out of climbing juice.  Up the track to the top of the Nun and we settled in for a snack and observation of the view - and a layer for me.

Into the Nun, rocky and bony as hell, with a fair bit of easterly wind, and I was catching a bit of dust from Nelson's progress ahead.  Bombed down, enjoying most of it, railing the berms and smooth until the really rocky section started, then I stalled a couple times and lost my mojo.  Below the Park section I got a bit of grove back, and man the lower half is hacked up.  Too many muppets braking too much and wrecking the trail.  Into the Summit Rd and the climb was just SO hard for me, up to top of Vic, and we hit the Traverse and all the climby bits were killing me.

FINALLY we made the top of the Huntsbury trail.  I took the lower line, Nelson started from up top.  We bombed it but I didn't have as good a run as last time with Paul.  Easterly wind was pushing all the tussocks over the track making it hard to spot the line.  And I wonder if my lights were set wrong.  Down the landing strip and we explored the tussocks for an entry line, eventually finding it where I usually do, then I led down first section to the stile/gate.  Then Nelson led into  the fun sections, tho missed one of the crossings, went back up and put a couple rocks for directing people into it, and we continued on down.  My back end was getting rattly, so under the pylons I took a call from home and then tightened up my loosened rear axle. (second time this has happened, i need to keep an eye on that.)  And into Old Skool, I was getting really tired down here and my flow was out of whack, and I just couldn't reel in Nelson.  Out to the end, and down the road back around to his place...

A very generous 22.8 kms, with 669 m of climbiness

Monday, September 17, 2018

Saturday One Million Trees

Jumped on the Troll and headed for Travis to plant the millionth tree.  Was a bit of a head wind.  Meandered a bit, but got there faster than Google said I would.  Very soggy and mucky planting site.  Glad I'd carried my gummies on my front rack.  Planted heaps.  Family joined us for the ceremonial gathering.  Pete and me helped the mayor plant one of the ceremonial trees.  We scoffed some sossies.  And then I rode home, a slightly less convoluted way.  Alls goods.

Flat as a pancake (with a whopping 48m altitudinal gain), 22kms there and back (including wandering around on foot at the planting and ceremony) .

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thursday Night Flow

Met Paul at Volstead after 5 and took him back to his place where he got ready and we sorted out lights etc.  Rode from there across to Major Aitken, and chuffed up here, nice and mild - we were down to teeshirts and shorts.  Off the road and up the dirt, lights just starting to be needed here.  Climbed up onto the singletrack and up to landing strip, then up the gravel grovel to the top.  Quite a bit of westerly wind blowing up here, pushing us up the road to the start of the Traverse.  Turned into the wind, and hit the Traverse, hanging a right into the fun descender, wind affecting jumping, but not too much, down back onto the landing strip and then I looked for the alternative line in the tussocks, not really finding it but checked it out and this led us into the rest of the fun descender down to the gate.

Over the stile and down the droppy good times, cleaning every inch of it, bombing down into the off camber zone to the Old Skool.  One option I'd been thinking about was to head through HiddenValley and up Vic to drop down the closed walking track zone, but neither of us could be bothered with the extra climbing, so we just flowed it on out the Old Skool and dropped it down to the valley bottom, enjoying it muchly.  Oh yes.

Finally, down Bowenvale Ave, across the river, around the river, up to Moon Under for a pint and some chups, and then as we were heading back to his place, on Strickland, we heard this clatter like one of us had run over something.  I stopped quickly and went back to see what it was, and it was my car key!  Bloody fallen out of my pocket!  Too Close!

17kms, cos of all the town flat stuff, with 431 m climbed.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Sunday Posse in the Sun and Cold Wind

Steve doing a shortened ride again, meeting us up the top...  I parked at Ferrymead Bridge and awaited the boys. Wayhayno arrived first, then Andy in his van, parked next to my car, then Robin, then Pete and Alistair, then Nelsie. We toodled up St Andrew's Hill, Nelson putting on the gas and me struggling to keep up a bit, while the others all just chatted away behind.  A couple of breathers here and there as we had plenty of time before meeting Steve at 10.  Top of Major Hornbrook all but Robin took the singletrack under the pylons.  Everyone walked the steepest bit.  Then it was across and here we met Steve (who'd done a wee loop of his own across the lower slopes).  We set him to lead, and he gave us a very nice pace up to the top.  Then I led off around the top/front and up to the road cutting and up onto the climbing track.

Long break here then off up the zig and the zag and the rest to the top of Mt Pleasant all at various speeds.  I led down, having a lovely ride, flowy and fast and smooth.  The new gate and entrance flow quite nicely.  Lower down, in the tussocks I had a great run.  At the ruins Steve peeled off to ride the skinny tracks before heading back, and the rest of us bombed off down Greenwood, Nelson leading the way.  I started off with a bit of a gap behind him, but I slowly (and surprisingly) reeled him in until for a while I started stalling on the traverse with muck before Gloomy.  He stalled on the rock in there, so we regrouped just there til all arrived.  Then off down the rest of it, fast and fun.  Heard a loud noise above me when Pete dropped the drop, but continued on and bombed the rest of the way, reeling in Nelson until the two rocky ups.  Got to the bottom and watched as one by one the rest of the boys (except for Pete and Andy), plus a few randoms, rolled in.  We could see them waaay up the hill just below the drop.  Turned out Pete had burped but also holed his rear, stopping to pump it twice on the way down.  Nelson and him worked on it for a bit once he was down.

Here at Evans, Pete, Alistair and Robin scooted off down the Captain, leaving just four of us to hit up the Godley.  I had one of my worst times up and out the rocky climb and sections beyond.  Smacking pedals left right and centre, generally struggling to keep forward motion.  Was pretty fucked off by it all before too long.  We stopped at one point and watched the boys below negotiating parts of the Captain, and could see that Pete and Alistair didn't appear to know Robin was following them.  At the highpoint, where we had a short rest, we discussed options other than Taylors, but decided to continue onwards, and from here on down I had a much better run, with uber-speed down towards Livingston - reeling in Nelson again!, albeit gradually.  A better climb up from here, but gasping for air, then a sweet spin down to Breeze.

Finally, Anaconda.  This was fast and smooth runnings.  Heaps of fun, I think we all railed it better than ever.  Brief pause before the 'tail, and Nelson and Andy careened off ahead.  I was knackered before we even started the climb out of Taylors.  Pushed hard with lots of huffing and puffing, up and over, then we dropped into Nicholson Park, taking the steep(fun) route down to Flowers and then out the between-the-houses track to Whitewash Head Rd, bombing down this, down the road and bunnyhopping onto the footpath narrowly missing pedestrians and wheelchairs and children on bikes and in prams and pushchairs...  haha.  Nice slow meander along the Esplanade and the other three peeled off for coffee, while I had to get going.

Pushed it hard all the way back to the car, which seemed to take forever and absolutely killed me.

Felt longer than 27.7kms but I can believe the 935m climbed...

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Wednesday Night Cashmere Craziness

Fatty and skinny went for a ride. In to a few places they'd never ridden before - or not for a very long time.

Left Nelsie's and headed up to the first cul-de-sac, then down the walkway, over behind the shops, around the river, through Thorrington, and along the river again.  Next it was up Bengal Drive to the top, and up Sassafrass (or Sasaram, whatever), and down across an empty lot onto an alleyway.  We had a look around this to Chittagong Pl, then back down a 'secret' singletrack we found that led into a jumpy zone I'd heard about (this is the valley behind Princess Margaret's (where the ring-laser is)).  Found some mad jumps and cool routes down this valley, arriving out the bottom above a derelict tennis court.  We then rode back up the main park track bit, mucky as, and up to the alley we'd started at, and up onto Lady Poulson Ln.

Crossed Hackthorne down into MacMillan, and headed up to the steps down into Valley Rd - bumpedy bump bump to the bottom of these and hung a right to explore up to the top of Valley, dead end, so back down around and down, across Crighton and up steeep bastard Garth Tce to Dyers Pass Rd.  Back into MacMillan past Marie's and up Whisby, then up Dyers and left into Hackthorne, climbing all the way into Vic Park.  Part way up the track we dropped across the road into the bush, through onto Harry Ell track and climbed up this, stopping and pulling over a couple of times to let runners past.  All the way up to Vic Park Rd, and hung a left back towards the 19th, and Ranger Station, then into the wheelchair track over through to the car park.  Orienteering buffs were everywhere.  Headed down through the picnic area, and across behind the slide and down the rocks to the dog park, passing through a whole tonne more Orientards.  Over the dog park on the high track (dryer than the usual sidler), and down to the pines where we stopped just through the gate for a snack.

Then it was down the rooty barbed wire singletrack, tight bumpy fun - tricknical goodness.  Over the stile and below the houses, riding through yards (it feels like), a bit greasy in places, but rode all the switchbacks perfectly, all the way to the bottom, and out onto Longhurst.  Climbed up to Derryname lane, through and under Nainy's old place onto Takahe Drive and up this to the Sign of the Takahe, into the park, up over, and down back onto Hackthorne.  Rolled down this a ways, then onto the footpath til we found the alleyway that dropped us down to Kidson, where we flew down to Dyers Pass Rd, bombing down this to just past Overdale Pl, and peeled left into the bushes at the top of the valley that dropped us down to Purau Place.  Found some cool lines in here, nice singletrack - kinda, with, finally, a few steps at the bottom.  Down Purau, around the roundabout, onto the river track, Ernie Clarke Reserve, around past the locked watertaps, through the library, over the bridge, Sandwich Rd, Birdwood, Martin Ave, over the bridge, through the reserve onto Centaurus and back around to Nelson's... not yet even 8pm.

All up, 18.7 kms, and 442m climbed - which felt like more...

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Sunday Bottly Jettly Fattly

Took the dog and the fat bike to Bottle Lake and we did a lap. Like me, he's not as fit as he used to be (tho, more because since his accident and since our move of house he's hardly ever getting a walk or run), and so the second half wasn't as fast as the first, cos I had to keep stopping and encouraging him along.  He was pretty knackered by the end, but soldiered on to the last. Gotta get him more exercise, so he can start accompanying me again.  We rode in, hung a right, and headed out towards the gazebo and through to the beach front.  Along the front there, and I ventured up onto my fun singletrack along the dune top (once in the pines again), then headed back into the park, and cut the loop shorter along 'muddy road' (which was muddy), and then back through.  Towards the end, we detoured along a couple of the roads to cut back to the car.  Fun on the fat.

a 13km loop, with the usual negligible altituded (apparently 80 m)...

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Saturday Nice Hill Ride

Steve's first ride since his treatment started, so he met us at the top of the tarmac on Huntsbury having got a lift from J9.  I'd driven to the bottom of RamaHareRamahana and arrived just as Robin did. We toodled our ways up the hill, both suffering from colds, to meet Steve at the top.  Nice easy going pace up the dirt, staying on the main track all the way to the top.

Across the Traverse.  Felt good up here, beautiful day and the trail was riding well.  I cracked out a reasonable pace, stopping a couple times to regroup but steady onwards we rode.  On the last run down towards Vic Park I passed a runner (who'd leapt out of the way) whilst in the air on one of those wee jumps through there.  Flow was good.  

Regroup at the start of Vic Park, and then down through the usual, finding a couple of new jump features, one of which I bailed up on not quite ready for it's gapdrop.  Next time I'll be ready for it.  Steve peeled off down the 4wd, while Robin followed me through into the gummies.  I took him down my usual favourite, which is rolling pretty nice, and we sidled out to Steve at the skidder site, tonnes of other riders in residence here.  Cruised down to the 19th then followed the new signage to the park, via the roads.  (not doing that again...).  

Down the Dyers Pass Rd and to the Park entrance, I led off down the new-to-me Captain Cook(er?), and it was greasy as hell.  The two corners super steep and nearly no traction.   Then we were at the top of Shredzilla and Loess.  I opted for the former, for the first time ever. It was sweet.  The right amount of dry-ness.  I baulked on the techy rocky section, but cleaned everything else no problem.  Stopped and greeted the boys as they rolled past at the first connections with Loess, then again at that rock section.  Then bombed the rest of the way down what must be lower Kama Sutra, and out back to the bottom on the same line as the rest.  I like the new exit with the bridge too.  Waited a while for the other two.

Then up to the base and I checked to see i still had uplifts on my card (I do), and then we went up to the cafe.  I had a OnePA while Steve and Robin had healthy kombuchas and we scarfed down some fries (thanks Steve!).  Then it was off down the road and around the river-ways and across Beckenham Loop.  I peeled off down Koromiko St, and through the alleyway to Centaurus and back to the car.

18kms and 500m climbed.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sunday Otukaiplantingkino

Treadled down to the rail trail and slowly rode towards town (pre Rossall St) til I saw Andy, Jenna, and Wayhayno coming towards me and we headed back north to Sawyers Arms Rd, out this, and thru Roto Kohatu, finding lots of people parking, Steve, and under the tunnel through past Omaka and down to the planting site.  Planted lots of plants, a million and hundreds in fact, and then scoffed us some sossies and lollies and then rode back the way we'd come.  I peeled off at St James Park and rode through to home.

Nice 17kms there and back again, with an almighty 49m climbed

Friday, August 24, 2018

Friday Night Weird Runnings

A post work-week ride that involved quite a bit of walking, many weird ways, steps, and slippery mud and slippery rocks.

Started from Nelson's new place, me on the fat bike and him on his 29er, and headed up Parklands Drive, hanging a right into the first cul-de-sac, to ride down the walkway (that I'd ridden up a couple weeks or so ago).  Along Centaurus to Whaka Tce, and left up this.  It just gets steeper and steeperer as you go, then hits the walkway and steps to carry your bike up to the top of.  At the top is Vista Place.  Cruised up this and discovered a small area where kids have cut a wee jumpy track in some bushes - it was a bit greasy to ride properly, so will check it out some other time.  At the top, on Huntsbury Ave, we headed across the road into the Huntstbury Walkway.  Never been down this before.  The entry is a massive filter of gnarly rocks - designed, and enough, to put most cyclists off - but not us!  Carried down these and then the trail below was a swoopy fun sweeper of a beast, steeply rushing down the hill in nice regen bush and some big pines/macs down below.  Weren't really sure where we were heading, so explored off to the right, proceeding up the valley, into the canyon that's off the end of Albert Tce, below Farm Track.  Eventually got onto the walkway in the valley bottom and followed this up, lots of carrying and pushing, tiny bit of riding, up valley to connect to the Dry Bush Track.

Back down-valley sidling and climbing to the Farm Track, then headed up this steep pig.  Climb, climb, climb, Nelson miles ahead, and the southerly wind howling across here (whereas everywhere else was mild and calm).  Midway up to the track that heads under the pylons, across this up and over, then the fun steep downhill into the Rapaki valley, getting steeper as you go.  Then we sidled down onto the valley track and followed this techy goodness (and badness) down.  Just above that weird shelter thing, I misplaced a foot and toppled head-first over, getting my thigh wedged between my frame and handlebar, other leg on top of frame holding me down.  Was quite painful and difficult to extricate myself.  Helluva bruise now.  After recovering a bit from this, from the shelter, we carried our bikes up the hill to the track that's above (and peels off waaaay earlier from the valley track), riding this sidling track across to the Vernon walkway zig zags, down into the Hillsborough Tce.

Down this to Charlene and Leonard Places, Albert Tce and around into the alleyway that heads up to Aotea.  Rode up this, another one that just gets steeper and steeperer and steepererer, eventually pushing up the steps at the top.  Hoo boy - thems some climbing.  Then up Aotea, up Huntsbury, down Vista and into the Whaka(?) reserve dropping down the fun trail next to all the little flights of steps (that I'd only walked up once before).  Some super greasy shit down the bottom, I ended up rearwheel overtaking my front at one point.  Then down around the pond in the bottom, and back up to Major Aitken, down, round Centaurus back to Nelson's.

Arnica for the leg, and a beer for the head, then home...

A very interesting 11.1 kms, and 531m climbed...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Sunday Solo Mucky Crock

Dropped H off to a birthday party and sleepover and headed to Halswell Quarry car park.

Headed up the valley and up onto C2, via the Download.  Clamber clamber up through the trees, through the cattle stop into instant cattleshit.  Avoiding the worst of it and then watching out for big cow-apples (and pancakes) on up Crocodile, ever climbing.  Top of the road, and into the Low Road, bit of mucky flat bits to avoid, bailing out to the road at the lying down squared-off lampost.  Up this last steep and over the gate into Siberia, finding a few wet puddles, but the rest of it nice.  Bombed through the bends and down the last bit to the bottom.  Decided here to try the new ziggy climb, Anne's Ascent or something, and gave up on it through sheer boredom after a few bends, bailing out to the main track and just powering up that instead of 20 times the distance going back and forth. 

From the gate, headed down the singletrack, actually a really good run, until a jump that threw me off towards the bank, I just managed to pull it back under control before landing and landed awkwardly, kinda tweaking my back.  Carried on down and then into the Crock.  Stopped here for a moment, maybe a text?  Then got going again, on down, pulling up left to C2 and straight into Murph's, bombing down this, lots of fun, then tootled through the mucky bottomlands and climbed up Upload, then into the Crocodile climb, clambering up this to the top and taking the Bypass track to the bridge in the valleybottom, and left up Gorge Rd, meandering up the valley til I found a midlevel track leading back down valley. 

Down this, joined into one of the switchbacks on the Crock, climbed up from here to C2 and headed Murph's again, enjoying it just as much if not more than the first.  At the mucky bottomlands again, I hung a right this time and around and up Upper Crust, which climbs from the jumps up through Murphs (near the top), topping out on C2.  Headed down this to the wee bridge, and followed (pushing bike on back wheel), a track up the valley there, to see what I would see.  Turned back from the top and rode and scooted down through the tech and long grass back to the trail.  Then I took the downhill track that starts just there, and bombed that down into the valley again, basically at the end of Murphs. 

Around the muckybottomlands again and back up C2, to the wee dh track again, down it but slightly different line out onto hairpin of C2, back onto it and out the bottom again, this time to ride out the old entrance, and back down to the car, done.

Only 11.5kms, with 323m climbed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wednesday Night Foggy Glarey Hilltop Foray

Post work Sumnervale park up, and we headed up the Captain. I'd remembered my asthma inhaler for a change, and had had a blast at work an hour or so prior, plus had a couple puffs before we rode, so I was for once not dying.  It helped that Nelson set a mellow pace for a change too, and so by the time we'd gotten up to where it levels off I was feeling pretty good.  Cleaned the first rocky climb after that short descent, but neither of us got up the next two rocky ups.  Good go from there on up, me almost enjoying the climb for presence of oxygen in my blood. 

Up to the Evans Pass and off up the Summit Rd, taking it nice and easy, and climbing into scudding fog and peering over the downhill side scoping lines for a potential climbing track below the road.  When we got to Jollies Bush, we headed up into it, climbing the through the few switchbacks to the stile at the top.  Over this and up to the singletrack, we hung a left and climbed up to the Greenwood junction. 

Climbed from here, up, out towards the original Greenwood entrance.  Before we made the entrance tho, Nelson's puncture from last ride started to leak again (he'd taken out the tube and put in more goo, to no avail).  He faffed with this for quite a long time, while I perched and froze in the blowing fog.  A massive posse of riders passed through, heading up and round onto the wee singletrail descending from here.  Then about 15 minutes later they rode through again, on their way out this time, surprised to see us still there. Help was offered - thanks guys.  Finally Nelson reneged and put my tube in and off we rode. 

Up the road and onto Britten, we rode out round the top, then through and across the road and over the fence to climb up Mt Pleasant.  Fence changes up here, with a Track Closed gate across it, which we ignored and then found a fence through the middle of the first downhill!  Backtracked then round the old one and more fence.  Over this and down to the stile.  Then down down down, fun times, but hard work in the fog, and damp tussocks.  At the bottom we figured Greenwood would be mucky as hell before Gloomy, so we headed through to the gun emplacements and bombed down the ridge track here.  Fun, but sketchy-as slippery slickness in some rocky bits, but good rolling the rest.  Across to the ridge above the cliffs they're destroying (above Evans-Lyttelton Rd), and then back across and down to the lower reaches of Greenwood, entering just before Dangerous Dave's section.  Excellent bomb down here, it's rolling well, and wasn't wet. 

Finally, across the road, and into the Captain.  Awesome blaze down here, it was good.  Cleaned everything I was supposed to, and had some fun.

Excellent ride.  16.5 km, with 540 m climbed

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sunday Midday Mid-level Loner

Before noon headed over and parked at my often spot on the river below Bowenvale Ave. Headed around Centaurus, passing by the Major, Whaka and the shops, to the Huntsbury Walkway and headed up this.  Managed to ride the whole of the first leg, getting pretty steep near the top.  Then it crosses a couple of driveways (at the end of a cul-de-sac) and climbs steeper still for the next couple bits, so walked all the first, and most of the second, finally riding out the top onto Huntsbury Ave just below Aotea.  On up the usual route at a nice cruise. At the top of the seal I got a txt from Paul (I'd invited him earlier) saying he wouldn't make it, and I checked in on my MMR. It said 22mins, 336 calories, 0.00 kms, and had me parked on Colombo St in Sydenham (wtf?), so I deleted it, restarted it, checked it was going, and continued to ride on up, under the pylons, wind humming in them, onto the singletrack, up the landing strip, turning back to look for the rest of the new trail, found the line, but it's pretty rudimentary, back onto the last of the landing strip and on up the gravel to the top.  Strong wind buffetting me around.

Up to top, tailwind on the short section of Traverse, and then dropped down the fun upper Huntsbury, jumping in the wind proving interesting, and then down the landing strip, hanging left into the new bit, scoping the line I'd scoped before, finding it easier with gravity on my side, then dropping down into the valley, over the stile, down all the fun stuff, and cleaning ALL of it for the first time (ie, not scooting through the two hard bits).  Down through the off camber corners, and then I hung a left around onto the Hidden Valley Link. 

Down the first couple switchbacks, and left onto the walking track section.  Forgot it climbed so much.  Across towards the Lavaflow, and down next to the steps into valley.  Climbed up into the gorge, up onto the traversing trail and around to where you normally come out of the trees below Brent's. Onto Flow, chasing a young grom (and catching up to him) and into Nu Bridges, but cutting left onto Old Bridges after a couple of corners, (has been years since I've ridden this bit) across to hospital corner and dropping, dropping, down. 

Back into Hidden Valley Link 'Bonus', bollocksing the creek, crossing, but climbing and cleaning the rest of it. Finally, a flowy bomb down Old Skool and back out to the car.

First bit was 22mins and 220 odd metres climbed to where I restarted the app, then 55mins, 10.7kms and another 300m...  so a total of 520 or so m climbed.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Thursday Night Not So Short One

Met Nelson and Paul on Parklands Drive outside what was to become Nelson's flat.  We headed up this. It's a steep bastard to start, and leads to steeper still then steep bastard Huntsbury... On up, all the way to the top, then across, Vernon, Witch, lots of singletrack, including above the road then up the Tors, and around down to the trail above Lyttelton and down to the Bridle Path.  Then it was up Castle Rock, up onto the Tors - tho i think Paul might have taken the road.  Somewhere, Nelson had flat that took ages to fix. Paul felt flat, a bit knackered by his first big night ride.  Stayed on the road to Witch, rode that, then road below Vernon.  Then it was across and down the fun descender top of Huntsbury, and down to Old Skool.  Paul crashed a few times. It was cool. 


Uber 22kms with 850 climbed...

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Sunday, Sh'Orton Fattley Planting

O and me drove into drizzle on the hills and over Dyers Pass and down out of the drizzle at about Teddington to get to Orton Bradley 15mins before the planting was to begin. Andy and Jenna had ridden from the ferry and were sifting around, so the 4 of us headed up to ride the loop. I had the Fatty.  It's is a fun wee loop, only 4 kms, with (supposedly) 85m of climb, so not much of a ride really. Definitely worthy of a few laps, but we only did the one then hit the planting, which took like 5 minutes - 500 trees with 70 people.

 (with the phone in my pocket, MMR has some pretty screwy results - top speed of nearly 300kph)). 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Thursday Night Godley Meanderisations

Met Nelson in Sumnervale and we headed up the Captain. First time since February, for some reason... I took off while he faffed his MMR on and I was a wee ways up the singletrack above the stile before he caught up.  Instantly I was set to with wheezing, struggling to breath from here on up.  Bloody dire, and I've GOT to remember to take my ventolin inhaler when I ride.  Up round the bends and up over the rocks, wheeze wheeze wheeze.  Started getting into a groove the further up we got but was still struggling even at the top, and muppetting quite a few sections I'd not normally.

Across Evans and onto Godley.  Not bad going up here, a dab lower down but cleaned the rocky platforms before the going got better.  Nelson was doing good for a start but then blew it on a rocky bit, got out of my way and I cleaned up over it, leading from here til the break on the ridge.  Into the descent, a little muckhole right on a corner after the second of the boardwalk things, and slightly greasy down the Teddington Shit section, but from here on down we were smooth rocketships.  Absolutely fanging down through the curvy stuff before Livingston Col - felt like the fastest I've ever done (who knows!?).  Up the next climb, gasping again, then down to Breeze, all good. 

Up onto the tight narrow sheeptrack-singletrack around then return on the Breeze Bay track, this is rolling very nicely now, fast and getting a little narrower.  Still no tech, but fun.  Into Anaconda, and a nice roll through the top section, speed building, til, tight on Nelson's tail, we were rocketting down and through.  Around into the valley and !WHOOAH!, Nelson bailed, (his wheels had chosen different ruts and gone different directions),  I managed to pull up in time.  We bypassed the nasty muckhole and the rest of the way were a little more cautious, with no problems.  Then it was onto the new walking track to climb.  Always further than memory allows, but a good solid climb and back up to the col in no time. 

Now it was back up Godley, climbing, descending, and knuckling in for the last climb up from Livingston.  Into the last section, speed right from the start.  We both had fast and smooth runs down here, popping and floating over the rocks and no snarls.  I took the high line to finish, Then it was down through Rapanui Bush and around the tricksy wee walk track onto the Scarborough Bluffs Track.  Bit of a rest here, and then onwards, fun times flying.  Nelson failed on the techiest bit (he'd cleaned last two times), and neither of us did very well in the corners.  Nice riding tho.  Across the road and down the last zigs to the bottom of the Captain and then back to the cars. 

Grabbed dinner at the wee Indonesian Street Food place.  Not bad, tho gammy guts since.

20kms and 815 climbed...  Pretty good.