Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday Tommy God Snake Return

Went and watched O compete in time trials at Crocodile / C2 area after school, where he'll be competing each week for the next few.  Came home and was picked up by Nelson. 

We headed for Scuzznor and parked up in Slumnervale.  Headed up El Capitano, and it was coolish, but muggy as hell.  My asthma always kicks in on that climb, and tonight was no exception - I wondered if it was a high fungal spore count.  Nelson seemed to just rocket off ahead, while I wheezed and struggled to breathe behind.  Once above the switchbacks I got on with it, rolling up to find him trying several times to clean the wee climb immediately after that little descent.  We pushed up the two unrideables and allowed a couple runners through, then continued our merry way up.  Pinchies were pinchy and then the last stretch to the top, some imbecile dropped in when we had about 20 m to go and pretty much expected us to move over.  Stuff you, I just kept on and he stopped, but I had to ride off the track to get past.

Into Godley, and puffing hard up the first climb, I had a break before attempting the top upper section, cleaning it nicely.  Nelson was miles ahead by this time.  I plodded onwards, muppetting lots, but cleaning stuff too.  Eventually I found him at the top and we were practically in the fog.  What followed was an excellent blast down to Livingston Col.  Both of us on top form, weaving our ways down.  My new bike was gripping and holding on so perfectly, and soaking up the trail awesomely.  Through the col and into the climb, nice and short, then around and down to Breeze.

Into the Anaconda.  Nice easy cruise around til the speed picked up and the corners were all railed hard.  Fantastic descent to the start of the tail, where we got down onto the walking track and headed away from Taylors, eventually up the new climbing track, which climbs really good.  Back up to the upper 'conda, we debated doing another lap, but then realised it was getting late, and darkness not far away.

So, back up to Breeze, and back up the way we'd come, climbing out around Pfmtbc Rock, which makes that climb much nicer, and on up through the rocky tech which is more fun in this direction, then dropping down to Livingston and into the full climb back up Godley from there.  I'd been thinking the road would be better, easier, but as I rode I decided not.  If you think about it, it's all the same altitude, but from the road there's that horrible 4wd climb back up to the trail, whereas, climbing the trail, the last stretch to that top is nice and gentle.  Light getting really low, not helped by the super low cloud cover, we blasted the return to Evans.  I took lines over rocks I've never considered before.  Big volume tires soaking it all up.

Finally, into the Captain, blasting as fast as the light allowed.  The odd wet spot put dirt and grease on tires, and so on the last rocky tech I 2nd guessed myself and stopped, making me have to walk it.  Then there were two Enduro-heads practicing for the upcoming (this weekend) Enduro Race and the sun got below the clouds a bit and the light grew for our final descent down to the switchbacks and around a very greasy cabbage tree couple corners, and out the bottom, back to the car.

A pretty good 18 kms, with surprisingly 730 m climbed.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday Grey

8am at Rangoon, then transferred to Nelson's car and headed up thru North Loburn to Paringa Rd.  Couldn't drive the ford so parked on the corner and rode through it, getting wet feet.  Over the gate and the climb began, still nice and cool at this point, but as we rode along Banks Rd the occasional gust was full of warmth.  We diverted from our path a couple of times, looking for possible ways across the valley to the next ridge to avoid climbing all the way up to the high point of Banks/Paringa before the big descent back down to the river, but to no avail.  However, we did find lots of yummy blackberry goodness which we gorged on multiple times.

Bomb down Okuku Rd past the beehives and over the gate and down a short ways before ducking right, up onto the Mt Grey Nature Walk.  This proved fun, and nicely graded, with a few interesting features of tight corners and short steps.  Stopped and moved a big log off one place too.  Cool descent down to the camp ground.  Through this and across the ford, and up the long and winding road.  Stopped for a rest at "Lake" Janet, then got into the steep clamber.  Once into the zigs and zags it isnt so bad, cleaning most tech features if not the tight corners.  Gaining altitude quickly we made the tower in good time, then headed up the singletrack from here - broom getting a bit unruly in some sections, but a nice climb to the summit anyway.  Sat in the lee of the hill (out of the strong NorWest) and had a snack, before heading off down the trail.

Fun descent began.  Met the odd walker or runner, couples too, and stopped and moved rocks into a boggy bit while still above the treeline.  Cornering seems easier on the Pipeline than the 5-Spot, and I was really getting into the lefthand switchbacks, nose wheelying, swinging the back wheel around then proceeding onwards.  Righthand switchies, not so much.  Most of them I reverted to my fatbike technique of planting the inside foot and doing the nose-wheely then.  Still quicker than any other method of cornering those tightspots.  We stopped and cleared a couple of big logs across the trail too.  Excellent blast down through the forest, into the pine section, then back into the bush.  Was a fun blast.  Landed back at the ford splecked in muck and smiling.

Now the brutal climb began, just after 12pm, sun beating down, luckily some shade in patches.  Stopped part way up to eat blackberries, then more further up.  Finally peaked Okuku and up Paringa for the last climb, before bombing the gravel back to the car.

None of the chasing of the daylight like last time.

Just under 30kms again, with 1105 m climbed... fairly hefty.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday Night Quick Vic Traverse Old Skool Loop

Nelson picked me up from mine and we dropped the Turner off to Derek for him to test ride it. Then we went and Parked in Bowenvale Ave to ride up the valley. 

Nelson put a good turn of speed in on his whippetmobileXCOracerboymachine.  Up K2 around under the 23 footer and on up under the pylon, then taking the zig out and back from the 40footer to the skidder site, then up the grunt to Brake Free.  Sun was lowering but figured we had enough light to head for the Nun, so down Thompson and Thomsons and through the Kiwi up the road to the top, ignobly ignoring like ignoramouses the Too Wet, Track Closed signs (it wasn't, it pretty much needn't've been).

And so, I led the way because I was on the burlmachine vs Nelson on his XC-treadlightly.  Pipeline performed very satisfactorily.  I'm still taking it easy, getting used to the new position/geometry/wheels/length/tires....  but man, those tires grip, and float.  Nice cruise down, me, for once, leaving Nelsie behind.  His tires were not grippy, picking up a bit of damp dirt then making rocks slippery.  And he was being ultra-aware of pinchflat potentialities.  Second half is getting pretty blown from all the Park traffic, but my Pipeline just wafted on down it.  It really likes popping air, lifting off effortlessly, however the final jump (that I crashed my shoulder on) I bypassed.

Next up, up Summit Rd to top of Vic, and onto the Traverse.  Good run around here, tho the climbs were starting to tax me, and Nelson's whippetmachine was whipping him along at a helluva clip (and he was holding back so's not to blow up!).  Around above Lavaflow and down the upper Huntsbury trail, big tires gripping the soft soil and potentially slick (but not to me!) rocks, launching the jumps nicely.  Then bombing down the smooth(ed out) 4wd to the first gate.  We'd spotted some extra lines in this zig zag section so looked for them, tried them out (some exposure(!) on one of them) and then continued on down the bits we already knew.  The off camber new corners down towards the pylons were crazy sketchy for Nelson, but my big tires just stuck down awesomely.

Rest of Old Skool was cool runnings, smooth and flowy, more and more getting the hang of the new machine, but still just relaxedly cruising it, picking up speed on some bits, and easing through others.

My MMR has crapped out, seemingly refusing to see any satellites - so I had to copy Nelson's... (my top speeds would have been higher :) ). 17.5kms, and 617 m climbed.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday Night Park with O

O's broken arm is fully healed so he was keen to try out the Park again. Up into the clouds at the top.

First lap, headed into Possum, all the way down to the mid point.  O had a massive smile on his face all the way, and was getting sore hands by the bottom.  Then, instead of dohc, we headed into the new Handle the Jandal, unfinished as yet, but not bad.  A couple of corners don't flow that well, but man you can carry some speed in some sections.  As yet unfinished, and so you're directed down a steep offcamber corner then a rough and gravelly 4wd road out the bottom of the valley.

Second lap, and last uplift getting there just before 7, we headed into Summit Connector, then into the Nun which was techy for him.  Then onto Old Dyers, aka Choir Boy, bombing down this, O really enjoying it, except for the climb at the end.  And finally, Loess Rider, which he loved.

Unfortunately MMR wouldnt kick in when we were on the lift, so I gave up on it.  Based on previous similar rides, we probably did 18 to 20 kms, including the lift, and virtually no climbing.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday Night Pre Trees Meeting Spin

After dropping H home after hockey I made my way across town to Trees For Canterbury where I parked and rode down Charlesworth to meet Nelson on Ferry Rd.  We headed up Mt Pleasant and parked in the usual Rockview Place. 

Headed up Britten, me managing to climb more of the steep above the pylon than I have for a long time, then doing okay staying on Nelson's tail for longer than usual too.  But, by the time he was at the top I was still a wee ways back.  Decided to hit the road and head into Greenwood old entrance, stopping to help a guy with a flat tubeless first.  Into the old, new tires bowling over the rocks at the start.  I was slower than Nelson, but that's nothing new.  Break before the ruins then into it.  I was feeling like the new bike suspension wasn't as good as the Turner, but was still good, and man those tires roll.  Some good speed in places, but bogged down in a few others.  Nelson stopped on the face above Sumner to top up the air (leaky tubeless), then proceeded to drop me speeding around to Gloomy.  Fun down the rocks and through the swoops, over the drop and then on down around through the backs and forths.  Big tires gripping and rolling so well.  Finally into the last gully and flying down the final drag to the rocky-ups, both stalling here - wrong geared.  And on to the bottom.

Turned around and back up.  Bike felt like it climbed badly, but mostly due to my timing and also I had my rebound settings set wrong (which I didn't fix til the top).  Took a while, but not that long and we were way up the hill.  In fact, there were a couple riding up the road below us down the bottom, and they rolled up to us when we were at the top, so not much slower at all on the trail. 

At the ruins, we headed down the new trail towards the Richmond Hill pines, bombing through this then climbing up back to the Greenwood Entrance.  Then into Britten, and bombsville.  Motored down the trail, big tires gripping well and bike feeling really good.  Huge posse of riders on either side of the trail to let us through, with more below, then around and back around, I had to stop to put my sunnies on (cos they were falling out of my bag strap).  Fun last blast, to the bottom.

13kms with 480m gained...

Monday, February 05, 2018

Monday Night Piped In

First ride on my brand new Rocky Mountain Pipeline 770 MSL. 

Washington Way pick up after work and we headed to park at the end of Bowenvale Ave.

Got riding, up the gravel valley, on up past Hospital Corner, up past the bottom of the Lavaflow, and up the gully from there.  Then it was back across the slope around to the bottom of Brent's and up into forest up the steep 4wd track towards Cool Runnings, crossing this then on up past Rad^Sick and up to the Skidder Site. From here, up the steep pig, through Brake Free, and then Wormed up to the Traverse.

Nice haul around this to top of Lavaflow and along a bit, then down the 'new' fun wee Huntsbury descent, jumping the jumps and then across the landing strip onto the singletrack over the knoll and down the jumpy ways to the bottom. Turned around here and climbed back up the gravel road all the way up to the start of Traverse, crossed the road onto the start of Vernon and had a rest here at the highest spot.

Then it was back down onto the Traverse, round to the 'new' jumpy Huntsbury, bomb down this and into the zigzag Old Skool, all graded and fresh - ready for a rain event to wash it all away again, cleaning the new (over old) rocky line, newly dug bits and then into the Old Skool proper. Awesome blast down this, not letting Nelson get far ahead til much lower down. And, back to the car

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Tuesday Night, Hot then Cooler

30 odd degrees when I left work, headed for Washington Way to meet Nelson.  Headed up and parked at the top of Huntsbury Ave.

Onto the bikes and off up, taking it pretty easy in the warmth.  Not quite as hot as down on the flat, and a bit of breeze around, tho, hot drying nor'wester.  Up onto the singletrack and up the landing-strip, then up the grovel to the top.  Onto Vernon, serious headwind along the first bit, and tail wind descent to a completely empty Rapaki top.  I was feeling sketchy, not trusting my rear tire at all, while Nelson flew on ahead.  Clamber up Witch hill trail wasn't too bad, but I was suffering from the heat a bit.  Descent was welcomed, then onto the singletrack above the road, fun trail around keeping the eye in on the tech.  Tail wind across the finish of this and for a first time we gave the Tors track a go uphill.  Hmm, bit of a walk to start, but was a good ride from the top of the steep onwards, altho the nor'west was blowing us off course a bit, into the hillside.  Into Castle at what Nelson said would be a sedate pace.  Ha!  He ripped.  I was doing okay, but favouring my recently frequently flat prone rear, keeping it light, but still fast.  Awesome run down, around, then into the climb, and I noticed the burned smell of the fire over in Cass/Corsair Bays from earlier in the day.  By the time we got to the top of Bridle Path, the southerly change had hit. 

A lot cooler, refreshing, and nice.  But boy, what a gale.  Thought rain might be following soon, so we rode up the road, but then at the low ridge headed up onto the Tors track and climbed up this around above the road, then head into the descent the wind was ferocious, trying to blow us off the hill, downhill this time.  Nelson got an annoying leaky hole in his tire so we stopped for a while before finally heading down onto the road.  Across the saddle bit (before the walking track above the road) the wind was howling across, blowing us sideways, hard to stay on.  Too strong to risk the singletrack.  Around the road, and back into Witch, good climb, more air in Nelson's tire, then good descent, through Rapaki top, a few more people around this time, and the up Vernon - Nelson taking off ahead, and me just steadily plodding.  I found him above the road near the end, pumping up his tire again. 

Across onto the Traverse, and into the descent, bombing down the new track, jumping all the jumps, and then across the landing strip and into the singletrack descent.  One more tire pump and down, over the gate, over the jumps and finished...