Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wednesday Night Mt Relatively Pleasant (out of the wind), Greenwood and Bluffs

Bike fits good in the new car.

Left work 4.30ish and drove to park at McCormack's Bay park, watching the big clouds and sunset drift away.  Nelson turned up eventually, parking, and we headed up the valley track.  Not a bad start, but when it got steep I started to struggle big time, gasping and wheezing up through the switchbacks, and then losing momentum on the bridgies (which have had their stupid posts removed, thankfully).  Food choices in the day, or general lack of riding fitness getting the better of me. Greasy as greasy in a few of the corners on the upper zigzags, but cleaned one of them, and didn't clean a couple of others.  Nelson dabbed once, I think.  Up the road, to the wee reserve steep climb then up to the bath-trough and up into Britten.

Good climb up Britten, trail in good knick even with the day's rain, and, for a change, round the top, then over the road and up the trail to the top of Pleasant, southerly wind blasting across this face as we climbed.  Bit of a rest on the top by the trig, nice views to be had, and a bit of shelter out of the wind.

Hit the descent before we got too cold, into the down, over the stile and down, a little greasy on the Lyttelton side, but good through the tussocks.  Around above the ruins and into Greenwood, which was boney as, rocks all bigger than ever, and not too slick except for puddle avoidance along the face before Gloomy.  Short break after this and then rapid descending from there, me stalling in the creek crossing rocks, before the final blast down the final face.  Bumpy as hell the last steep finish.. 

Stopped on the road and watched lights up on the top (as well as a couple riding up Captain).  Then headed down to a trail we'd never ridden before, the Scarborough Bluffs track... I figured it would be dryer than the Captain, and it probably was. Has some serious exposure, good tech, fun stuff, and tight switchbacks.  Down to cross the road, and a few more switchbacks with pushy bushes on the sides, down to the bottom of the Captain.

From here it was down Sumnervale and out around through Scumner and around back to the cars, completing an 18.3 km loop, and gaining 570 m total.  Nice night ride.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sunday Trees For Charlesworth

No rides this week cos from Tuesday to Thursday was in Wellington (Tues), then Hamilton. 

Trees planting at Charlesworth Reserve, so took the Troll across town.  Rode, Windemere, Railtrail, Rossall, across the Park, Armagh, Colombo, Gloucester, Linwood there.  Took me 31 minutes, 12.4 kms.

Got there, did the planting, lots of people, good vibe.  Ate a couple sossies and off again home, this time same route back through town but the nor'west was getting up so thought I'd stay in the park and do the railtrail the whole way, but next to the golf club figured, "haven't been up Garden Rd for ages", and peeled off across towards Helmores Lane bridge, and then Holmwood, Garden up across Wairarapa, and then through to Rossall again, and home via the school and Condell.

24.7 kms all up, no Map My Ride cos it's stoopid.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday Kennedy's Across and Down

Sunday expected to be wet so planned my ride for Saturday afternoon.  Morning dawned wet, but that soon cleared, to no detriment to the trails.  Drove to Monsieur deSpa's after 1 and we headed for Kennedy's, around the roadways (getting funny looks for not turning into Worsley's Rd).  Cashmere Rd and then into the Quarry Park, heading up to C2.  Download, and up.  Good climb, though I was feeling really unfit.  Gasping for air a lot, and generally feeling wrong.  Put it down to lack of good sleep and nutrition.  Made pace overtaking a couple of older guys, and another solo guy, and in Siberia caught up to a fellow plus-sized tire guy, and the 6 of us all headed up the steeperer Kennedy's track together, with Paul and me kinda gapping them but not.  By the time we got to the really steeperer bit my cock had gone completely numb, so I had to stop to get blood back into it, so the others all caught and overtook me, with Paul leading out the top.  I knuckled in behind the solo guy (behind the two older guys) and meandered on up, feeling slow when such slow people could beat me.

Onto the road and plussizedtire guy rode with us around to Worsley's, where we peeled up into the Nun.  Excellent blast down this keeping good flow all the way to the bottom.

Then up the road to Vic Park, avoiding the Thomsons, spotting some gloves on the road, which Paul picked up.  There was a couple at the top "these your gloves?" "nup", "alrighty".  And off we went around the Traverse.  Nice bomb around except for the climby bits, and then we bumped into a workmate (Jenny) halfway around.  While talking to her the couple from the top turned up saying that a guy had come up asking about the gloves, so they'd chased us (above on the road, then back along the singletrack towards us) cos they'd said they'd put them somewhere for him.  Here I realised it was 4 o'clock and I was supposed to be home at 4, so now I was in trouble, so off we headed.  Good run the rest of the way round and then excellent descent down the ridge singletrack, nice pops on the jumps, and then out the landing strip to the new track Nelson had found on Tuesday night.

Into this and down, all the steeper bits are so nice, and cool rock features, and then after the gate it gets better, with one really steep drop (with good roll out), then around and across, avoiding all the old 4wd zigzags...  NICE.  Then into the recent entry to Old Skool, and with the muscle memory fresh from 4 times on Tuesday, I absolutely honked down the faster flowier bits, while cruising mellow on the slower bits...

Out the bottom and a haul across town back to Paul's, into the car, and was home by 4.45 - straight into the dough making for pizza night, not tooo much trouble to be had.  (phew).

Big loop, 32 kms, with 754 m climbed.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Tuesday Night Loopy Loops

Trees meeting tonight, so limited time.  I parked up the end of Bowenvale Ave and got riding about 5.17pm. Nelson had a meeting til 6 so I started out on my own with the intention of him catching up later. Got going up the valley at a reasonable pace, no lights needed yet, and feeling the warm blasts of nor'west air, mixing with the cooler valley-flow air pockets.  Up left into Hidden Valley connector trail, failing just after the creek crossing, but then cleaning all 4 of the switchbacks nicely.  Under the pylon and straight into the descent, with a young guy on a Yeti, no baggage, bombing in ahead of me from above.  Adjustments to suspension and onwards, sheep-shit avoidance systems all go.  Taking it easy on the slower bits and getting into the groove of it on the flowy-er bits.  Bombed down and straight into the climb, txting Nelson to let him know lap number 2.  20 minute lap.

Up again, this time nearly needing lights - turning them on as I got into Hidden Valley Link trail.  Bollocksed the creek again, and the cleaned all the switchbacks, better climb this time.  Into descent number 2, nicer flow, better groove.  Bombed the last and straight back into the climb.

Txted Nelson again to say lap number 3, then a bit further up received the 'Just leaving work now' txt, it being 6pm.  I txtd back saying that'd work perfectly wait for me at the bottom of Old Skool if ya get there first.  I continued on up the steep and into the Hidden, again cleaning all the switchbacks and bombing, faster again, down, and really hucking the jump on the Old Skool descent part.  Got to the bottom and rolled on down to the bottom, over the stile and down to find Nelson getting ready at the cars.

625 or so, we headed up valley again, this time at a faster pace (me struggling, already tired, to keep up), by-passing Hidden Valley track and continuing all the way up the valley, past the exit of Lavaflow and on up the tech. A little bit of walking and riding til eventually we were up on the sidling track back towards Bridges.  Time was pushing so straight into Bridges and down Nu Bridges and bombing down, then into Hidden and climbing, this time me bollocksing both the lower switchbacks on account of tiredness.  Cleaned the top two, and into the descent, me leading the way and flowing nicely through the faster bits - losing Nelson a few times, but him catching me when I's taking it easy on the flatter bits.  At the bottom we said our good byes and he trundled off back up the valley while I headed to the car and off to my meeting, driving at 7.10 or so and making it just on time but with no food.

Ended up getting 16.5 kms and 646 m of altitude under my belt.  Not bad for a limited spree.

Nelson went back up the valley, up K2, and up through Vic, then around the summit trail and down New Skool Old Skool, discovering new the singletrack descending trail bypassing the old crawler track zig zags.

We met at Twisted Hop after the meeting and did the 2 for 1 dinner deal again.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Sunday Styx and Stones

Boys were coming from their respective parts of town so after popping into Mitre10 I trundled back down the railtrail and met them just after they'd crossed Wairakei/Rossall St.  We headed north, at a reasonable clip, stopping into Cosy Cafe for a leisurely coffee, then onwards to the planting. 

Good turn out, with 1800 plants in the ground in about an hour, then sossies, and back on the trail south again.  Losing Wahayno at Northcote Rd and then me at St James Park, the boys continued on and split off accordingly til all that was left was Wazza, heading home on his own.

For me, a 13 km round up and back trip.  a whopping 23m of altitude gain.  Not really a 'ride' as such, just 'going somewhere on my bike'.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Wednesday Night Ashley Forest Exploration

Met Nelson in Rangoon and we met the locals at 6.30, making a posse of 7 all told - mostly older guys, one on an electric.  We managed (with very little wheedling) to convince them to ride in the hills - as opposed to the river tracks.

Headed north over the Ashley Bridge, then a right onto the (eastern) Loburn road along here (Carrs Rd), right into Mowatts Rd, then left onto Boundary, mostly climbing all the way. Up this to a gate we jumped onto Forestry Rd (Purple Heights?) which took us up to Mt Grey Rd at the "2km" mark.  From here it was over to a cool wee section of singletrack, with a few nice whoopdedoos, finishing down on another cross road, then short ways back to Mt Grey Rd (lower down than the 2km mark), and along a little way to where singletrack-city started.  Started off into a section that had trees across the trail (thinning), so turned back and dropped into a fun section that meandered for a ways, sense of direction completely blown.  This section finished and we were off down into another section, with roots galore, nicely made trails all in forest.  finally down this long blasty section and we were at the corner of Thomson, Barron and Laurence where a locked gate sits.  Electro man was supposed to be here, so we rode back up Thomsons and met him coming down.  We continued up and took a side track that had several singletrack diversions until it met the last trail we'd just come down, down this again, shorter and faster than first time round.

Now it was onto Barron, down this, crossing Forestry onto Gories, to Boundary, down to Downs (with a bike bridge across a creek) across to Marshmans, spinning like crazy down this to Ashley Township.  Down High St to the river and along the river singletracks back to the main Loburn Rd bridge, and zoomed back into town.  Lots of fast (me absolutely maxed out in my low top gear) spinning, spinny puffy puff puff spin spin pufffffed.

All over, 25 kms with 276m altitude, maybe 15% singletrack, and roads 45 % sealed, 40% gravel.