Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wednesday Night Not as Mucky as one might expect

Fatty and Tall-y out for a spin again. Post work meet at same spot on the river bottom of Bowenvale as last time, and headed for the Major Aitken.  Swapped bikes for the climb, me still much slower than Nelson, even with him belaboured with the fatty.  Up Major Aitken and Kenmanure onto Huntsbury and on up to the top. 29er skinny tires, locked out forks, rolls pretty easy, so I wasn't as stuffed as I'd usually be by the top.

Swapped back to our own steeds at the top, and headed off down Vernon, fat tires a little over-aired from a brief pump-up in the morning.  Manageable tho, and still plenty of grip.  Across cRapaki top and into Witch Hill, where we clambered to the high point and stopped for a quick snack.  Tonnes of lights on the track (and Monty's Spur) below.   Turned around here and bombed back again, across the saddle and on up Vernon, climbing slow and steady for me.  Eventually made the top and caught up to Nelson.

Bunch of riders assembled at Traverse, but none made the move so we I headed in.  Nelson stuck to the road above cos he thought the track might be wet and mucky like last time and he didn't wanna dirty up his nice clean bike. It wasn't, so he joined me for the 2nd half, around to top of Vic.  He gotten ahead of me, and we'd caught up with some other guys and one of them had a yellow jacket so I chased them down finding it wasn't Nelson.  So, I was at the seesaw and holla'd up to Nelson who then joined me and off down the rabbit paddock we cruised, into the rockgarden and around through the gummies, usual fun little lefthander, and through to the skidder site.

Into Spazza's, catching up to a couple of guys at the bottom, and we sidled across from the 40footer and over down the 4wd track to half way down Cool Runnings, left into here.  Fun whoopdedoos and into the valley bottom (the other two guys working down from above that in behind us) and then out onto Bridges and Flow, and across Nu Bridges heading straight across towards Hospital Corner.  Long time since i'd been down this section, had forgotten how fun-steep it is.  My uber-grippy tires kept me in control all the way down, but Nelson's skinnywhippet-tiny-knobs couldn't hold on and he even walked a little.  Final gravel road blast down was fun - it's what fatbikes do best.  Then down the road back to the car and we were done by 7.15pm!  Headed to Moon Under Water for a beer and a snack.

over 16 kms, and 632 m climbed... not bad for a week night.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Wharfdale Surprise

Got a surprise leave pass so headed out to Nelson's.  Nice fine nor'west day, and we headed around to View Hill and up the road.  Pete's Ford ford is all good now, raised concrete that it is, but the 2nd ford was a little marginal, but Nelson's pretty confident, so he just powered on through, no problems.  Shared gate duty with a girl in a Rangey (ie, I opened them, she followed Nelson through), but luckily it was only the first and last gates (2 in between open).  Gale blowing at the car park, quite cool, but still a sunny day so off we rode.

First time up here for 2 years!  Nice uneventful climb in, up, down, up.  On the longer downhill cruising along, trail pretty dry, a few puddles but no bother.  Moved one tree that was easy.  Tried to move a couple others that weren't.  Met three hunter/tramper guys.  Said there were 6 more trampers behind.  The first of the six was rather chatty.  Then proceeded to meet the rest, first a couple.  Then a couple of guys.  Then a woman.  Spitty rain started to fall.  It was looking pretty bleak further up, but on we rode.  Made the saddle and the rain was slightly heavier, but we were keen to check out the Black Hill track, so rode down towards the hut to the turn off for that, thinking we might carry up it for a bit before turning back.  Got there, walked up the first 20 metres of it and realised it'd be sketchy as hell.  Rain was quite heavy now.

Turned back here, climbing, and the trail was ever increasingly running with water the further we progressed.  Jackets soaking wet, water pouring off us.  Awesome blast down from the saddle, after having cleared a log off it on the way in we had a clear run, high speed, roots-a-poppin' blast.  Around the corner, down over the trenchguts, around the corner and onwards.  Fantastic.  Climby bits weren't too bad, and the descent to the creek that used to be quite dodgy is all nicely benched now.  Same with what was once a rockface drop after that creek.  More cruising climbing, wind howling in the trees around us, more and more as we progressed.  Sometimes tailwind pushing along, other times blasting from the side.  On the ridge where all the windthrow was from the past it was blasting through just before the descent through all the bridges. Great blast down this and then final climb, soaking wet, dripping.  Passed a bunch of walkers on the final descent blasting down to the car where the wind was ripping through, freezing cold.

Worked out well tho, cos we got in between the walking group's two vehicles, and the girl from the front one opened and shut the gates for us all.  Got to the ford and it had risen quite a bit.  The front 4wd got through, and stopped to see if we would.  Water right up over the bonnet, but made it, then the 2nd (less burly 4wd) also made it.

Good ride.  Tho mucky and cold(ish).  22.5kms, 724m climbed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tuesday Fatty and Tally, mucky and splecky

Nelson picked me up from home (where I'd been all day with a sick O, and getting the fire installed) and we parked next to the river over off the bottom of Bowenvale Ave. Headed around to and up cRapaki, first time up here since Jan.  Struggle for me on the fatty and absolute ease for Nelson on his 29er.  Nice cold southerly kept the heat down once we were further up.  Vernon, uneventful, other than Nelson going over his bars... - he caught the front wheel badly on a rock and over he went, very suddenly. Rest of it was fine and we got to the intersection of the road and Traverse. 

Options were, Scotts Knob reserve walking track, which would have been wet as, the road, or the Traverse.  Sign for the Traverse said Open, but I wasn't convinced, so I checked the website which also said Open, so, off we went round this.  Pretty mucky for a start.  Splecky as.  But, not so bad.  Fatty was good on the descents, fun in fact. Top of Vic, and we dropped into the Thompsons, then down through the macs near the end of Thomson 2, onto the H.Ell track. 

Very nice cruisey blast down Mr Ell's track.  Rather damp and splecky in places, but a nice cruise, and no-one else met.  Across Vic Park Rd, and down a little further, til we found an upward trail which took us up towards the Ranger Station, a left on the usual transit bike track (19th to crossing of Dyers Pass Rd), down this a wee way to the corner, and up the steps to the Tawhairiki Track, boardwalk inclusive, and up this and across to the dog park. 

Tech-fest down this to the top of the forest, greeaasy as in the tree lucernes before the gate, then into the forest edge trail, Barbed Wire Roots track around below the forest to the top of the houses, then down the trail below the houses, again, greeaasy as, front and back wheel skidz.  All the way down, and out onto Longhurst, across onto the steppy track down (and a little up) to Holliss, for a fast mud-flinging blast down the seal before a cruise back to the car.

17.3kms, 540odd m climbed

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tuesdee Pre-Trees Meet Street Feat

Had to pick up H and drop him home, then met nightmare traffic all the way across town.  Luckily Nelson had had a malingering customer and didn't get away til late either, so we both arrived at McCormack's Park carpark within a minute of each other.  He had his clown-wheeler and I had the Troll and because of the wetness everywhere, we were gonna ride streets and alleyways/walkways. Also, I only had my bike mounted (non-superbright) lights. 

Headed up Glenstrae, steep and hardwork on the Troll's gearing (must get a smaller front ring for this time of year).  I took a few breathers at various spots, but made it to the levelling off, and we headed up and into Daring Lane where we had seen on gglmaps there were some zigzags down.  Entry of rough rock steps, but then sealed and smooth back and forth down to Challenger Lane.  Good bomb down this to Egnot, fast descent to Taupapa.  Around Augusta onto the Main drag and around to good old Mulgans Track.  I walked a lot of this, it's just too steeep to ride on the Troll. Up, up past the tanks and up past York's old place to Panorama, and into Brownlee Reserve.  Found the downwards trails in here and then it was onto  The Zigzag, weaving carefully down this (not seeing it at all very well), slick tires struggling in the wet leaves and dirt, but keeping it together with a restrained descent.  Amazing how long it is.  Reckon this'd be a good climb.  Eventually onto Nayland, and then around the Main Rd back to the cars by just after 7.

Collected some Thai and made the meeting in very good time

8.3kms, and surprisingly 330 m climbed

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Mucky Fatty Jetty Slowy, lotsy off Pistey

Beautiful morning to be out early. Parked up Evans Pass and on the fat bike with Jet poached in on the (closed) Godley track. One or 2 mucky spots but the fat tires do no damage and leave little trace of having been through.  And I walked on several of the mucky bits (as well as some of the techy bits) anyway.  A good run down to Livingstone, only a bit splecky on the Teddington Chip bit, with fun smooth sailing, no puddles or muck the rest of the way down.  Jet struggled with the cattlestop, and a runner helped me out with the little doggy gate, and then we headed up and over to Breeze - again, no mucky bits, tho I was cautious on that last paddock ruttsville zone before the final cattlestop, not to mention the cattlestop itself.

Next, it was across to the stile and onto the Breeze Bay walking track.  Jet seemed to know we were going that way and led the way to the stile, over it, and off up the track, without any direction from me.  Nice to ride in this way, mostly climbing, and the gravel is starting to be grown into by the surrounding grass, so the trail is getting a better feel.  Still way less tech than it used to be, ie, none now.  Over the stile at the end, and I stopped to take a couple of pics.
(in the glare behind the Kaikoura Mountains were in their full glory...)

From here, treadled across to the bunker on the hill, then headed up towards the trig, zigging and zagging a couple times. Over the fence, across to the higher bunker and up to the trig where I was tempted to take more pics.  View up Lyttelton Harbour and over Chch to the mountains and out to see spectacular all around.  A runner grunted up here and past, stopping to take in the view but completely un-engaging with me...  I headed off down the fenceline for a start, then had a second thought and went back over the fence and back up the hill, then over down, where sheepshit flew off my tires and onto my face.  Nice and fresh it was, all over my lips, nose and mustache, nearly in my mouth - eeewwwcchhhh..  Took a bit of wiping to make me not smell it any more.  Continued down and met with our usual wee tight narrow singletrack above the road back towards Breeze Col.  This was fun. And tricky. And quite slow.

Through Breeze Col and off up the road, then decided to ride a sheep trail below the road (above the Anaconda), and along this to the first corner which when I rounded, decided too many sheep to not freak them out with Jet, so climbed back up to the road.   Stayed on this, around past Livingstone, up past the Para's launching spit, and around above Scarborough to the usual gate (now moved) to head back up to the Godley Track.

Climbed up and crossed over this and continued up the 'landing strip', all the way to the top, nice long climb, and joined the 360 trail up here, ready for the descent to Evans.  Excellent downhill this - couple of rocky tech sections that were too much for me on the fatty, but fun bits in between and in no time I was back on the rock part of the trail, then I continued with the walking track section above the entrance, and dropped down to the final stile (dog gate for Jet) and back to the car.

Very happy dog, and me well satisfied with my micro-adventure.  A 13kms round trip, climbing around 520m.