Monday, July 30, 2018

Saturday Huntsbury Old Skool with my boy.

Drove across town with O and we parked in Bowenvale.  Rode back down the road and around and up Major Aitken Drive.  He climbed well all the way, even being a little faster than me a few times (his gearing is taller (and his bike is getting to be too small for him!)).  He had to walk up the steep top sealed section tho, and then again on some of the steeper gravel below the pylons.  We ducked up onto the singletrack (and i found a new bit of that for going down hill on, that avoids the boggy section before that first (big) jump).  We headed up the gravel, which he amazingly rode, and just before that top cattlestop headed across onto the fun downhill track.

He followed me in, and I jumped all the jumps.  Not sure if he did all 3.  Then we rolled down the landing strip and left down onto the newer section of singletrack.  He followed me down all this, and the couple of techy rock bits didn't even phase him.  Over the stile and down again, this time, two of these new bits have pretty steep sections, the 2nd of which is virtually vertical.  I bombed down them then stopped to look back, and there he was, not even bothered, bombing down behind me.  Awesome!  Next section had those two tricky bits with exposure off to the left and a drop that I usually 'scoot' down.  He did the same behind me. Then the last bit he bombed down all the rocky tech stuff no problem again, and then it was into the off camber corners.  I imparted my wisdom around the outside-pedal-down for these and we took off. 

Then, into the original Old Skool.  Explained to him how it was the first ever purpose build bike track. Then bombed it.  He did good, and we had a great trip down (me, not locked out this time!).  Last few sections rolly roll roll, and then down the bottom and down the road back to the car.  A very well spent 54 minutes with my boy.

9.56kms, and 390 m gained.

Then I was meant to join the boys for Steve's last ride (for a while) on Sunday morning, but Saturday Night got one over on me and I had to spend the day in bed... :(

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Wednesday Night Solo all over the place

Out on my own tonight and probably could have done a proper ride or even a fatty ride on the trails, but figured they were sorta off limits so just had the Troll in the car.

Parked at McCormack's Bay, usual spot, treadled around and grabbed some water and then proceeded to follow my nose...  Around the edge of the park, picking up a nice wee singletrack that petered out, so found my way to the bridge and followed the track from there.  Around towards town, and just past Mt Pleasant Rd headed up a steep wee 'alleyway' (aka Rangatira Tce), right onto Quarry Rd through the park and down The Brae, not realising I could have headed left on it up to St Andrews.  Along the Main Rd for a minute then ducked up Te Awakura Tce, crossed St Andrews and on upwards, around and up the alleyway to Cannon Hill.  Down this, fast, right at the bottom and along what's known as Ferrymead Tce, then across the bridge and into the towpath.  Met a guy on a commuter cyclocross in here, our lights clashing, then had the rest of the greasy way to myself.  Quite squirrelly in parts.

Across the Tunnel Rd bridge and back down the other side, super greasy and squirrelly along here, slick tires finding little purchase.  I proceeded around the ex-maori village site and then stayed on tracks that followed the Ferrymead Park Drive.  Took a wrong turn and found a greasy dead end, so back to the Drive and on up into Heathcote.  Up through the school and out onto Bridle Path Rd, up this as far as the Gondola turn off, and then back, lots of speed, down to Morgans Valley Rd.  Up this to the top, the steepness of the upper end proving a good work out on the Troll's gearing.  Turned around and bombed back down and hung a right on Bridle Path Rd, down to Cannon Hill.

Up Cannon, checking out Chablis Pl, and choosing to stay on Cannon all the way, again, steepness near the top giving a damned good work out.  Around the top of the Crescent and down to Freeman, then left on Major Hornbrook, right into Billy's, and right into Mt Pleasant Rd, proceeding up this til Drayton.  Down here into the McCormacks Bay tracks, sidling (surprisingly some climbing) around to the main valley track and taking this down, a bit greasy, to the bridge, then around and up the zig zags to Avery Place, the steep in here getting the better of me and making me walk for a stretch.

Up Avery and left on Glenstrae, right into Daring Lane, and down the zig zags we discovered a few weeks back, onto Challenger Ln.  I had a look up here at Defender Lane which supposedly has a way back up to Glenstrae, but it was a 'Private' r.o.w, so I left it to it, and turned tail and bombed high speed down Challenger - Egnot Heights, left into Taupata and then back to the car on the flat.

All over the place...  23 kms and 477 m of climbiness

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Solo Utopian Worsley Traverse Nu &Old Skool

Post O's overnight party with 9 extra 13 or 14 year old boys, squawking away gaming.  With most gone, I managed to get out for a solo spin.  Feeling a bit naff cos they'd been up late, limiting my sleep, not to mention all the junky food we ate: chips, lollies, chocolate, ice-cream, pizza, and combinations of the above. 

Parked on the river off the bottom end of Barrington and headed round the foot of the hills. Straight past the CAP and on up Worsley, first time in a long time.  The heat and the climb and the gasping wheezing lungs resulted in a massive bleeding nose half way up the grassy steep (alongside the Farside), so stopped and dealt with this, enjoying the views and clarity of the nor'west blown landscape.  Riding again, decided to torment myself again and drop into the Farside, to see how it's rolling.  Quite overgrown, and looks little-used.  There was a tree across it half part way down, but the rest of it rolled pretty good.  There was a family right in one of the swoopy corners at the bottom, and the woman sort of panicked and ran along the track in front of me momentarily, but I was friendly and they were fine. 

Back into the climb, again, slightly slower pace to a guy on the road who proceeded to overtake a couple of guys also on the road, who I caught up to and overtook once I was on the road.  Continued up and up, surveying the missing houses for the first time up here since the fires.  Through where we used to park all the time and on up onto the gravel.  Total road...  Feels like it follows a different route, but I think it actually does follow the old, at least until further up.  The 'road' part finishes quite high up, but still below that top Adventure Park gate, so it's almost the old ruttsville momentarily before that gate and into the Body Bag which is just like it used to be.  I made it up to the steepest bit and then had to walk about 10 m before getting back on and rolling out the top.

Clambered up to top of Nun and had a wee bite to eat - couple of young guys headed in, then another dude.  I paused a bit before going in myself.  Nor'wester had picked up a bit and proved a bit interesting up top on the jumps, tailwind one moment, headwind the next.  Solo guys had pulled up part way down, and I was gaining on the young guys but they bailed out at the road exit half way.  On down, and there were mucky wetspots and lots of rocks.  Onto the road at the Kiwi, I've never seen so many cars parked here.  Nuts.  Across Dyers and up the road, overtaking an Enduro boi on an Evil Something. 

Into top of Vic Park, and onto the Traverse.  Good blast across this, stopping for some.  Then, into my new favourite downhill top of Huntsbury, popping the jumps and grooving down the hill, then down the landing strip and into the second section, fun drops down to the Old Skool zig zags, taking all the new lines.  Excellent descent, interesting rocks.  Then off camber sections and into the Old Skool proper.  Caught a woman walking some non-tech rocks near the beginning, passed her then caught her partner and passed him, over the stile and cruise-ville all the way down the rest.

Got to the bottom, onto the road, went to lock out the rear and found it was already locked out!  All the way down, riding a hardtail...  Hit the river, around past the library, then back to Ashgrove and car.

Biggish loop, 21.2 kms and 640 m climbed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday Night Big Ken

Big one tonight. Firstly, I was home all day with the boys on school hols, so I rode to Nelson's work for 5 o'clock. Then we trafficjammed it across town and parked at the main gates of Halswell Quarry.  Rode up the drive and then through to the mtnbike zone, popping down Download before climbing C2 up onto the Crocodile.  I was gasping.  Felt I had no energy.  However, I was testing my new oval 30t chainring, and it performed admirably.  It felt like I was getting more drive for each pedal stroke.  This I was noticing most later once we were further up the top. So, it was a long way up.  The Low Road was wet as, so we headed up onto the main track and rolled up that, Nelson riding with some XC guy while I struggled on behind.  Through the gates and the long climbs began.  Hard. Work.  Eventually, cleaning everything, we made the top.

Hit the Summit Road around to Worsley's and up to top of Flying Nun, (debating with then ignoring the Track Closed sign - how bad could it be?).  Not that bad.  Into the Nun and the fun begun.  Bomb bomb bomb, taking it reasonably easy in case of slick, which there wasnt much of.  Bailed out at the road, and headed back up it.

Just past Worsleys turn off we headed onto the Crater Rim (/360) walkway; climbed up to the top, nice views to be had and trail in good condition.  Black sheep around, only evidence being their eyes in the dark.  Stopped for a snack then headed onwards and down.  Fun descent, with flaxes whipping faces all the way down.  Across a carpark and into a techy wee climb, rocks and a bit of steep that Nelson ploughed up and I stalled on.  Walked a bit then back on for across the top and around about and down, flowy poppy down. 

Then, opposite where you used to enter Kennedys, we continued along the crater-rim, a section neither of us had ever ridden before.  It was steeep (but I still managed to stay on top of my new gearing), and climbed for waaay higher and further than I'd have thought was possible given the terrain I didn't realise was up there.  Eventually we got to a junction.  We could have turned right - down to Kennedys; or straight ahead we chose - towards the Bellbird.  Excellent singletrack resulted, a few techs, but nice, rocky and through bush the odd step, a fair bit of speed.  Then at a rocky saddle, we could have dropped to the road just below, but we continued up, pushing bikes over rocky bits, then a bit more riding, more rocks, more riding, a good sized surprise totara, to eventually the Bellbird carpark.

Across the road, decided to try the trail back to Kennedys from here.  Down a ways and into tiiiight forest singletrack, not much room.  eventually a wrong turn and we ended up at the road, so over the fence and onto this, along a bit, and "hey, there's the track" so, onto this and along, more super tight singletrack, then more open and climbing and descending to, through a gate and over the stile, top of Kennedys.  Time for a bomb.  Seats down, suspension opened up, and away.  Super speed down, warp speed catch up.  Down, down down.  Insane speeds reached, lights the limit of visibility.  Over the stile and climbing then into the singletrack, bit of slop but mostly okay, and down to the Crock avoiding any water on the track, down into Murphs, droppy drop into there ducking and weaving, then last climb out killing me before finally down through the Quarry Reserve and back to the car...

Quite big in the end, 22 kms and 777m climbed... (oh, plus the 4.6kms from home to Nelson's work).

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday pHat-nmer Round Two

Out for round two.  Headed down the street and around thru town, getting lots of stares (freak on a fatbike!) and headed around Jacks Pass Rd and up past the camp in Chatterton Rd, up the valley to the walkway and up this for a ways (further than memory served), then hung a right on the singletrack that obviously doesn't get much use at all, climbing and sidling up to cross the 4wd track, onto the pylon access track up the steep under the pylon. Cleaned all the steep here (first time in years) then stopped for a very well earned breather at the peak point between two trees (that are much bigger than they were last time I was here (3 years ago)).  After the rest, it was into the down, and a nice sidle across and then past the beehives and up to Clarence Valley Rd, and the water tank.  A dad and his teenage son were just about to drop into Tank Track.  They offered me the go, but I stopped for a drink and let them get ahead.

Into Tank, lovely flight down this, and about halfway down I found I'd caught up to the dad, reeled him in and he pulled up to let me past.  Powered into the climb and out to the end of the track.  Decided on the Yankee, so headed across to and into it, climbing in the nicely grown young pines across and back and then into the larch gully and out onto the big open area. 
Photo op here (for the MMR) before hitting up the final bit of climb on singletrack and then the descent.  Decent, as.  Nice now, what was a pain in the ass in the past was really fun again, almost like old times (but not quite).  Went on for ages, then then I was out the end.  Hit up Swamp, climbing to it's top (after first telling some random couple the climb wasn't too bad) and then stopped and chatted to some guy at the top of Swoop.

Off down Swoop, chasing down a couple, getting past them both and flying down the bottom end, very splecky on one section (of melted frost).  Then it was similar to yesterday, back into Timberlands, just taking my time on the climbing, to the saddle, giving some germans some directions (they were impressed with the fatty), and then up onto Jolliffe Saddle track, climbing more and cleaning the top corner again.  Bit of a rest here at the top this time, and into the downwards facing dog.

Across the bridge, and into Bigfoot climb again, climb climb climb, blitzing the downhill, 2nd time in 2 days really paying off on the smoothness and flow, out the bottom, and down the road a little then straight onto Mach 1 down and climbing and descending, and repeat.  Fun!  Finally, onto Camp track, thinking about doing the green trail that winds it's way around on the flat in here, but taking a call from T saying she was waiting to go to the pool, so...  Straight back to base I headed, via the Western Link Track, and through the parklands and up over the hill for the final blast down to the house.

Hour and a half this time, nearly twice the distance to yesterday, 19kms on the dot, and 475 m climbed.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday pHat-nmer, post soak cruise.

Hours spent at the pools, soaking the muscles into subjugation, possibly a bit silly pre ride...  Got back to the house, grabbed a quick bite to eat then headed out for a quick fat spin.

Left the bach we were staying at and up the alleyway over the rise and down to the Woodland Walk Recreation Reserve and thru to Timberlands trail climb.  Nasty wee granny gear bastard start that it is, gentles out towards the top before the final slog to the saddle.  Then it was off up the Jolliffe Saddle track to the top, cleaning the big corner at the top quite nicely before dropping the seat and dropping into the wicked tight upper Dog Stream track down through zigs and zags and flow finishing with a couple of tight corners to the bridge.  Across this and walked up the steps to the road and up to the carpark. 

Into the Bigfoot climb, one point where the trees are so tight they don't fit an 820mm wide bar...  Cleaned all the zigs and zags up this and then into the descent.  Some patches of permafrost, and some splecky melted frosty bits, fun downhill, weaving and cruising and back and forth, then into the fir trees and back out, so much fun.  Met a family at the bottom (who'd just come down the Fir Trail), rolled through and down to Detox. 

Mucky climb to start with, lots of water rivulets running down the lower 4wd part of the road.  Steeper 2nd half not as wet, climbing pretty good, but relieved to be onto the flatter section through to the singletrack descent.  Fun flight down through the trees, feeling like a speeder-bike through the forest in Empire Strikes Back.  Got to the end and hung a right onto the end of Mach 1 through to where it crosses Dog Stream whereupon I turned downstream and flew down here, bit of spleck in the forest, before hanging right and up the hill back up to the saddle I'd been through earlier. 

Next it was into Red Rocks track, nice climb to a super fun descent, a couple of re-alligned corners, including a whole new section in the forest out to the right at one point, then got down to the turning and peeled right into the Eeny Meenies.  Chose Eeny to the left (once up the hill) and peeled around back and forth on this, eventually making the Western Link Track and taking that back to the Market Green to head back over the wee hill back down the the bach. 

Just over an hour spun, 10.7 kms with a surprisingly small 334m climbed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday Night Ashley Trails

Parked up on Forestry Rd Barron Ave corner (after finding Barron Ave to be a 'private' road and 'tenants cars only'). Rode up Forestry, steeper than you'd think, and through the gate into Purple Heights where we entered last time. Climbed this up, longer than memory served, to Mt Grey Rd at the 2km marker, and then, just like last time headed just over and onto the open jumpy connector track. Hung a right at the end of this and went back up Mt Grey Rd for a second lap. 

At the bottom we turned left (unlike last time) and were faced with a choice.  Figured taking all the trails we found from left to right would be the best bet, so headed left and it took us down a really fun steep twisty descending trail. This ended at a couple of jumps and a skidder site (which I ascertained (as per my map-in-the-headedness) to be approximately somewhere we'd passed by last time we were in here, and next to Thomsons Rd. Figured, how far can it be, so we headed left up this and found out it could actuallly be quite a long way, pretty much mostly climbing up eventually to the Mt Grey Rd, this time at the 3km marker. Nice roll (but waste of altitude) down this, all the time looking for trails off to the left.  One short detour to a skidder site and some beehives to see if there were any hidden trails, but no, so back onto Mt Grey to the 2km marker. 

Down the jumpy, third time lucky, and left to try the other option.  This time wee found an xc style descent that seemed to go for ages, eventually meeting the first descender at the first jump and the skidder site again. Decided it was probably designed to be a climber, so we climbed back up it, (took me a while, but Nelson loved it!) and then across back to Mt Grey Rd again. 

Left down this and into the zone we rode with the locals last time.  This time we checked out the trail that had logs all over it, finding them cleared, so bombed down it.  It was fun and flowy, but then it took a turn upwards, and in no time at all got us back onto the trail we'd ridden last time.  We fanged down this flowy, mostly down, but sidling slighty, trail, always on the look out for other tracks.  Missed one turn off (on what I think we must have taken last time), then ended up at an intersection (of the cross-forest track we'd ridden from the jumps skidder site first time), and it was a bit mucky here, so we took a right and knew pretty quick it was probably the wrong way.  Through a barrier fence, and we ended up at the top of Courtney Drive. Headed down this onto Barron (which didn't look familiar at all!) and back to the cars.  Considered a 2nd lap, but it was nearly 8pm, and we were both feeling a bit hungry. 

Bailed down to Rangoon for some Thai.  Nom nom.

14kms on the dot, and just a smidge under 300m climbed...  felt like more to me.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Early Loner Sunday Morning with Jetty-boy

Big day ahead, with a band-practice / bookgroup party in the afternoon, so Jet and me headed out early, leaving home about 8am.  Parked at the usual spot on Eastern Tce bottom of Bowenvale and headed up Major Aitken Drive, Jet pouncing along happily, or trotting at a heel on the narrower bits.  Up Kenmanure onto Huntsbury and on up the steep, keeping a pretty good pace the whole way.  Onto the gravel and then up onto the singletrack to the landingstrip and on up gravel to the top, Jet meeting a few other friendly dogs on the way. 

Straight into the start of the Traverse and across, then I dropped straight into the cool (newish) descent track, popping the jumps nicely, even tho the wind was strong.  Down the landing strip again and around into the new stuff, descending down cool steep rocky faces and across back to the gate.  From here, the new lines (several of which follow the old lines) of fun, drop, pop and roll through, across, rinse and repeat.  Steep rock sections and then off camber corners and I was into Bowenvale Old Skool, bombing it in the usual cruisy wafty moments of intensity moments of calm cruise, stopping to wait for Mr Jet at various hairpin corners. 

Finally out the bottom and he befriended a dog called Marvel and they played and played and I chatted with his owner while they proceeded to get themselves into the fenced part of the creek up there.  Luckily a locked gate opened enough to let them out, and Jet was very reluctant to stop playing, so I dragged him away on the lead.  Down Bowenvale Ave he trotted along very slowly, so it took AGES to get back to the car.  a 10.5 km round trip, with 420 m climbed...

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Wednesday Night Piecing it together to avoid the Closed bits

Cool wee ride tonight.. Pretty much all tracks out east closed (Godley, Captain, Snake, Greenwood, Britten) so we headed out that way anyway, figuring we'd piece something else together...

We parked on Nayland, and headed up onto The Zig Zag, but took Aratoni Track, first turning to the right.  A bit of walking, but a fair bit of riding too, eventually up some steps and out onto Clifton Tce.  Up this for a bit thinking to take the Zig Zag up to Panorama, but couldn't fathom the driveway entrance so continued on up Clifton til we hit The Frog Pond track.  This was greasy in spots but has some new drainage, and we managed to avoid most of them quite well, then up the ridge up to the big pines on the corner.  Stopped for a snack here and saw the ISS cruising by.

Next it was across the road up onto the climbing track which we took up to the Greenwood entrance.  Rolled into this and across and around, all in good nick, not mucky at all, to the 4wd track (before the ruins).  Here, we hung a right and rode up to the gun emplacements on the ridge which we toodled around for a minute or 5 before heading down the ridge on the 360 / CraterRim / Mt Pleasant Bluffs / whatever-you-wanna-call-it.  Fast and flowy for a bit, then steep as hell and techy as shit, with a stile in there somewhere for good measure.  Across the top of Chalmers, over the next stile and on down between the macrocarpas sidling across the 360 walkaway section, all above Greenwood, across behind the bluffs they're messing with for the Evans Pass Rd, and then down the stupid-fast access track down the ridge towards the works buildings, to the end of Greenwood.

Through Evans Pass and decided against Godley Track (it being closed, and remembering how many bits I walked last time due to it being wet and closed) so stuck to the road, out, til we found a wee singletrack entrance which took us above the road for a bit around towards the 4wd track entrance.  Climbed over the fence before this following a natural line across to the 4wd track then up this.  And across the Godley track, on up the ridge (as per last time (too)) all the way to the top.  Nice views up here.  Here we were on the 360 track again.  Excellent descent ensued back down to Evans Pass.  (oh, while we were up here, we spotted some douchebag on Greenwood - much of his descending matched ours). 

At Evans again we headed into Rapanui Bush, hung a right and teched through to the Scarborough Bluffs track again (the Greenwood-douchebag seemed to follow us - but he missed our right-hander).  This time was excellent too, tho a bit wetter than last.  Nelson cleaned the lot, whereas I dabbed in similar places to last time.  Awesome descent, this track.  At the road we decided it'd be mucky below, so we hit the road down, high speed, flinging / clearing the mud from the knobs and down into the fridge of the valleybottom, then back to the cars at a cruisy pace.

An interesting 15 kms, with 570 m climbed...