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...
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 (Fiona) 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,
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.