Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wednesday Night Solo - Britten Cavendish Tors Castle Pleasant

As per the title... On my own. In the dark. Really wasn't sure where to ride, but Nelson was out due to sickness from flu shot, and I'd had a massage from 4 til 5 (not necessarily the best idea, but only spot I could get), and I'd hit Buynow on a Surly Dirt Wizard on Tardme in the morning and finally got the email to collect in Moncks Spur Rd, so that decided me where to ride.  Parked on Stoneyridge.

Up through Britten with an empty water-bladder onboard heading for the tap at the top.  Spotted some lights heading up above me and so chasing i caught them at the top.  Went to tap to fill, but to no avail, i'd left the lid in the car!  Drank a couple cups and rode on, back into Britten and around the front, then across the road, over the fence, and up the trail.  Hung a right and bombed it down to the stile, this section way shorter than i remembered it.  Down through Cavendish Saddle and climbed up the horrid overgrown steep zigazag, to the top.  Under the Gondola building and time for some down. 

Nice bomb down here, slightly greasy under tread on the steps due to dew and due-south aspect.  Good going over the rocks, and found my way into the fence/trap-line trail easier than ever before.  Humped over the rocks and down to Bridle-top.  Headed up the walking track from here, all the while thinking "nah, rather be riding this the other way," so once in the broom, over the first rocky bits I turned around and bombed back down, onto the road, and up for Castletop.  At the top, I climbed up onto the Tors track and had a wee rest.  Noticed here the lightning popping beyond the mountains.

Awesome descent down the Tors, cruising the flatter section, and fanging the steep tech.  Onto the road and back up to Castletop, and straight into a grunty descent.  Good speed, good flow, good climb, and out.  Quite a few people assembled up here, some sort of event - Rogaine, I guess?  I continued on around the road, lots of wind along here, under the Gondola and up to Cavendish again, into the trail and climbing up Mt Pleasant for a well earned rest at the top. 

Into the down, excellent flow, still, down here, bomb bomb, whooah, nearly lost it on that rut, but onwards down bombing through and around.  Above the trees (above the ruins) there was a guy with a camera on a tripod - "Hello" and on down into the swoopy zigzags across, flowing good above Jollies Bush and noticing my light getting a bit wobbly. 

At the pines, into the climb and, huh, that's loose as.  Stopped and repaired light.  Was fiddly and took much longer than you'd have thought, but got there in the end, and continued climbing up to Greenwood entrance, onto the road, up, grabbed a drink, and back into Britten for a zpeedy descent.  Fun times. 

A handy 17 kms with a smidge under 700 m climbed.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Saturday Short with O and friend

Was gonna ride Urumau, but then we roped in O's friend Hunter who doesn't ride much so wouldn't have handled the grade.  So, we parked at Evan's Pass and rode up the road, Jet on the lead giving me a bit of a tow.  Up to the Richmond Pines and over the stile onto the climbing singletrack:

Then up to Greenwood entrance where we turned left and headed across to the ruins. 

Dropped into Greenwood, me blazing off down through the tech, then chilling back waiting for O (not far behind) and Hunter (a bit further back).  Section by section we rolled like this, making for a very leisurely trip for me, feeling fresh the whole way.  After the gulch it was good rolling and once all the rocks were out of the way the boys definitely liked it better.  Fun bomb down Dangerous Dave's neighbourhood and around into the valley then the last blast down to the rocky ups.  We exited on the old exit in order to keep the dog in check around the road...

MMR was playing up, refusing to synch, so I reinstalled it later on Sunday, which seems to have fixed it but lost this ride...  which was only 7.50 kms, and I'd estimate just over 200 m climbed.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Moonday Under Water

To and from the tasting by the most direct route. Troll behaving admirably - saved me from ruin on my way home.  As I entered the park, a stick, right on the apex of my cornering - when the front wheel was at its most vulnerable point - barely even wobbled me.

Spectacular moon shining, 2 days since full. 

Then on the railtrail section north of Strowan Rd, a freight train. Thought it was doing to be a free ride... Got up to speed, engine overtook, then carriages, wind picking up, then - F U M E S . Ugh, gasping for breath. Dragged along in the roiled fug. Unbearable. Made me wonder about long term exposure to those, quite dirty, petrochemical compounds. Finally as the train passed on ahead the vacuum sucked in fresh(er) air, buffeting to fill the void left behind by the train.  On Friday night, on our way home from our play, T and I had the same train, but with the wind in the western half that time the fumes were on the other side...

16.8 kms total, (8.4 kms each way) 

Sunday Planting for all we're Charlesworth

Hoofed it to the Charlesworth Planting and back Sunday.  12 kms each way.  On the way there hooked up with Nelson at Aldwins Rd Linwood Cnr, and on the way home I passed through that little sealed pump track in town, and managed to plough into a little kid...  His dad was not happy!  Neither was he much - poor wee guy.

There. And back again.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Saturday Morning Dog Pleasant Solo Back Track Loop

Headed up top of Mt Pleasant (suburb) and parked in the usual spot on Stonyridge.  Headed up Britten through Upper Major Hornbroke, through all the merino sheep and their doings. Spectacular day after a freezing morning, and I was overdressed.  Held onto the extra layerage until the top where I stripped down to T and shorts.  Around the front, some little dampness between the tussocks around here, but drying around to the west.  Original Britten around to the Cutting and across the road and over the fence.  Up Pleasant, ziggy zaggy to the top where I lubed my chain (it'd been a bit noisy on the climb).

Hit into the descent. Over the stile and fangin'.  Jetty keeping pretty good pace except for the faster bits, so I paused a couple times to let him catch up.  Around above the ruins, and headed back along the (OG) Original Greenwood entrance and dropped into the (newish) fun descent - stopping to take this pic.  Happy panty tongue boy.

At the Richmond Pines we continued on the singletrack around and climbed backup around to the ruins (ish), and then turned around and back down the ziggy zaggy I'd just climbed returning down around and climbing back up to Greenwood entrance.

Onto the road, up round past the cafe and back into Britten for a good hoon. Stampeded the sheep, Jet still ignoring, direct route down and then around and under the pylons dropping, pulling over for some climbing riders, and finishing off the last drops to the car. Done

12kms and 391m and 1 happy dog

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Saturday Loner Bowen Gnar Vic

City covered in low cloud all day, but I found some sunshine on the hills, sort of.  Parked at the end of Bowenvale Ave and headed up the valley.  Was about half way up the valley-bottom gravel section when I realised, "SHIT! I've left the key in the car door!!!"  Quickly zoomed back down, locked car, took key and got riding again back up the gravel bottomed valley.  Up the steeps and then into the HiddenValleyLink-Bonus track, climbing away, cleaning it all but the last hairpin up top, then up under the pylon and up the steep bastard zig zag climbing track.  What a prick.  Did better than last few times, actually managing to ride all of it, but stopped multiple times to breathe, heavily.  Saw only one descending rider, on the steep fun singletrack shortcuts.  Clambered all the way up to the start of the Traverse and had a rest and small snack, on my back, with feet up on the fence, draining the lactic out of the legs.

Along the Traverse, bit of a cruise, but pushing, always pushing, steady hard.  A bit of sunshine up here but cool sections of fog near the saddles, rolling through from the harbour. Straight through the top of Vic and down the Thomsons, both, to the kiwi and on up the road, steadily sticking with another rider ahead, only 50 m or so visibility most of the way up the Summit, down to about 20 m on Worsley's Rd.  I rolled on up to the top of the Nun, which was also in fog.

Dropped into the Gnarly Nun, greasy as from all the fog.  Rocks were slick from the damp dirt on the tires, making for a sketchy descent, getting brighter as I descended out of the fog that was really sticking to the hill here.  Dampness got less as I descended too, making the final sections quite sweet.  Into the lower Nun, bombing on down through back to the kiwi.  Across the saddle and up the Summit Rd, where I saw ahead the backs of a couple guys I know...  Namely, Steve and Pete!  Pushed harder to catch up to them, puffing heavily.  Pete on the new Yeti - sweet ride...

At the top of Vic, Steve continued on along the road, and Pete and Me dropped into the top, straight down to the cattlestop (next to the seesaw) and down into the rocks and gums, taking my usual favourite, bombing through this, then into Shazza's, and then straight down into Sneaky Ridge, bomb, drop, fun, into the deciduous section which was sketchy as, total loss of trail.  Around, dropped onto Flow, and out the bottom back and forth down Nu Bridges, nice riding.  Finally, I couldn't be arsed climbing Hidden Valley again, so we bombed on down the gravel valley bottom went our separate ways when I stopped at the car.  Driving back into the dankness of a low cloud Christchurch.

An acceptable 16.2 kms with 650m climbed.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Thursday Night Mostly Solo East End Loopies

Left work earlyish (4.30) and parked up Sumnervale. Nelson still got a bad back so was on my own.  Headed up The Captain, getting the usual asthma on the first climbing section even tho I was on my lonesome.  Stopped and de-layered and puffed inhaler below the cabbage tree, then got going again, a bit better.  Rest of the climb was good, with it just getting dim enough to nearly need the light by the top, but not quite.

Across into Godley, requiring some lighting now.  Mostly cleaned up all the rocks, but dabbed a few times, pesky lack of vis and struggly tiredness.  Once into the smoother sections got rolling quite nicely.  Bit of a rest at the top, before getting into the bomb.  Full lights mode.  Nice to Livingston, good climb out and better to Breeze.  Straight through this and across to the climb, getting into the narrow-skinny-tight tussock sidle.  Around and up to top of Breeze Bay track.

Nice flow around this, the lights of Lyttelton BRIGHT.  Careful bomb through that last off piste corner, over the stile and straight across into the Conda.  Easy flowings around to start, slowly winding up the speed, til the lower curves I was flying.  Nearly lost one of the corners from looking too far ahead and mis-judging the approach, turning in too soon and flying over tussocks through the inside of the corner, lucky there was nothing out of hand in the way.

At the bottom of the Conda-proper, hung a right up the walk track towards Boulder Bay and climbed, climbed up the new walk track and half way up my gears made some clickety sounds.  I checked and found a broken link.  Kinda squeezed it together thinking it might be alright but 5 pedalstrokes later and it all unravelled.  Tried to fix with just the chainbreaker but these newfangled chains have a big (relatively speaking) flange on the pin, and try as I might I just couldn't get the narrow bit of chain into the wide bit with the pin.  Really wished I'd had my glasses too.  All the detail was so blurry! Then I found a 10spd quicklink in my bag, removed the offending pin pieces and chucked in the quickie.  Perfect fit.  Rolling again, with a slightly tighter chain, and up to the road, and along this, mostly climbing and very dark. About 3 cars passed, all dumbarse boyracer shits.

Past the paraglider launch ramp and around through the cattlestop and up the climb, seeing a couple of lights up ahead just getting to the top.  As I approached I saw a red bikeframe in their lights and yelled out "Warren and Wayne?"  "Nope, Buggs and Dozer - is that you Steve?"  "Yep,..."  So, caught up and then we rode.

Excellent flow for me, I was just flying over everything, making for a smooth and fun descent - putting heaps of gap in between us.  I took the walking track ending at Evans, and waited a little for the other two to roll in.  Wazza's rear tire was too hard so he'd been pinging all over the place, and he was trialling a front rack (doing the Heaphy soon).

Then it was into the Captain.  Another smooth flow for me, bombing everything and gapping the boys again.  Awesome descent, feeling really good.  Feeling the benefits of my new yoga routine, I think.

Just over 20 kms, with 825 m climbed.  Not bad for a solo night ride.

Into the cars and off to Cassel's.  The rain started just as we started driving and got heavier and heavier into the evening.  Good Timing!!!

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Sunday Styxed Townie

Met the crew (Steve, Pete, Nelson, Wazza, Wayno and Andy) on the rail trail (I'd backpedalled down stream for a couple of blocks to meet them) and we skedoodled north to Cosy Cafe for a quick beverage before proceeding up Cavendish and into the reserve to the planting.  MMR fucked out on me there, not recording my wandering around planting, carting mulch from pile to plants, and then riding through to the bbq and about a bit, before heading home, via Cosy Cafe (expecting to meet the family there), which turned out not to be the cafe the fam were going to, so then rode Cavendish to the cafe on Sawyers Arms Rd, then riding home with Jet through back streets.  Quite the combo.. 8.5 kms there, including a bit of the wandering about, then 5.8 kms home via that backstreet way.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Thursday Afternoon Quick HuntsBowrynvale with Jet

Finished work early and it was a beautiful afternoon, so managed to deal with the utterly stupid traffic (WTF is going ON? - took >30 minutes!) and parked on Bowenvale Ave.

Dog in tow, we galloped down the road and around and to and up Major Aitken Drive.  Not a bad pace the whole way, Jet just doing the usual fast running to start then buttoning down a bit by the top.  Onto the gravel, and he was very good, enjoying all the sniffing and panting a lot. Up onto the singletrack, I took a call from T and he slunk down into a cool grassy ditch, puffing lots.  Riding again, up the trail and over the fence, then on up the landing strip to the gravel and up this to the gate/cattlestop.  Through the fence here and I pushed the bike to the summit trail at the top of the fun descender.  Chatted with a guy (who'd build the extra bits lower down in the switchbacks before Old Skool).

Down time.  Jet behind, jumpy jumpy, tho skived on the final one - even pushed back up but couldn't bring myself to doing it (too much watching of the crashes of the week on Pinkbike...).  Then down the landing strip and peeled left onto the singletrack, droppy down to the gate.  Over the stile and sheep everywhere.  A real clusterfuck of them.  Jet was excessively well behaved, completely ignoring them.  Down the steep bylines, some corners sketchy due to dried sheep pellets acting like lightweight gravel ball bearings.  Dodge.  Droppy down, all the extra little bits, one or two of them a little worse for wear from lack of riding/maintenance and sheep.  Through the back and forths near the pylon and onto the Old Skool proper, passing a couple sitting watching the sunset at the highpoint just before the main descent.  Bomb bomb bomb, still sheep, and their doings, everywhere.  The stile midway is busted up so you could, with a small hop, just ride straight through it now.  I didn't, cos I didn't realise til the last second.

On down, still plenty sheep (and shit) everywhere, and the often-damp bit was a bit of a muckhole before and after the hairpin, and first time ever, lower down too.  Final throes, a sheep that was bailing ahead of me ran up above the track then promptly got a fright from Jet and tumbled onto the track behind me...  Out the bottom, and a slow (slightly limpy) cruise down the length of Bowenvale Ave back to the car.

An hour or so, under 10kms, and 402 m climbed.