Saturday, June 29, 2019

Saturday Crock of Short and Mucky Crocs

Attempting to change my internally routed gear cable proved more difficult than previously imagined. This is no longer a simple trail-side fix.  Ended up being a right pain, but I got there in the end. I ended up strapping a torch to the downtube, shining through one of the bottle rack mount holes, then used a spoke to guide the end of the cable to the hole exit hole (below the bottom bracket).  A remedy to this problem would be to insert a full length outer, which I may well do eventually.

Due to my troubles, Nelson had detoured to mine to potentially assist, but I'd got it sorted before he arrived, so we schlepped out, convoyed across to Halswell Quarry and rode up through the dog park into the trail network.

Straight into Dowload, then up C2.  I was getting wheezy, so stopped for a puff on one of the hairpin corners, then while we were looking over the edge of the clay cliffs I managed to drop my puffer.  This required a scramble down the bank.  Back on the bikes climbing up.

Decided to drop down Murph's, which was fun, a bit rougher than it's been in the past.  Out the bottom and we headed up Upper Crust, which zigs and zags, I think nicer than C2, crossing Murphs near the top.

Back onto the Crocodile climb, taking the high road up, up, up, and finding a new line built earlier this year, that takes you off the original trail after the Deviation turn off, and zigs and zags a bit more, keeping the up for up and the down for down.  Nice!  Up into Low Road and climbing climbing, new bits here too, new fence crossing at about the water-tank, and then up the last to the top.  Siberia:  dropped over this down, trees cleared from next to this, biiig piles of swag ready for fires (we reckoned they should burn one at a time and have dance parties.  Or an even, bike race while they burn...).

Into Ange's Climb, zig and zag.  Pretty sure I swore I'd never do that again, but it wasn't so bad this time.  Over and back to the top again, ready for the descent.  Dropped into Low Road descent, usual droppy fun, gaining speed towards the new fence.  Then into the new sweepy lines back and forth across the slope towards the gate and lots of off camber corners.  Still settling in, and not really properly formed yet. 

Into the top of the Crocodile, dropping rapidly down this, crossing over and dropping down into Deviation - the start of which was dodgy as hell.  Frost damp splecky slick dirt, traction was potentially terrible, but we both spotted it and entered carefully.  Proceeded up Deviation, feeling the splecks on the back in the shady southfacing would-have-been-frosted-hard section before dropping zigs and zags towards the top of the old Croc and into the trees, where we coasted down Elegator.

Straight back into the climb of the Croc, back up to the top of Spurious, and down this, Down and Out, through the still-frosty bottomlands, Upload, back up the Croc, again, and this time at the top Nelson did Coopers Creek while I decided not to (didn't like the look of the entry drop, not that it's that bad), so I followed off down Spurious again, through the bottom and back up Upload, deciding to finish here, and head down back down to the cars to finish.

A bit uppy downy 10 kms with only 272 m climbed.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Wednesday Night Three Laps Old Skool

O, Jet and me headed across to meet Nelson at the end of Bowenvale Ave, 5.45pmish by the time we'd gotten through traffic.

Headed up the valley, O flying off ahead, Nelson not far behind him, and me gasping away at the rear.  Bunch of runners had started same time as us, and we'd passed them, then one by one a few of them got past me by the time we got to Hidden Valley Link Bonus.  Up into there, feeling warmed up now, going okay.  Passing O in the steeps in the trees.  Then onto the Old Skool.  Very dark, and so Jet couldn't see anything, and O rode with him going his pace.  If you left him behind he'd take forever, but if he was with you, he'd get along a bit quicker.  Greasy in spots, but a good flow down, regrouping periodically.

Lap two, back up the valley, O slowing down a bit now, and dropping back a bit up into Hidden.  Cleaned all this up this time and then regrouped at the pylon.  Around and my gears were a bit shifty.  At the high point flipped the bike and we found my cable is hanging on by a couple of threads, hence the change in performance.  Headed down.  At the cattlestop (where the stile used to be) we stopped and O nearly crashed off getting a bit sideways on the bars.  Then I sent him off behind Nelson and I rode with the dog.  Again, if I got ahead, he'd slow right down, finding his way by smell.  So, I rode slow with him for bits, then got ahead and then waited.  Repeat most of the way down.

At the bottom, O didn't wanna do another lap, and because Jet was a pain, they headed to the car, and we headed on back up.  Granny most of the way cos 3rd to 6th messed about.  Not a bad climb, but was feeling more tired.  Into the down and I tried to stay on Nelson's tail.  He had both lights, but I only had my head, so was definitely harder.  Good bomb with better flow through the lower corners.  Then out the bottom and back to a very steamed up car.

MMR crapped out (behaving stupidly, look at the climb?), but by my reckoning it was rougly 10 kms, and around 360-400 m climbed - here's Nelson's - take out 4kms and 40 odd m of climb and you've got mine).

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Mt Grey with Jet and O

Had chucked on a new front tire, Surly Dirt Wizard, 3.0 inch, on Saturday and, also, first ride on the chainguide I'd got from Josh - so was ready to test.

Headed out of town with O and Jet in the Roomy-On(-the-inside)-mobile and we bombed on up to "Lake" Janet.

2.11 pm, headed up the forestry road then cut into the 'new' single-track link to the walking track zig zag climb.  A few wind throws messed us about at the entrance, which was mildly annoying, but was all clear once we were on the proper track.  Met a couple and a small group and a solo woman as we climbed.  Bloody hard work this climb, reflected in our 7.9 kph average speed.  Still ill, but on the tail end of a cold, I nearly died several times, thought I was gonna have a heart attack at one point.  Felt like absolute garbage.  Eventually we made the look out tower and headed up the road instead of the singletrack.  Not much easier, I don't think.  And the upper km was all in a freezing northerly foggy cloud, quite bitter, and here was us both with insufficient layers.  Brrr...  Jet enjoyed every inch of his journey.  About an hour to the top.

Into the descent, fun down the first steep and onto traversing benched singletrack; all the fun.  Bomb bomb bomb, wet spots, hairpins cleaned or not cleaned as well as last time.  Down the rocky bit and into the forest for switchback City.  Jet loving every minute, O not quite as convinced, not really enjoying the corners but loving the rest.  Vaguely warmer down in the forest, but still pretty chilly.  Close encounter with a kereru at the creek crossing.  Then around onto the ridge, and bombing through the pine bit, then switchback City again, and around through the mudmire, which wasn't nearly as mucky as I'd usually expect it.  Was actually pretty good, with only one dabby bit near the bottom.  Into the lower beech, fun exposure, and bomby roots, all pretty dry and smooth sailing.  Finally, out the bottom reaches and onto the road, mission accomplished, bar the climb back to the car.  About an hour from top to bottom, maybe less?

Climbing.  Road.  Ugh.  Painful this was, long and slow.  Took us a while, but got there in the end.  Back at the car maybe 4.30ish? 
One happy pooch!

On the road a fair bit before 5, and home well before 6

Totals, 13 km, with 653 m climbed, 1 hour 38 minutes total riding time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wednesday Night Pre-Trust Gusty Pea-soup Muss

Drove up and awaited Nelson's arrival on Stonyridge - he was running a little later than me from a Physio session.  Horrible bitter wind blasting through here, so stayed in the car til he arrived.

On the bikes, still enough daylight, and headed up the streets to the old gate on Upper Major Hornbro, and off up under the pylons, visibility due to lack of light a bit of a struggle, also, the bitterly cold wind making it a struggle too.   Up to the top, and then as we rode round to get over to Broadleaf, we entered the fog and visibility got nasty.

No problem on the climbing, but once we hit the descent, it was tough work picking your way down.  Ended up turning off the handlebar and running the head light on low for a start...  Lower down, in the tussocks I tried a bit of handlebar which worked.  Still, no where near the usual speed.

Then into Greenwood, and down through the top rocky sections, around the various bends, and we started to get below the fog down in here.  Lights on brighter and going got a bit better.  Some heinous headwinds approaching Gloomy Gulch, and I lost my mojo/flow right through there.  Nelson was waiting and we got rolling again and it a bit got better.  Then, down in Dangerous Dave's dug-outs, one of the corners was porridge.  Nelson had warned me so I popped off the track and scooted around the inside.  Lower down was all good, flow and groove.  One adjustment to light made near the bottom.  Then the new final bit down to the road.  One nasty off camber corner, and then lots of water on track right at the end.

Onto the road and climbing, head wind, no wind, head wind, tail wind, head wind, one car, me struggling a bit to keep up with Nelson's relentless pace.  Over the stile at the trees and up the climby track to the Greenwood Entrance.  Again with the struggling.  Road, and Britten.  So nice.  Tail wind, good visibility, speed, and flow.  Straight down to pylon from the right-hander, missing the turn onto the traverse, then around across the front and down the funnest final section below the pylon to the cars.

All goods, 12.7 kms and 522 m climbed.  Off to Noodle Union for a number 2 and then to the meeting, followed by a nice pint at the Hop and then I visited Josh, who set me up with a super lightweight cSixx(?) chainguide.  I was home late.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Sunday Uppy Downy Urumau-y

Jet and me met Nelson on Fosters Tce in sLyttelton and up we headed. Nice day. Steep-arse climbs as always, and the downs were a tad greasy.   Jet had a lovely time and lots of drinks from my camelback.

First lap, up to top, and figured a slightly easier start, so off down Stormer, finding traction to be slightly dubious and untrustworthy.  Into Grommies lower down, and I nana'd the jump but flowed the rest nicely.  Into the up, grovelly bastard that it is, both of us screwed up the worst two corners, huff chuff on up to the level point, then into the short decent to the gap through the fence trees, and then the evil grovel climb short sharp bastard.  Then climbing climbing back up to the top.

This time, into the ridgeline, droppy jumpy things, pop pop pop, and then a left down Zombie Lurch.  Less traction than Stormer, and a bit hairy in places, leading me to dab a few times.  Out the bottom and back into the mean climb.  Around and back up to the top again, this time talking to a dude with a brand new Rocky Mtn for a bit on the saddle.

Then up around the easier climb Looper, and down this into Sunshine Face for my first time.  Not bad, but for one steep straight down line that I just didn't want to gamble with.  Then, once back on I was riding the last couple corners, and managed to smack my penis quite hard into the back of my seat.  Yowch!  Climb (from the easy part) up the open zigs and back up to the very top again, the Rocky Mtn dude arriving up behind us, having trouble with his dropper.  Off down, Stormer again, much better this time, faster, and I took the lefty drop part way down, then was in the lead for a bit into Grommies.  Final blast down and I nana'd the drop again and then cleaned most of the climb back up, Nelson miles ahead.  Final section around, piggy climb, and up then down the access track to the drop track that was super sketchy greasy damp grassy dirt, front wheel lock-ups, sliding, and out the bottom back to the cars.

MMR failed (cos my battery was low again), and I thought I'd just use Nelson's, but he'd forgotten to turn his on.  Probably the usual 8-9 kms, with around 550 m climbed, similar to one of these...

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Wednesday Chilly Hilly Night Loner

Hustled my way through rush hour traffic and parked up top of Huntsbury.  Cold, cold night.  Headed up the dirt, taking it nice and easy on the wheeze.  Quite a few damp spots, water running etc, but trail was firm.  Up the old way onto the singletrack then up the landingstrip and up the gravel to the top.  Straight across the road into Vernon, gradually increasing speed, and getting used to the newly recommissioned handlebar light (new battery).  Good bomb down Vernon, with a couple of guys ahead of me who I was slowly winding in, tho not before the end.

Across Rapaki top and into the Witch, ignoring the Track Closed sign, seeing as it really wasn't mucky at all.  Dabby climb around, just didn't have my grinding grunt on, and a wee breather before the descent, which was a tad slow, and almost cautious, given the slightly damp rocks.  Stuck to the road and cruised around and up to Castle top.  Seat down, suspension engaged, and off, (also ignoring Closed sign, figuring the ranger just hadn't made it there yet).  Slow to start bomb, lights not seeming to be in the right place, but wound it up and before the first hairpin was going a pretty normal speed.  A couple of wet spots where there has always been, but all pretty tidy now given recent work.  Into the climb and felt pretty good, tho a couple of near stalls, then across over and down the finish to the Bridle top.

Up the Summit Road back towards Castle watching a train below disappear into the hill in Heathcote, then clambered up to the Tors Track where I had a rest and a snack and where my MMR stopped (I think due to battery on phone hitting 15%).  Got rolling again and the going was careful.  I dabbed a couple of spots I wouldn't normally, due to what could have been dodgy traction that wasn't actually bad, and nearly lost it over the bars on a very tight spot before the final descent.  Phew, survived, and across the road, onto the wee single walking track above it.  Struggled on the intial climb but the rest was okay, and got sweeter as I rolled.

Across into Witch again, clamber clamber, descend descend, deciding to hit up Vernon and pulling over to let a few descenders pass, then Climby McClimbface, up to top, across onto Traverse, along here, then dropping into the upper Huntsbury fun descender.  Mildly greasy, but not as bad as I'd thought it might be, jumps, (but not the last), and then across the landingstrip, over the fence, back down the singletrack, this time all the way, jumpy jumpy, cruisy cruisy, not very nice wetstuff near the bottom, and back to the car.

MMR only says 8.75kms with 446 elevation gain to the point I stopped on the Tors. So, based on previous similarities, more like 15 kms, and 600 m climbed...

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Sunday Old, Young, and Dog Codgers Codgering

In Nelson for QE2's birthday holiday.  Was hoping to ride the new Aorere trail, but after a bunch of rain on Friday night, didn't think it'd be very do-able.  Sunday morning, resigning myself to a Codger's Loop, headed out with O and Jet, usual route through town and up the Brook into Codgers. Up the main drag, lovely sunny day, lots of people about, but we were mostly faster.  Bypassed the (new to me) Tasman Trails climb, opting for the Pipeline, up to Jack's (arriving ahead of the family that had entered Tasman as we passed), a few steep grunts on this, then up Middle Rd to the main skidder site.  Various lazy arse e-bike riders showed up (dicks).  We ignored them deliberately, then headed up to Firball Trig - nice steep wee singletrack to top.

Chatted to a dude at the Trig for a while then hit the down.  Firball - I wasn't trusting of the surface, as it was a little bit damp, so took it a bit easier than last time Nelson and me were up here.   Great bomb down tho, with O on my tail most of the way and Jet not far behind whenever we stopped to wait for him.  Out onto Middle Rd to finish, and climbing again to the little skidder site.  Contemplated the lower entrance to P51 and also Viral Flow, but decided to climb Whanake to the top.  Into P51, bombing through, surprisingly catching a couple, overtaking, jumping jumping.  One jump I even hit a tree branch with my head.  Further down, more jumping, rounding corners, jumping, catching up to 2 couples, both going slower than us, then lower down still and into Crazy Horse, taking this with it's few jumps to the bottom.  Not as good as lower Firball, methinks.  Then down the final 'Young Codgers' to the exit, and the tired-dog-slow-meander back to base.

Chilly to start, 16 kms with 417 m climbed.  Woof woof.