Thursday, August 29, 2019

Thursday Night Huntsbury Castle Tors Duncan

Up hill from Nelson's, via the steep-arse alleyway (taking a call from my dad on the way).  Up the road, ever pedalling, then up the gravel, I was feeling pretty good. Up from the cattlestop to the singletrack, and headed up the rocks of the new Rock-Up (usually down) single, walking a bit, then riding over the top and down the hairpins on the backside, and back onto the singletrack.  Over the fence onto the landing strip, and across to the newly developed descending next to it, up to the jumpy Fourpause. Finishing up on the gravel top of Huntsbury.

Across Vernon, bombing down, pulling over a couple times for climbers, and then, for the first time in ages, I cleaned all of the Witch.  Along the road a bit, then up onto the single-track above the road, clambering and struggling a bit, then up the road to the Castle.

Fast bomb down this, bombing, and nearly losing it into the drainage channels on the righthand side before the first corner.  Around, and back across, balance pitching me left into the hillside this time, nearly losing balance again.  Around the next corner, down through and into the climb, cleaning it smoothly and with power.  I was getting more tired on this last descent to the Bridle. 

Back up the road, and up onto the Tors, with Nelson cleaning the entire climb from the road, most of which I walked.  Stopped for a bit of a snack in the nice sheltered spot.  Then into the down, good ride, only one dab, and not as nastly greasy as last time.  Back along above the road on the tight wee trail then over the fence, up onto the top, over the fence again, to the very top of Duncan's.  Some very fresh lambs up here, and on into the descent. I took the easy way because a little tiny lamb was following us. I thought it was a weird noise from my bike, like a squeak, then realised it was this tiny little lamb...  Down the ridge, all the fun, cleaning heaps of steeps, then over and through the lower gates, and around into the woods, dropping down our usual drops, drop, drop then out. Back along the road, getting tired now. Final climb over Centaurus and down, and back up Parklands to Nelson's.

18 and 3/4ths kms and a bonza 820m climbed

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Groynes Planting

Moseyed out to the rail trail (where I then realised to start MMR) and slowly, eventually, made my way down to Wroxton Tce before I saw the crew coming my way from Fendalton Rd.  I waited there and we (Nelsie, Andy, Petey, Stevie and Jenna-ey) headed north at a nice pace.  I was feeling rather seeeedy due to consumptiousness evening previous, but somehow survived the thrall.  Railtrail, then at Tuckers the others peeled left while Nelson and I explored the singletrack to Sturrocks, left and met them at the Cosy Cafe.  Long black settled my nerves a bit, then onwards again up Cavendish, Styx and up Main North to Northwood, meandering through and around this and up Connemara to Johns, under the new motorway and into the Groynes.

Planted lots of Trees for Canterbury plantages.  I amazingly survived, and then the double-fisted Sossies helped a lot.  Robin's speach done, we headed and off again, south.

Back the way we came except explorational explorages through various other ways in Northwood, through parks and back streets, finding future pathways eventually through a shortcut to the Styx Mill intersection.  The future will also, in my book, see explorings through Regent Spark, cos there are ways to be had through there too.  Back onto the Rail trail and cruising nicely, tail wind, which I then turned into when peeling off through St Jame Spark, Dalriada, Windemere and home.

I managed 23 odd kms, with no real altitudinal gainage.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday Night Avoidance of the Muckeriness

Parked at the bottom of Mulgans Track and relaxed listening to music and watching the rabbits in the redzone while I waited for Nelson to show up.   He turned up, we got riding - an excellent ride ensued.
Up Mulgans, corners and steps getting the better of both of us.  Up the steps and steep, then up the steps to the water tanks and riding up past York's old place and into Brownlee Reserve.  Over the top onto Clifton Tce, climbing, climbing and over the fence at the first stile.  Took the singletrack down and across the valley around to climbing up around stormwater catchment gabions onto Richmond Hill, climbing up a walkway to a new cul de sac and then up the dirt, clambering ever upwards, around eventually onto the ridge and easy riding up to the big trees corner.  Had a snack here.

Next it was up the road and over the stile onto the Greenwood 4wd track, avoiding the soggy singletracks, climbing up to the gun emplacements on the ridge.  Bit of a cruise around these, then hit the descent, down the ridge track, tricknical rocks and fun to be had.  Across the top of Chalmers and Nelson's bike suddenly had weird gears - somehow the rear screw on his derailleur had unwound...  Fixed, and headed down the trail across onto the ridge above the Evans Pass Rd.  Speeeed (Nelson got 65 kph, (me, only 50 odd)) down to Evans, ended up at the old Greenwood exit.

Onto the road and out Godley Head Rd, meandering around to the new cattlestop and then climbing up all the way, crossing the singletrack, all the way to the top of the ridge.  Nice trail climbing up here, and mostly pretty dry.  Brief rest up top here, in the shelter of a rock (strong wind), and then down the techfun trail, dropping straight down to Evans Pass.

Dropped down into Rapanui Bush, skoodling around to the Scarborough Bluffs Track, where we stopped for another snack.  Nice dry mild spot here.  Then off, fun descent, waaay longer than I always remember it, across and in and out of little valleys and techy rock features and drops and then into the switchbacks, various levels of success for Nelson and not for me.  I cleaned the last one.  Onto the road and coasting, faster and faster (me 69 kph down here) descending down into Sumner, and cruising around back to the cars.

Good ride.

A quite acceptable 15 kms and 640 m of altitudes

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wednesday Night Solo Hunting Castle Tor Witches

Doctor's appt after work, so I'd parked there and ridden to work.  Then hit the traffic across to Huntsbury, up to the end of the road.  Changed in the car and got riding.  A couple of guys had ridden by while I was setting up the lights etc, and so they were my target.  I gained slowly on them.  Just after I'd passed the pylon a fast dog sprinted past, leapt the cattlestop ahead, and bounded on ahead.  Caught up to the guys, turned around and bombed back down as I approached the cattlestop.  It looked confused, like it was looking for owners.  I turned right just after the 'stop and climbed the trail up to the singletrack.  Stopped for this pic...

Above the other guys briefly.  Then they were further ahead.  Ended up catching them at the top, as they turned around and rode back down.

Across onto Vernon, and between the first tech rocks I dropped the front wheel off the track and crashed.  Quite randomly, just landed on the ground.  (following day, a couple of bruises, hip and elbow).  Handlebars were crooked, so I had to adjust them, then got riding again, letting a few climbers through, had a good bomb down to Rapaki-top and through, 3 rider lights ahead of me on the Witch.  Didn't catch them, but they remained ahead of me on the road all the way up to Castle, waiting at the top when I got there.  I said my Guddays, had a wee stretch, and headed straight into The Castle. Excellent bomb down, remaining contained within the track sides even tho I nearly de-balanced a couple of times.  Fast through the rocks and onto the 1st hairpin.  Across and through then climbing quite nicely, tiring towards the top.  Out onto the road, and climbing again.

2/3rds of the way up I climbed up off the road onto the Tors track, clambering up and riding around to the usual stopping point.  Suspension and light adjustments made, off down.  Wetter in spots than last time, and the first of the techy droppy bits were pooling with quite a bit of water, which made them super sketchy.  Dropped down, cautiously, quite a bit of dabbing, but rode out the last descent well.  Strong wind across this saddle, coooollldd southerly, straight across onto the above-road singletrack, enjoying the tech but contending with the wind.  As I approached Witch, a group of 4 guys were approaching on it.  I pulled up, said my guddays, and they took off back along Witch.  I left a pretty big gap and then followed.  Caught up the last couple and passed the rear one on the rocky climb, chasing the 2nd to rear one (on a Honzo ST - nice).  On the descent, he nosed up and so nearly went over the bars.  I gave him more gap then.  

Across the Crapaki-top and climbing I tucked in between the last two of these guys, with the dude in front going nice and slow, all the way up.  Kept me in check and we chatted as we climbed.  Quite good really.  At the old line up near the top he peeled left, while I continued straight, putting on more speed and cruising out to the end.  Passed by the other two waiting and hit the Traverse, around to and then into Fourpause, excellent blast down this, jumping ALL of the jumps no problem, then on down the new next-to-the-landing-strip section, following it better this time, then over the fence and onto the final singletrack.  All the time looking for the left hander to the new Rock-Up track I'd spotted on Trailforks.  Good couple few switchback low gear climb, then up onto the rocky top ridge, barely able to follow faint bits of green spraypaint, but finding my way.  Fun descent down and back onto the singletrack, jumps, wetness up top there, then terrible wetness lower midway down, and the final corner before the last couple of jumps is blown to shit with boggy soggy shitmud.  Back to the car, before 8.

A minty fresh, poppin' 14.6 kms with 662 m climbed.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Wednesday Night Uplifts and Downdrafts, 1080

Good spin tonight. Left Nelson's place and headed around to the Park. He'd bought a Winter pass, and so had 7 (of 10) lifts left on a card, which they kindly transferred to me and we headed up.

First round, into Yeah Yeah Gnah, weird in the dark, and pretty rough in spots, but fun.  Nelson put on speed but I didn't trust tires or myself and kept mine on the lowdown.  At the mid point a couple of guys he knew pulled up on DH rigs.  We led them into Handle, and half way down my battery strap snapped dropping it into the front wheel.  "WTF is that!?"  Pulled up; Nelson taped it onto my stem and off we went again.  Good blast the rest of the way and we made it to the lift just in time to be the last uplifts at 7.  Johnny accompanying us for the up.

At the top we went our separate ways from Johnny, him down the park, and us down Slummit Connector, new bits to play on (big doubles), and then all the way out to the road.  Puffy up this to top of Nun. Fun Down, quite greasy in spots, so I's watching out for myself all the way down; pumped and tired as at the bottom.

Across Dyers Pass and up the Scummit Rd into the top of Vic.  Took off for the Traverse, and the first rocks biffed me all over the place, nearly dropping me.  Continued on and failed to chase down Nelson who powered off ahead, leaving me to struggle up the ups and ease into the downs.  Regroup at the midpoint, then again, he slowly left me behind as we cruised round the rest. 

Brief discussion whether Lavaflow as the go, but decided against it, and headed for the Huntsbury Downhill track, apparently called Fourpause (in Trailforks).  Nice bomb down here, though I wasn't overly trusting of the greasy dirt, then I bailed on the final jump.  New section through the tussocks beside the landingstrip, and then all the good lines from there down to Old Skool.  Took off into this, and around the first face I rolled up and find Nelson off the track grasping his knee.  He'd clipped a pedal on a rock that'd thrown his knee into the stem and him and bike off the track.  Yowch.  I was tired, so a bit slow on down, wary of all the little rivulets of stream across sections of the trail.  Final blast down, all good and out, then back to his down around the river.

A worthy 29.03 kms, with a grand total of 1133 m climbed...  (obviously, 800 m of that was on the lift)

Just noted, this is auspicious post number 1080.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Sunday Orton Fattley

Met Pete, Steve and Nelson in time for the 8.50 am ferry.  I 'adjusted my suspension' (pumped some air into the tires) and we headed up and had a coffee at the cafe.  Then we hit the road, cruising, up, down, up, down, around to the park. Up the driveway, to the end of the 'park' bit, and met Ian (manager) who told us where to go for the planting.  Lucky for us it was pretty much at the top end of the MTB track. So, off we cruised, mucky and puddly in places, with a bit of dynamic straightlining (squirrel factor on high).  Fun little climb up and around. Stopped and helped water off the track a couple of times and then down, and we parked and climbed the fence and planted super quick, given the easy digging soaking wet ground and good sized crowd of people.

Back on the bikes and down, enjoying the cruise, to another site where we put in a totara forest - 150 totara trees planted in no time, all up a nice corner of hillside.  Will be amazing in a few years. Then off down again, brief stop at the loo, and on down. Steve tootled off ahead while we raided the Krispies and Gingernuts before the rest of the punters got anywhere near them, decided time was too short for a cuppa, so set off in chase of Steve.  Nelson ditched Pete and me, powering ahead, catching up to Steve, then Pete and me caught them eventually just after the fire-station.  Down to the wharf, and 12.30 ferry back to the cars..

Mildly respectable 20kms, and surprising 443m climbed...