Sunday, November 24, 2019

Saturday HuntVern WitchCastle TorLava Skooled

Early-ish ride with Nelson. Headed up the road from his, then up the dirt, singletrack to landing strip and gravel.  Around across Vernon, meeting many, and through a packed Rapaki-top.  The Witch, cleaning bar one dab, and resting at the highpoint.  Then down and across the road, onto the Crater Rim 'walkway' just above the road, good tech, then up the road to Castle Rock.  Awesome bomb down this, turning around and back up the road from the Bridle Path top. 

Up onto the Tors, Nelson cleaning the climb, awesome bomb down this, usual dab over the only bit I ever dab on now, then up onto 'Crater Rim' singletrack again, better in this direction.  Across onto the Witch, then decided on heading up the road instead of Vernon due to the beginnings of tiredness.  Into the Traverse for a spell, and for a change, we heded down the Lava Flow.  Awe.Some.Sauce  Nelson took all the ubertech lines, while I doddled down the easier stuff.  Good times.  Then, we checked out the nice new exit off down to the right.  Lots of fun, steeper and steeperer and more and more off camber as you go, one last tricksy rock to pop then into steep exit onto the valley corner of Hidden Valley 'Bonus' link.  From here it was up, up, and up, around and into Old Skool for a wicked flow...

Bloody mint. 850 altitudes and over 20 kilomenators

Monday, I went to Poteriteri for a week to get eaten by sandflies and scratched by ferns and lawyers, oh, and to count birds.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tuesday Victraverse Bowenvic Latters

Climby McClimbface.  Parked up at my folks place (which will be ours at the end of next year) and checked out the place with T and H. 

They'd brought H's bike, so they drove to top of Vic Park while I rode with Jet up the road and up from Skidder through to top.  H's rear brakes needs some serious looking at, lever to the bar and barely any response...  Usually a bunch of pumping and flicking fixes it up a bit but not tonight.  "You're just gonna have to use your front brake more..." "Okay."  So, off we went, down into the trees and we swept round to that first jump which I popped nicely, then down to the cattlestop, opening the gate for Jet.  Then down Brake Free, and into Sesame St, but peeling left into the gums, all the way down but not my usual lefty (cos the steep would be too hard with his brakes).  He did amazingly well, and didn't crash due to brakes once.  Bypassed the skidder site on that swoopy through trees, and then down the old (obviously hardly ever used) singletrack to the end of the road.  T was at 19th Memorial.  H rode from here on the road with her following and I booked back up into the park.

Up next to Sesame St, 2nd climb up here tonight, and I hopped up to BrakeFree just to try out that first Sesame jump again after last week.  Way over popped it and flew, actually dabbing the rear brake in the air, then landing with a stopped wheel, miles down the ramp, straight into the next pop, then finally gaining some composure as I flew over the next double...  Round the woodwall, and contemplated but didn't commit into the next double, popped off the ! drop and then around and straight back up K2 climbing, up, up, then up Worm and onto the Traverse.

Got riding around here, been a while since last in this direction in particular.  It was rush hour, I pulled over quite a few times to let others through.  One guy I didn't (he was descending, and had a perfect opportunity to pull into a wee spot, but missed it) and he looked very confused.  Meh.  Rest of the run was good, and got to the top of Fourpause with four paws intact and had a nice pause here.

Dropped in, fanging, wooah, a little overgrown, making for a bit of edge catching sketchiness.  First jump was further down than memory served, nice, then overgrown corners slowed me down into the second one, and the third I popped nicely, landing on the transition.  Bombed down through to the final one for a nice leap and landing.  Continued on, and MAN was it overgrown.  Wading through tire-deep grass, barely able to find the line, and not seeing any rocks under it all.  All the way through and down to the gate, over grown long grass as hell.  Over the stile and into the first shortcut, not so bad, second, hmmm, rocks???  dropped, into next steep one, better, but everything from here on down was too overgrown to function...  not as fun as usual, especially the lower switchbacks which you couldn't even see and had to go really slow. 

Decision time.  Left, down HiddenValley, or right and down Old Skool for some more descending goodness.  Obviously I decided on the latter, and had a smooth and fun blast down here, with a couple of very close calls. 

Straight into the climb up the valley, oh the grind, 3rd time in as many weeks, meeting several of those who had passed me on the Traverse, and then after some seat adjustments, up K2, cleaning, again, and on up past 40fter and zig and zag to the Skidder. 

Blast down the road, detour around the back of the slide, then into the lower Dog Park and over to the Harry Ell Drive track, but detouring to head all the way down the back of the houses, fast next to the trees, then over the stile and down the (VERY OVERGROWN) Latters Spur track below the houses all the way to the bottom of Longhurst.  Finally, climbing again, back up (STEEP) Longhurst, and finally up Amherst to our new house.  Phew.

A surprising 15.25 kms with even more surprisingly over 650 m climbed

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Tuesday Pre-Trees Bowen-Victorian Sessions

Thinking we would meet workmates either at the bottom or at the Skidder Site for a bit of a skills session Nelson and me rode up Bowenvale Valley and K2 like I did last week...  Got news half way up that they were piking (cos the Park was closed and they couldn't Lift up, lazy kids), so we continued up the grind (which didn't seem as bad as last week (muscle memory??)), and got to the top of Vic Park ready for some action. 

Figured we'd keep it a skills session, and rode down to the first jump in the trees, scoping it out and clambering back up for another go.  Nicely cleaned first time round, then into the see-saw, which I baulked on first, then did the 2nd time round, no problem at all (wtf was I worried about??).  Don't know why I've been so psyched out by it for so long.  Into BrakeFree, and rode back up for the first few jumps to ride again - I reckon I rode it best the first time...  Then into Sesame St.  First big gap jump Nelson just piled over it no problem and I baulked.  We climbed up, back into it, I baulked again.  Back up, baulked, but rode down through the rest of it nice following jumps and wallride no problem.  Stopped and walked back up, right to the top again, and met a young fella here - got chatting, then I followed them in and GOT IT!  Again, WTF was I worried about?  It was easy.  Enjoyed the rest of the jumpies and wall ride and Nelson cleaned the big gap below the Wall, and then we got chatting again with the young guy, Michael. 

Headed into Shazza's, and stopped not too far in to check out a couple of the jumps in there.  Decided the wooden feature with a downhill landing was too dodgy.  At this point we were joined by a lovely young woman Michael knew (Hannah, I think?) who rolled up and decided to join us on our way down.  From here we bombed down the rest of Shazz and down and into Sneaky Ridge, which Mike hadn't ridden before.  He decided to try the No Road Bikes section, while the rest of us rode around it.  Then him and Nelson decided to do the big drop in the oaks...  Both cleaned nicely and then we hoofed off down over the wee jump onto Bridges (or Flow?).  Regrouped and bombed it across into Nu-Bridges, zigging and zagging down this to the bottom of the valley.  Hannah split into Hidden Valley bonus and the three boys fanged it down the valley, and we made our 7pm curfew to get to our meeting (after grabbing some dinner), juuust on time.

A massive 7.5 kms, with a huge 350 m climbed....  

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Saturday Micro-tour to Sculptures - *Happy 1100 Posts!*

Was the day for the Fam to all go to Sculpture on the Peninsula at Loudon Farm, Teddington - Anth had 10 pieces in it.  I decided to ride the Troll there.

Left home 9.05 and perused my usual route into town, across the front of the Gardens and straight down Antigua, Strickland, Colombo to hit Dyers Pass Rd.  Low on the Troll is just right for this hill, not usually needing to stand up, unless to occasional popping into 2nd or 3rd to stand up and give the bum a rest.

At 1 hour in I was at the Sign of the Kiwi, hung a right and along the Summit Rd, climbing, then nice rolling coasting pedalling high gear down to the old top of Kennedys, before the surprisingly big climb up past the top of actual Kennedys and beyond before the fast drop down to the Bellbird.  Climbing again, to the photo point, and on around, nicely cruising, but keeping a good pace most of the time.  Met a lot of roadies along here, all looking surprised at my bike choice, and very few cars by this point.

Finally, just before the descent into the Bastard, I stopped and wound in my brakes a little, and the hit the descent - and what a descent.  Highest speed was up the top here, just over 63 kph, bombing - modulating the braking to occasional jabs just to keep the disks cool and the speed reasonable, opening it up a few times when the road allowed.  Quite a spectacular descent.  You feel like you've been rolling down for ages, and you're still really high up.

Eventually got to Gebbies and this is where more speed kicked in, over 60 kph for a time, with a couple of massive blasts down here, before it levelled off all too soon and the head wind kicked in (it'd just been a bit of a tail and blustery along the tops).  And then the brakes were making annoying rubbing noises, but I persevered to Teddington and hung a right and around to Loudon Farm.

Exactly 2 hours, door to gate... 34kms with 802m climbed...  a hot blitz.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Thursday Hot Solo Vic Nun Old Skool.

Drove from work and parked up top of Bowenvale Ave, not really having any plan as to where I'd ride.  I'd brought my ex-front Maxxis with me in the car, and so changed off the split, worn rear one first, and then got riding up the valley...  just past the bottom of Old Skool I realised I'd left my wallet on the dash of the car, in full view, so jetted back down to grab it, and then headed back off up again.

Struggle Street further up, but cleaned everything, then paused and headed up K2.  Managed to clean the rock at the bottom and keep my power on all the way up the gravel steep, then hung a right into the singletrack, pausing for a good breather here.  On up to the 20footer and another rest (it was WARM) while I looked at the jumps, then on up below the DH track and under the pylon and onwards upwards to the 40fter.  Continued past top of Rad^Sick and up round to the right, steeeep baaasssttaarrd, up finally to the skidder site where I had a nice rest.  3 fellas I'd been hearing behind me the whole way arrived and continued up the steep.  I followed.  Managed to clean it all still no dabs or walking, nearly puking.  On up past Brake Free and up past the seesaw and then up to the top of Thompson's where the 3 guys were waiting.  Brief chat then they took off.

I waited a bit, then followed in.  Down to the Kiwi and on up the Summit Rd, them not too far ahead.  Round and up to top of Worsleys, then up to the Nun.  The three guys were there.  More chatting, and another couple of guys arrived.  First 3 headed off, then me after a pause.  Eventually caught the tailender after the corner closest to the Park, and overtook, then went down to the Gnarly Nun drop down, just after a massive posse of the mtb 'elite' (including Mel (of Rich and Mel fame)) had bombed through so I was eating their dust the whole way down, and said as much to Mel at the bottom.

Off across Dyers Pass Rd and back up to the top of Vic.  The 'elite' all arrived not long after me, and I let them all head down first, they peeled across towards the big jumps, but I peeled left and down my usual route into the Gums and my favourite lefty.  Bombed swoopy swoopy in here, then Shazza's and then nice run down through Sneaky Ridge, jumping onto Bridges and into Nu Bridges, bomb bomb bomb, then climbed up HiddenValleyBonus, and up into the Old Skool for a pretty good run down here.

A very balmy and exuberant 14.6 kms, with 557 m climbed, all at my own pace.