Thursday, February 27, 2020

Wednesday Night Huntsvern WitchCastleTors Pause OldSkool

New Drive Train!!!  Another 30t oval, and new cassette and chain.  New gear cable, and pivots lubed and tightened (awaiting a rebuild kit).

Me on my lonesome last night. Parked after work on the river, bottom of Bowenvale, and headed up Major Aitken at a pretty steady clip.  Pushed hard never stopping, up on to the gravel, chuff chuff chuff, nice refreshing breeze up here, tho quite pushy, onto the singletrack climbing still then up the grovel to the road.  Across, into Vernon, letting one or two coming up past, then bombing down, short cut to end.

Rapaki-top, not too many around, straight into Witch Hill, too low a gear and dabbed, but cleaned up the rest of it.  Stopped for my first real rest at the high point, feeling hungry, so snack and water.  Rolling again, drop drop to road, across onto the walking-singletrack, enjoying the crisp gear shifting and buttery smooth suspension.  Up the road, short stretch, then dropping into Castle for a fang. 

Lovely blast, mostly totally on top of the game, ripping through and down.  One or two lapses, but mostly all good.  Climbing, bunch of joggers near the end, then up the road, nice steady pace, observing a dude riding below on the trail.  Up and around, and at the top there's a massive group of riders approaching.  I walked up entrance to the Tors track, riding near the top, and was clear before they arrived.  Descending time.  Lovely blast, tail wind down the Tors track.  Popped and cleaned everything that used to get me, but had one dab where I've never dabbed before. 

Onto the road, and bypassed the singletrack because a couple of walkers had just entered it.  Coasted along the road for a while, nice and restful, then carried my bike up onto the singletrack about where you climb through the fence for pirate track.  Rode the rest through, down, across the road and climbed well up the Witch.  Didn't even pause at the top, just adjusted suspension and bombed it, waft waft float over rocks, and good slam through to the end.  Straight across onto the Vernon climb, clambering away ahead of another guy leaving him behind. 

Massive posse accumulated at start of Traverse.  Tailender stopped to let the dust settle before heading off, then guy from behind blitzed through, so I rested slightly longer and hit it across.  Opened up the suspension, dropped the seat and dropped into FourPause...  Wind was pushy on the jumps, but cleaned them all ripped into the landing strip zone, bombing down, tail wind over the edge dropping fast down to the stile.  Then feeling super good, bombed down the rest of it, usual dab on the one rock lower down, then bombing down into the off cambers and onto Old Skool proper.  Brief pause at the high start point, then dropping in, trying to run my left leg forward, to give the muscles some new memory.  Tried this several times on the way down but man it makes the riding weird.  Amazing tail wind across the first long traverse, head wind through the second, and tail again for the next.  Smooth, quiet, tire noise only...  Sweeeet!  Blasted through the lower reaches and bombed out to the road. 

Long coast and easy pedal back to the car... A mondo 19.3 kms, with 850m climbed!  Not bad for an afterwork week night.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Saturday Morning Solo Holliss Vic Old Skool

Lots of steep ups today.  Parked in Landsdowne Ave just next to Holliss Reserve and headed through this and up Holliss Ave.  Stopped and feasted on easily accessed blackberries for a little while just before the valley corner.  Then hit the real steep, getting steeper nearer the top.  Into the stairs, buddha buddha buddha buddha down, then along a bit and up, push push push push, more blackberries, push push push up the stairs.  Across Longhurst and into the lower Latters Spur track, climbing up under the houses and cleaning all the hairpins except the very last.  Ugh...  Clamber clamber clamber and finally at the stile, where I took this pic.
Looking across at where I would come down a little later...

Let a couple of walkers go on ahead, and then rode and pushed on up under the pines, over the roots and next to the barbed wire to the dog park.  Left and clambering up the rock section then up to the gate, and on up through Vic Park, past 19th, into the Skidder where I filled up water and rested.  Warm, and my cold wasn't doing my head any good.  Hit the steeptrack climb, cleaning it all, only just, then up past Brake Free and on up to the very top of Vic.

Time for the down.  Entry of the Traverse, then hard left into the swoopy double, pop and down to the see-saw, over this, into Brake Free, pop pop, ugh, speed broken by the first berm, then pedal across to the Sesame St entrance.  Straight in, pop the first jump then waft over the big one, pop, pop, around drop, around, wall-ride, drop, around, oop - miss that double, drop that, off the edge and down over the jump to skidder...  Into Shazza's, bomb bomb rail jump rail, across rail, around, down into Sneaky Ridge, lower speed than usual, droppity drop down through around, ooh, lots of leaves, jump, drop into Bridges, across and wending through Nu Bridges, and finally out the bottom, downvalley, hard right into Hidden.

Easy climb now with all the trail work, making for nearly like a rest bar the steepness, then past a mum and daughter up the steepest, cleaning both hairpins and gasping for air at the stile.  Into the Old Skool.  Across and little climb, bit of a rest, then fanging it.  Nice flow, good railing, fun times.  Blast blast blast...  First big left hand hairpin I could see an XC dude flying up the hill (to the point I almost wondered if he was on a leckie - he wasnt!).  Pulled up before the next hairpin to let him fly past, then dropped on down, swoopy pump pump waft, push fly.  Blasting over the rocks, around the bend and dowwwwn, weave weave pop and roll, finally out the bottom and coasting the rest of the way down.  Down the road, left into Wedgewood, right into Landsdowne back to the car.

Surprisingly short, less than 10 kms, with 399 m climbed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wednesday Night Captain Godley Conda Godley Captain Anti-clockwise Alt-route Loop

Awesome ride tonight.  Did a core strengthening Abi yoga in the morning, and as a result the entire ride I didn't get a sore back!  Fantastic.  I'd also remembered to have an asthma puff in the car while I was waiting for Nelson to arrive in Scumnervale, which saw my breathing working well all the way through as well.  AND, I was suffering the beginnings, or skirting the edge, of a cold - scratchy throat, slightly sore sinuses.

Up Captain Thomas, Nelson telling me all about his Enduro event last Sunday, which meant he held back a bit so that I could huff and chuff along behind him.  Still, even tho I was talking occasionally too, I felt better for longer up this climb.  Once up onto the levels and after the short down, he cleaned the first of the tech rocks, which was astounding.  Good jaunt up the rest of it, me only just starting to wane near the top.

Reasonable length rest at Evans then across into Godley, clambering.  Too low a gear for me on the first rocks, then blew out again on the next, but cleaned up the whole rest of the track.  Really feeling stronger and no sore back and more power.  Yoga is good!  At the high point above Scarborough, another short rest, then decided to head up the ridge to the top trig.  Nice views from up here...
A different view of  Evans Pass:
Then down, awesome descent, with some great tech rocks and a lovely flow around the back, harbourside, across the slope towards the final very narrow steep singletrack descent on the wrong side of the fence back to Livingston Col.

From here, took the walking track around the back, harbourside again, towards Breeze Col.  This is a great section of riding, except for the nasty switchback climb, which I cleaned all of for the first time, albeit with a breathing break at the first hairpin.
Me just after that bit:

Someone had mowed past the stile, so we ended up on a narrow sheep track before we realised we'd gone too far.  Turned back, over the stile, and down the steps and rolling.  Across the Col, fun rocks, then climbing the Breeze Bay track, meeting a couple of runners and some walkers further round.

Next it was the skinny singletrack back to Breeze, around the front above the road.  Long grass made it a challenge, but fun, finished with a fun dropping down to Breeze.

Onto the road for a short section to get into the 'new' entrance to Anaconda.  Waited for a guy climbing this, then dropped in, swoopy downhill funtimes.  But eating Nelson's dust wasn't very tasty.  Fast and smooth swoopy swoopy through the 'Conda, blitzing it all nicely, and STILL my back wasn't sore!  Awesomesauce.  Down the 'tail, and Nelson a fair ways ahead now, I was coming around above the baches when I saw him rolling across the paddock...  not toooo far ahead.  Bomb, pop, and roll across the paddock myself, to fill up water at the fountain (where we ran into Nixie from work and her partner).

Into the climb up the road, then up onto the singletrack 'Sumnervale' track, only walked a little bit by the fence, then up onto the road, up the climb to Godley and into the return.  Best run back to Evans on Godley I've had for ages.  Every rock feature was just a floating roll over or pop.  No baulking or stalling like other recent rides.  Bombed down out the end, and across Evans-summit to the Captain.

Bit of a rest before dropping in.  Bit of dust again from Nelson, but a good run down and after the peskygate I could still see the trail under the dust (unlike last time!).  Awesome bomb down, just flowing and cruising, cleaning everything except the climb (which Nelson tried again, and got with just one dab).  Final blast across and down through the switchies, cabbage tree slippery, last descent, nearly losing it onto the bridge, and finished.  Nice.

A staunch 19.43 kms, with a bonza 858 m climbed!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Tuesday Pre-Trust Meet Cavendish Castle Pleasant Feat.

Quite intense Yoga session at work today, made me think I might not have much left for riding.  Headed up and parked on Parkridge.  Rode up to the Upper Major Hornbrook entrance of Britten and took myself for a bit of a tootle.

Up through Britten, dry as dry can be.  Around the front, and out the 'cutting' cattlestop, across the road, over the fence and up the singletrack to what's usually the climber to the aerials.  Hung a right and bombed it down to Cavendish Saddle, then attempted to navigate the overgrown switchback trail up the back of this.  Ended up walking the bike on it's back wheel up to the gate.  Rode most of the rest up the back and then through under the eaves of the Gondola Building.  Steppy descent to rocky descent, picking my way down and across to the Bridle Top, then off up the road.

Castle Rock, into the sweet sweet singletrack, flowing beautifully, weaving good speed into the whole shebang.  I think the yoga earlier had cored me up nicely.  Climb was quick and powerful, across and down the last onto the Bridle-top again.  Around the road this time, climbing around under the Gondola and up to the Saddle again, then back onto the singletrack and climbing up the back of Mt Pleasant.  Still heaps of power, balance, control.  Clambering well, and right to the top for this rather gloomy (it wasnt!) view. 

Awesome bomb down from the top.  Pumped good flowy speed out of the it all, then sidled around across above the ruins, and straight into the Greenline or whatever it's called.  Nice flow around this and climbing to the pines, then up Sheepshit Alley, still feeling good.  Topped up water at the tap and headed into Britten for a fast bomb down and across.  Found another new line off the hairpin, taking me waaay further across the reserve than last time, staying higher before dropping down and finding may way onto the original rocky fast descent under the pylon. 

Back at car dead on 7.  Phoned ahead for a meal, picked it up and went to my meeting.

An excellent 14.16 kms, with 621 m climbed.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Waitangi Morning Loopies

Parked off Barrington again and moseyed around through Craycroft and past the CAP entrance and up the good old Worsley.  Got off road after the bottom hairpin and rode up the grassy track to the top of Farside, where, I dropped in and bombed down for a wee reminder play (Loop 1).  At the bottom of this, I got back to climbing, this time on the road (easier, slightly quicker).  Up, up, up, onto the gravel and grovelling on up.  Gets more real before the body bag, and then it gets really real.  Walked about 10 m near the top, and rode out onto the road. 

Over into the climb for the Nun still feeling pretty fresh, standing and cranking even.  There was a dude up here to whom I said "nice clean bike."  - said he'd cleaned it after a mucky xmas break...  I gave him a good head start, taking a couple of pics for the MMR, then dropped on in.  Whooah...  Overgrown!  You cant see far round the corners at the start, so it was a little surprising, cos the broom has grown up so much.  It improves, but even lower down a couple of times I was thinking, "this is really getting neglected."  Kept good speed and was catching the dude ahead, he was stopped at the Park crossing and I continued on past him down the original lines (not bailing right for the Gnarly Nun ending).  Bombed on through and the popped up onto the midway carpark.  He rode past, looking pretty cautious.

I crossed the road and headed into the Governors Bay track (Loop 2).  Man was IT overgrown.  It's really narrow now, and visibility is super tight.  I was just thinking 'I wonder if I'll meet any walkers' when a runner appeared.  He wasn't sure if I'd seen him but no trouble, I'd stopped with plenty of room.  Bombing down, some nice tech in here now, and 2 extra wee climbs I didn't remember.  Stays quite high as you sidle round, and then I was climbing again, struggling with the steeps.  Cleaned lots, but walked the last to the top. 

Back on the road, I headed back up to the midway Nun carpark and dropped straight in, bombing bombastically the rest of the way out.  Contemplated the option of Capt Torpedo, but that entrance was still shut, so continued with my original plan, and popped up to the Kiwi for some water. 

Up road to top of Vic Park, and into the Traverse, cruising around this, and pulling over for lots of oncoming.  Overtook a dad and kid (out for first ride), and then bumped into Brad from work.  Finally got to top of Fourpause and was still feeling surprisingly good, having had plenty of power on all those climbs. 

Dropped into Fourpause and bombed it.  Excellent flow over first, third and last jumps (middle one into the rutted berm, not so much).  Down through the swoopy tussocks and then over the edge, way more grip than recently and down to the stile.  Over this, and dropping through all the bits.  Only one dab through that super tricky rock edge and lavishingly enjoying the rest of it down into the off cambers. 

Final singletrack buzz, the Old Skool Bowenvale at it's best.  Awesome run down here.  It's just so familiar and predictable.  Passed a couple runners and their dog near the bottom and finally rolled on down the valley, taking directional backstreets back tot he car to complete the largest loop. 

A triple looped 21 kms, with over 750 m clambered vertically.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Saturday Up Down Up Down

With Sunday expected to be 35 I figured getting out early today might be a good bet.

Parked on Ashgrove, bottom of Barrington, and headed through Thorrington, shortcuts and sidestreets, across to Major Aitken and up up up to the top. Had earlier thought I might do Lavaflow but decided against it so after a very short rest, dropped into Four Pause.  First rocks to encounter, and "crack!", busted a front spoke.  Continued on down, jumpy jumpy with a strong cross easterly wind, and down through the newish bits, over the edge and down to the stile. 

Checked the front wheel and sure enough, one broken spoke.  Slightly concerned for a weaker front wheel, I made my way like normal down the droppy fun blitz of rocks and steepness.  At the bottom, I hung a left into the Hidden Valley 'bonus' dropping down through the newly re-built lower reaches...  I guess they're high-waying it for all the new Lavaflow traffic?  From the bottom, turned uphill and straight up K2, righthander into the trees, and then up under the 23foooter. Ugh. Steep pricks.  Onwards up the the skidder where I refilled my bottle.  From here, chuffed on up the rest of the park, causing a CRUNCH in the gears.  Higher up, I passed through the cattlestop next to the see-saw, I found granny was a bit clickity, so stopped to look.  Oh dear!  A crack and bend in my biggest ring causing the chain to lift off.  I had to use a couple of rocks to pound it straight, and seemed to set it right, on up to the top.

Down, around, jumpy, see-saw, Brake Free and into Sesame St, dropping the big jump and bombing through the next few, wallride, past the double gap and then peeled off into lower gums, staying on the singletrack, down and thru and down to the road and down to Dyers Pass Rd and down to the Park.  Straight in and up the 4wd track (which was actually mostly down from here), easy climbing up to Gung Ho for the first time ever.  This was a nice blast.  Enjoyed the busy-ness of it, lots of interesting wee features, and I kept a pretty solid pace all the way down, even tho I was riding blind...  Didn't encounter anyone else in here at all.

Final lower reaches, down and out to the base, where I just sat and coasted down through all the hoards, down the road, around back to the car.

A valid 18.22 kms, with a worthy 691 m climbed.