Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday night rode-y

Riding the Troll, I met Nelson at the usual Moorhouse carpark, him with the skinny-tyred machine in the back, cos with all the rain we knew we couldn't be mtnbiking.  We headed to Woolston, parking by Holy Smoke and got changed then headed thru to the river, over the bridges and through the streets (stopping to look at all the classic cars next to the railway tracks) to Aynsley Tce and around to Rapaki.

Up, both climbing at a good clip - Nelson cos his bike's so light, and me cos my lowest gear on the Alfine is not as low as your average mtnbikes.  As a result, it wasn't long before we were overtaking other bikers.  No one commenting on our 'inappropriate' bikes but I swear some laughter was at my expense as I passed.  Hard work, and Nelson jetting ahead, I just slogged it up.  We regrouped on the flat, then he gapped me out again on the final climb.  I was glad I managed to get all the way to the top - legs truly pumped.

From the top we headed left, around the road, following it all the way, under Witch, under the Tors, past Castlerock, fast descent no brakes over 60 down to Bridle, and around under the Gondola into the wind on the corner, climbing up through the cutting.  A brief detour up Broadleaf Lane to the gate, just for the extra altitude and back, then the blast all the way down to Evans Pass, nice smooth rolling speed, over 50kph, then down into Sumner, blazing down through the red light and good high speeds over 60kph again down here.

Finally, taking a couple of turns slipstreaming each other around through Redcliffs and down the causeway clipping a nice 37 kph, then Ferry Rd back to the car.  Beer and food at Twisted Hop, and home about 9pm.

Just under 30kms, and over 800m climbed...


Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sundaze Farm Vern Witch Hunt

Catching up with York in London put me behind time not getting away til 10.30., so took Jet to Hillsborough Tce parking near the end.  We headed up the Crescent and onto the Farm Track. Not something I'd done for a long while. Hand written sign on gate said "No Bikes, Too Wet - Mt Vernon Management" which I ignored, because it hadn't rained for a few days, and what damage is a single climbing bike gonna do to a farm track?  Overall, I didn't find it "too wet" at all... Climbed the grunty bastard of a climb, taking plenty of rest breaks, cleaning everything bar about 4 metres just up around the corner through the gate (on the southfacing section).  Met plenty of walkers coming down, altho the whole top section I was on my own.

Up onto Vernon and down towards Rapaki.  Nice blast down here, pulling over for a few climbers and some of them letting me through.  Across into Witch Hill track.  This is in really good nick, looks like someone's been through it tidying, or it's had a fair bit of traffic.  But, no wetspots at all, and nice riding.  From here, headed along the Summit Road, and then was thinking, hmmm, 11.40, not really enough time for loop of Castlerock (cos we were booked at Adrenalin Forest at 1.30pm), so at the end of the walking track (just above the road), I hung a left back up onto it and rode it back towards Rapaki.  Across the road into Witch Hill, howling easterly on the climb, up over and around, then climbed Vernon, good pace, catching a guy ahead before the top, and dropping another guy behind me in the process.

Then onto the Traverse along through the first cattlestop and hung a right onto a new downhill line that's been scrubbed into the tussocks exactly as I've always thought we should do, all the way down to the entry to Bowenvale downhill and the landing strip.  Down the openlands and over fence onto the Huntsbury singletrack.  Good for a start but around towards the first big jump it got mucky as for a bit (where Quetty crashed last time).  Past the jump it improved down to the fence. Over this, and there's a few new wee jumps at the start of the jumpy section.  As I got further down it just got wetter and muckier, so I bailed out onto the Huntsbury Track proper, and headed down to the road.

Jet made friends with a dog down here and took ages to get away, then down at a slow pace (him trotting along) down the road, catching Derek and Babs carrying their old foxy Poppy for bit, chatted and rode with them, then headed on down, right into Aotea, and down to the corner.  Walked the top steps, rode next to the next lot of steps, and then blasted down the sealed track to St Martins School.  Then round the last couple of streets back up to the car.

Jet having had a lovely time.

A relatively honest 600m climbed, over 14kms.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Wednesday night, Fatty and Skinny strike out *post 900*

Met Nelson at Countdown carpark after work, on the fatbike, and then I proceeded to get a call from an old friend, Bat, who insisted she had to come and see me to tell me something that she couldn't tell me over the phone.  I'm thinking, great, someone's died... but who?  Helen? Jen? were the ones I thought of, as mutual friends we have and don't really see much anymore.  But no, it was much worse.  Matt, my best friend of 34 years since week 1 third form 1984, R.I.P. of a heart attack on this morning, Wednesday 2nd of August, 2017.

He joined us riding once, and, being a roadie himself, was always in awe of us mountainbikers and the intensity of our workouts coupled with the technicality of the riding.  So, i thought it fitting that I continued with my ride tonight, in his honour.  The whole thing seeming unreal and not quite believing it to be true... I'm so glad we caught up when I was in Melbourne back in June.

So, Nelson and me headed out to Moncks Bay, parking in the carpark of the Yacht Club where I took a call from Pete Gillespie, then we headed up Mulgans, first time for a lonnnnnng time (coincidentally only a couple of weeks before that ride with Matt).  Steep mother that it is, it was actually pretty good.  Walking the steps, but riding everything else, up to Panorama Rd, then along this up to Clifton Tce.  Over the stile and up to the rooty singletrack, Nelson's slicks spinning him out continuously.  Into Frog Pond track, which was super mucky in places leading to a bit of walking to save the trail, then once up on the ridge it was smooth clean riding to the trees.

Hit the Summit Rd down to Evans, fatbike tires screaming in agony and a slight headwind and thick cool damp air acting like a parachute on us.  Onto Godley Head Rd, climbing around til I got a call from another old friend Jase, then continuing on right out to the end of the road.

Through the carpark and onto the track over to the right, down the zigs and zags, then up the zigs and zags and over to the top, grabbing a snack stop here, another phonecall incoming, then off down to Boulder Bay and back around towards Taylors.  Met a couple of riders heading outways just near the beach.  Down to carpark and the final slog up the hill.  Nelson disappeared off on his super skinny tires, and just after the last dark corner he appeared back downhill towards me, and we rode the rest of the way up to the top of Scarborough together, before my ears were deafened again descending at over 60kph down the Scarborough Rd.

Across the Esplanade and back along under the cliffs to the car.

Just on 24 kms and a staggering 879 m climbed...  Pretty good for a 'road' ride.

And!  This has been blog POST NUMBER 900 ! ! !

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday 2nd ride, with O and Jet

We got O a replacement for his stolen bike, a nice Surly Instigator, so we took Jet up into Vic Park, parking at the 19th Batt. Memorial. Rode up the skidder, past Brake Free then around the Traverse to the Lava flow and back.  A good run, a bit of a head wind on the way round, then tail wind back.  Otis was loving his new bike and Jet had a wonderful time.  At the rabbit paddock on the way back we headed down into gums, taking my usual favourite little trail, Otis enjoying it, but walking the steep corner in there, and then down the singletrack (very messy) and back to car.

Just over 6kms and probably 200 m of gain, (I forgot to turn MMR on til up the skidder site, and then it was stuck paused til I 'resumed' at Brake free...)

Sunday Orton Plantley.

Early pick up of Pete for Lyttelton by 7.45am and 7.50 early ferry. Wazza, Wayno, Andy, Tony, and Steve and us, Steve the last one to show up.  Headed up the hill from Diamond Harbour, right up through and onto Bayview, which took us around and up and down, quite scenic-ly to Charteris Bay, then another non-main-road, another up and down over Anderson's Rd, whizzing down to Orton Bradley.

In here, caught up with Ian (manager there) and then headed up and did a loop of the bike trails up the valley.  Nice easy climbing on the walking track then diverting onto purpose build bike trail and then rejoining the walking track.  Across a bridge and back down, quite fun, then a bit of a wait in the sun (haaarrrdd frost this morning), and then planting Trees (from 10am) for Canterbury. Reasonable turn out to the planting so plants in ground reasonably quickly and down for a coffee at the school house, a sausage, and then back round the main road to miss the 12.30 ferry, thereby allowing Steve and me to have a beer at the Dark Star.  1pm Ferry back across and home in good time after that.

MMR struggling today (and i didnt start it til half way up the hill, nor turn it off til on the water).
20 odd kms, just over 400 m gained.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday Volcano Trail, Infinity Mtb Tours, Bali.

Found Infinity on the web and they sounded good, so I got picked up by the driver at 7am and we headed through the urban mass, picking up the ride-guide, Ajus, in Denpasar on the way. Hour or so of madness on the roads and we collected Lukas (from Austria) in Ubud. The two of us chatted as we drove another 40mins to the caldera crater rim overlooking a lake and Mt Batur (one of Bali's 2 live volcanos (Mt Agung (at 3800m) being the other)).
From this view point, a little further along the crater rim road and then we parked up.  Quick brake swap on my reasonably new Giant Reign, and we were off. Hour or so mostly downhill, pretty fast; down ridgelines, into gullies, trails of pumice sand, alongside rice paddies, awesome scenery galore. Snack stop at a little local warung (shop), some tasty traditional Bali 'cakes' snacks, then next section was a few ups and downs, mostly down,
Through sort of gardened jungle.

 Across a stream or two
 Overlooking flooded rice paddies,
 This bat was at the restaurant we stopped at for lunch, just hanging out.
 This was the view from lunch.  Lovely.  And that's Mt Agung hiding in the clouds in the distance.
Then in the last hour or so mostly flat and down, stopping for one last photo before a singletrack around a hill and down some fast steeps to end at the car waiting for us.

They'd gotten another driver to take Lukas back to Ubud and Ajus, my driver, and me headed back down directly to Denpasar, dropping Ajus off at a crazy big roundabout, then me back in Kuta.

Mapped: started at 1400m, finished at 357, with 200m climbed in between, so a total descent of around 1300m.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday Family downhill rice paddies and temples.

On an organised thing, included breakfast and lunch. Driven in a bus by Darma, navigating the crazy traffic to Ubud area into a very touristy area for breakfast then headed inland further to over 1100m altitude, to pick a bad bike from worse bikes for a downhill all the way back to the breakfast place for lunch and a Bintang and a swim in their pool.  Fun family activity.

Mapped: 26 kms, mostly all down hill from 1181m to 303.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Wednesday Night Packy Muckhorse.

Port Hills full of muck, and we figured everything would be closed so we headed over to Gebbies Pass on the off chance the Packhorse would be good - turned out it wasn't. Rather than leaving the car on the main road, we went through the gate and parked up at the end at the first stile. 

First 30 metres of trail were ok but then Nelson turned around saying "nah!, ankle deep sludge."  So, off we went down the forestry road bypassing the first half or so of the singletrack.  Fun fast smooth gravel, a little splecky, down, then a longish climb up to where the usual track meets it. 

From here down again to the 'dark' section of singletrack.  Headed in this and it was mucky, but not quite as bad under the douglas fir.  Definitely some traction issues, with me walking some of the steeper bits to start.  Up to the first of the switchbacky sections, and walking again, then across to the bach/hut, Nelson somehow riding heaps and me just losing the back end constantly and having to walk.  The grassy area was shocking, through to the forest again, which had sections of total quagmire, at each of which we would discuss turning back, but each time we decided to push on, just to see if it got better.  It didn't really.  Finally made the stile, Nelson somehow managing to ride most of that final climb.  I got a bit better, with a weight shift assisting grip, but obviously my old Magic Mary on the back is not so magic anymore. 

Over the stile and the track was a splecky wet mess.  Nelson managed to ride a lot on the grass to the side, but every time i tried to my backend would just spin-out, sliding round and stopping me, leaving me to work my way slowly up in the muck.  Around the Remarkable Dykes, we rode into mist, which got more horizontal movement as we approached the hut, moving pretty quick when we got there.  Brief stop, no one there, and back on the trail.  Much better on the way down, except that the muck splecked higher.  Nelson, again, rode heaps off the track, and I just couldn't, so resigned myself to the mess.  Lots of skill testing slippery rocks and exposure and skittering around.

Back over the stile and fun began.  Roots, rocks, slippery dirt, pine-needles, barely any traction.  Mint.  Rode it all, surprised how few dabs.  Even the couple of switchbacks in this area the roots and grease leading into it were rideable, if with little control.  Nelson tried the 'shortcut' route and ended up miles below the track having been unable to stop.  Rolling again, dabbing through the worst of the quagmires around the small creeks.  Through the open section I walked the climb, but Nelson rode it.  Back into the forest and down to the dark forest switchbacks were carnage creating - front wheel sliding through the curves.  Final blast do the forestry road was fun.  Our drivetrains were hating us.

Into the gravel road, climbing up around the less steep route then I was surprised how long the downhill here was, lots of speed, flying down, down, down, then climbing again, grinding up to the last top before a short descent to the car.

Muckfest 10 km total, there and back, 381m climbed, 1 hour's riding.