Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday morning small posse

Got myself across to Steve's by 9am (via Stanmore, Nursery, Wilsons, Opawa) and found there him, Wazza and Wayno.  We headed around and up cRapaki, taking it at a nice easy Steve's pace.  We held back with him until the flat bit where Wazza and me headed over a wee singletrack above the trail, then for the final climb I pushed hard ahead and exhausted myself for a nice rest at the top.  Somewhere on the way up cRapaki my MapMyRide died, stopping at 7.99kms, stupid thing.  Off up Vernon, following a couple of real slowbos, and staying on their tails because we were holding back for Steve, but once we got past them I powered on ahead and around and up and around and over and stopped at the start of the Traverse.  Quite a few people around here.  I snacked and we regrouped, then onwards around the Traverse, keeping a good pace going, catching up to various oldies on the way round.  Fun fang round and then I lost my chain just before the end, coasted to a stop and re-engaged, following the other three to the top of Vic.  Into Thomson and Thompson, nice blasts through the two of these.

Up the road to top of Marleys, and time for a lap of the Nun, so lined it up, waiting for a young grom to put on his knee pads and get going, but these two older slower guys got in ahead of him.  I headed in after him and never saw him again (til he'd popped out half way), but I caught the older guys in the rocky sections.  Once past them I had a good blast down, only muppetting a couple spots.  Good speed in the lower reaches.  At the tree on the corner near the bottom a rooster clucked out in front of me and squawked and holla'd ahead of me for a few metres before getting out of my way.  On down and through the jumpies, missing them, and avoiding my nemesis jump. 

Back up the road and over and down the Body bag, getting some good speed down here, the bike feeling really smooth.  Hung a left towards Braille, and then a hard right onto the newby Nelson and me had found.  The guy was working on it, so I thanked him and he wished us good riding.  We had a good blast down here, the boys enjoying the trail a lot.  Dropped onto the trail at the end and fanged off down this.  Wet spot where Nelson and me headed up for the Jumpy trail, and the 4wd below here got greasier and wetter and muckier the further we went.  Total passenger material, with one loss of control by me when we passed a riding couple squirrelling their way up.  Where the jumpy trail comes out the trail was dry again and bombed down to the road losing a lot of the muck off our tires.  More removed at 60 whatever kph on the road, diversion on the mtb track on the left, then into the Farside tracks.  The boys all took 1 Trick Lucy, where I opted for Utopia.  I felt like it isn't used much, and was fun, but got me out the bottom quicker than them. 

Down the road and stopped in for a coffee at the cafe in the Cracroft shops, then met Andy and Jenna around the road a bit from here and chatted, before heading around the river, across the Beckenham Loop and I peeled off up Eastern, Wilsons, Nursery, Stanmore home.

Steve'sMappedRide says he did 28kms, and over 720m or so altitude...  chuck an extra 10 kms on that for my commute, and we're even.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Night Cashmere Vic Bowenvaling

No ride weekend due to weather and under-weatherment, and no chance of a ride this week due to being sole charge of children, so Monday night was the only option to get out.  Nelson came to mine and we had a bit of a feed before heading out.  Got to Holliss Ave at 7pm thereabouts, and headed up the hill.  Steep bastard of a road this, and I was soon wheezing like and asthmatic smoker, barely managing to keep any air in, climbed away behind but managed to keep on top of my gear and make it to the top of the road.  Into the walking track, first off, down LOTS of steps.  I hadn't remembered them, but Nelson rode them all, while I took the safety conscious route of walking.  Little bit of single track and some steps up, followed by some more, and then about 5 flights of them and we were on Longhurst Tce. 

Across the road and up a little bit and into the singletrack here that climbs around below all the houses up up up.  One respite then steeeeep switchback that Nelson rode lots of and I walked heaps of.  On ever upwards, more up than I remembered and finally we were at the stile over to the Forest.  Here's what I used to called the Barbed Wire Root Kiss track, on account of when you're coming down the roots are jittery and the barbed wire is SO close to your hand as to be almost kissing it...  Anyway, climbing is an interesting one, we both managed lots of it, Nelson way more than me, but much getting off also ensued.  At the top, we both cleaned the last section to the gate, and then into the Dog Park and off up, more rocks meaning more walking for me, and less so for Nelson, then across the park to the gate and a couple of pops over the gutter and then off into the walking track that starts here.  Nice forested flow through this, eventually coming out above the climbing trail from the bottom of Old Dyers, dropping down more nice singletracks to it, and off up to the 19th Batt. Memorial. 

Up the fire road to the skidder site and for a change, off up the Gums track.  Walked a whole bunch in there, but explored a little below the my fun wee favourite before heading onto the main track and then cutting through to the top of Sesame St and upwards onto Brake Free.  Up through this to beneath the see-saw, along the fence, through a gate and onto the climbing trail up to the Traverse.  Stopped here briefly wondering what to do next...

Off down towards the rabbit paddock, and as we moseyed down this I spotted a trail off to the left, hmmm, followed it and found several rabbits, thinking they were hiding from me.  Nelson joined me and we cruised back across to the Rock Garden with freshly dampened tires.  Then we were blazing down through the Gummies, hung the favourite left and bombed it down through there, ducking and weaving around the trees.  Eventually back onto the skidder site, and off up towards the top of 19th Battalion Memorial, like we've done a couple times now with the Thursday night boys.  Followed our noses over this and down the sketchy trails, including one steep wee mofo through a shrubbery you can't see out of, left on the walking track across into the forest and then down to the right, and then a hard right and down steps and fun blast through the woods, veering left around and finally down a bunch more steps.  Following down more to find the steep fun trail we'd done a couple weeks back.  Finding it and dropping and dropping, magnificent trail reminiscent of all our (reportedly mostly deceased-) favourites in McVicars.  Finally the super steep finale, Nelson planted himself into a tree, then struggled to get moving again down the last bit I walked.  Clambering through the forest now over and through, then back on and dropping down onto the last bit of descent finally onto the main valley drag, above the fordy bridge the dude died at. 

Climbed here, up to the creek crossing and up into Hidden Valley Link track.  Bollocksed the climb out of the creek, good round the corner and up to the second hairpin, bollocksed that, bollocksed the wee rock up, then the next one, then the first of upper corners, then just out of the last one, then dabbed on the final climb to the stile.  Bloody balance was all out and my lungs weren't working properly...  Had a good rest here, then headed onwards, around and down Old Skool.  Bloody good blast.  Rode it well, in very good condition, sounds like way less sketch and slop than the boys yesterday, all in all having a nice run after all that bad balance.  Final drops, peeled left and looked at where Nelson had crashed a few weeks back. 

Finally, down the bottom of the valley, and down the colder and colder Bowenvale Ave, detouring across Wedgewood, Landsdowne and taking Gunns Cres back around for a final drop Holliss and the car.

1 hour's riding time, 11.3kms, 421m climbed.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Sunday Pleasant Tarmac Posse

Left home on the Troll (cos knew we'd not be much off road today - tracks closed'n all) and then remembered mymapmyride on Vogel, got it started and headed for the 9 o'clock meet at Steve's.  Got there to find Tony and Steve, and then up rolled Pete.  Headed the usual Garlands, Radley, Marshall, Radley Park, along The Cut, over the bridge then along the tow path all the way round the back of Ferrymead to the bridge.  Sketchy in spots around there, where my lack of tires made for slickness galore.  Also, a couple of the wee bridges in there were just lightly glazed in frost, one of which caught Pete out pretty good, giving him quite a wee fright.

Layers off on Ferrymead Bridge, then off up St Andrews Hill.  Low gear on the Troll is pretty good for this, and I didn't struggle at all.  Steve was feeling it hard when we got to Marama, so he tried a little experiment of spraying some of his nitro on his finger and tasting it (instead of getting the full dose of spray on the tongue), and he was marvelling later how well it'd worked.  Nice one!  On up Major Hornbrook all the way, Clearview and Upper, then on up Mt Pleasant Rd to the top.

Down the Summit Rd here, just rolling, the Troll, with it's smooth tires, proving quite quick.  Freezing cold in the shade of the Richmond Hill pines, and we popped over the fence here to continue on down the gravel farm track, then below this onto the newly upgraded dirt track, Troll surprisingly stable, to the top of Richmond Hill Rd, and bombing down this.  I was being a bit cautious down the steep straight, and Pete overtook me then we both overtook a car.  My brakes worked hard to reel me in from around 60kph for the corner, and then it was a nice blast down the rest of it, with an ice-cream headache forming by the time I made the bottom.  Brrrrrr... My pfmtbc doo-rag saturated with sweat was collldddd.  Around to Dot Com and coffee and snackages partaken of.

Onto the road and around through Redcliffs and the Causeway, all slipstreaming, first behind Steve then Pete.  Pete and me split from the other two at the Bridge and continued our merry way round Humphrey's and Spinwood homewards, home well before 12.

Over 30kms and 567m climbed in all.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Wednesday night, Worsley short shrift - before the snows?

Late start departing my place, Nelson and me, to the top of Worsleys Road and a nice cool southerly blowing through there.  Rain earlier in the day, we figured maybe under the trees somewhere would be dry enough to ride.  But first, we headed up the main drag of Worsley Track, marvelling at how dry the lower sections were...  Further up, not so much.  A lot of wheezing earlier on, and various muckfest sections later, with a little mucky walking, and we were entering the bottom of the cloud at the bottom of the Bodybag...  Checked out the Park sign here and their access roadage and then headed back down and into Braille.

Fun little track, except for the bigger gap jumps.  Nelson tackled the earlier ones, I tackled one or two, even going back up for a couple of them, but not really allowing myself to give them everything, due to the greasiness under-tread.  Bombed on down, bypassing the worst humps, and continued on down, dropping into the lower section below the access track down towards the lower pylon, twisting and turning our way down to the end.  Back up the climb-out, and then back up the 4wd track amongst Braille to the top again, chuffing away, wondering where next.  Decided on another Braille run, and Nelson cleared a few more of the jumps, or better anyway, this time, me, worse than before...  Decided I really need a service, my rear is squeaking annoyingly and my fork needs some fettling.  On down all the way again, and we found ourselves climbing again - "Weren't we just here?"

Upwards to the top again, and this time back across towards the main Worsley Track, through the wee dip, and all the while looking left to find the track we'd explored last time we were in here...  Hmmm, someone's been digging.  Very nice wee fun (quite easy) track has been built here, pretty much following the main Track from just inside the trees, a good distance down.  We got some nice speed through here, and there were one or two interesting features on the way.  I noticed at least 2 or three alternative (less ridden or dug) lines off the left side, dropping into the valley more, so there's plenty of exploring to be done, and scope for way more trailage through this area.  Popped out on the climbing track, at around about the steepest bit, and found our way down to below the powerlines, where there's a wee creek.

Climbed up through the powerline clearing, then headed left down into the jumpy track.  Nelson knows this well, so let it go and jumped the jumps he was comfortable jumping, including the fence gap.  I toodled around most of them, including stepping over the fence gap...  On down through the last of it, ducking and diving, then dropped onto the climbing track, skirted some mud pugs, and climbed up to the final Epitaph - which I rode quite carefully on account of the slippery dirt.  Nelson, not so much.

440m climbed, in 8.3kms...  short and sweet.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Mt Herbert snow and wind.

Couldn't make the ride to Orton Bradley TFC planting with the boys, but managed to get out later on, driving round to Diamond Harbour for an attempt at some snow riding after a nice dusting was deposited over the Peninsula tops overnight.  Caught up with the boys (Pete, Steve, Tony & Wayno) as they were just getting into Diamond Harbour, making them miss the 12.30 ferry sailing by stopping to talk to me...  (sorry guys).

Headed off up the walking track, bailing all the techy bits cos they were slippery as, but the rest of it was nice, and it was in here that I only just remembered to start MapMyRide.  Across Bayview Rd and onto the trail proper, steeeeeeep to start with, and steep and long a lot of the rest of the way.  Steady climbing, riding most of it, meeting a couple of walkers here and there, all bundled up against the wind.

The worst climb was from a gate just below a couple of water tanks, and it's waaay too steep to ride, so walked for some time up this bit.  This was where the snow started to become more common, tho mainly the trail was clear til the top of this section, when the drifts started taking up half the track.  On all the exposed ridges, the wind was ferocious, cold and strong, but the lee-side slopes were mild and sunny.  Drifts of snow and snow on the track were steadily increasing from about 600m altitude.  This made riding more interesting, and the fatty handled the drifts nicely.  The last section of track I rode was up to the gate below the summit.  829m according the MMR, so less than 100m shy of the 919 top.  Snow was pretty solid here, nice squeaky stuff, and drifted in nice windridges.

Here's the view...
And a nice view of the bike... (weird fat-butt camera distortion...)
Let some air out here.
 Descending, the snow was awesome to ride in, cushioning the bumpiness of the track.  The steep section to the water tanks was horrible, really hard work, rigid bike on rough track, working the brakes, made for some sore hands and arm pumpedness.  Lower down the long rolly flows were sweet as, and one section much lower down I was humming along with my hands utterly loose on the bars. 

Left the car at 12.30ish, and made the highpoint about 2.10, and was back at the car before 2.45.

All up, over 700m climbed, and less than 14km travelled... 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Random Redzone Ramblings

Jet and me were at a loose end and I was too tired to head for the hills, so jumped on the newly upgraded fatty (it's now a Ritchey Commando, - Charge Cooker Maxi 2 no longer!), and we wandered the redzone.  Mostly using gaps in the fences, but plenty of lift over, climb over, and wire stretch let-unders for jetty.  Explored my usual Horseshoe Lake trail, and had a look around the north side too.  Nice.  When in the large expanses of redzone, we just ride randomly, wandering from one patch of trees to the next.

Back towards home along Mundys and Archilles, then around the Banks Ave singletrack.  Rain was juuussstt starting to spit when we got home.  Good timing.

12 kms, and wow, 23 metres of altitude...

Friday, July 29, 2016

Thursday Steep crew again

Met up with the makings of the same crew as last week, more accuracy in name gathering this time, Mark, Phil, Tones, Rob being stalwarts of last week, and another Rob and another guy who's name I didn't catch, plus Nelson and me.  Met them at The Takahe, and set off at 6.30pm.  Headed up Vic Park Rd, hanging a right a little way up, down some steps and through a nice wee forest trail down to the Harry Ell track, climbing this up all the way to the top, only pissing off about 4 runners on their ways down.  I gronked my knee trying to step up the rocky step up just above the road, and failed to clean the steps half way up.  Good run the rest of the way.  At the top we could hear some dumbarse boy racers yelling on the road below, sounded like they'd dropped a wheel off the road or something and were having trouble.  haha. 

Everybody attempted the steeeep loose climb into the macracarpas of the lower Thompson, some with some success, others (like me), not so much.  Up from here then up the road to the top Vic Park carpark, then above the road, climbing up towards Sugarloaf to the carpark.  Some steep in here, and a fence. Next it was off down towards the Kiwi.  Some techy rock steps and drops and right at the bottom some fucking horrible steps that I baulked and walked.  From the Kiwi we rode up the road to the first saddle and headed off down the Governor's Bay track (lower entrance), and within 50 m Nelson had OTB'd; happily with no injuries.  Onwards again and we headed all the way down the switchbacks, ducked through the (VERY) tight shrubbery at the bottom and out onto the driveway. 

Now for something we'd never done...  Down.  Down down down, steep(ish in places), greasy (southern facing slopes), and thankfully (considering the circumstances) not too tech.  But, good blaze down, a regroup half way, and it wends and winds it's way down all over the place.  One super wet greasy section that had one of the Robs (in front of me) off the side of the trail, and caked our tires up something wicked.  A short climb within, then back and forth down a bunch of switchbacks to the end (the last(?) driveway up from Governors Bay on Dyers Pass Rd?).  Regroup here and it was off up again.  Nelson and Rob raced off ahead, by all accounts cleaning heaps, but dabbing and walking a few bits.  I got in there and flailed my way into the first couple corners and spun out and lost balance and dabbed and walked an awful lot of the way up, being overtaken by all except the guy who's name I didn't catch, who was dragging behind worse than me.  Caught Phil and Tones up a couple of times, but they were cleaning heaps more than me.  29er grip????  or just my ineptitude?  (the latter, methinks).

Back at the driveway and regruppo'd and then off up through the shrubs which just ruined me.  The switchbacks above here I've never had much luck on, and I had the power in some but not the balance, or I had the balance but ran out of power in others.  The main track across the face above the road I had more luck on, except for my balance constantly pulling me over to the left, leaving me walking a whole bunch of the top section to the waiting guys. 

Across the road here and into the lower reaches of the Nun, me taking very carefully after last week's shoulder damage.  Across Dyer's Pass and up the road to the top of Vic, dropping into Coffee Break across and back then down into Brake Free for a few yumpies, then around and back into the rabbit paddock and down through the rocks and into the gums, blasting left into my favourite, I had Mark tight on my tail, yelling out instructions "LEFT" to those guys behind him, and Nelson in the lead.  Popped, dropped and wove our way down to the skidder site for another regroup. 

Across towards 19th memorial, like last week, cruising across the top again and down the trails we'd taken last week, but once in the walking trails instead of heading down we continued across and up a bit, past the slide (tho not visible), and down to the Dog Park.  Through this and down to the lower exit into those pines we've ridden up and down a few times.  In the pines, Phil led us on a wild goose chase across looking for a 'cool trail' they'd found years ago.  No luck, but we ended up back near the top of the forest (lower end of the dog park) and worked our way down a not-bad track to come out at the top of Harry Ell Drive, bombing down this around into Longhurst and back to the cars...

over 600m climbed, in 14.5kms