Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tuesday pre-meeting blat.

New office, downtown now, so skedaddled and met Nelson in the Countdown carpark, Moorhouse. Limited time having to get all riding in before the 7.30 TFC meeting.  Traffic hell til we hit the hill, parking up same place as the other week on Parkridge off Longridge. Headed up the steep new single, both cleaning all of it this time (and gasping for air as a result). Around and up the usual Britten then around to and up Broadleaf Lane.

At the top we walked up to the Trig to have a look into the Harbour, seeing fires burning behind Governors Bay - not to mention all the smoke and choppers working.  Back on the bikes and heading down, the steep start here loose as and almost traction-free which threw me out a little but propelled Nelson pretty much off trail.  Battered our way around to the stile and over.  From here it was smooth flowy blazing.  I was tight on his tail all the way, weaving and grooving down and across through the tussocks.  Down the 4wd and into the original Greenwood entrance as if heading back up towards Mt Pleasant Rd, keeping a really good pace around here we turned onto the new trail we'd climbed last time, finding it to be quite a cool flowy wee descent.  Flew down this and into the other one we'd only descended before, finding it to be a really fun climb, with really not that much climbing, ending just up above the Ruins.

From here it was back up the Greenwood entrance, out to the road, up the road and into Britten, for the fang down here, me leading and keeping a good pace, railing around the bermy corners and then across the way we'd come up, flying down the steep descent and back to the car.  My watch said it was about 7.15, (but Nelson's car said 6.40something, which he thought was really slow), so we headed down and made it to TFC dead on 7.30... (nelson's car saying 6.56)... gates were locked and I was very confused, rang Steve to see what was up, and him saying it's only 7!...my watch had somehow wound itself ahead.  Oh well, gave Nelson and me time to get some food, making it back just in time for the meeting...

So, all up a short ride, but was intense and fun...  under 10kms, and only 320m gained.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday, hot hill work

Out on my lonesome leaving home about 9.20, drove and parked at bottom of Bowenvale on Eastern Tce - and caught up with an old friend, Ben, who I'll definitely ride with sometime soon.  Headed up Major Aitken Drive, figuring there might be a bit shade on the way up.  There was, tho it was still pretty warm getting up there.  Ground away and got to the gravel and grabbed some shade up the first section on a nice singletrack next to the gravel.  Then out in the open thankfully a bit of breeze around.  Under the pylons and then up to the high part hung a right and climbed up onto the singletrack, heading for the landing strip then up the last gravel, feeling a bit weak from the heat and the downhilling yesterday.

Brief break at the start of the Traverse, breeze cooling a bit, then I was off.  Good ride around here, tho the wind was a headwind for a start.  Met a couple of uni-cyclists (one of which was a young girl (9 or so?)), and was sort of chasing a guy on a carbon XC steed.  Good blast down to Vic Park-top and then through Thomson and Thompson and across an insanely busy Kiwi, cars clusterfucked everywhere...  Up the road slowly gaining on XC dude, catching him juuuust at the top of Worsley.  Cooled right off here in the breeze under that big pine and chatted to a few other bikers.

Off down the Body Bag, hugging the left hand lane (on account of a guy riding up the middle), which only gave me a little bit of gorse sting on the way down.  Into the park, climbing up the steep trail, and touching base with Paul and family who were celebrating Luka's birthday down at base.  Into Yeah Yeah Gnar and then a little way down decided Tommy2's, why not (just over a year since last down here).  Into here, it was cool, following pretty much exactly where it used to.  Bloody dusty as hell, but fun, and familiar and I rocked my way down it, cleaning everything.  Out the bottom and into DOHC, blasting.  By the bottom my arm pump was mental, and quite sore.  Popped into the base and said happy birthday and caught up with peeps and had a beer (nothing else on the menu or in the fridge appealed!).  Then off again, down the road, freshly watered, so not dusty, and then around the foot of the hills back to the car.

A smidge under 20kms, 660m climbed, 1.5 hours.  Hot.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Saturday Parking with the boys

Took O and his buddy Tane into the park, buying Tane a 10 pass for his near-future-birthday, plus one for O. We lifted up and did the green all the way down to get Tane's eye in.  Rough as, but everybody enjoyed it.  I followed for a start, and Tane crashed in about the third corner, a high-side that he leaped off and ran with, then a little lower down I got past him and then O.  Then I stopped and turned on the MMR.  Caught them again and overtook and sped on ahead.  On Active Rest I zoomed ahead again, getting quite a lead, then stopped and waited til I could see them coming and got going again.  All good.  Both boys enjoyed it and were game for more. 

Round 2, hit Possum Lord and DOHC. Tane REALLY liked these ones.  We all had good blasts down, I think Tane offed a couple times but he was fine.  Back to the car for a bit of lunch after this run.

Then round 3, we headed down Yeah Gnar.  Pretty dusty, and I caught some rookies (who probably shouldn't really have been in here, I mean, they were really struggling).  I got past them and then the boys did too.  Then some faster guys got past the boys, and I let them by, but a little lower down they let me by again cos I was definitely riding it quicker than them.  The boys walked the worst steep bit, but rode everything else.  Across the midpoint and into DOHC again. This was another good run and faster than the last.  I'd been texting with Paul a bit earlier, and he was in the vicinity so came in and we caught up with him at the base, juices for the boys and an iced coffee for me. We were talking about another run, but after a quick blat on the pump track (while I hung with Paul) the boys decided they were knackered enough that we didn't need to do a final fourth run.

I forgot to turn the MMR off til most of the way down the access road...

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Wednesday Night Adventure Climb Worse Nun Traverse Lava OldsKool

Pick up from work and across town to park on Ashgrove Tce next to the bridge into Ernle Reserve.  Over this and a mellow cruise up the Heathcote River past Cracroft and then up the gravel into the Park.  Straight into the Uphill climb, ziggy zaggy, jiggy jaggy...  we caught up to some other guys and sat behind them for a while, got past one and were happy enough having a rest behind the next guy, til it opened up and we plodded on ahead, up and over and down and through the midpoint and then on upwards the old way we used to climb out of Fightclub etc.  around and through the gate and up the techknuckle grovel little bitty shitty rut-city.  Cleaned our ways up this and then had a bit of a social rest outside the gate of the park, chatting with others, snacking and resting before heading off up the Bodybag.  Cleaned it a long way up.  Nelson got it all the way, but I blew out pretty near the top, rested, breathed and then got going again, cleaning up the rest.  Nice - best effort for a long time.

Over and into the Nun climb, quick piss stop and off down.  Nelson on fire, me chasing and struggling a little, flying down the Flying Nun, popping and grooving.  Big fuck up on the trail just after the big corner closest to the park - the Pioneer Race had been through on the weekend and all the muppets had fucked up the entrance to that rock you used to jump over...  On down through the rocky sections feeling pretty good, keeping Nelson in sight, but struggling a little to keep up.  Past the carpark and bombing through the lower section, no wuckers, Nelson still getting away but not too far ahead.  Strangely we met some dude riding up, near the bottom, and we finished it off. 

Across Dyers Pass and up the road, Nelson taking the lower Thompson, me staying on the road.  Up here were some dipshit boy racers with a lowered ute, mashed up front and tires off the scuffed up rims.  Dumb-arses had lost it into the barrier.  "Ohh, That doesn't look good.  Whoops" from me, and "Looks like you're gonna need a wheel alignment" from Nelson, to which they slung him some abuse, little shits.  Lucky no one had been riding or driving up cos they'd crossed the centre line to hit the barrier, obviously at some speed, the skid marks were lonnnng - hope the little fuckers get done for dangerous driving.  Into the upper Thomson for us, dropping down the recent wood-chip entrance, laughing at their misfortune all the way.  At the top there was a couple with electric plus-size bikes with kid trailers hitched up.  They'd come up Bowenvale Valley and the K2s!!!

Into the Traverse and a good blat round here, meeting quite a few other riders.  Legs were getting tired on the last few climbs, ending up at the top of Lava Flow.  Guy and a dog were here getting ready to go down, so we headed in and Nelson rode everything...  I walked one or two bits, but rode a heap I'd never had thought of in the past.  Was fun. It's a cool track (7 years since I'd last attempted it).  At the bottom we headed up the steps next to the 3rd bridge (we'd come down them one night back with the Thursday Night Crew).  Bit of a hike, but once you're up it's a cool singletrack across to the Hidden Valley Link Track - avoiding losing altitude on boring track, the creek crossing and the first two hairpins.  Into this and climbing climbing up to Old Skool. Great blast down this, seems to have been cleaned up a bit in the middle traversing section and looks to be seeing quite a bit of traffic.  Fast down the bottom and then out and down the road and round the river and back through Ernle to the car.

All up, 634 m climbed, in 22.1 kms over an hour and three-quarters riding.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Thursday Night loopy loopy convolutey

Nelson picked me up from mine and we headed east not really knowing where we might go - considering Lyttelton or Mt Pleasant localities.  Low easterly cloud (that had drizzled earlier in the day) was scudding across the hills, and for some reason we headed up into it, parking up on Parkridge Place.  Some sun to the west but also fast moving dampness ploughing in from the east, we headed up the new track I'd come down when riding with the boys (that they'd missed) back in November.  Quite a crunty wee climb, with even Nelson having to get off and walk a little, then across the face of the park and onto the old well trodden path up.  We held a good pace up here, ensconced in the fast moving fog, grass and tussocks rather damp, and Nelson only dropped me a couple hundy metres from the top.  Around the 'long' way across the top of Britten with the tail wind pushing Nelson off the trail as we rounded the top of the ridge, I took the lead from here through to where the climbers park their cars.

Across the road and up the Mt Pleasant access climb, but turning right and bombing down the steep single to the stile and over and down and into the ziggy zaggy climb to the Gondola building.  Sunglasses had to come off as they were steaming up big time.  Grunt grunt and clamber, up we went, the fog chasing us, and spectacularly swirling out over the bridle path.  At the gondola building we headed down the Crater Rim steppy section towards the Bridle Path top, with the fog starting to burn off and the sun shining through.  Good bomb down here, seemed bonier than usual, and we struggled to find a good way onto our sidling-around-the-munty-bits track (that hugs the fenceline just above the road).

At the Bridle-top we headed up the Crater Rim / 360 degree track that we've come down a couple times now, and found it quite good most of the way.  Further up than we remembered coming down, but got up through the overgrowing broom and steps.  We took a break on the way up and watched some loony riders climbing the Bridle Path, doing well.  Around the ridge top and downhill began back towards the Tors and CastleRock, nice flow down here with fun rocks to jump off.  Then across a light saddle and climbing again, up around to above the Castle Rock, final fun little descent down to there.  Sat and snacked and watched the loony climbers climbing up Castle Rock track, all three of them cleaning it to the top.  Chatted with them a bit, they'd come around from Gov's Bay, and were the builders of the steep singletrack over there, the reknowned "Governors Bay crew"...  They took off and a guy that'd chuffed up the road dropped into the trail ahead of us so we gave him some space and then Nelson led the way in.  I mumbled my way through the first descent and rocks, but once around the bend I started to flow, and quickly reeled Nelson in gaining on his tail before the first hairpin.  Around this and chasing again til the climb when I started to drop back again - just not enough oomph up the hills.  Easy roll out to the road and he was really huffing as we started our way along the Summit Rd under the gondola.

Around the bend just after the gondola the winds funneling through here nearly had us stopped.  SO strong.  Battled our way up around and into the singletrack at Cavendish Saddle, climbing up the steep mother and onwards up to Mt Pleasant, fog now but a memory, just damp tussocks and a little bit of dirt to show for it.  Straight into the descent from the top of Pleasant, fanging down through the rocks and over the stile.  From here, looking down on the Greenwood entrance, I spotted a new ribbon of singletrack coming up the hill to that entrance, filing it for later...  then onwards down, awesome blast down the singletrack, weaving through the tussocks and out to the 4wd track.  Into the Greenwood, but only to the first jump, where we peeled off to the left and onto the new trail I'd discovered last time up (the other week).  Great wee weavy trail, ducking and diving across the slope towards the big Richmond Hill pines, we had a very hurried and urgent time.  Out to the gate and 4wd, and found the entrance to the new climbing track (back up to original Greenwood entrance) that I'd spotted from above.  This was a great wee climber, zigging when it needed to, and looking quite established and like it's been there a while.  How we'd ever missed in the past I don't know.  It's even got gravel in places that would have been wheelbarrowed in.  Made our way up (and would be a fun down too) to the original Greenwood entrance and onto the road, climbing back up this short stretch to Britten.

Bombed into Britten, me tight on Nelson's tail the whole way, til the sun came piercing into our left eyes as we rounded down to the corner...  This sun made most of the rest of the trail quite tricky, but we found the left hander easily enough onto the new stretch of trail and absolutely flew across the slope and down the new techy bits back to the car.

A hard won 16kms with over 600m climbed, nearly all minty singletrack.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Family Adventure Parking

Borrowed a spanky SC Bullitt from Josh for Tra'y and we loaded up and trekked off to the Park.  First time up the lifts for all of us, bought myself a 10 ride pass and the family all had the 3 ride samplers we'd got for Xmas.  So, off up the lift, (the top of which I turned on the MMR).  Off down Duncan's Donuts to start with, O and me soon putting some distance between T and H.  Regrouped and I rode with H and T jetted on ahead with O.  Nice cruisy descent, a little on the slow side, and H was really getting bumped around.  It looked like his forks weren't doing anything ( - they weren't, I discovered a little lower down).  Bit of whinging ensued, from the start of Active Rest and for the rest of the way down.  O and me jetted off ahead again and got regrouped a couple times eventually getting to the bottom tho and waiting and waiting for them.  H was not happy, and I really was wondering if we'd get him up again.  But, sorted out his fork a bit, and got his brake lever closer to the bar, and put a bandaid on the blister forming on his hand, and off up the lift we went again.  Caught up with Mark down here too.

This time, O and me hooked up with Mark at the top and we headed into Yeah Yeah Gnar.  Nice, the old top bit of T2, so was good.  O did amazingly well, handing the 'tech' really well.  We blazed on down this, him only walking one steep section just below the volcanic rock wall (on Alice's), and cleaning out the rest nicely.  Then we headed into Double Overhead Cam, and it was a hoot.  Both of us really enjoying it and blazing down, overtaking a slower couple on hardtails, and I'd blast ahead for a bit, then stop and wait for him, the blast ahead again.  Was good.  At the bottom again we watched and waited for H and T, and chatted to Mark again.  H and T turned up, we jollied H along again and he was much happier after that descent and another bandaid and a juice and he perked up well.  Whilst waiting down here I managed to witness a guy crash pretty bad on the last Airtearoa jump, landing on his side and smacking down just out of view.  He didn't get up again.  We watched while the medics all arrived and actually while I was getting bandaid for H there was a guy in the First Aid bay with a broken collarbone too...  2 crashes within 10 minutes of each other. 

Off up the lift again, and this time O and me did Lord of the Possums and regrouped with H and T at the mid point.  Stupidly I sent T off with O down DOHC...  oh dear, what a mistake.  H and me had a nice time down Active Rest and spotted T and O below and T was cursing me.  Then much much lower down I saw O finishing off DOHC and we stopped right where they nearly touch and waited for T.  Eventually I saw her walking down with the bike.  As soon as she saw me she yelled she was leaving it there, and did and walked off.  I had to send H on his way and clamber my way through gorse and up to get her bike, ride it down to mine, then ride mine and wheel hers down the rest of the Green trail.  Not a happy girl...  I'd totally misjudged her ability, and just thought no worries, it's easy (for me and O, obvs)...

End of day, with unhappiness in the car.  Made up now, but she'll never trust my trail judgement again.  "yeah, it's easy", when it's not.

three rounds...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday night Eastern noose

Home with the boys for school holidays cos T was back at work today, so Nelson came to mine and we ate a little then headed out to Scumner.  Parked again in Slumnervale and headed up the Captain, not quite slow pace we'd had last week with Craig, but probably not much faster, as I was gasping down the air as usual.  I nearly offed on the wee descent before the rocky challenges, having dropped my front wheel into a dip or behind a rock badly, and only just got it under control, with visions of myself toppling head first down the steep hill onto more rocks.  Adrenalin pumped big time...  Walked the usual bits and rode everything else, including cleaning one bit I haven't cleaned in years...  Eventually the Summit Rd was reached and across Evans Pass we trundled.

Into Godley, cleaning the easy climb and then the beginnings of me-not-doing-very-well began.  I proceeded to dab a bunch of times on the various rocky outcrops that ensued, balance all off, and struggling with power.  Made it in the end and found I wasn't that far behind Nelson towards the end.  Brief regroup and then off down towards Livingston Col with a bunch of parasailers floating about above the last (fast) section of track.  Man we hooned down there.  The track's seen some work so is really fast again, swooping through to the cool swoopy bits.  Then Nelson flatted.  At least, got a hole in his tire the the goop didn't fix. Waited for ages, perched on the hillside, watching the parasailing people catching updrafts of the persistent easterly.  But no, it wasn't going to heal itself, so he pulled it off and whipped in a tube.  Off again and down through Livingston, then climbing again.  Good wee climb this.  I remember in the past I used to hate it but it's really pretty short now.  Over the top and around, gravel a little sketchy around here then onto sweet trail flying tailwind to the last bend and around to PFMTBC Rock, Nelson launching it and not even touching the rocks on the down side of it, me picking the line and kinda floating down them on my back wheel.

Next into Anaconda.  Fuck.  What a fucking debacle that is.  Who the fuck did that.  Stupid fucking highway of gravel, not so bad for a start, but in the corners it's just like riding on ballbearings, skittery as all shit.  Glad to be off it, and onto dirt again and the speed increased again.  Nelson jetted on ahead, but I somehow managed to keep him at least in sight until the 'Tail, where he vanished and I didn't see him til much further down it, disappearing around the last corner...  Nice run down this, especially the floaty bit in the grass above the walking track, tail wind and smooth runnings.  Not so bad through the rock sections and then was flying down to the paddock and out to the carpark. 

Climby climb climb, delayered at the first corner, then climb climb, into the zig-zag singletrack that took us back up to the Godley Head Rd.  Fricking steep, I walked a section along the fenceline near the top, but rode everything else, huffing and chuffing.  Around the road and up the track back to the Godley Track, where we pointed our noses into the sun and rode like the wind.  I was doing okay but then I started to muppet my way along, and had good and bad moments down to Evans. 

Across the pass again and into the Captain.  Nice blast down this, both of us rolling really well, cleaning everything (except the climb) and then Nelson flatted down in the lower zig zags, just before the turn-off to the Cabbage Tree diversion.  I rode on, having a sweet blast down round the cabbage tree, and he nursed it down til he walked out.  I waited at the stile, then we cruised slowly down back to the car.

Ride time 1 and half hours, 17.6 kms, 712m climbed...