Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday Chasing Fog to Planting

Got going a little late so was 8.06 by time I got to Steve's.  He wasn't riding and the others had already headed off ahead, so I got chasing.  Steve thought they'd gone up Huntsbury, so I was chasing hard, and nearly dying as a result.  Never did catch them... cos they'd gone up Rapaki(!)

Anyway, up into the fog, total white out up top - 20 or 30m visibility, along Traverse, thinking the whole time I'll find them having a break here, or here, or here, or just up here...  nup.  Thompsons, Kiwi, ("surely they gotta be here!?"  nope).  Up the road and around the bend, thinking they musta really been haulin' ass.  Got wetter just past Worsleys so I stopped and chucked a jacket on, then rolled down to the top of Kennedys.  Asked a rider at the stile if he'd encountered a group heading down, nope.  Muddy as all get up along the top here, then slick as shit all the way down.  Stopped and scoped out the forests on the way down, man there's plenty of room in there now for secret trails...

Somewhere down here I texted Warren saying where are yas!?  only to receive that they were just at the top of Kennedys then.  Oh well...

 Bombed on down then onto the 'High Rd' and down, slippy slippy, and into the Crock, which was not so bad, and fun. 

Then into Murphs, the newby fun downhill, and then to the planting...

25kms, with 670 m gained.  My family attended the planting, so my ride finished here as I got a lift home with them.

Wednesday Quick Hanmer

Quick spin in Hanmer with a few guys from work - Pete, Miles and Dave.  Headed from the houses, around to Clarence Valley Rd, into Flax Track, up it, then seemed like Yankee Zephyr was shut, so we headed down Swoop.  Fun wee blast, nearly crashing overcooking one corner.  Along the flat, up Timberlands Trail, then into Red Rocks.  Fun blast down this, then out Eeny Meeny and back to the house to find ourselves locked out and our key at the pools...  Thanks a lot Ian.

Less than 10km, 41minutes ridden, just over 200m climbed... 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday Travis Planting Fatty

Left home on the fatty just after 10, and rode along the river - McBratneys - and through the red zone, then river again, and up Bassett, into Travis Wetland, over the bridge to arrive the same time as Steve. Luckily I'd brought my Gummies, as it was a total quagmire. Chucked them on, and then proceeded into the planting area.  Planted loads, with around 150 other people, then rode with Steve to the rangerbase and ate a couple sossies.  I took off straight after the speeches, down towards Anzac Bridge then followed river and red zone home. A good spin.
15 kms or so all up...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Night, up and down

Nelson picked me up from work just after 5 and the traffic was stupidly slow until we got across Brougham, then it wasn't so bad and we got to Worsley's Rd, parking next to the poplars on the flat before the new Park's entrance.  Rode up the road, round the corner and into the climb on the grass next to Fluffy Sheep.  At the top of this, we dropped into 1TrickLucy, boffing it down this, swoopy, clippy, yumpy, cruising.  Didn't look very well ridden, lots of overgrowth starting and just all a bit unkempt.  At the bottom of this, Nelson led off jetting down the switchbacks into the bottom of the valley, and we climbed up the lefthand (true right) side, steep little mother this is.  Levelled off and then through a gate, across a brandspanking new bridge, up some steps, then up a nice new gravel track, couple of switchbacks and then level-ish for a bit, then up a couple more switchbacks and then across the new slobdivision zone back onto Worsleys Rd, for to climb, up the singletrack bit then on up the seal to the top.

Into Worsleys proper, figuring the alt-route from the gate might be slick as shit like the other week.  We headed over to the left hand side through the trees to check out whether we could see anything of the new Park works.  Not really.  Rode up this singletrack to the water tank, then on upwards eventually finding ourselves IN the park, behind the sign.  Over the fence, and across the main track to ride up the 4wd mess-up-zone next to the jumpytrack forest.  Off camber as fuck up here, then on up and back onto the main drag in the big corner.  Cleaned the next few sections, really enjoying the challenge and just blazing up stuff I would have struggled with not that long ago.  Dunno what it was, but wasn't feeling all that bad.  Eventually got to the top, ie, the bottom of the Body Bag, and sat down for a rest, and to wait for darkness to get more in.  We'd ridden all the way to here without lights on.

Heard a couple of voices and spotted some lights over at the top of Braille, so we headed down and dropped into the little valley here.  Two guys with a boxer dog, parked up.  Brief chat, and we headed off into the newby singletrack here.  We had a nice blat down, I led the way, and we were keeping an eye out for any trails on the left.  Eventually, found one, but it proved a dead end in short shrift.  Meanwhile the two guys rode past, as we pushed back up to the track, and found what was really actually a droppy wee track just metres further down.  Couple of filters at the top but the rest of it was sweet, zigged and zagged steeply down onto the 4wd track in here.  Climbed this up to Braille and climbed on up.  Nelson gapping me, and then finding another newby off the right-hand side of this at the top.  Checked it out, no go, and another further down, no go, then back onto the climbing track to the top again, meeting the two guys and the boxer again, chatting longer this time.

They led off first, dog chasing hard, one of them took the jump line, and so we all got ahead of him and then when Nelson dropped into the steeper left hander lower down, the dog followed us down this, while the other two guys fanged off down the rest of the the trail, calling for the dog.  We hooned down the 4wd trail to their exit (quite along way further down), and then the dog turned up.  Down, and we spotted a trail exit on our right, so Nelson rode it and I pushed up it and eventually we found it's another new exit for the rest of the new track up there...  Back down this from where our droppy track started and out the 4wd all the way, getting caught, at speed, by the slickmud...  Nearly lost it, but managed to scrub enough speed, get back under control and follow on down the rest of it, spraying clods off  the tires.  Up to Epitaph, and down this back to the carpark.

Zoom down the road, bits of hard mud flinging off cleaning the tires, singletrack, then into Fluffy Sheep for a swoopy speedy descent back down, onto the road and back to the car.

2hours22 total time, just over 15kms and 578m climbed.

Friday Night, up and down

Nelson picked me up from work just after 5 and the traffic was stupidly slow until we got across Brougham, then it wasn't so bad and we got to Worsley's Rd, parking next to the poplars on the flat before the new Park's entrance.  Rode up the road, round the corner and into the climb on the grass next to Fluffy Sheep.  At the top of this, we dropped into 1TrickLucy, boffing it down this, swoopy, clippy, yumpy, cruising.  Didn't look very well ridden, lots of overgrowth starting and just all a bit unkempt.  At the bottom of this, Nelson led off jetting down the switchbacks into the bottom of the valley, and we climbed up the lefthand (true right) side, steep little mother this is.  Levelled off and then through a gate, across a brandspanking new bridge, up some steps, then up a nice new gravel track, couple of switchbacks and then level-ish for a bit, then up a couple more switchbacks and then across the new slobdivision zone back onto Worsleys Rd, for to climb, up the singletrack bit then on up the seal to the top.

Into Worsleys proper, figuring the alt-route from the gate might be slick as shit like the other week.  We headed over to the left hand side through the trees to check out whether we could see anything of the new Park works.  Not really.  Rode up this singletrack to the water tank, then on upwards eventually finding ourselves IN the park, behind the sign.  Over the fence, and across the main track to ride up the 4wd mess-up-zone next to the jumpytrack forest.  Off camber as fuck up here, then on up and back onto the main drag in the big corner.  Cleaned the next few sections, really enjoying the challenge and just blazing up stuff I would have struggled with not that long ago.  Dunno what it was, but wasn't feeling all that bad.  Eventually got to the top, ie, the bottom of the Body Bag, and sat down for a rest, and to wait for darkness to get more in.  We'd ridden all the way to here without lights on.

Heard a couple of voices and spotted some lights over at the top of Braille, so we headed down and dropped into the little valley here.  Two guys with a boxer dog, parked up.  Brief chat, and we headed off into the newby singletrack here.  We had a nice blat down, I led the way, and we were keeping an eye out for any trails on the left.  Eventually, found one, but it proved a dead end in short shrift.  Meanwhile the two guys rode past, as we pushed back up to the track, and found what was really actually a droppy wee track just metres further down.  Couple of filters at the top but the rest of it was sweet, zigged and zagged steeply down onto the 4wd track in here.  Climbed this up to Braille and climbed on up.  Nelson gapping me, and then finding another newby off the right-hand side of this at the top.  Checked it out, no go, and another further down, no go, then back onto the climbing track to the top again, meeting the two guys and the boxer again, chatting longer this time.

They led off first, dog chasing hard, one of them took the jump line, and so we all got ahead of him and then when Nelson dropped into the steeper left hander lower down, the dog followed us down this, while the other two guys fanged off down the rest of the the trail, calling for the dog.  We hooned down the 4wd trail to their exit (quite along way further down), and then the dog turned up.  Down, and we spotted a trail exit on our right, so Nelson rode it and I pushed up it and eventually we found it's another new exit for the rest of the new track up there...  Back down this from where our droppy track started and out the 4wd all the way, getting caught, at speed, by the slickmud...  Nearly lost it, but managed to scrub enough speed, get back under control and follow on down the rest of it, spraying clods off  the tires.  Up to Epitaph, and down this back to the carpark.

Zoom down the road, bits of hard mud flinging off cleaning the tires, singletrack, then into Fluffy Sheep for a swoopy speedy descent back down, onto the road and back to the car.

2hours22 total time, just over 15kms and 578m climbed.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Solo, Fat snow mucky Jet Grey

Jetty and me, with the fat on the back, headed up country for the "Lake" Janet.  Loads of vehicles at the carpark.  Parked up and got riding somewhere around 1.15pm, heading up the usual grinder.  I've never managed to remember each bit, but as I ride it I always discover how much longer it is than memory would have it.  Snow was in evidence even as low as the 'lake', in patches, and more I found the higher I got.  Mostly it'd been 4wheeldriven through so there was a melted track through it; evidence of a couple of bikes prior too, and higher up in the shaded bits the tire tread had packed the snow down and obviously had had chains on.  The first couple of these proved quite slippery, so I stopped and relieved my rear tire of air, for traction.  Fatty handled the snow quite nicely.  Met a few people walking down, a couple, a group of women, another couple, a woman with a dog that Jet enjoyed playing with, and 2 bikers too.  Roughly 30 minutes til I passed the fire lookout, and the road above here had lots of snow, but muddy and well melted tire tracks  Very wet, melting snow.  Met another group of women up in this section, and as I approached the towers I could see 3 more down on the singletrack, slipping and sliding in the snow.  I wondered on the sensibility of riding that...

2pm here just above the big comms tower , snack,
photo
and a wee rest (that's Mt Grey proper on the right), lovely sunny day, with spectacular views of row upon row of snow clad peaks to the north and west, and smoke on the plains to the west over Nelson's place.

Then, seat down, a bit of air out of front tire, and off down, meeting the first piles of drifted snowpack on the steepest bit.  Down and around onto the singletrack, finding most of it unrideable for the first couple hundred metres.  Walking feet had packed and pushed the snow off piste, and the wheels followed the easiest path down, which meant, off the track, making it quite tricky.  No evidence whatsoever of any bikes prior this way.  One near O.T.B, but I persevered and the bits without snow were basically running creeks, meaning I got pretty splecked up pretty quick.  All the way I wondered if I'd catch the 3 women ahead of me, but I didn't see them til I got all the way down to the end of the singletrack.  Anyway, there was snow in the forest for quite a bit of the first (south facing) section, dissipating at the creek crossing, but it was all good to ride on. I took it easy, on account of being alone.  Jet was pretty chilled out, but reeaally enjoyed his time.  The usually mudy bit in the middle was supremely mucky today.  Quite remarkable just how mucky it was.  Forest sections of good flow were divine.  and the Fatty handled the trails, roots and rocks, very well.  Was even easy to maneuver around the hairpins.

Eventually got to the bottom and looked at my watch and it was onlly 1.10...  hang on.  I left at 1.15...  My watch had obviously caught on my wrist and wound itself back...  Ground my way up the road, this climb proving far longer than memory permits (MapMyRide says 382m).  Big group of women (and a guy?) faffing at the gate where it flattens out, "you're doing well!", and one of whom asking me where I'd ridden "all the way over, heaps of snow", "well, you had the right tires then!"...

Fast section along the road after this, Jet winding up to full speed, 40 odd kph, galloping along oh so happily, down and then finally the last final climb around and about then the level back to the car...

All up 2 hours of ridng, 15kms and nearly 700 of steep altitude.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Saturday Croc-boys

Took O and his friend Hunter to Halswell Quarry in the afternoon.  Parked and headed across the park towards the quarry, then along the driveway and up Kennedy's Bush Rd.  Hunter's first ever time on the hill, whereas this was 'old hat' to O, having ridden up here that once before.  Hunter needed some coaching in good use of gears and there was a lot to take in.  I don't think he's ever puffed as hard as he was up here either...  End of the road and over the stile, then up the HighRoad and onto the 4wd at the watertank (not realising there's a new climbing trail just up from here...  discovered this as we approached the top, another rider on his way up it...). 

Through the gate and into Siberia, me following Hunter, and Otis out the front, bombing away ahead.  Hunter did well for a start, but around the corners and on the dowhill with the roots, I saw him bounced off his pedals, landing on his seat with feet out the sides, rattling down through the root section - yowch, coming to a stop in a small cloud of dust.  He was a bit shaken, but okay, and tootled down the last bit to Otis.  Climbed our way back up the 4wd to the gate and stopped for a snack and for me to act as gate-opener for a bunch of riders up and down.

Then off down the singletrack, same order, with Otis weaving and grooving his way down, sooo much confidence, and Hunter chasing, looking to me to be a bit out of control.  I gave him a big gap then rocketshipped down after him, catching quickly, and stopping again, letting him get ahead, and doing the same again.  Followed down through the High Road trail, and he started to get scuffed up on one of the corners (caught the inside pedal), and we caught up and met Otis at the start of the Crocodile.

Through the cattlestop and waiting for a couple of climbers, and off in, same order.  Here's where Hunter struggled.  Mostly he was okay, but having never navigated hairpins before he really struggled. But it wasn't the hairpin that got him first, it was a rut on the side.  Crash.  Let a climbing rider through, then off again, and around and then scuff skid crash on the last of the hairpins - poor little guy bollocking himself this time.  Bit of a break to recover, and off again, me cringing hoping he wouldn't crash off again.  O was waiting for us down at the next cattlestop.  That next bit is quite steep and I was really worried Hunter would topple, but he didn't and managed the little climb then onwards towards C2 where O was waiting.  I joined them and got ahead, and then saw the new 'Expert' descent here, so, sent the boys down C2 and I explored the new.  Nice, steeper and fun, a few wee roll over drops and weaves back and forth in the trees all the way down to meet the main drag down next to those ponds where it heads back into the valley before heading up for the exit.  Fun.  Will be good for a few laps in future evening rides...

Waited for the boys, hearing cheers from a couple riding when Hunter did the jump at the bottom, and they joined me and we headed up the climb, around, and then down the dog fields back to the car.

Not a huge ride, and probably less than 300 climbed...  alas, I'd forgotten to MMR it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday night Brit Cavendish Castle Green Pleasantries

Nelson picked me up from home after work and we headed for the Upper Major Hornbrook, parking down the end by Ridgeview.  As we were getting ready, the sun slipped behind the mountains, a minute before 6, so we had a bit of light for the climb.  Over the fence next to the bathtub and up the singletrack, climbing and wheezing, me lagging behind for a while.  Nelson lubed his chain at the turnaround and we headed around the 'new' trail out around the ridge, enjoying the post sunset lightshow.  Around to the road, across, and over the fence.  Climbed to the singletrack and hung a right for a change dropping down to Cavendish Saddle, careful on the last bit before the stile.  Over this and lights on here, down then into a greasy (to start with) climb for the gondola, zigging and zagging upwards to the top, climbing getting better as I progressed.

Brief stop behind the Gondola building, snack, view of flat-calm harbour, then off down, not quite knowing what to expect slipperynesswise.  Not so bad, down steps, and then over some rocks, and one horridly mucky bit then the usual rocky descending.  Worked out the way into the 'good' line along the fence (on the right - instead of over the left side with the hairpin and tight bits), and then a little further down Nelson was stopped and grabbed a baby rabbit...  We held it a bit then let it go, and headed across the top and over to the Bridle Path. 

Up the road, plod plod plod, and into Castle Rock.  Not much muck about, a couple small wet bits up top and one or two further down, but mostly pretty good.  I took it very easy, quite relaxed, just cruised on down around across around, cleaned the climb nicely, and cruised over the last bits.

Back up the road and before the top - up through the tussocks onto the Crater Rim track, and back towards Lyttelton (which we'd explored back in June).  Good round here, climbing all the climby bits, up steps etc.  Nelson stalling at one point and toppling off.  All I saw was him 'running' down the hill below the track, and tumbling.  He garked his shin and knees quite well on a rock and had to sit there for a bit to get through the pain.  Then, off round the ridge and above Lyttelton, cruising down the steppy, not so slippery, and better than remembered, trail down to a final bomb towards the Bridle Path.

Next up, around the road under the Gondola back to Cavendish Saddle, and up the singletrack grind to the top of Pleasant.  Nice break up here, no wind around at all, and off down the trail, much better than last week in the wind, but splecky mucky disgustingness on the section overlooking Lyttelton near the top.  Not so bad down through the tussocks.  Way betterer without the wind.

Brief pause above the ruins, where I said "I'm not sure I can be bothered going down Greenwood," to which Nelson replied, "Well, I'm keen."  So I changed my mind and we did.  It wasn't too bad, except leading around to Gloomy Gulch, and then Gloomy Gulch itself...  Those bits were yucky, but not as bad as I've seen it in the past.  Drainage efforts really are doing the job.  Bit of a break just after Gloomy Gulch where I used to always top, and then off down the steeper rocky bits and nice flow ensuing.  At the new drop, Nelson did it.  I rolled up and looked at it, and no, you cannot 'roll' it...  I walked back up a bit, and Nelson came back up, and we rolled in again, and he dropped it and I chickened out, >buk buk<.  Onwards down, one corner in Dave's section was a muckfest, but the rest of the trail was all good.  Me taking it pretty easy the rest of the way down.

Onto the road and the climbing began again.  Always further than memory would have it, but I felt better than last week, and managed to keep the pace up all the way up.  Last blast down Britten started off easy and got more and more rapid as we flowed, and sketchy in places too, feeling both tires juuust giving way a few times. Last little section of singletrack down to the bathtub is quite sketchy, tight, and not very fast...

All up, 21kms, and 850m climbed...  didn't feel like that much, but it was...  nice.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday Flat to Otukaikino planting

Hoofed the townie around to Pete's.  Steve and Tones, then Wah-Hey-No rolled up and we cruised Avonside, Kilmore, over the Salisbury bike bridge, Hagley Park, Girl's High crossing to Mona Vale (where I remembered about MappingMyRide) and up the Railtrail to the end.  Steve was on his townie, Pete on the new Grandad - aptly named Fritz, and the other two were on their usual steeds.  Good pace set mostly by Steve, nice day, good for cruising.  Tuckers Rd, around to Claridges Rd, then Gardners, Sawyers Arms and up to the Lakes (Roto Kohatu), through Omaka and along to the planting site.  Planted lots of plants, had a couple sossies, and headed on back the way we came, pretty much. 

Back at Mona Vale, Tones and Stevo headed onwards, Steve to the 'Rugby' House to open up and get ready for the game, and us other three back towards our respective residences via Armagh St, me peeling off at Madras for the usual route home.

So, my 30something kms was actually more like 36 (my place to Pete's to Mona Vale), and altitude was grand bugger all 72m.