Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Been a While

Its been a long time since I posted. A very turbulent time - pretty sure the highlights are - shoulder operation and recovery. Prior to the 24hr race so all of the training was for nothing.

The shoulder operation failed to fix the pain.

Then came the September earthquake just as I was out of hospital from the shoulder op.

So next a period of further investigation with the final diagnosis being a neck issue.

Then more earthquakes .. and more etc.
Then first neck operation.

And more recovery.
And more earthquakes.

And then the cancer diagnosis for Tania.

And then the second neck operation.
This time an artificial disc implant which seems to have helped lots.

Then getting into training wit the hope of completing an iron man. It was going ok my record time of just on 4hr for 100km was about the best especially since it was over a far from flat course.

The a few trips to Oz over the 2012/13 Christmas. Now I am still in Brisbane ready to head back to chch. Sis has passed away. My fitness has taken a beating with no exercise and lots of drinking over last 4 months.

Time to begin to get back into shape.
Neck is feeling ok back does get some pain however.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mon 7th Jan 11

Time to amp things up a bit. (in a long slow, big distance with some climbing, kinda way)
on bike 7.30pm
across and up hill taking in single tracks and climbs.
3hr 10 min
3hr 22
2hr 20min for next
2hr 18min
3 hr 13min started 2.16am - the last time out.

long ride. up hill 3 times.
lots of tracks. 109.8km traveled.

Long night. Good training for long time / distance on bike.
Totally stuffed by time got off bike at 5.30am
Was seeing plenty of things that were not there by the time finished. So was real training.

Sunday 6th Feb 11

Trying to increase hours on bike to get training for long rides.

So on bike 11.46pm - late again - hot day.
4hr 20min ride. Top of hill. Different tracks this time- have to vary it a bit or it becomes rapaki - traverse - vic - the onset of boredom.

Sat 5th Feb 11

Again a very hot humid day.
Night riding the only option for me as I am not willing to hammer myself fighting the heat to only just get used to it as it starts to cool off for the year.
And anyway night riding in the warm is far more pleasant than in winter.

On bike 11.33pm. Once again most of this ride is early Sunday but I will stick with calling the ride as happening on the evening it started - even if after midnight.

Over and up hill took 4hr. I went up and down many of the single tracks - will get around to names and descriptions some time. Included a loop for the purpose of seeing if the loop is fun. It was not.

Met some interesting teenagers at top who were having a good time - old fashioned good time not involving any damage - stupidity - fighting for the sake of it nor looking for any trouble. Really nice to see compared to the other groups I passed in town who were just looking for trouble for the sake of it.

Hot ride - 22deg at top at 2am.

Fri 4th feb 11

Great ride thurs. Night but a little short.
Fri - on bike 8pm.
First lap around flax famous single tracks for a bit. - 1hr 30.
The warm up for the evening.
Needed to get a few jobs done around house so did that due to it being a bearable temperature.

Back on the bike 1am (yes actually sat but will count as late Fri or things get funny).
A lap across town and up hill this time. Simple single track with some tricky climbs. Difficult on a cafe hopper.
Couple of hours for this second outing - large time to try and be cooler temps.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thurs 3 feb 11

Short story -
Turned up. Went for a ride. Had a feed. Had a drink. Went home.
If you were there you enjoyed it.
If you were not there then you missed it.

If you wish you were there then try turning up.

If you want the long story it is below.
If you want the even longer story ask me for it while riding - it will be the only time you want that as one ride may not be long enuf for it......

Large crew turned up. 20 riding in total.

The Last of the summer wine - crew were roading it to the big red shed - no not the shopping trip to the Warehouse.

They refused all offers of lifts or carrying of gear. And I did think it was a little harsh to have poor Ton leading the peleton all the way on his mountain bike - when the other 2 were on their road bikes.

Unloaded at the red shed to find out that our host would not be joining us for the ride as work was more important. There was concern over the possibility of no food after the ride. Oh well.

After being informed not to drink the poisonous tap water (not to sure about that one) we headed off toward the forest. Short jaunt along the highway then left into one of the vineyard roads. Over the fence - some bush bashing then the river.

I am sure it was a surprise to all involved that this normally ankle deep stream was around waist deep in parts and where I dived in was chest deep and getting deeper.

Really nice to start a ride with a quick swim as I was pretty warm and expecting to be hot by the top of the hill. Shingle in shoes is not comfortable though and I really must remember to wash it all out before exiting the river next time - as it is very difficult to remove later.

Surprise an electric fence - cattle strength. Did I mention I dove into the river - around 45sec before arriving at the fence. If only I had thought of a towel I would only be damp and not dripping wet.  It was suggested that the easy way was between the live wire and the one below it (Blake fitted). However I was dripping wet and was not keen to go anywhere near the live wire.

Yes it was live because the fella (someone fill in name please) who got a boot from it was hopping around for some time and did look shocked.

So over the top and no crash (this time) on landing.

Off to ride some tracks -
Power pole and then luge were the tracks for the assent - These gentle flowing non single tracks in the form of some eroded rutted, bumpy, cattle damaged really steep forestry access tracks saw most of the group walking their bikes for some if not all of the climb. It was a great warm up.

I was glad of the dip and bone dry by the top.

Next on to the groomed, smooth wide and gently sloped track along the ridge line. This has been shingled and well cared for with the placement of 2 single track lines side by side to allow for chatting to ones fellow riders - between gasping for breath. This may well become part of the national cycleway as it would seem to meet their criteria - we know it as Pylon road.

(it needs to be noted as I have just re-looked at the maps and I think corrected all the track names - I am not certain I have it correct as I didn’t take much notice a the time and am looking at the map after the fact. My GPS is still in the shop waiting for me to buy it, so I cant overlay the route on a google and then work it out.)

Next down to cannonball lector. What a great track. I discovered upon getting a flat that I had left the pump and repair kit in the other bag back at the shed. Annoying but thanks to those who lent a hand and a tube.

Somewhat surprised that Chris seems to have left it well over a week between mowing (or weed eater) and there was some instances of grass disturbing the visibility of the holes and rocks and edges of the track. But being at the tail end it was easier to see where others has left the track and avoid following. This track is a nice one to learn to ride down steep slopes without too much danger as the steep parts are short and level out.

Down to the bottom of lector then regroup with the rest who had nicely waited. Then up and up and up, compared with Sundays farm ride, heat wave death march up every hill in the bay - piece of cake - even managed not to walk.

Again one of those dual single tracks with the nice shingle surface - swicthbkr can ride these tracks really well - this one called mill valley road. Not a loaf in sight however so perhaps it relates to the fact that there is a diesel powered 100mega watt power station at the end of it?? or maybe the wood mill?

So we reach the top and join in to that other dual single track - pylon road (see why power station more likely reason for road name) and it looks like perhaps another lap of lector. However not to be - perhaps the lads are tired from Sunday or being nice to the riders who are not used to the epic rides (what a time to start that practice) or most likely the smell of Bays mothers home made chutney sauce was calling.

So in the famous words - oh at this point I must mention the quotes of the days - from this particular day the quote goes to Tom - Please keep in mind that these quotes should be at all time taken completely out of context and have little or no bearing on the actual mountain biking that is going on. Also keep in mind that mountain biking is a good clean sport - when not riding around a muddy farm covered in cow shit - that is.

Quote - regarding the last "killer" climb on Sunday which saw for the fist time in my experience - all riders present walking their bike up a ride-able track –

"We could have taken the easier but longer root around the back way - but decided to take the short root straight up instead".

(yes I ran the spell checker over this)

This just out does Marther's quote at the top of a long long climb to the top of the ranges on the big hill ride - as she arrived at the rest - regroup point - I asked and warned her that it may be a leading question - answer was -
"yes I would definitely rather go down"

I am sure there will be future memorable quotes - cant wait to hear Ton's.

Perhaps something from last years taupo epic ride – Why do I always end up in the most prickly bush for miles around?

But I am sure there may be better.

Now that I have re-read what I am writing and remember I got side tracked because we decided to go down at this stage - yes back tot he ride - its was off down some half double single track - or as I shall christen it - single track.

This Track had a name - a single name - single track I suppose. Clifface was its name - not really along a cliff but have to call it something I suppose. It was nice flowing and downward. Great views of stuff and pine trees. I heard a bird and saw a rabbit.

Oh my chain which has previously been good at staying on the front rings decided to fall off - a total of 937 times. Its was not at all annoying and in fact I am considering adding some more length to encourage it to do this more frequently.

On downwards - I was bring up the rear (try make a quote of that  ha) - when I passed
Dirt as he had gone straight ahead rather than following the track - down a dip then up a short climb where of course my chain came off on one of the total of 937 times.
 I was 15 foot from the group when Dirt passes me and informs the group that all are present and that I am the only hold up as replacing chain on ring. Nicely played - wait until your crossing a ford.........

We carried on down - Luge next - then onto lower Magog - all agreeing that this was a wonderful flowing fast section of half double singe track - oh that right - single track. I went well of course - however I did find that having my chain wrapped around my pedal with the cranks in the most awkward position possible - did add an element of difficulty - and perhaps a little danger. So to have this happen at supposedly random but in reality,  at the worst possible – moment, was a great benefit to the ride overall. And to my calm cool demeanour. -  Not that I spat the dummy or any such thing but I can tell you – if that bike was under warranty … there would be words…..

I am only listing the frustration so that when I have not fixed the issue by next weeks ride - I can be even more annoyed. Bloody bike shops – why cant they sell me cheep second hand bikes with warranty’s and then maintain them for me…. That’s what’s wrong with the entire industry….......  (just joking BTW…. Please keep selling me bikes)

Into Thistle a track of little note but a prickly name - then Boulder named after a dyslexic cyclone  I expect - across Burdon road - through the river - where I made sure to clean out the shingle from my shoes - you know near the end of the ride - then back thru the vineyard. I filled up water bottle from a large tank - under the assumption that the locals may poison the people in the area but not the grapes.

Back to the shed for a feed and as it happen around a dozen bottles of the famous premium wine "The Farting Kiwi" which was available only from the cellar (see camper van) door until it was all consumed after the ride. So don’t bother trying to buy some more Mr rich man - your money is no good here - ride and drink or be dammed....... (that’s a nice quote).

I experienced a few slightly tipsy riders reminiscing over the enjoyment on riding - a few words over rides that had been ridden and those to come.
(oh and to quell any nasty rumours – the topless waitress was Baydon and you ladys really missed a treat not being there). Wonderful warm night great food and the best home made chutney in the world (will that get us more?).  We had veges (fruit really) to go with the sausages –  I was particularly fond of the orange coloured tomatoes – the had a name but that not important I can identify them on a table that’s all that matters.

One point to note -if one is being brutally honest and describing the even better home made sauce from ones mum - that was not offered as it was deemed to nice to waste –

The question becomes – is this honesty the best idea or should one just not mention it????  Perhaps this wonder for the palette only emerges at vote time??

If Mrs Baydon - (his mum) is watching - please send some along - not with your son he will hog it all.

With a couple of offers of sober drivers for the ride back the evening went very well. I was glad to be able to do a favour for those who often give me a lift and I also got a pleasant late night ride across town - I enjoy that as its cooler and relaxing.

To all those not there –
That’s how its done in these parts – bunch ride through the vineyards – a few hill and few fun descents – a few colds ones and a few wines watching the sun set down the valley sitting around tables in a vineyard with a bunch of interesting bikers.

Disclaimer –
I have no idea how much of this is accurate – hell I didn’t even make this up. I’m not here. Wasn’t me.
It’s the officials fault – they should have checked.
Isn’t there some sort of rule covering this sort of thing.
Someone should make a rule.
Someone should form a sub committee to look into making the rule.
Perhaps if we all agree we were not there then the rule is not necessary.

Wed 2 feb 11

Well Tue was a kayak and it all turned a bit pear shaped so no riding tue night - did get a run on but none of that is mtb riding.

Wed however i did get 1hr30 on the bike riding the flowing single tracks that abound in this area. They follow the local plentiful parks - required night lights as there is only sparse lighting and then only on the paved paths through 2 of the 7 parks making up the loop.
 Was warm and muggy - fun all the same and cooler than day time.