Sunday, February 19, 2012

Extended Play

I have a huge pile of work photos to show, but for some reason that seems way too much like work, so in the spirit of avoiding work as much as I can I'm going to ignore work and just post some of the many ride photos I have stashed in my blog folder. I hope that works.

Of course we all know that any ride is a good ride, but getting out on the bike on a sunny day is always the best, I think you'll agree...

One day I hope to ride my Bianchi further afield, but in the meantime I'm afraid you'll just have to put up with slight variations on my never-ending Bays theme.

An evening ride up and down some of the neighbourhood hills at least provides a different light quality...

But for me it's nicest to ride in the heat of a summers day, with the sun directly overhead.

I like to explore old haunts. I used to love the Dominion Museum and National Art Gallery, and I maintain the traditional displays made the exhibits more accessible than they are at Te Papa.

Sometimes I stop mid-ride and enjoy a break to watch the world go by. Either that or I'm rooted after a tough Fartlek session and need to regroup before grovelling home.

More exploring, this time on Watts Peninsula. This road is usually closed off by a steel gate, but when it was open and unmanned one day I took cheeky advantage and climbed the hill for the first time in fifteen years or so.

By some heavily graffiti-ed gun emplacements I stopped for a moment to check out the views...

...before resuming my usual route.

Another little diversion, and apparently a naughty one. I don't usually like to poach trails (although no one is perfect!) but I was so busy tip-toeing my bike over the little bridge and up the steps that lead to the road up to the Ataturk Memorial that I didn't see the 'No Bikes' sign that has since been pointed out repeatedly to me. Sorry to anyone offended by my actions, but I assure you I rode with the utmost respect for this grave location.

Always nice to take the old Bianchi off piste. She's never minded a bit of rough.

A steepish and somewhat sketchy descent leads down... the memorial site, selected for its similarity to the cliffs of what is now known as Anzac Cove.

The words on the memorial itself are very poignant, and never fail to move me.

I completed the climb up from the memorial, which emerges in Strathmore.

Truly a "float day" with not even a breath of wind to dissipate the sultry heat...

Road riding is my first love, but as regular readers will know I do also love getting out on the mountainbike of an occasion. The Instigator arranged for us to hook up with Brother Matt in K-Town, and we set off up Parkvale for a short ride. The young cow nearest the road tried to staunch me out but my Obi Wan Kenobi bellowing seemed to give him pause and I managed to slip past without either of us getting hurt.

After an early burst in the lead I was quickly put in my place by the grimpeurs.

Alex has his climbing engine finely tuned at the moment!

Eventually I reached the top to join my chatting compadres (not shown). The West Wind Farm is in the background.

A quick blast along Skyline and we were contemplating our next move, Cemetery Trail...

...or to continue along to check out a trail that was previously closed to bikes but that I had been assured by a good source was now a legitimate dual use trail. Hoping we hadn't been misinformed, we opted for Plan B.

The trail into what we have dubbed Endless Love was very lush and overgrown, as many seem to be in this odd climate we are experiencing in recent times.

I must admit I wasn't expecting this mud, but it appears the trail had been recently groomed/graded leaving a layer of loose dirt that the rain on the night before had turned to slurry. We tried to ride easy to avoid causing too much damage...

...but inevitably we picked up some trail and relocated it. Despite our genuine concern for the environment, it is nonetheless hella fun to find ourselves slippy-sliding around in the gloop at the theoretical height of summer.

Some scrapeage was required before things got out of hand.

Cemetery Trail was more watery than muddy, but fun skids were had and things did get out of hand. In a good way.

We emerged from the Cemetery moist and muddy but satisfied. At less than an hour, this is a good loop for the time-pressed rider who wants a bit of everything.

The mud necessitated actually cleaning my bike for the first time in a while!

One misty, moody evening I chucked the Commencal on the car and rolled up to the Makara Peak to be a marshall for race 3 of John Randal's mid-week hillclimb series. (Facebook album here).

With less than 30 minutes until the race start it took almost everything I have to get up Koru and the 4wd road to reach my marshalling point at the intersection of JFK and Smokin' before the riders set off from the carpark.

I had only just set up camp and got myself sorted before the first rider came through.

It was great fun watching the likes of mountainbike legends Simon Kennett...

...and Jonny Waghorn (in his Roadworks shorts, bless him) throwing down in the middle of a hard and fast climb.

In the short intervals between riders I did my usual gawping at the views.

It's rare these days for me to see John mid-race - impressive to see the organiser able to wrangle an event then smack out his own effort.

That's enough fun for one day, except for me to congratulate Tim Wilding on another fine win in the tough Coppermine Epic yesterday. Well done, Tim!

Cheers for reading, Oli


sifter said...

Great stuff, bro! I love these ride-heavy posts! Thanks so much for marshalling for us too. It was a proud moment for me to have you taking time out of your busy week to help the event go ahead!

minion said...

"moist" is the word of the week!
Great post, I'll be keeping up with your works now that we've relocated to Canberra, (which is currently flooded but that's beside the point) for photos of all those picture perfect rides around the bays I remember doing...

Oli said...

Cheers, Minion! We'll miss you...