Monday, December 22, 2008

This post actually belongs before the one below it....

Leighton and Pauline came over from Bannockburn to visit for the weekend.
We used to go riding with them and others most weekends in Auckland.
They up'dsticks and left Auckland about 4 years ago and now reside wherever the roads take them.
Yes, they are transients and between careers. If you call owning a 33 foot caravan homeless then so be it.
Can you help with a food parcel for X-mas, I'm sure it would be appreciated.
I believe the last gainful employment was house painting in Invercargill over winter.
Now that is dedication; getting blasted with a Southerly straight off the South Pole. Sod that.

Anyways, we had a great weekend and rented them our front lawn until x-mas when they headed north to catch up with family.
Leighton got lumbered with all the "fun" jobs I've been putting off for, well ages really.
Let's say his talents as a joiner/cabinet maker weren't really stretched, but he did ok.

They must have stayed about 3 weeks and it was really nice having an extra pair of hands around the place to help out when needed or entertain the kids before dinner, bust out a game of Scrabble (Leighton is very good you know - he lost to Keighley quite badly both times) and go mountain biking with.
Photos from Dirt Park 25kms from here are here

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Adventure Mountain Biking Central Styles

Went for a wee mtb ride yesterday.
Alright it's not that simple.
Keighley was going out but that got scuttled as the girls posse couldn't get it going to suit their (menstrual) cycles and/or baby sitters.
So Leighton and I said lets go and knock of the Touheys Gully loop from the top of the Crown Range - altitude about 1000 metres (remember this fact.)
Then Barney from Queenstown rings and says "what are you doing?" I tell him to meet us at the top of the Crown Range. Yep no worries except Fenella (his girl) was riding to Wanaka on the road and would need Keighley to grab a change of clothes for her arrival - Keighley was running us up to the top while Leighton's truck was at the end of the trail.
Barney then invited Christina Sargent as well....
So we got started about 11.45 instead of 10am....

And holy crap it was steep.
I'll be the first to say I need to gear the 29er down a fraction - seems I was riding the equivalent of a 28 when you really would have appreciated a 34 on the back...
Barney who is not human rode all but the super steep bits in his middle chainring (freak)
Leighton rode it all, but he's between careers at the moment so does more than his fair share of riding and Christina put a in a solid effort on her new dualie - I did see her hop back on for the photos though...
So yeah, basically I walked a lot, my lungs are still full of little green men and my legs turned into planks of wood.
I pulled the pin after about an hour and 500 metres of altitude gain.

Not sure when I've bailed out on a (mid) ride before so it was a whole new experience.
Did I feel less of a person ?
Would this mean the end of my cycling career?


It's ok.
I just rode back retracing my steps, had lunch overlooking the Gibbston Valley and pottered back down the Cardrona Valley to meet the others.
Only had to wait 12 minutes for them.

The girls had whipped up a great spread when we got home followed by a picnic dinner at Dublin Bay.
Then some fairly amazing beers with Leighton (Black Sheep Ale, Youngs Double Chocolate followed by a Chimay) and that was it.

Leighton was up all night throwing up - might be dehydration/sunstroke or the flu.
But man was he crook today.

Keighley got out for her ride, a visit to the Farmers Market and generally left the kids to me.
Emily helped me clean the 29er and then we all went to the nieghbours for Deans's birthday bbq.