Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby inzane on Thu 16/Jul/09 9:48am

It is the middle of the icky winter here in Christchurch, and it has been a pretty miserable cold and misty wet one. All the singletrack up the hill is shut ( http://www.ccc.govt.nz/Cycling/TracksRides/PortHills.asp ) and it seems like it has not been open in the last month. Trouble with building tracks up the Port Hills is that the soil is a type of loess (basically very fine dust) which really does not stick together. Riding the trails when wet very quickly turns the tracks into unrideable bogs with axle deep ruts. There are plans to armour some of the tracks to make them a bit more all weather, but for the time being a wet spell = no riding up the hill.

Needing a biking fix 5 of us headed out to Bottle Lake last night for a blat around the flat sandy forest. Quite a fun place to take an old beater of a bike, or a singlespeed.  The tracks are right near a beach, and there is a lot of sand mixed in with the tracks, as well as a fair bit of salt. Having not ridden out there for about 3 years I had no idea where the winding tracks were taking us, and there were plenty of surprising corners that I did not know. 

There was a mixture of lighting. Everything from my Nightlightning Iblaast LED light with Li-ion batteries to home built LED kits to 20W halogens with a brick of a sealed lead acid battery. Prices of these kits probably ranged from about $50 through to about $500… but they all did the job just fine!

Bottle Lake might be a poor substitute for real singletrack up the hill, but having a blat around some sandy singltrack in the dark certainly fed the habit. I am hoping it drys up the hill soon, but if not there might be a couple more night riding sand pit missions.

http://mountainbikingzane.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/bln3.jpgImage
Night riding Zombie?

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beaming

 

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Mmmmm biking beer

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Original Published: 9:46am Thursday, 16th July 2009 - NZST
Last edited by inzane on Thu 16/Jul/09 11:11am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby Tama on Thu 16/Jul/09 9:54am

Bottle Lake and MacLeans are good for a couple of hits but I found trying to feed my addiction with them last winter just didn't work. The other problem is we carefully got a place on the Port Hills to be close to the riding - which is the opposite side of Bottle Lake/ MacLeans and means 1 hour of driving all up! :(
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby inzane on Thu 16/Jul/09 9:58am

Tama wrote:Bottle Lake and MacLeans are good for a couple of hits but I found trying to feed my addiction with them last winter just didn't work. The other problem is we carefully got a place on the Port Hills to be close to the riding - which is the opposite side of Bottle Lake/ MacLeans and means 1 hour of driving all up! :(


Yeh well that is the first time I have ridden there in the last 3 years :lol: and I have not been around McCleans for over a year...

I too am on the hill side of town, but piling a bunch of mates in a van and having a catchup + a blat was all good. :thumbsup:
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby Wobbler on Thu 16/Jul/09 10:31am

I know the feeling, moved close to the hills start of this year, I think it took me a good 40 minutes to drive to the puddle on the weekend :hmmm:
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby radiusq on Thu 16/Jul/09 11:01am

My rigid 29er works well out at Bottle Lake and McLeans. Those trails can still be fun if ridden at pace - especially amidst another 170+ like minded lunatics. The Nightriding World Champ series out there was fun!
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby danose on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:02pm

Wobbler wrote:I know the feeling, moved close to the hills start of this year, I think it took me a good 40 minutes to drive to the puddle on the weekend :hmmm:



you either need a better route or have bad timing - we're not much different to you and zane and can get to bottle lake in 20-25mins (it's 12km from our place - vs 20km out to macleans). Of course if I do something silly like try to head over to either at 5.30 it takes about an hour (literally - used to go out to macleans after work in spring)
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby danose on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:04pm

radiusq wrote:My rigid 29er works well out at Bottle Lake and McLeans. Those trails can still be fun if ridden at pace


exactly - McLeans would be drool inducing at 'social' pace, but if you go out there with the intention of coughing up a lung trying to chase Clarky's lap record and with a motto of 'never touch the brakes' it's heaps of fun (doubly so if you put sketchy/fast tyres on).

it's like people who complain riding up rapaki is 'boring' - obviously they're not pushing hard enough, it's hard to be bored and be on the verge of passing out due to oxygen lack at the same time :satan:
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby swtchbckr on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:13pm

living in Richmond i get the best of both worlds... 15-20mins ride either way to Bottle Lake or the hills. McLeans is another story, always has to be a drive, and always a good half hour each way, nearly. for some pretty m'eh trails.


but that said, i have lived near the hills in the past and i really miss those half hour to the top and back blats.
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby DogsBollocks on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:21pm

danose wrote:
Wobbler wrote:I know the feeling, moved close to the hills start of this year, I think it took me a good 40 minutes to drive to the puddle on the weekend :hmmm:



you either need a better route or have bad timing - we're not much different to you and zane and can get to bottle lake in 20-25mins (it's 12km from our place - vs 20km out to macleans). Of course if I do something silly like try to head over to either at 5.30 it takes about an hour (literally - used to go out to macleans after work in spring)


:withstupid: If it takes you 40 mins to drive anywhere in Ch-Ch you're not doing it right. And anyway, we live on the north side of Burwood and get to the bottom of Rapaki in under 15mins, just bike :rolleyes: I have an serious aversion to roadies but it's still a good warm up :lol:
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby Simpleone on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:30pm

I rode there on my cross bike for the first time in 5 years and someone saw me, thought I was on a roadie!
Desparate times though, Its a good ride out there though to warm up.
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby Wobbler on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:34pm

danose wrote:
Wobbler wrote:I know the feeling, moved close to the hills start of this year, I think it took me a good 40 minutes to drive to the puddle on the weekend :hmmm:



you either need a better route or have bad timing - we're not much different to you and zane and can get to bottle lake in 20-25mins (it's 12km from our place - vs 20km out to macleans). Of course if I do something silly like try to head over to either at 5.30 it takes about an hour (literally - used to go out to macleans after work in spring)


Twas pissing with rain and the traffic across columbo/gasson was pretty arse. It would normally be about 25 mins I would say.
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby inzane on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:35pm

swtchbckr wrote:living in Richmond i get the best of both worlds... 15-20mins ride either way to Bottle Lake or the hills.


So if I ride the hills 90% of the time and Bottle lake about 1% of the time I figure I should live 90% closer to the hill than to Bottle Lake :thumbsup:
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby danose on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:42pm

inzane wrote:
swtchbckr wrote:living in Richmond i get the best of both worlds... 15-20mins ride either way to Bottle Lake or the hills.


So if I ride the hills 90% of the time and Bottle lake about 1% of the time I figure I should live 90% closer to the hill than to Bottle Lake :thumbsup:



could be worse - if you think it's a trog from our side of town, think what it's like from halswell (so pity tinkerbell and xcguy)
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby DogsBollocks on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:50pm

danose wrote:
inzane wrote:
swtchbckr wrote:living in Richmond i get the best of both worlds... 15-20mins ride either way to Bottle Lake or the hills.


So if I ride the hills 90% of the time and Bottle lake about 1% of the time I figure I should live 90% closer to the hill than to Bottle Lake :thumbsup:



could be worse - if you think it's a trog from our side of town, think what it's like from halswell (so pity tinkerbell and xcguy)


17k from the bottom of Kennedy's to my place in Burwood. We regularly go from home, up Rapaki, Traverse, Flying Nun then loop back and go down Kennedy's and we aint no gun's. It's no big deal, nowhere is far from anywhere in Ch-Ch, just bike :p :p :p :)
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Re: Closed Hill Tracks = Night Riding The Sandpit

Postby Nick_K on Thu 16/Jul/09 1:54pm

Christchurch sounds horrible :(
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