The Munter

>> Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The course, a 29km showcase of some of Wellingtons best scenery.
For those unfamiliar with the Mukamuka Munter, it is a trail run, and I use the word "run" in my case to mean a slightly faster then walking and slower then a jog. If you want to know more about the event visit the excellent better than TV site.

Attending: Big Al, Sam and 50 odd other folk
Max Altitude: 550m
Temperature: It's the middle of freaking winter out the back of the nui, cold, with a side serving of cold.
Mandatory Gear list: Extensive

A chilly start followed by a pleasurable trot for 12km round the coast. Running over some pretty awe inspiring vistas. Very sorry I did not take some pictures. At that point I was shivering and worrying.

Al had stormed off into the far distance, so I settled back to chat with a couple of folk while we ambled towards the Mukamuka entrance. I was in concentration mode, as this is a one way event you really do not want to slip and injure. I have borrowed a photo from race organizer Shane Ross.

Once we got into the valley things got serious! Boulder jumping became the sport of choice. And after the 40th river crossing, keeping on my feet was the main aim. The valley had taken a battering with all the water that had come down. Again another photo from Shanes excellent pre race briefing information. The organization behind this was excellent.
Heading up the the saddle became more about finding a route then running. However once the saddle was obtained… The view was awesome. I took the time to take a few pics, and by that point I had finally caught Al and we got to have a chat.
And eat some snow....
Before heading off to finish the climb.
After losing a few places we headed for the high spot and the joys of the extremely steep decent. I wish I had taken photos. Running through knee deep snow in places. It was stunning. A real winter wonderland. However, it did not do to lose focus. Check out the elevation chart in the first image and you can see how quick we got to the bottom! Slippy fun.

Heading out onto the Orongorongo river, I was by myself, and wishing I wasn't. Keen direction sense is not my strong point. I got a little lost in the scale of the river basin, trotting along, figuring down was good. It came as a mighty relief to see another one of the fine marshals standing at the trail head.

The Orongorongo trail is certainly a fine bit of single track. But after 20+km of hip/knee smashing terrain I was not in the frame of mind to appreciate it fully. The knowledge of my thermos of hot chocolate in my car was burning a hole in my brain.

However the body held up and I even managed to claim a few extra places on the way to the finish.

I would rate this run above the Tararua Traverse for sheer beauty now I have finally done both.

Al did a sterling job on finishing. Not bad for a first time effort with the largest trail run to date only being half the distance we completed today. I had the advantage on Al having completed a few of these kinds of events before. Knowing what you are in for is a big help.

The marshals were incredible. Sterling effort for them to have been out there. I tried my best to thanks them, but I am sure at times it came out like some drunken slur.

Amazing day, I would recommend it to anyone.

Sam (aka the now rooted Rammer)


Welly Six Pack Ride - Sun 4 Sept

>> Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Attention Nutsacks

Six great Wellington Peaks, Six lagers in your pack. Lots of lulz.

Sifty, social mtb ride on Sunday 4th September.

Meeting at the Evan's Bay Wind Needle at 10am.

Miramar for Mt Crawford, pump track lulz and a lager.
Mt Vic for steep roots, city views, and a lager.
Mt Albert for views across the Straight, maybe 4X lulz and a lager.
Hawkins Hill for no lulz as it involves riding the Tip Track or maybe up Long Gully... and a lager.
Wrights Hill for a WW2 bunker lager to lube us up for Deliverance.
Makara Peak for the quintessential Wellington peak experience, and a lager.

Regular trail builders in attendance will have their beers covered by Bushlove. Email me with your preferred lager brand (which comes in cans) and it will be at the Wind Needle for you ;o)

Open to everyone. Moar the merrier. If you only feel up to certain peaks or even just one, bring the appropriate number of lagers and stay in touch on the mobile to arrange collection on route.

If drinking lager and mtbing doesn't fit your profile you can always bring alternative beverages or low alcohol lager and just do the number of press ups at the summits pre-determined by the real men in attendance.

Will consider a back up date of following weekend should weather be ridiculous.

I wonder who we'll see?

Maybe Moses?

Random chubby guy off sitcoms?

Elite Tony?

Harry Potter?


PS - This is likely to be one of the last rides both me and Big Al Crossling get to do before we move overseas (me Brisbane, Al Vancouver) and it would be great to see some friendly faces and have a good day on the trails.

PPS - Will place this on Vorb and BLR Farcebook also as I don't have everyone's email address.


The Perfect Sift

>> Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wonny Jaghorn, Rammer, Elite Tony, Hundy Bennett, Lynsky, Davo, and a token asian had a drizzly rendezvous at the Wainui hill car park at 7am this morning. And after calling each other ballbags, nutsacks and other misc mocking, they headed down Beeline.

Now acclimatised with a fresh coating of trail all over our legs, backs, faces and horses, they sifted gently along to the mighty rollercoaster to remind ourselves just how awful the PNP XC start up it is. Then we slid into the Towai Traverse to admire the hard labours and handiwork of the Wainui Trail Project. Its a great trail. We thought the tight twisty character was great. And there is an inspired little bit where you can hop up a large root step or go around the tree on a track formed using a big lateral root. You'll know it when you see it. Minty. It had plenty of roots and stones which hopefully can be left in for a natural surface if it wears well enough.

Tigs dabbed his feet a few times because he spends too much time on the rod. Sorry, the road. Dave slipped past him every time as he doesn't distill his masculinity with frequent tarmac outings. Although in Tigs defense, he does race the road in mtb shoes and a peaked helmet to annoy the roadies in Scratch/A Grade.

We had to make a few pauses for banter and to wait for Rammer and Kah, who judging by the yelps of both pain and satisfaction coming from the bush, were working through some dry entries. After some entertaining gossiping along the singletrack line, we whipped down Labyrinth. It is a cracking trail in its downward guise and you can really load up the pace until you pinball between a couple of trees and take yourself out - Good job Bony Tony.

Another Beeline and everyone was well into the flow of the day and really sank their teeth into it. Great traction for such a wet day. The climb up Jungles was fast. Tones on the front. Clive reckoned he was sifting, but Tones maintained he wasn't. But Davo hung on grimly to the wheels, so it can't have been that quick.

Tony used to attend an elite school for young gifted athletes in his youth. We'll call it the ESGA. In that school was the top Elite class. In the class there was some separation to four groups. And within the most Elite group in the most Elite class in the ESGA was a secret Elite society of the most Elite athletes ever seen. Tony was the captain of that group. We can't see Tones doing well in M1 this year though.

While Dave hung on for Jungles, he got dispatched up Labyrinth along with everyone else struggling to sift while Elite Tones and Hundy Clive rode race pace + up the hill.

The rain was still holding off and after a little more jawboning, the intrepid adventurers hurled their sodden selves down 491. A little slippy across the roots and Dave took a spill, knocking the same arm as Tiger did on Labyrinth. Now they will have to do some sort of Dutch Rudder work around for their Subway lunch meets. A few dry-entry yelps heralded the arrival of Rammer and Kah and the gang sifted on throgh to the family loop.

While waiting for Sam and Kah in the waste ground (they had actually gone the right way) Dave fixed a flat (slowly) while Tony offered pineapple lumps around. Davo had his muddy hands full with the fix so Tony offered to push one into his mouth. Tones was also kind enough to offer him a pineapple lump... Wonny Jaghorn serenaded the chaps with some didgeridoo on his handlebar and then everyone sifted back up to the car park. On the way the Lynskinator proved his metal with some aggressive passing and dropping the hammer to move away. The gents let him go. He needs a win. Have you seen his clothes? He looks better without them anyway. Phwoooooaaarrrrrrrr!!!!

The heavens opened as the men were packing the cars and it was off to Macdonalds just in time for last orders on the breakfast hungerbusters. More banter, cheap laughs and a thoroughly soiled imitation leather couch, then home.

There nothing quite so magnificent as getting out on the trails with your mates.


Bushlove at the BP races

>> Thursday, August 4, 2011

As soon as the weather starts getting warmer, the first tests to see who was hibernating over winter, and who has been following Rules #5 and #9 are starting to rolls in. Following the always fun Kapiti series is the upcoming Balfour Pennington series.

This long running Wellington road fixture is made even better this year as it is sponsored by the good sorts at Wheelworks (their euro-roadie-style already filtering down in the new posters). An even bigger bonus to race (and to marshall) is the end of series prize of a brand new set of the Flite 01 wheels.

Rumors have it that Tony "Sandbags McTiger" Keith will be shedding his moniker and racing with the big boys. Clive "Angry Faced but Cuddly" Bennett has been spotted practicing his grimace in reflective car windows while coasting to work. Sam "Sammy Rammer Sanchez" Dungey might make a guest appearance by riding in his stealth commuter gear - complete with rear mudguard.

With the dynamic BLR duo definitely ready to out-camp all the roadies out there, it will be a good show. What will you tell your grandkids when they ask you, "Where were you when Tony finally came out?".


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