Saturday, December 30, 2006

Welcome to the Tip Track blog

I’ve started this blog to share my records of mountain biking up the Tip Track (Wellington, New Zealand). The Tip Track is a 4WD track that starts next to the entrance to the Wellington tip on Happy Valley Road. It winds up about 3.5 km to a height of about 450 m where it joins a sealed road on Hawkins Hill. The sealed road goes up about another half km to a trig near a radar station (the golfball) at a height of 495 m.

I live in Island Bay and have been biking up the Tip Track regularly since 2002. Because I’m diabetic and keep records of my blood-sugar levels, I also note down my rides, so have Tip Track records stretching back 5 years. Hence this blog.

I time myself from the bottom gate to the sealed road, which means negotiating a couple of other barriers – one near the bottom and one near the top. The total height of the climb, which is all off-road, is 400 m. Some people just time themselves between the two barriers. It takes about 30 seconds from the bottom gate to the first barrier and about the same (less if you're going fast) from the top barrier to the sealed road. Sometimes I note two splits: at the big left-hand bend (quarter-way) and at the hard right-hand turn at the post just before the old stockyards (halfway). My best time is 27.10, but my times vary hugely and I never really improve. Mostly I just try to go under 30 mins. To go faster I’d have to be fitter, not be carrying a backpack with 2 litres of water, have a lighter bike (I think it's about 27lbs) with thinner tyres, not ride in crap weather etc.

Anyway, I’ll start the blog with my December 06 rides.

James Brown

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