I did a massive disservice to NZ and to our Dirty Christchurch affiliates by not rounding out the low down from the last mission. There was so much negativity pounding through the keyboard in my last rant that I almost missed out spamming out a couple of golden days on tour. Yes, that’s right, now I have sold out to corporate cuntery I’m having to dig back into the Dirty archive to keep things rolling.
I’m not going to do a ride-by-ride blah blah blah about every time I took a gel, or changed a gear, or went through a corner this time though. No, the trip is sort of old news now, so instead I’m going to focus on something that will make us all want to vomit a little in our mouths: Feelings.
If thats too strong a word for you, then perhaps ‘sensations’ is a better description. But what I’m really talking about is going back to basics in order to go forward again. Or, trading epic missions for little rides for a change as was the case here.
Yes, over the last 3 years I have become guilty of thinking that if a ride didn’t last 5 hours, include thousands of meters of descending, end up with snow at a famous Japanese Mon-ton or have some sort of uncontrollable Gnar outbreak then it wasn’t worthy or was just a waste of time. But hey, don’t forget the little rides and just how important they can be. Closing out NZ was a reminder of this.
Riding the Queen
I didn’t realise it at the time, but hitting that big fat reset button actually began the day after being brutally sodomised by Nydia Bay. That night I swore endlessly that there was no fucking waaaaay I was riding the next day, in between massacring a hamburger and anxiously working out how I was going to tell Mad Markus I had morphed into a feline.
Yes, fuck that, I needed a day off the bike. This is me not riding at all.
So aside from the fact even the plentiful supply of Germans looked at me like I was a fucking weirdo for bringing a Nomad to the Queen Charlotte trail, you can’t be in this part of the world and not want to go for a ride when the weather is in full banger mode. That and Multigirl got her mommy voice on and made it sound like there was no option but to ride. Lucky she’s frank and direct:
No one really needs to be told about how to ride the QC trail, its about as tame and tourist as you can get, which means you can haul the downhills if you don’t mind being sharp on the brakes given its two way and fairly busy. But what you do need to know about is its general awesomeness… And fuck do I mean world class awesome:
The best part about dropping into Te Mahia, a must do just quietly, isn’t that there’s a cafe there, or lounging around on the jetty in the sun eating sandwiches that someone else has made for you because you’re to inept from living in the cHub… No, those are all great things, but its more the rarity of getting to go for a swim mid ride. #doyouevenjumpoffthejettybro. Why don’t we do this more often? Perplexing.
Whilst lying around in the sun in, as the Germans would argue, one of the greatest spots in the world, it was a timely reminder of how good it was to be actually chilling. Not training, not racing, not trying to keep up with someone… Just a full fucking cruisefest. Are you feeling warm and fuzzy yet? I may have gone softer than a ripe avocado, but when you’re in this setting, sifting is the order of the day. The sensations of chilling were just what was needed.
Fuck me into a coma what an awesome place! As I lay in the sun declaring a holy war on a Kapiti ice cream it occurred to me that perhaps I needed to move here and open a lodge to help rehabilitate burnt out ENDURO riders… Fuck, lets face it, if you saw how brutal the first two rounds of the EWS were, you know that naturally in the next few years this is going to be big business. At the rate Grubby is going he’s going to need a frothing fan boi to push him around the shore line with those shoulders…
Sifting around Queen Lotte in the sun is like a walk in the park with Scar Jo in a summer dress compared to Nydia Bay, which is closer to getting pegged by a dominatrix without signing a consent form. A timely reminder that a little ride can give you a whole lot of what you needed, even if you didn’t know you needed it. No, I’m not drunk…
Enough of this serenity bullshit they cried
Back in CharChar, the agenda was slightly different. With NZ ENDURO shit canned by my prize feline status, Mad Markus decided an evening blast at Worsleys was in order. Whilst this wasn’t my first visit to this local hot spot, I have to say its much better than it was two years ago! Motherfuckers have been busy building yo!
Not wanting me to get my bushy tail caught in my coil shock, Mad Markus made me stand around and video of him actually doing gap jumps. Absolutely fair, leave it to the professionals.
If Queen Charlotte provided me with much needed chill time and serenity, then being back at Worsleys with MM was a sharp dose of Vincent Vega adrenaline by comparison. And strangely enough, it was just what was required. Aside from the fact its fun riding with any member of the DN Global Collective, it was a reminder I’m like 50,000 times better when following someone else who is pinned. Yes, like an ENDURO sheep.
If you’re in town, the Brail trail is absolutely well worth a look, especially if you want to send the fuck out of everything. I outsourced all my sending to Mad Markus, who was more than happy to take that contract up and exceed all the requirements.
But it was down T2 that I felt that Frankenstein bolt of life blast back into me and fuck, I was absolutely alive! For the first time in the whole trip I actually felt on it, that intangible feeling that is awesome when you have it and mind bogglingly frustrating when you don’t. Finally the feeling I had searched for all through Trans NZ was there at my fingertips and it was a thing of beauty. If I was Euro, I would say “Ja, ze sensations were so good”
Body position goes right, braking is more beautifully feathered than a prize winning Falcon and you just flow through the trail like water. Pinning it down T2 with Mad Markus was everything that was right with mountain biking. Here’s a relatively shit Go Pro screen grab that doesn’t do this experience any justice at all…
And the stoke was REAL! It didn’t matter that I had ruined our weekend plans at NZ ENDURO, or that you could still smell those 26 inch wheels, the -20% average gradient and sweet flowing turns and tech of T2 had set the froth meter off massively, with what should be by now highly predictable results…
Chasing Mad Markus down the bone dry speed fest and carving turns of Wasabi and Fight Club like we were wired guided missiles was akin to being reborn on the Nomad. This is how you want to feel when you’re riding a Mountain Bike and something that I hadn’t had the chance to enjoy since Spain or that excellent day with the WISE guys in Welly.
I actually felt legit again! Don’t call it a cumback, but do call it a fucking rad little ride. In the space of 10km’s I had a dirty rebirthing… Try not to think that one through too much perhaps. A massive thanks to Mad Markus and Multigirl for hosting me once again and helping me to get all the fur balls out.
I’m not really into motto’s, but if you’re looking for one here in this eclectic story, then its probably that no matter how cunted you are it only takes a couple of rides with the right people to get things back on track. The longest returns to form start with a single carving of a berm, so if you’re currently fucked, just relax, get some perspective and enjoy the little rides.