There’s only one thing that fucks blogging more than getting injured or arrested for indecent acts in a public place: Christmas. If you’re not busy visiting old people, stuffing your face with the 5th meringue of the day or having a distant family member talking at your face, then chances are any remaining time not robbed by festive fuckbaggery is allocated to riding.
Usually this time of the year is about cunting yourself on cake and dessert and then spending the afternoon regretting it and trying to cop a half drunken feel, but this year there were two motivating forces that have decided to get in the way of lying about in a hammock pretending to read books with big font:
- Dirty comeback 2.0
- The filthy Fisty 500
Yes, the big news on this belated/I am lazy update is that its back on the road, literally, given that #Bracelyfe has come to a conclusion. In what is now becoming a tradition (to be noted, this is the last time), it was back to AT HQ for the first ride back… Yes, almost 12 months apart, except this time AT looks skinnier #racingsardine and holy fuck, that Gilet looks tighter than ever on me. Awkward:
Annnnnnd, much like the last cumback ride, Wellington had turned on a ripper of a day. In a weird re-run we also decided to hit the East side bays to get the gimping out of the way and bank some easy Fisty KM’s.
Another ‘Its the same as last time‘ box being ticked? That insidious nervousness that comes with a first ride back from injury. The snail pace on downhills, the constant obsessive scanning for road debris, overgripping the hoods, leaving a bus sized space between you and others… The list goes on, but in essence it suddenly feels like you’ve been transported back to the very early days of riding a bike.
Its therefore extremely important to only head out with trusted units… So, perhaps the dude who runs the Emergency Department where you went after breaking your neck will do?
Whilst I did feel slightly less feeble and gimp like on this comeback, of course I hadn’t considered the impact of having Frankenstein like neck range of movement when coming to intersections or having to look back to check traffic… Fart noise to say the least, I’ve had to develop this funky whole body movement roll, helping me to look as Un-PRO as fuck. Luckily then I was chaperoned by GC’s who made up for my Un-PROness:
Good weather, Good riding, Good cunts… There was only one vital ingredient missing, good coffee and a lesson from T Bone on how to make an Almond Croissant your bitch without even taking your helmet off, skillsets.
When the great un-bracing took place, the Doctor nodded at me and said “Ja, you can do a little bit of cycling“, which I translated as “Sure, its cool to do 100km’s with the boys on your first ride back“. If I was honest with my Rivet homeboys, I would have told them I was actually pretty fingered at the 50km mark and it would have probably been ideal to sit around drinking more coffee and making mouth love to more epic almond croissants, but it had already occurred to me that in my 7 weeks off the bike, I looked like I had eaten a roadie or two…
Its fair to say that 100km’s on return to riding is probably mildly ambitious, but taking into account the weather, the GC’s and the pure joy of riding a bicycle again (admittedly with infant like neck muscles at work) and it didn’t seem out of place to bat a century on the cumback. Plus of course, it gave the Festy 500 a solid fisting to get the ball rolling. Advantage of being at the bottom of the world? An extremely brief moment of glory inside the top 10 out of 57,000 Rapha clad stravaites. #egostiffy
Ride 2 – Local love
Merry Christmas everyone and now I’m fucking off for a ride… Depending on your perspective you’re either committed, weird or a bit of a cunt for heading out Christmas morning to slot some K’s in. Given I couldn’t see a Santa Cruz 5010 or Stigmata under the tree, I had zero hesitation in forcing my new post #Bracelyfe figure into the Dirty kit to take advantage of normal people hanging out with their loved ones and unwrapping presents instead of driving:
Te Horo back roads providing a fresh location for Day 2 on the Dirty Festy. Truth be told, I felt utterly cunted from the day before, so spent more time taking highly staged photos like this that made it look like I had ridden on gravel (fuck that), which is so hip right now in road circles apparently. Not so exciting if your broken neck still hasn’t technically healed 100%.
Technically riding Christmas morning is less weird than doing so in the afternoon, which is mega chill time, plus the pussy 25km’s logged meant that I could eat like a rabid dog with syphilis all day, result.
Ride 3 – The Beautiful Toil
The best way to make your summer holiday not really feel like a holiday, aside from getting injured, is to move around every day to a new location so that you can harass yourself constantly loading and unloading your overpriced rental car. If that doesn’t do it for you, then tent the fuck up as well…
Ignoring the fact that I was suddenly in a tent and wasn’t on Trans Provence (Gross), the upside was of course that location 3 was about to come into play. The Hawkes Bay is an awesome spot for banking endless quiet road miles and best of all, I had managed to park up in a new zone which I hadn’t encountered before. And as per usual, the MF Bay was on point across all the key metrics: Weather, roads, scenery, traffic…
It was ON with riding the Porangahau Loop blind. Any day you can punch out 100 clicks on roads you’ve never seen before, let alone ridden, can be classified as good times. By ‘punch out’ I actually mean a slow crawl, yes, Day 3 and the chassis was beginning to wonder what the fuck was going on. 7 weeks off the bike actually felt like 7 months at this point and everything was hurting.
Yes, neck was still a bit hang dog, but it had also conspired with my left shoulder to also fuck about, which in turn recruited my left knee into the discomfort ranks. Summary: Left side is basically cunted still. So it was an odd situation, stunningly beautiful scenery, but felt like absolute toil… Or, like a normal day in Brad Pitts life. Emergency coke mixed in with a scenery pic stop the perfect excuse to rest roasted quads.
It was only Day 1 in the Bay, but already it had that world class feel about it, almost zero traffic, non stop variety in the roads and scenery and the coast popping into view as I closed in on my second century of the Dirty Festy 500, the cumback was well and truly starting to crank up, much like the vistas.
Locals can ignore my frothing, but for out of towners who want to hit a quality loop, then park up at Waipuk and head out towards Porangahau, but to make it a loop, break hard left and head up Blackhead Road to clock wise smash that shit, it felt like the best way to ride it. Fuck all refuel stops out here, so take full bottles and then declare a jihad on the Pie shop when you get back to Waipuk:
So, as un-ENDURO as fuck, BUT, no fucks handed out, as being back on the bike and hitting 3 golden days in a row was a massive win. I’m not quite sure this is what the Doc had in mind at this stage, but if a positive mental attitude is key to recovery, then a cumback like this is golden for getting back on track.
Three decent days in the bank and the Festy was getting Fisted, but so was the body… And things were just getting started. Watch this space…