What a crazy year! Much like 2013, 14 turned out to be filled with some insane high-lights and then garnished with some major lowness in the form of ‘that incident’ in the Third World. However, just like an annoying friends Fuckbook feed, lets just focus on the good stuff in this little narcissistic Year End Review.
When I sat down to pen this up, aside from trying to avoid making it just like last years, it did occur to me that quite a lot of action actually went down. In fact, so much had gone on I started to wonder if I was confusing years. A quick check of the log book though indeed confirmed suspicions that we had rammed in quite a few milestones:
- The First full calendar year of DN action
- 225 posts
- 10 countries visited
- DN après ride apparel released
- DN riding kit locked in
- DN 2.0 site launched
For real… It all went down in a pretty big year. If I was the CEO of a large corporate I would wholeheartedly commend myself, dish out a massive bonus, pay for some sex and take January off. If only we had the budget…
Still, lets not get caught up in dutch ruddering ourselves into a total frenzy, there is a end of year review to get on with! Something here for everyone, unless you like CX or Fatbikes, if so, please fuck off now:
1. The Trips!
So, apparently trips are like children, where I’m told you’re not allowed to have favourites… Bizarre concept, but one I can sort of appreciate given how unique they all are. Its impossible to compare them and to do so would actually miss the point ultimately. They each have their own DNA, their own radness and their own tale to tell. Its made up by the people, terrain and adventures that unfold as the mission unwraps itself like a bucks night stripper that seemed like a good idea until someone started taking photos of the whole affair.
As such, no awards for ‘Best trip’ or ‘Best trail’ or ‘Best piece of road’, just some musings on each adventure as it unfolded:
Dirty Nomad Summer Tour – North Island: Oddly planned, patchy weather, sickness and stuttering form… The year didn’t get underway in epic fashion, but the good patches were a good forecast of what was to come. A good lesson in the need for structure. Vets tour was a blast, as was riding up the highest sealed road in NZ (matched in Japan in July), as well as the awesome shredding in Rots of course.
Dirty Nomad Summer Tour – South Island Endurofest: The M&M show led me across the South Island on a dazzling tour of some of the hottest riding spots going down. It was #sofuckingendurorightnow before any of us knew that we were full ENDURO. Popping my Queenstown cherry a highlight, not to mention embarrassing, as was the magic of Craigieburn and Coronet Peak. An awesome mission that fuelled the fire for more! RIP my Urge helmet, thanks for saving my head.
#R14QT Downhill mission: A trip where every day went better than planned, shredding with the Gravity Bros on all the finest that Queenstown had to offer was golden. We somehow nailed a weather window that was freakish, especially the day on Coronet Peak, and it was great being able to share the shredding with the boys. Also a grinfest gang banging a trail bike with a couple of Dirty Demo’s, which I debuted to much frothery. Herr Doktor and I did our best to keep Das Wolf in the loop post his early departure.
Hawk tour of the Japanese Alps: Would I have ever gone on this trip if it wasn’t for the genius of the Maniacal Hawk? Definitely not… He cooked up an amazing buffet or beauty and suffering in equal portion in those Alps, in a trip that can only be described as special. A lesson in everyone needing to take a fully charged phone with them on all day rides, from the freezing summit of Norikura to the ball warming depths of the Onsen, it was a trip that explored limits, had ample #Bromance points and finally taught us the difference between a Dual Carriage way and a back road.
Shredpocalypse II: Third time in Whistler and you’d start to think it was getting a bit same same? Not even man… Add in Motorman and Herr Doktor, as well as the Dirty Demo and it was a banging trip that belted home with reckless abandon how awesome DH MTB is. Sure, the weather was a bit patchy some days and fatigue assaulted us towards the end, but days like the one up the Top of the World trail are rare as fuck, can’t be planned for and need to be lauded when they happen.
NZ winter blast: A reminder how hard it is moving multiple time zones in a few days… And how bad Cannonade MTB’s were, I shook, rattled and smashed that Scalpel all over the North Island before dispatching it to Malaysia to fund an aggressive Santa Cruz expansion strategy. Also confirmed my XC racing aspirations needed to be flushed faster than you can say “Will these goggles go ok on my trail helmet?“. Also, really fucking cold.
World Cup Finals: The trip that I was most nervous about all year, loosely planned and slightly odd in it conception, it ended up rearing up on its hind legs like some sort of mythical creature crossed with a unicorn that was trained in the same martial arts that Jason Bourne used to deliver a smashing blow of fucking good times across the bridge of my nose. Not only was the World Cup racing insane, the celebrity stalking I got done was unparalleled and whilst I now have an innate fear of Sam Hill, it was a trip that ran over all expectations, reversed up and then nailed it again for good measure. Amazing riding, lucked into locations I could have only dreamed to ride in like La Thuile and rode with some awesome people along the way. A reminder that sometimes you just have to let the journey be the adventure
Perth Enduromania: First ENDURO race ever! Which also resulted in a deep ENDURO fever taking hold, the only treatment plan available is to do as much fucking mountain biking as possible! Great to be back shredding the awesome Perth Trails with the Gravity Bros, the Perth Crew once again rolling out all the best trails for us to savour. No one cared the timing system melted down, it was an awesome Nomad 3 Debut and an omen that it was time for change…
NZ Summer Lovin: Fittingly, its come full circle with the final trip of the year having a beautiful book-end nature to it… This time however it ended up being a major step forward in the Road2Recovery as opposed to being the start of a year that didn’t have much of a plan. The joy at being back on a bike was a novel experience, fittingly that after 8 weeks off the bike I finally got to get back on the road with our Dirty Welly Affiliate and soak up some of the awesome riding on offer in the Hawkes Bay.
2. The Stats!
Lets get the stats aspect out of the way… The general aim if there is one when it comes to stats was to hit another 12,000km+ year, making it 3 in a row. Oddly, I had this prophecy at the end of last year:
“I will have my work cut out for me to hit 12,000+ for a third consecutive year in 2014, but I look forward to overtraining my balls off to try.”
File under “Beware what you aim for”, as I was actually on track to bitch slap the 12,000 silly, heading towards 14,000 or so until I was cunted in the place we dare not speak of… In the end, it took a death march effort today to eeekkk out the final 130km’s needed to push things over that 12,000km mark for a hat trick. Why was that number important? I’m not sure to be honest, its a little OCD of me, but I just wanted to keep the roll going to nail it 3 years running. Here are the ride numbers, with 2013 in brackets:
- 12,004km’s ridden (12,502km’s)
- 481 hours (481 hours)
- 143,807m climbed (140,565m)*
- 238 rides (226)
*Before the Hawk replies that I am a total cunt and in the interests of authenticity, the meters climbed stat is a little, misleading shall we say? Yeah, my furry ass was sat firmly on a chairlift or Gondola seat for a good bunch of those meters, thank fuck for that!
The nice thing about 2015 is that the give a fuck factor on these types of stats will be extremely low, as we go FULL ENDURO man…
3. The PEOPLE!
So, with the data out of the way, we get to the most important part of the whole damn set up… Power to the people etc etc. Yup, a shout out and thank you to all the units that have been part of the 2014 action, showed me the way to the trails, designed the road riding routes, yelled at me to hold that fucking wheel in a race, made me spew in training, dished me a fist pump at the end of a rad trail and said ‘fuck yeah’, risked getting fired at work for reading the posts or just for being an awesome friend and supporter. Here’s looking at you gang (please leave hateful comments if I missed you out):
As you can see, I have the benefit of being able to ride with some awesome people, in some awesome places… Thanks team and I look forward to MORE of the same in 2015, as well as hitting some new places as ENDURO fever starts to peak out. Speaking of which…
What’s in store for 2015?
That’s a good question… Like any company at the moment, the year starts without a proper plan in place or completed, so a bit of catching up to do, but the forecast is for as much radness as can be possibly crammed in as the seasons and people to hang out with will allow.
The first 6 months are ALL about Trans Provence, so more on that soon. But, at this point its all about: Getting healthy, getting fit and then getting rad.
Adios 2014, lets get 2015 rolling!