I am now firmly planted back in the Global Hub and have to admit that the crazy travel schedule I referred to way the fuck back when has finally caught up with me. I was so drilled when I got back I was unable to head north to Malaysia on the weekend for a road race… Aside from the fact I have zero road riding fitness, my ability to actually dress myself in kit was questionable. So, this week is about R&R and to prepare for the final MAD DN mission in the Northern Hemisphere Summer Tour!

But more on that later… Right now we have a final disgusting 29er XC style ride to regurgitate from last week, the final stop in the NZ winter blast! Yes, the trek continued north to Auckland to hit Woodhill MTB Park. I rode here once before on the Nomad, to prepare for the TP trip almost 18 months ago now. To be fair, it was a chore on that machine, so I was intrigued to see what it would be like on a short traveled fun stifling machine. Certainly the opening grind was a lot easier on the geek sled:

Woodhill - grind

The blue tag possibly my patient details – Escaped from a 29er mental institute

So… Woodhill… How to describe it? The next two images pretty much sum up 75% of the riding at Woodhill. Its fair to call it old school XC style action for pretty much the bulk of the riding that you’re likely to do here:

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Prepare for some trail Deja Vu

And there is lots and lots of this:

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Lots of pedalling to be done around these parts…

Yes, if you want to get really FIT on a mountain bike, then this is the place to do it. Its rolling terrain, so whilst there aren’t any massive climbs, there ain’t no sweet big downhills either. Its firmly 29erish territory, unless you want to hit some of the relatively large man made wood features. With a buckled Enve rear wheel and a XC rocket that was already making some freaky noises, I decided it was best to stay the fuck off that action. It may have been the middle of winter, but fuck this place is dry… Like, height of summer dry, a bonus and appreciated when you were traversing what passes for an enchanted forest:

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Just the sort of place you’d expect to see the Wolf having a crack at little red riding hood…

A LOT of trail has been built in this place and while a number of blocks were out of action due to logging and storm damage, there was more than enough to choose from… Well worth picking up a trail map. Sign posting is good, but grab a map when you’re paying your $7 to access the park. Even though there are map stations, its worth having a map to guide you around. Or, if you’re local, just use your MF phone obviously, map is on line:

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Occasionally logs pretending to be berms will pop up…

I was finally starting to click with the Scalpel and some of its cuntwagon traits… This was the first ride where I managed to work out how to throw it around a bit as well. All this 29er bonding culminating on being 4 sections off taking the KOM on Tigers Tail, let the strava nerd rage! Those 4 seconds were sooooo in there as well… Its almost enough to convert me to full Nerdism. Clearly the mind melding with the Scalpel was paying off, I was not only bottoming it out constantly as I thrashed it through a few sections, but I also managed to get it to make some rather horny noises on impact. There isn’t a whole lot of elevation to play with around the forest, but when it appears, let it rip:

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100mm of travel runs out quicker than an Exec management team at an accountability review

I suspect that given most people in Auckland have paid $300k too much for their houses that there is only money left over to own a Hardtail 29er, hence the trails have been built for that set up… Whilst I may bag this a little, I still managed to have some fun trashing the scalpel for all its worth on the rolling terrain and if you’re in town, definitely get a couple of hours in here. Whilst a lot of the trails have that old school build feel to them, the best trail on the way back to the car park is a must do – No Vacancy. This is one of the newest trails in the park and kudos to the builders, its an awesome rip to finish your ride, well worth a second pass if you have the time:

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If it was 10% steeper I could almost be back in Whistler!

Another tick for Woodhill is the facilities – Good shop, great staff and decent wash up area of course, also the chance to refuel etc if needs be… Also no drama about parking up, its pretty much cunt free in that regard:

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For those looking to buy my Scalpel – Promise I used the hose lightly

And there we have it! NZ Winter blast in the bag and sights set on something significantly more inspirational coming up in less than a weeks time!

Honesty call – writing blog posts about 29er XC style rides you did solo is fuuuuuucking hard work and about as interesting as watching a National Day parade. And with that little confession, its time to fuck right off back to the Shrediting room to rock out the next Shredpocalypse vid and pack for the next epic mission!!

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