So, if its not painfully obvious by now, there are a few major gaps appearing in the time space continuum of this Dirty Blog… It would be more than reasonable to land on the home page and think for a moment “Hey, where is the NZ ENDURO race report? And isn’t he supposed to be in South America for that amazing EWS double header start to the season?!

Well…. Yeah… and, Yeah… But as it turns out: Nah.

Or, in other words, thats right – I was the cunt not at the EWS race that went down over the weekend in Chile, at a venue that did look rather extraordinary and unique (Epic photos can be found here to assist with rubbing salt in my self inflicted wounds). Given I had an entry, just how the fuck did I end up here?

I had it all worked out of course for 2016… A shredding end to 2015, a golden summer of Nomad 3 slaying in NZ and then straight into the ENDUROpocalypse of: DME, Trans NZ and NZ Enduro in quick succession. I was then going to ride the fuck out of that tsunami wave of radness straight into the first two EWS Rounds of 2016 in South America – Holy fuck, what a climax! My iPhone was set to explode at the Gramming potential alone.

But then, shit went a bit sideways… Well, more head first actually. No matter, we’ve been here before, plenty of time! This could be salvaged. Nothing that we can’t get physically in shape for in time! Force feed me some road miles and we’ll get on with it.

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Getting busy proving that low intensity road miles and ENDURO racing are highly incompatible

Whilst #Road2Recovery the sequel didn’t seem physically as hard as it did 12 months prior, mentally it was definitely a cunt, for lack of a more formal description. I was enjoying some road miles in the sun, but without being back on the MTB until 1 Feb, it suddenly felt quite hard to get in the zone of radness needed for what was to come. I struggled to train hard, or even properly (having as much junk food as I did junk miles) and there was certainly a distinct lack of gnar in my daily diet.

First to go was the DME, which seemed like a good call given zero rad riding beforehand. The plan was then to go to Trans NZ and use that as a form builder for the first 2 EWS rounds in South America, but deep down I knew that I wasn’t going to be ready for it, and in a confession here – I pulled the pin on EWS before even winging my way to NZ, something that I think then had a negative effect on TNZ. I did what?! It doesn’t get to look any better than a double round in South America!!!

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“I’ll ENDURO when I’m goddam good and ready”

Ultimately I struggled my way through Trans NZ riding wise, somewhat placated by epic scenery, but left feeling pretty empty and oddly deflated as opposed to pumped up. So much so, I ended up doing the inexplicable and pulled out of NZ ENDURO. Never heard of it? Oh, you know, its the one voted best ENDURO race in the world after the EWS… And referred to as a ‘bucket list’ event by some of the biggest names in dirt cycling. Yes, the Pussification was complete.

Whilst I have a prestigious history of pulling out early, this was starting to become a crisis. Don’t worry, I’m saying it on your behalf at this point: WTF cunt?

It would be really easy to blame these massive DNS blow outs on a whole range of convenient excuses which would let people nod and go “Yeah man, totally“, such as:

  • Cost
  • Logistical challenges
  • Wanted to stay at home and watch the Road Classics

But aside from the lack of authenticity that would entail, any excuse for not continuing with the 2016 first half plan could easily be brushed aside with a stiff dose of passion. Excuse me while I sound like a LinkedIn post that makes you cringe/vomit in your mouth, but all those sort of challenges can be overcome if you are passionate enough about something… Blah fucking blah blah.

And this is exactly where I appear to have run into problems. The only way I can sum it up is that I’ve run out of gas/mojo and instead I’ve found myself tired. Tired of trying to come back to form, tired of returning from injury, tired of bitching that I don’t have the right terrain to prep on, tired of being lower mid pack and even more tired about caring about results. Sweet Hesus, I’m even tired of being tired and bitching about it! What have I become?

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I’ve gone full Pussduro

Above all of that, I think that I’ve mostly become tired of losing perspective on it all. Its supposed to be about riding a bike and having fun after all right? Not actually a big ask, especially given its not my job for fucks suck… Oh, plus its a sport that you only do in order to have FUN.

The aspect of ‘perspective’ has been reinforced over the weekend as well. Fuck you Gram:

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It appears people are having fun

As you can imagine, once the pics of ENDURO radness (Exhibit A above) have started to infiltrate my Gram feed from Chile and EWS Round 1, its highlighted that there is of course has been a major drawback and casualty of this scorched earth policy which has dominated 2016 so far:

I’ve lost sight of the big adventure picture 

Ah yes, you knew there was a Dirty learning in here somewhere… I’m still not 100% sure what it is to be honest, but I think it has something to do with focusing on the wrong things and losing sight of more important stuff. For me the preoccupation with results and being ‘Fast’ or riding ‘properly’, when I suspect the time for both of those may have passed a little, has ultimately set me up to chase my tail to the point of exhaustion.

In doing so, I have self critiqued my riding so badly I’ve almost come to oddly resent it, living in an oddly negative reinforcing cycle:

  • Go riding
  • Not meet unrealistic expectations
  • get annoyed #cuntcuntcunt
  • Expect more next time
  • Repeat, with ever increasing quantities of self loathing

Holy fuck I need to wrap this up before it becomes more boring/bitchy than it already is…

So where to from here then?

Excellent question that! To which an answer is still work in progress. This Godzilla sized form and motivation slump hasn’t shown any signs that its tired of smashing buildings just yet either, thanks to a 2 week long flu (goodbye any remaining fitness) and nothing on the horizon to get pumped up about.

So, to round out the most morose post I think ever written, its about getting back to mega basics on the riding front – Stopping the analysis and expectations, training hard when the need occurs and generally recapturing the enjoyment of just riding a bike, because FUCK, that’s all it really is anyway! Right Dok?

“No mountain biking eh you weak armed cockhead, I’m going to take you down the death drop then dead lift your corpse for an extra work out”

“Ehhhhhhh Just fucken ride it down the hill cunt and then smash piss”

Word.

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8 Responses

    • Dirty Nomad

      Chur Rob and I think that’s right on dude! Time to chill and get back into the right zone.

      Reply
  1. Mike

    I found myself in that same place a few years back, but I worked my way out of it when I got my 60 plus year-old father in law into riding. Seeing how stoked he was after each ride, where he would eat shit at least 3 times a ride (and sometimes eat shit, whilst trying to get back on his shitty hardtail quickly after/during eating shit)… Priceless. Made me realize that being a rad cunt is not about being fast or looking pro as fuck (to paraphrase your killer blog), it’s about sharing the stoke. I think you already know that. I guess I just wanted to sympathize with you and say that the stoke I get from reading this blog is huge! So thanks.

    Reply
    • Dirty Nomad

      Hey Mike, thanks for the awesome insight and feedback dude! Appreciated and absolutely nailing it around sharing the stoke… Thanks for reading and commenting bro!

      Reply
  2. Drew

    TransNZ was an eye opener, I remember that first day at Cragieburn when I was on the gas all day smashing everything to only get that bit of paper at the end to say ’50th’. WTF. I was ready to pack it all then, what the hell went wrong. The weekend before I’d punched out one of my best ever results at a local race here in Aus as a ‘warm up’, and was riding on point all day. Went straight to the bus back to the lodge and sat there, gobsmacked. I never really recovered from that initial shock, results went from bad to worse for the rest of the week. It wasn’t the placing that bothered me so much but the times, 1.5 mins off on a 5 min stage, not by Atherton or Maes but by a bunch of riders that I’d honestly never heard of. Crushing.

    But fuckit. If you can survive disappointment then nothing can beat you. I came back home and rode berms until I realised how shitty the riding is here and that I was damn lucky to even be able to participate. Sign me up again for next year.

    Reply
    • Dirty Nomad

      Awesome summary bro! You’ve nailed it there and know exactly what you mean! Great call and a reminder that sometimes just being there is the important part. I didn’t expect that many Enduro assassins and shredding ninjas to front up, it was certainly a step up from the previous year, or so I’m told. Chur

      Reply

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