At last!!! A ride! Far fucking out… So many things in life are about momentum, be it at work, on a trip, shagging and in particular on a mountain bike – Momentum is key. Without it and you’re toast, too much and you’re also toast, so its about getting the right amount. Heading into today its fair to say that there was no momentum at all in the DN Summer Tour.

And, to be honest, today (well, yesterday now, I’m a day behind) almost didn’t happen ride wise. My evil cough worked full time to restrict sleeping time to 1 to 2 hours max, so you can imagine what an epic hater I was when I awoke after a whole night of hacking through the worlds most unproductive cough. Given I was mega marginal it was time to hit Zippy’s for coffee and then off to what has to be one of the best bike shops on the planet (Bike Culture) to get the Nomad’s forks upgraded:

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Dude… where’s our fork?

Rob and Mike at Bike Culture are magicians and even though it was their first day back, Rob effortlessly upgraded the Talas forks quicker than I could drink/cough down my Cappuccino. He even did a full pivot service of the Nomad without looking… If you want your bike worked on, then definitely go and see these dudes, its impressive.

As I coughed my way to the carpark, I realised perhaps this wasn’t the greatest plan that I have ever had, but it was an insanely sunny day, I had an upgraded and serviced Nomad and I had a deep and unreasonable desire to ride. So, it was ON:

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Such an appropriate trail name…

My plan was to limit my climbing by hitting the shuttle service that operates during School Holidays here… This was reinforced as the prime option based on A) my epic coughing fits and B) a combo of my poor fitness levels and a reminder that the Nomad doesn’t like to climb in this type of terrain, it needs muscle that I clearly didn’t have, or that I couldn’t muster due to the cough. Enter the shuttle:

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One of the few times a bus is cool

Yes, its not often a bus is cool, but these little bastards are gold for riding in Rots, it allows you unlock large parts of the forest that you usually couldn’t do physically in one ride. Sure, you feel like a lazy fuck, but I had a reasonable excuse, so it was shuttle time. It was also time to hit new trails that I hadn’t ridden here before. First up was Huckleberry Hound & Little Miss Riding Huck:

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Sweeeeeeeeet

This was one of my favourite trails of the day, can’t understand why I hadn’t ridden it before and whilst my ‘hucking’ was subpar, it was a shit load of fun and has been marked to hit again when I am back up for the sequel in a few weeks. Next run was all about the trail ‘corners‘, which was a bit ‘Meh’ I’m afraid, so didn’t endorse it with any pics. By now I was in a sweet rhythm with the shuttle, arriving at the bottom of the hill around the same time it was loading up, so there was no down time. Next up was one of my favourites, Billy T into G Rock and Roller Coaster:

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Billy T sweetness… with rave like lighting effects

Usually this loop is a one off for a ride if you have to climb to the top, but with the power of the shuttle it was simply one run, Roller Coaster is a blast as well:

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Get IT

A quick technical note – If you own a Fox Talas fork on your MTB, the best thing in the world that you can do for yourself and your happiness/well being it to upgrade that piece of shit to the new 2014 internals… The difference is insane in the forks membrane. Its like a whole new fork has been put on your bike and there is no question that this is the best low(ish) cost upgrade you can do for summer. Call your bike shop immediately, its Fox part number 820-01-361. DO IT!

Unfortunately the longer loop put me out of sequence with my shuttle, the popularity of the service evident, even on a work day:

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Someone really needs a chairlift…

For the final run of the day, I decided to hit the National DH upper section and then down to Hot X Buns before rolling out. The National DH can produce some serious fart noise inducing moments on a trail bike, the Go Pro shots don’t really do it justice, but this shit is steeper than NZ Car rental prices (i.e. Mega fucking steep):

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Lean baaaaaack…

Line choice can be ambiguous at times, but there is nothing unclear about a padded tree, its basically reminding you that someone has eaten shit into it, or there is a high chance you’re about to:

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Is it to late to change my mind?

Hot X Buns is an awesome trail, but to be honest I was a bit flogged by this stage to carve it up properly, gradually coughing my way down it to head home via some old school trails that I used to fly through with the Lizard back in the day (the 7 minuter dude!)… Its safe to say I was a lot quicker in the 90/2000’s, which is an odd feeling.

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The view is almost as beautiful as my lovely Enve carbon handlebar

Of course, it was impossible to resist a cliche Redwoods shot on the way out, I just needed an Ewok and the ride would have been complete:

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Not quite the natural habitat of the Nomad, but an awesome place to be

I will confess that the Nomad Carbon is a little bit too much bike for Rots most of the time… This is Bronson or 5010 Carbon territory bike wise, because of course Santa Cruz is the only MTB brand worth discussing, aside from the Cannondale Scalpel. Wrapping up my ride with a solid 5 minute long ‘fuck am I going to die’ coughing fit, it was time to punch out of Rots and hit the goodness of the BAY again, rolling to Panther HQ for the golden Beer and BBQ combo that he dished up while I coughed at him:

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Cough… thanks for the… cough… Beer… Cough…. Bro

And yes, I am now on Antibiotics, so hopefully we can gradually get back to normal and keep the momentum rolling!

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