Warning – Massive post alert AND gratuitous DRY mountain bike looove today, but with very good reason. Plus, its the first ride report of the DNST and a while since we’ve been in another country, so its a mega download.

First of all, why did I have to keep this Perth Mission on the down low? Simple really… Mother was coming to visit Sister in Perth. DN colluded with sister to lay a Viet Cong style surprise ambush for Mother on her arrival at the airport. The result? It was pleasing:

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“What the FUUUUUCK?!”

Golden… So then, to the riding here in Perth, it was an early start and into the Rental Nomadmobile to head to Dok’s evil HQ lair in the Perth hills to commence the good times:

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The first of many rental cars this summer, trust me, the size will escalate radically…

The Dok was already up and conducting experiments, yes, that’s my front wheel, Herr Doktor depositing some thick white liquid inside it, apparently I had to trust him:

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“Its my own special blend, secret ingredients… We may need to cut the tire off later”

With minimal faffing and a lot of excitement it was time to deploy the redneck set up and load up the beasts to hit the trails. After all, this is Sam Hill territory and its rumoured that the mythical shredder has been seen in and around some of the areas we were riding today, celebrity radar ON. Who needs an overpriced Dakine truck mat when you have the DIY Dok on the scene, full ghetto arrangement, but ruthlessly effective:

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The last 26inch wheeled freedom fighters

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“Fuck it, ripped another riding top open flexing to pick up a bike… Fuck I’m sick of this”

Whilst the Dok unloaded, I set off to scout out the opposite set up to the full Ghetto approach, and, given there is a mining boom on, it wasn’t hard to find. Santa, please add this to the list under the V10c:

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Excellent for Spec Ops missions, James Bond movies or driving to the trail head – Custom Thule racks optional

Right, yes, yes – to the RIDING! FFS… that’s what we’re here for. The Dok being the great tour guide he is, had laid out a nice circuit that allowed for a decent warm up before we graduated on to more aggressive action. Given this was the first MTB outing for 5 months or so, I was a huge proponent of such an approach. Whilst it had been some time off the bike, the trails were so much fun and stoke factor was so high my MTB mojo wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Time to get the freak on with some Camakazi action:

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Is my camo making me blend into the trees yet? Is my Go PRO helping?

The thing that struck me straight away is how insanely good the new Cane Creek DB rear shock was… I am going to rave a little here and then more down below. Its not often you put a new part on your bike that instantly and directly translates into a significant difference of improvement, but fuck, this thing ticks all those boxes! I had read reviews on how good it was, but they didn’t do it justice. If you own a full suspension mountain bike, then this is the single best upgrade that I think you can make to it. If you live with someone who mountain bikes and you really do love them, then you need to prove it by buying them this piece of mountain bike superbness.

After nailing Camakazi the mojo levels were pretty good and more importantly, I was LOVING mountain biking again… Being back on the trails and back on the Nomad was like a glorious reunification of North & South, except without anyone needing to say Uncle. I was taken down a peg or two on Lancaster, after the briefing from the Dok made the obstacles 20 times larger than reality in my head, but it was enough to spook me and there may or may not be video evidence of me balking in a few places.

I must have been slightly scared shitless, as that’s exactly what I needed to do… Yes, as every cyclist reading this will slowly begin nodding, nothing can ruin a ride like unwanted bowel passengers and given I’m as regular as a Swiss train this was problematic – Until one discovers that they have the best MTB bush toilets ever here in W.A, score:

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Bloody good shit maaaate

Fuck, a massive digression away from riding again… Ok, toilet humour over and back to actual riding and thanks to the power of the new Go Pro Hero 3+ (more below) I can bring you some crisp on board footage from today, videos to come! Today’s trails felt fast… flying fast even. We flew through wooden berms:

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The world’s highest centre of gravity being severely tested…

We flew across extremely well positioned and just comfortably wide enough logs:

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I can see my hands from here!

We even flew through the air, Herr Doktor confirming here that white men can fly:

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Eat my shredding dust Dirty fucking Nomad

Above shots taken from what was pretty much my favourite trail of the day, Scorpion, so much fun we hit it twice (confession, I rode it the first time with the rear shock locked out, it felt a lot better on take 2… Amateur). It was an eventful trail, we saw a shredder on a beautiful Santa Cruz Bronson first time through and on the second run, I broke a spoke – First time ever. See below for my views on the Reynolds Carbon AM wheels…

I was loving these trails for the fact that whilst they made you work, you were repaid with some excellent speed and good flow, as well as a jumps that made you feel like a bigger hero than you probably are. Heading back up to the top of Gunjin, it was time for a breather after a decent climb and of course, off road modelling time:

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“Just let me know when you want MAGNUM”

Dok had saved the best to last however, with the final golden combo of Goldilocks, Muffin tops and Horny Devil back to the carpark. It was Fast & Furious 8 as we blasted home, more Dok pursuit going down:

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Faster and more fun than a speeder dual on Endor

This was a full gas session to end the day and an excellent way to cap off a ride. I loved being back on the MTB today and it was the perfect venue to get back into the dirt action, even if the pea gravel made it a bit freaky drifty in places. And where was this venue? For those that like maps, indulge:

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Strayla – Its a tad big

And, for a full cycling fever bonus, on the way home we even saw some of the Orica Greenedge PRO riders out training… Yes, actually for real:

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Skinny nerds (yes, I can actually say that with a straight face with all my Fox MTB kit on)

A few call outs from today… Clearly after a ripper the positives column is heavily weighted:

Massive winners:

  • Clearly the sublime CCDB rear shock – I can’t foam at the mouth enough about how good this shock is. If I still worked in a Corporate I may even call it ‘Transformational’ or any other such buzz word. But, its best to say its just really fucking rad and EVERYONE needs one
  • The new Go PRO Hero 3+ – It takes a baseball bat and beats the old Go Pro into dust with its awesomeness. I was having trouble working out what was cooler: Its smaller, better battery, better buttons, has a remote, interfaces with my iPhone, lighter… Then I saw the Video from today… Its so good it doesn’t even look real on the screen. If you’ve been holding off, make a relative rush out and buy one for you for Christmas ASAP
  • Summer – Today felt like summer… Yes, I know, a moronic statement from someone who basically follows around summer, but today really felt like it in only the way that summer can in the Southern Hemisphere and that is awesome.

Horrendous losers:

  • Reynolds Carbon AM wheels – I have tried to hold back from abusing these wheels… But now its time. The hubs are dreadful, even after new bearings go in… troublesome to mount tubeless tires to and they aren’t as light as Enve’s and now its broken spoke time. Shit wheels to be blunt… I intend to kill these mofo’s ASAP!

Dok has even more Perth MTB goodness baking in the Thermomix to be served up tomorrow. After the first course today I am hanging out for more!

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