Here’s a first, a DN post brought to you from the palatial goodness of the Air NZ Koru lounge at Auckland International Airport… I LOVE a good airport lounge, there is nothing better for making you feel flasher than you really are than one of these places. This one is also rammed with a decent fridge for me to overload on fizzy drinks with so I can punish my fellow passengers on a gassy 10 hour fight back to the global hub.

Yes, leg 2 of the DN Summer Tour is a wrap… Obviously we got off to a flying start with leg 1 in Perth, which set the bar high in terms of quality and hitting new stuff. However, leg 2 has had more than its fair share of misfires and a bit of sand in the gears, so a few reflective learning’s and musings:

  • Planning – Yeah, it was piss poor and vague planning on my behalf and whilst I nailed some good days, it was aimless and as such, leaves one with the taste of perhaps not maximising
  • Sickness – Call it an act of god if you will, the last time I couldn’t ride through illness was at the Tour of Friendship in April 13, so just darn right unlucky to go off the rails with the cough of doom
  • Old vs. New – I have ranted on this previously, but after dining on a buffet of fresh adventures all year, it felt slightly backward to hit all old school action. How to improve that? Doing old stuff with mates is a better way to roll, so pack your homeboys/girls if heading to the past
  • Rental car mania – Seems obvious really, but rental car companies in Australia & NZ have you by the absolute balls/female equivalent and they know it… You can’t get around on a trip like this without them and they have their rate card ready and waiting for you. It appears I have spent the equivalent of a Santa Cruz V10c frame on rental cars… FAAARK!!!!
  • The two bike dance – Whilst bringing two bikes has been awesome from an experiential perspective, its been a total cock logistically and I perhaps won’t look to repeat that feat…
  • Toyota Prado’s – Not that I needed any reinforcement, but these are the best things in the world, behind bikes and girls… Especially if road tripping. Space of a Mack truck and drives like a world rally car (allegedly), the only thing that has fucked me off is that now that I have been reminded how awesome they are, I have to get a job to buy one when/if I return to the normal world (cold shiver)
  • The weather – File under ‘Act of God’ as well, but you can do yourself a favour and turn up to NZ in late Jan or early Feb if you want to nail some more settled weather. Also, don’t travel with me as I appeared to have been cursed, especially when getting within 100km’s of Rotorua, which triggered the sun to fuck off and rain to dominate… Cunty.
  • Stop your whinging – Lets not allow the tricky parts to have the last say… The riding has been awesome, especially the Hawkes Bay, the two days at Rots and of course rolling with the Rivet boys for the Vets tour. I’ve been exceedingly lucky to do some great rides and experience some golden rolling hills scenery in the 4 weeks kicking it back in NZ, so I haven’t lost sight of that fact. The riding here is excellent and needs to be shared with the world… DN Custom Tours perhaps?

A Massive dirty thank you to everyone (Panther clan, oTown crew, R&P, Team Taylor, Mother) who hosted me on their floors while I was on tour, I realise having me drain your fridge, ruin your bathroom, hyping up your children 10 mins before bed time and clogging your drains with hair is less than thrilling for you, but I appreciated the contribution to keeping costs down (DN Global CFO nodding with appreciation).

And, as a case study in the importance of Time Trial bikes (the MTB crew just said FUCK YOU in disgust), have a look at this little side by side shot from the TT on the weekend. I love my makeshift TT set up on the Evo, thank you Toby, but check out the work of art that is AT’s position, you could eat dinner off that table of a back there, whilst I resemble a sail:

x

Bloody lucky you beat me by 5 seconds eh bro…

So, its back to Global Hub HQ to re-equip and get ready for Leg 3 of the DN Summer Tour! “Super what the fuck” I hear you mumble, yes, that’s right, there is more to come. I nod with you in agreement that I’m moving swiftly into the zone of taking the absolute piss, but there is one more trip that needs to be nailed this summer, so stay tuned as its going to be RAD (you didn’t think I would reveal it now did you? Sharpen up FFS).

In the mean time as I sit on a plane insidiously farting my way back to base, enjoy this little video from the recent Native Enduro race in Rototura, please note the weather… And reflect on the fact that I was riding into a southerly with winter gear on at the same time these sweet trails were being shredded:

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