The travel is OVER and the riding has begun! And fuck, it has begun in style as well… With an awesome day of riding in little old sleepy Naseby. Truth be told, I had been once before, in 1996 believe it or not (Spanky, Prez and Lizard you may recall those good old days! Kapiti Mofos taking our cabin off us), but its changed a surprising amount since then. First though, there was the getting there! A slight mission being 5 hours from CharChar. The bikes were ready to go… I helped out the packing and departure process by getting a dirty staged photo shoot going:
The M&M mobile was rammed and we were ready to hit the road… Shotgun for the Nomad on the roof, chances of being rear ended higher than running into the top of a Maccas drive through was my logic:
Ok… So a heads up, its a fucking long way to Naseby. 5 hours from CHCH and an arrival time of 1am in the end. I had forgotten how dark it can get in the bad lands back country, so my advice would be to travel in the morning to avoid wolf creek like horror. The DN base here is as old school as it gets as well, but check the day we awoke to:
The worst thing about Naseby – No 3G or even phone reception at all. Fuuuucked if I know what locals do here, but its no wonder half the houses are for sale (may also be linked to it being colder than the Arctic in winter). This is particularly disturbing from a DN perspective given our hierarchy of needs:
Morning session – With Markus and the new school block
With M&M bringing their mini me’s, we have to run a split shift arrangement on this trip, with me pulling double duty, with the weather fucking mint I had no problems with this today, so Markus and I set off after coffee with a map and a relatively vague idea of where to go. As you can see, town was fucking pumping to the max, main street was going off:
Of course, once you get into a foreign forest with no sign posted trails and an out of date map, you realise that you can be in for a complicated and even compromised day… Luckily for me, Markus is basically a Green Beret, plus he climbs mountains and can rescue people in snow and shit like that, so naturally he was on map detail… Thus freeing me up for photo detail:
Semi unbeknown to us, we had headed into the New School block of the forest with trails that were under development or just finished. I didn’t really care though and fuck, who would when this is what Otago had laid on for you on your first day on tour FFS:
Add to that, the MTB mojo is pretty much back to full power, the Nomad was enjoying the hard pack terrain and it massively felt like summer… Ripping down some excellent trails with lots of variety and features was only made better when we exploded out onto the shores of Lake/Pond #1… Hell yes, the trails aren’t named here, but this was my favourite today, as the trail goes around the lake edge:
Indeed, the type of trails, the dirt, the lakes and the trees reminded me massively of the valley riding in Whistler, it has that Canada type look and feel for it and would be a good place to start on any tour. Markus and I then got sucked into the far left hand side of the forest, mildly fisted by some sub par 4WD track and weird unkept single track before we busted out of the forest onto the scene of another awesome lake/pond scenario:
Eventually we made it to the ‘good’ new stuff… Which was fun, but had some interesting quirks to it from a trail building perspective. Kudos to the trail builders for the hard work, but please, perhaps a little less of the ripping steep bombs into hard right hand turn uphills that want to loop out any modern trail bike… Some flow would be nice on those bits. Other than that, epic work going in gang and keep it rolling!
Afternoon session – With Multigirl and the Old school block
With 2 hours down, it was time to tag Makrus out and tag Multigirl in and head to the right hand side of the forest into the ‘old’ stuff… At first it was a bit ‘meh’ and I was wondering if we should just head back to the new stuff, but I wasn’t complaining about those fucking legendary Otago rolling hills, Hawkes Bay has some serious competition in the browned out rolling hills stakes:
I was foaming at the mouth like an Asian tourist on meth, but Multigirl had seen it all before and wasn’t as pumped as I was:
Feedback duly noted, we hit the DH again and I finally fucking found what we had been looking for all day, the cool DH action and ripping runs… A lot more footage to come on the Go Pro (I was too lazy and time constrained to sort today), but we found the stuff to test the fart muscles for sure, with some good gully running with plenty of rock gardens and drop ins. Multigirl wasn’t as impressed as I was:
Riding with girls is awesome. After we sessioned this area and mapped it out for a future visit (I’m looking at you Dok and Wolf), it was time for another run through the new stuff… Multigirl needed the tour and I needed someone to feed my vanity and take photos of me on the only wooden feature we managed to track down… Alas it will no doubt be noted I should have been up on the top ledge there…
Two hours later, many loops slayed and hunger starting to dominate, it was beyond comprehension that the day could get any better. Arriving at the swimming hole/lake/pond #3, I was slightly taking the piss when I said to Markus, “It would be awesome if you could get me a coke, a Fresh Up Big Hit Fejoa and a Kapiti ice cream white choc and raspberry combo dude”… Holy fuck, does the man know no limits? He managed to deliver all 3 in the smallest town on the planet:
A DN travel advisory on Naseby – Its a ‘on the way there’ or ‘on the way back’ destination. You probably wouldn’t come here for 3 days of riding, its a perfect first stop to play yourself in gently and have a great time on some rad little trails. It takes a bit of exploring, so do your homework. I would recommend starting at the swimming hole past the motor camp (its impossible to miss) and hitting the right hand side block first before heading over the other side to the new stuff. They have plans to sign post the trails and put directions in as well, which would be an epic upgrade as you can imagine. There are 50km’s of trail. Its perfect Santa Cruz 5010 and even Bronson territory, but the Nomad ate it up like free caviar all day.
So, in the end it was a BIG day on the Nomad… 52km’s, 1000m of climbing and over 4 hours, which was pretty awesome for a first ride on tour. It appeared like a crazy spiderman load shoot:
Its a rushed and fucking long post today I am afraid, so stay tuned for video, on the bike shots and of course, Queenstown!!! The weather is going to be mint, so high fucking 5’s all round.