Can you remember losing your Dirt virginity? Do you recall that sweet combination of filthy fascination mixed with sheer desire in a place where incompetence is overwhelmed by rabid enthusiasm? Ohhhhh yeah… The rush of those first few strokes, the speed and the rhythm, the sweat starting to form on your brow and the almost instant realisation that this is something you suddenly can’t live without.
I can even remember the name of my first, The Sawtooth, granted it was 1991, but back then, this was pretty much as mid range as it got:
I had no idea what it was for initially… This wasn’t a BMX, nor was it a “10 speed”, so to quote the greatest actor known to mankind: “What the hell are you?” It was quickly explained to me it was a ‘Mountain Bike’, which to a 12 year old only created more confusion than a Spicey press conference. But the moment I got on that thing and rode it around, any confusion could go get fucked, as on a subconscious level I knew straight away what this was all about and I can still recall that lightbulb moment:
I rode that motherfucker everywhere my piss weak legs would allow, including places no 12 year old kid would be allowed to roam solo in present society. It was THE ticket to freedom and I was punching that shit every chance I got. Of course, this was all on the Kapiti Coast, about an hour north of Wellington.
When you’re a kid that age doing your best to destroy a Chromoly hardtail with early 90’s components on it, the trail in front of you is absolutely the BEST fucking trail ever (Legit – I was expelled from Kindergarten for writing ‘Fuck’ on the window’s, so I did actually describe the trail as such) and to me, the Coast was clearly mountain biking paradise and you’d never EVER need to go and ride anywhere else.
Of course this is in an era when Italy was only loosely referred to in relation to Pasta and France was a place where they invented the type of kissing you tried to lay on your babysitter (Sorry Debbie), so a time of blissful ignorance and insane naivety on what was out there. Mind you, riding in Finale on a rigid fork? Rim me. But in summary, I thought the Coast was the absolute shizzle for what back then was Mountain Biking… Smoke/Dart Combo anyone?
But, like your opinion on what constitutes quality oral sex, as you grow up your views start to change. By the time I was old enough to know that Chris King headsets were compulsory, my views on the Coast had shifted significantly and rightly so… It now “Sucked bro” and for a long time it remained that way, with very little reason or motivation to ride an MTB up that way… But that was then and this is 2017!
While our human interactions are becoming weirder thanks to anti-social media (which I wildly partake in, but hey, hypocrisy is SO hot right now) and politics globally is cunted, at least our Mountain Biking is significantly improving at an exponential rate. Local Councils paying money to have trails built? Private investment? People giving up riding time to build?! We’ve never had it so good… And this vibe hasn’t bypassed the Coast. Today I bring you two examples, powered by the Rodfather.
The Dirt Farm Vs. The Aka’s
If you’ve reached your daily quota of reading innuendo laden nostalgia from a time when Mag-21 forks were the most coveted item and carbon was for $500 handlebars only (Radical man!), then good news, you can watch a video and return to Googling if climate change is going to fuck with your almond milk Latte. Here’s 2 days from Dirty Mega March III on the kCoast rolling with the rFather:
If you have a modicum of intrigue left in you, then allow me to continue… Grab a tasty beverage:
Part 1 – The Dirt Farm
I’m still not quite sure how to describe the Dirt Farm, its not really a bike park… Nor is it simply a jump park… Even though it has some fucking gnarly examples of both. Its, well, a place where you go to hang out, get rad and talk shit. I’m not sure I’m doing it justice with this description and that’s because its fairly unique. Its not every day someone has the enthusiasm and energy to attack their substantial back yard with a digger and hand tools to create a place so that a rad vibe can move in and set up shop.
I had been up here once before in its more formative stages, but I would have never of guessed within 6 months it would become world MTB famous.
When I ran into Jamie Nicoll after NZ Enduro and he mentioned he was taking the whole Santa Cruz crew to Te Horo of all places I did a massive double take… WTF? Was I being punked? Was this some sort of stalker test I was about to fail? But no, the Bus don’t lie and before I knew it the Santa Cruz boys had arrived in the most unlikely venue ever and got busy with tearing the place to absolute fucking shreds.
The link to my rather elaborate opening here is that as a teenager I used to ride past this place on my way to my favourite illegal hiking trail ride, never in a Billion years that A) Enduro would ever exist B) PRO’s would end up riding here less than 10 minutes from where I was growing up and C) Someone would build jumps here that would make little bit of shit coming out just by looking at them.
In line with the above premise, I called in the PRO when it comes to hanging out and talking shit and faster than you can say “Holy fuck all your kit matches“, he was on point like a bloodhound with a pinky:
Given we’re theoretically old and don’t know how snapchat works, we arrived a couple of days after the millennial bus crew of shredding doom seen below had passed through, so we set about getting the Masters view of the world (Yes, I’m specifically ignoring CG’s date of birth).
So then, the obvious question, how the fuck does this place exist? Once upon a time a mad scientist and the energiser bunny had a one night affair and the outcome of this sordid and mildly illegal event was Tim – The insane genius behind the radness of the Dirt Farm. Turns out that Tim likes to build jumps… Like, really big jumps:
I tried to get some pics of said jumps, but my iPhone almost melted down when I suggested to it we try and fit in their substantial girth… Let’s just say they’re bigger than your back yard and even had the SC boys taking a second look at a couple before hitting them. Tim has a particular penchant for gap jumps and mega multiple hit lines:
I hid behind my media credentials (“someone has to take the pics guys”) while the Rodfather got busy hitting it like he was a slightly fitter version of Conor McGregor, as advertised in the above Dirty Video. I was pleased (actually fucking stoked) to stand back and watch the contrasting styles of the Rodfather (the grace & elegance of someone who’s been doing this since the 90’s) Vs. Uncle Tim (with the zero fucks kamikaze approach, with regard to personal safety being low on the hierarchy of needs). Fascinating shit:
Aside from the fact that pretty much everything at the Dirt Farm makes me go limper than an Ivanka hand job, Tim and the crew have catered to those that also like berms… A lot of berms… In a very short space of time. How I rode them in my head may have born no resemblance to reality, or how Mr Scott rode/annihilated them:
If you want to spend some time watching the potential of Dirt Farm being realised, then this is probably a pretty solid start from GC and the lads (Holy fuck):
A massive thanks to Tim for the tour, shuttling and for drifting the fuck out of the Rodfather on the 4 wheeler. If you get a chance to scope the D-Farm out, take it!!
Part 2 – The Aka’s
I’ve already done a cheeky load shoot about the Aka’s in the height of the last NZ Summer, but worthy of revisiting, mainly as on this occasion the Rodfather unleashed another banger ride using all completely different trails from the previous foray. And its very much at the other end of the spectrum:
The point here then is the contrast the Coast can now offer, not an open hillside with epic jump madness, but some quality jungle action guaranteed to fill the needs of any ENDURO groupie via a thing called ‘Mountain Biking’. Many sweet swooping lines await you in the goodness of its native bush.
If you don’t have a spare Rodfather lying around, there’s an extremely high chance you could spend an entire day up here riding around on gravel roads feeling like a Bandito with their seat at max extension, so don’t think you’ll just magically end up on Tiki or any of the other awesome trails I can’t remember the name of. But you can check it out here assuming you’re stravaed up… Hightower’s are basically compulsory around these parts FYI:
And with that, the Dirty Mega March III sac is empty… Slack AF that’s its taken me most of April to catch up, but that’s pretty much how long its taken to get all the mud out of my eyes and bearings. Its on to hopefully dry surroundings and the BIG trip for 2017, so watch this space as we descend into MADeira very soon. Is this where I’m supposed to say “Yeooooooow!“?