Well, WTF to the max… its the 200th Dirty Nomad Post! The double century… Its kind of weird to think that I have sat down at this MacBook Pro (massive endorsement there Apple) all around the world and pumped out 200 of these fuckers… Quite a milestone and not one that I thought would happen. More importantly once again, thank you to not only all YOU of loyal readership, but also to all the characters who are the key to making Dirty Nomad what it is – Hanging out and riding with you is a pleasure and I appreciate you allowing me to spin your stories into this blog with sometimes questionable story lines and perhaps even the odd serving of embellishment!
So, given this was the 200th post, we had to do something BIG and special! Yes, LOTS of Photos today and even a little video highlight (or lowlight?) below. The M&M show had JUST the ticket! Yes, we were back on the road again to head to Craigieburn, another essential South Island riding spot 100km from CharChar and one I have had on my list for quite some time. Even better, I had the two best tour guides to give me the low down. First up though, allegedly the Sheffield Pie shop was legendary, so it was time to load up before hitting the trails:
Turns out the pies are fucking awesome EH BRO… Especially if you like to burn your mouth. Cunt. Today’s nutritional lesson however is that perhaps a Pie and a very unnecessary Raspberry Cream donut is NOT the best riding food, especially when you have to fart your way up a 5km climb to start with. But, before that, there was some mental torture to contend with as we drove the opposite way to the 5 Passes stage that went up here to Porters pass, where I exploded like a hand grenade in a pigpen back in October, the rest of the Rivet Boys will remember this climb fondly however, GO Doc Garfield:
Craigieburn is a forest and ski field area basically straight off the road between Porters Pass and Arthurs Pass. I have had a LOT of people rave about the riding in here and so expectations were fairly high. Its one of those places that when you say you’re going to ride there, other people get this orgasmic type look on their face and softly coo “Oh yeah… Its so good man…” as they recount their last shred there. Almost with in a few mins of leaving the carpark, you see why:
It was a 40 min climb up to the first DH trail…. 40 mins on a big bike is a reasonable workout to be fair and it ended up being another 1000m climbing day. Even Multigirl on her lighter Pivot Mach 5 point fucking what ever was grinding it out, but hey, what a scenic way to do it amongst the beech forest:
You do get a sense of this being BIG country… Not that you don’t get that in Queenstown, here though it has a sense of being a bit more imposing. More importantly for the M&M show, there was no mobile coverage here, so less DN Faffing on Instgram and Whatsapp:
Even Markus though had turned partial to a bit of ride photo faffery, to good effect as well if I don’t say so myself in the most narcissistic way:
Eventually though, we saw what we were after, the first rad track of the day – The EDGE. I was soon to find out just how fitting that name for the trail was… Did I also mention it was the 6th day in a row of weather you can’t even buy if you wanted to?
And, here we are in happier times… Another awesome day… On an awesome tour… with an awesome bike… And awesome mates… And about to hit an awesome trail. It was just a massive OD of awesome. Also happens to be the last photo taken with my helmet visor alive:
The Edge was a beautiful trail… It was a mix of crossing exposed scree lines that looked a little like this *fart* line here:
Or, it was into super sweet, flowing, fast and narrow forest trail:
How narrow? Well, quite as I was to find out… It also had little cunty bits that were slipping away and a bit rocky. Or, as I found out, it had rocky walls that didn’t pay getting too close to. I remember the Markus briefing that there was a tricky bit coming up, which I obviously decided it was to be best taken at speed. The results weren’t so good. I was going to do a photo essay on it, but thanks to the power of DN Media Productions (just staying up really late), I have managed to quickly thermomix up with little gem that explains things rather well (if the vid won’t load, click on vimeo to watch there):
Yes… That fucking hurt… Its not often I have a big one, but that was the biggest one since Day one of Whistler in 2011! All I can say is thank FUCK for good helmets and Oakley Glasses and whilst I am not about to preach a safety message here, its a timely reminder to make sure you go mountain biking with a crew and always have on good gear. Looking back up the 10 meters or so I fell, it dawned on me after performing a systems check that I was relatively lucky:
Don’t worry, I had a big break staring out into the wilderness like Bree Olsen at the end of a heavy session wondering what the fuck had just hit me. It was only then it occurred to me that it was gold to capture the moment, much to the semi amusement of Multigirl. Still, no broken bones or bikes, so time to very tentatively push on, visor less and, mojoless:
Yes, soreness was one thing, but my mojo had also leaked out of me faster than bad PR at the winter olympics, so it was time to chill and just soak up some more of those mad views:
The next run was awesome…. The Luge. In fact, probably one of the best runs of the trip… Although, there have been SO many awesome trails, its hard to call a winner overall. The Luge however is an absolute blast. Fast, flowy, but without the fuck yourself up factor and exposure of the Edge. Here’s a taste, video of this piece of gold to come. Its so awesome you can even ride it concussed (jokes!):
After this was the rather oddly named Dracophyllum track, which was sort of more of the same, but faster and fucking flat out, like, eyeball melting fast for a forest single track run… It was wide enough and the right gradient for some serious pace, even if you didn’t want to go that fast.
Markus was then confirmed as a Shuttling Prince amongst men by volunteering to get the car while Multigirl and I pushed on to finish at the other end of the park on some insanely awesome and scenic trails. Even better, cBurn was dishing up the motherfucking variety to the max:
From tussock dirt radness to lovingly carved forest trail, fuck, was this place actually for real?!
I think that this has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ridden. Yes, TP in France was amazing, so that’s up there, but this place was doing my sore head in with its golden trails and constantly changing views:
By this stage the adrenalin was well and truly gooooone… Leaving me to swell up and feel more than a bit second hand. But don’t worry, only one more little climb to go she says. I have quickly worked out that when Markus says “Its not too bad” it means “It may kill you” and when mGirl says its a quick climb, she means this:
I used the lookout at the top as a good excuse to soak in my last scenic view of this amazing place and on what has been an incredible tour of the South Island. As I stared out at this view while mGirl made Marj Simpson noises about getting on with it, it did occur to me that I was looking out on a view that didn’t contain a single person in it and, within 30 hours or so, I would be rammed back into one of the most densely populated places on earth. Fuck… Now THERE’S a thought to make you appreciate the vista:
And so, it was on to the last mind blowingly fast DH run back to the car, with Markus joining us for the final shred. It was a ripping end to the Hog Back trail, another absolutely cracking run, even with arm pump:
So, another 1000m climbing and a fucking excellent collection of downhills to cap off leg 3 of the DN Summer Tour. I could have done without the crash, but given its severity I was exceedingly lucky to get away so lightly. Same can’t be said for my helmet unfortunately, time for a new one:
So, that was a rap. What more to do than go and get checked for concussion? That’s right, head to the Springfield pub. As the DB poster correctly summarises here, we’d earned it:
An exceedingly painful and massive dirty thank you to the M&M show for being the most epic tour guides ever, for driving, shuttling, track locating, packing all the stuff I forgot, for finding stuff that was right in front of me, for making it as cheap as chups and for being awesome to ride with! Thanks to you guys I have ticked off some major riding locations that have had ‘Overdue’ next to them for a while now and I shall absolutely be back!
So, its travel time again and plenty of video to start drip feeding through, so watch this space! 200th Motherfucking post over and out!