Friday, April 07, 2006

I'm giving up Mountain Biking....

Captain's Blog, Tues, Weds April 4 & 5

It's either give it up or move to Rotorua. It's that serious. There's no way I can go back to riding those boring old trails in Newcastle. No way, no how. We've been spoiled. Shown what it's like in Heaven, no way am I going to Hell. Or maybe it's the other way around? Maybe this is Hell, the trails certainly are wicked. After arrivng back in Rotorua in the afternoon under blue skies, the heart-wrenching sound of rain tormented us through the night and into the next morning. We strolled around town for a few hours, then the sun started to peek through again around midday. We had to take advantage, so a decision was made to hit the forest at 1. Amazingly, the rain had little effect on the pumice underlay, and we were soon railing the singletrack again. A few puddles here and there, but nothing too bad at all. Properly built and maintained trails help in that respect. We spent the afternoon trying to re-trace the steps that Tim had layed for us a few days earlier, mostly successfully. If there is a God, then he/she is the Devil. Something that makes you feel this good has to be a sin. If only Rotorua was a little cooler as a town, then this would be the place to be. I suppose the smell of sulphur could be gotten used to, and anyway, you can't smell it up in the forest.
The next day was much better weather-wise, and we headed out once again, this time with the knowledge that this would be our last ride here. After a few new trails (Northface and Corridor), we were feeling a little flat, and thought about throwing in the towel. We made the decision to ride up Hill Road to Chestnut Link, and it was the best decision of the trip. What a fantastic ride down this is... linking up with Rollercoaster, then back down Chop Suey and Spring Roll, then the piece de resistance, B Rude Not 2. This is what it's all about. Flow. We stopped to take a few pics at a huge tree, and as we were snapping away, a flash came down the trail, namely Annika Smail, a top ranked Kiwi XC rider who I recognised from the magazines and N-Zo clothing catalogue. (Awesome stuff by the way, as evidenced by just about every Kiwi rider we saw wearing their gear). She was railling it. Would've spanked our asses no problem, which we would gladly accept I'm sure. Back on the bikes, we finished up with Pig Track, Lion Trail and Diamond Back, and got back to the car with grins from ear to ear. And that is the best recommendation for any ride , anywhere, anytime. Now, where can I buy nose plugs?

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