Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Who needs mountains?
After the rare rain of Hanmer, it was situation normal again as we rolled into Christchurch on Tuesday. Well, to be honest it was a little overcast and quite chilly, but it wasn't raining. We went to the shop Bike Business, where I'd been directed by Rod, organiser of the Crater Rim 50km MTB race on this weekend. Entries had closed, but I wrote him a sob story email, saying it would be good karma if he let a journalist from Australia and a Pro from Colorado into his event. He told us where to go... to the shop and enter! I put down the details for my new 'real' riding buddy (he doesn't mind climbing.. in fact he reckons he's "not even working at sea level"... bastard) and we were in. Then me and Kman drove up to the Port Hills to check out the trails, and then set about getting a motel for the next four nights. If you think climbing these hills is hard, try finding a room! After about 5 hours of phone calls, looking up directories and foot-slogging, we found the perfect spot, about the only place in town not on a major highway, and with a nice grassy area (eh Duff, Jonesy...). This morning it was clear blue skies and warm temps, perfect for our adventure into Bottle Lake Plantation trails. These ones are set on land flat as a 2-day-old beer, but with that 'Rotorua Flow' goin on once again. Banked corners, trails that criss-cross each other constantly, letting you take the different line from the rider in front, and just plain fun. We met a local rider at the start of the ride, and commandeered him to be our guide for the morning. His name is Stu, and he took us on a fantastic traverse around through the pines, out along the beach, and then all over again. We took a heap of photos, most of which were really cool, but in true computer-illiterate- goose fashion, I managed to wipe all but 4 off both the camera and laptop during transfer. I wasn't very happy, to say the least. CRACK!! Some of the shots Stu took were real winners too, as he owns the same camera as me, and knows how to drive it. Sorry big fella (meet me out there on Friday at 10 if you like, I'll be having a slow cruise). Now we have a couple of bike boxes in tow, all set for Keeds' trip back to Aust on Friday. Our guts are rumbling, it's time to eat. Sayonara.