Sunday was our last day in resort heaven at Taupo, with Keeds taking a rest day, while I forced myself onto the bike for a last jaunt around Craters. I found some new trails/trails I hadn't done before, like Ferret, Fast Eddie and Inwards Goods. Then it was up the Grinder climb to reap the sweet Buzzard downhill. It rained on me pretty hard up the climb, but by the top it was all clear again, and the fun began. At the bottom I decided to cross over to the Drone trail, which was still being bedded in last time I rode it. Then I discovered a new trail, Outback. It was real nice, quite a long loop, meandering through the pines then up through some new growth and climbing steadily before ripping back down and around and up n down and... you get the idea. Very cool. To finish off I chose Coaster, always a good buzz. Back along the highway to the resort, a solid 30km of trails. A nice way to end our Taupo stay.
Monday morning we loaded the Laser to the hilt and did the quick drive up to Rotorua. The interesting odours announced that we were in town, and it was to the motel (slightly more modest at $69 a night, but very good location, better pillows than the resort, and a friendly couple running it) then straight onto the bikes and up into the Redwoods.
Drop In NZ Aussie stylee!
I took Kedan on roughly the same route that Timmy had taken us on last year, and the hills soon took their toll on the K-man. 'K' certainly doesn't stand for 'Klimber'! We did Gunna Gotta, A Trail, Tickler, up another big climb to Hot X Buns, then up again to Chestnut Link, Rollercoaster, Chop Suey, Spring Roll and Sweet n Sour. B Rude Not To sent us back down towards the 'intermediate' trails, and we tooled around on the flowing bermed corners and little jumps as we made our way back to the car. All up about 36km's, and the legs were aware they'd been used.
Today it was a beautiful sunny morning, we've been blessed with fantastic weather all trip, only a few showers, and we aren't envious when we see the soaring temperatures back in Aus on the news at night. We hit Redwoods about mid morning, and the car park was chockers with all types of riders hitting the trails as today is a public holiday to celebrate Waitangi Day, NZ's day of Federation of Chiefs in 1835 (according to the nice old Maori man I just asked in the net cafe!).
We did a few trails down below which I'd never done before, and it was a nice easy warm-up which kept Kedan (and me) happier. We then hit 'A' Trail (sweeeeet flow), and back up to Chestnut, and a few other new-to-us trails on the way back to the car park. I've never seen so many women on bikes as I have in the last two days, and hot ones on hot bikes too, who can ride! We spoke to a couple on Specializeds', an Epic and a Stumpy. The Epic girl was a Czech who lives here now, and her Kiwi friend.
By the time we got back to the car we were empty of leg and stomach, with another 40km under our belts. I've done 140 off-road k's in 4days, and am feeling like a bike rider again. Lovin it. I'm seriously thinking that this is MTB heaven, and I'm a bit more impressed with the town this time. The guy at Bike Vegas spotted me and said "you've been here before!" after my last visit to the shop. Everyone is real friendly and it's been a good stay so far. We'll probably stay a few more nights here then head back down towards Welly for the swim across to the South.