Monday, February 12, 2007


As I was finshing up my last entry, I heard Kedan talking to someone behind me. The conversation went along the lines of "are you a mountain biker?" "Yeah." etc. The guy was American, and he was travelling around NZ riding, like us. We asked if he wanted to go for a beer, which he jumped at eagerly. He said his bike was outside. "The Trek?" I asked. Yes. I thought it was just a cheap hardtail, but when I got close I noticed it was a full carbon, with XTR, Reba World Cup etc, and on the top tube a sticker saying Ross Schnell. "Is that you?" Yes. "You're a pro, right?" Yes. A trek/VW XC pro from Colorado, out here for some pre-season traing and drinking. We loaded him and his bike into the car and headed for the pub we'd been at tin the arvo. He was smashing down the pints, I was having trouble drinking half to his fulls. We had dinner and decided to continue the night at another venue, dropping in to his digs for a change of strides, as we were still all in shorts. He mentioned he was staying with Chris and Bob. I recognised these names immediately as writers for Spoke magazine. While Ross was getting changed, Chris arrived back after a 10 hour ride, and we got chatting. He gave me Tama Easton's number, who is the editor of Spoke. Shit was just falling in my lap. Kedan wasn't up for any more alcohol hi-jinks, so he dropped us off in town and we weren't even inside a club before we met up with some girls, and a couple of guys, who took us to a bar. One of the guys, Shannon, bought us a round and then insisted we skull our pints with the words "see you at the bottom". I wasn't too keen, but Ross had an empty glass before you could say "geez I'm pissed". After a few hours of frivolity, we grabbed a taxi and headed home in a state of disrepair. Apparently being at sea level, Ross isn't effected by the hills or the beer. He smashed me in the bar, and I'm not looking forward to getting smashed by him on the bike over the next couple of weeks, as he is keen to take Kedan's spot in the Laser, and ride some of the sweet trails as we head back North.The next day was living hell, waking with a bad head and having to drive the 4 hours to Hanmer Springs. I made it about 2 hours before succumbing to tiredness, with Kman taking the wheel for the last half, while I slipped in and out of conciousness. We stopped for a break at Mariua Falls, which was pretty damn cool. By the time we arrived in Hanmer we weren't thinking about riding, just eating and sleeping. This morning we looked outside and it was raining like this.......
and........Well, it was a constant drizzle, and just cold enough to make us stay in bed for a few hours more. Now it looks like clearing, but I've said that about a dozen times today, and then it starts again. Might have to don the thermals and get muddy. See you at the bottom!

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