With Josh out being a roadie on his new toy, it was left to Yaz and I to get dirty at Makara's trail maintenance day. I also had the added carrot of testing out the new Enduro, and while I knew the trails would be still muddy from (weeks of) overnight rain, it wasn't my bike that was getting trashed, and helping out with fixing up the trails earned me good karma.
Straight away I was impressed by the Enduro's ride, climbing up Koru and Salley Alley with ease and no real noticeable effects of the added weight over my Stumpy. The frame is a medium, too small for me, but it still handled down Missing Link like it was on rails (my handling skills, however, are rusty to say the least). The colour isn't stock, it's the special Test Bike colour so no-one will steal it.
Yaz was slogging it up on her hardtail (Specialized, of course), peeling off layers of wool as she went, with the day warming up and no wind, perfect for a ride.
Aratihi is getting well and truly rutted out, and this one sucked my wheels in and spat me off into the gorse at the side of the trail. By the top of the Peak, I was starting to notice the extra heft of the bike, but maybe that was due in some part to the sticky conditions.
Once at the top, we headed down Zac's Track where the digging was taking place. Mike from work was there swinging a sledgehammer with authority. Yaz and I stood around watching for ten minutes, when the call of 'lunch' went out. We couldn't have timed it better! Hugh had a car full of goodies, bread, cake, drink... we felt a bit guilty eating after having not done anything, but that soon passed as we worked it off for the next three hours.
Zac's dog Bishop was chief supervisor and also drove the 4wd to get the buckets of gravel and rocks... he'd then chase the rocks as they rolled down the hill. Not setting a good example to the other workers, he'd also chase riders down the trail and piss wherever he wanted.
Coming back down Ridgeline, I thought the Enduro would really shine, but with the trail in terrible shape, it was more a case of hanging on and staying upright. I failed to achieve that, having a small tumble on a slippery uphill pinch. SWIGG and Starfish were equally treacherous, so I didn't get to fully appreciate the bike's assets. But I think for the trails and riding I do, it's a little bit of overkill. Not as nimble or fast uphill as the Stumpy, and a little slower steering of course(due to the slacker head angle). For an extra inch of travel, a extra kilo isn't worth it. But it soaked up a couple of drops as though they weren't there, and if I was into more 'daring' riding it'd be awesome. But for around Makara, Glenrock or Rotorua, it's just too much bike. A damn awesome machine though, which had me thinking seriously whether one should be added to the stable.