At some point in a life time as the years tick slowly by, you say “Last Ride” and sometimes you truly mean it. It may be during a favorite epic, or just before you turn that first pedal stroke, or a random thought whilst pawing over a well worn map.
Under a steel grey sky the DOC camp at Lyell remained half asleep, as Ditte and I started up the old dray road towards the Lyell Saddle. We had been riding both ends of the track since the late eighties but never in our wild and wooly dreams thought they would be joined. But that day came and went in 2015.
If Molesworth Station was a country, it would be twice the size of Hong Kong and almost as large as Luxembourg. An activity permit from DOC is required to access the central zone of the station and was duly obtained. Starring the lovely Ditte van der Meulen and Cherie Rusbatch, and following in their peddle strokes navigator Dave Mitchell and gun slinging Richard Western and their faithful steeds Norco, Yeti, Range and the Tallboy, with a limp.
With summer in full swing biking adventures are abound, but just recently it felt like the regular post-work rides in the Port Hills of Christchurch haven't quite been doing justice to our long summer evenings. Something needed to be done to make full use of summer’s offer, before autumn started to absorb the advantage, and I had just the plan.
The infamous James Gang hung out on the wrong side of the railway tracks for the most part, as we all have at some stage in our lives, but this didn't stop them from scoring a sainthood somewhere along the way.
On the promise of a sunny long-range weather forecast generated by some hobbits in Norway, Ditte van der Meulen, Joe Arts and myself headed to the west coast for an overnight jaunt on the Heaphy. September's clock was counting down the last few days of the Mtb season and our gang of three were intent on not missing out.
The spring has sprung
The grass has grizz
I wonder where the mountain biking izz?
Ground Effect staffer Laurence and his father John are on an intergenerational adventure in Europe, racing in the Chemin du Soleil or ‘Road to the Sun’ in France's Haute Provence.
With yet another perfect weather pattern in the misty mountains, Ditte and I headed for the high country via - the Culverden Bakery for the customary pre-ride consumption of possibly the best pies in the entire galaxy.
So, a variety of factors lead us to this. Five 50-somethings, male & female, are blundering about after dark in Sedona, AZ, their 28’ Campervan a manoeuvring nightmare. Day one of our 3 week road trip ends with a desperation meal at a deserted Burger King, and parked up overnight in a supermarket car park.