A tropical cyclone had brushed the top of the North Island causing slips and track closures across Auckland's Regional Parks and the Coromadel, and a missing chain link in our carefully crafted ride plan. We pumped up the tyres, lubed the chains and headed down the shallow arc of the Bay of Plenty through kiwifruit and avocado orchards to Whakatane and then up to the magic kingdom of Opotiki.
The wind sculptures were going berserk beside Cobham Drive as we watched an airplane drift and slide sideways onto the Rongotai runway like the original Mini in the only Pork Pie movie that really made any sense. Wellington was living up to its rep in more ways than one.
There were large doses of envy around the office when Jamie sugested Guy join him and Santa Cruz photographer Gary Perkin on a mtb roadie from Picton to Rotorua. With the NZ Enduro in Marlborough and the EWS in Rotorua two weeks later a swag of international riders were in town, including the Santa Cruz enduro team and 50to01 crew. The roadie morphed into a travelling circus with the 'talent' (Josh 'Ratboy' Bryceland and CG Cedric Gracia perhaps the most recognisable), media and even a camp chef.
The NZ Enduro serves up three days of gilt edged Marlborough singletrack around the top of New Zealand’s South Island. With the EWS hitting Rotorua in a fortnight’s time, there was plenty of international star power (and their media entourages) in attendance this year - including our own Jamie Nicoll, and eventual winners Damien Oton and Ines Thoma.
Nelson was enjoying a spell of fine weather, that is more often than not, reserved for the golden province of the mainland. It had been mega windy and changeable further south and nothing but shite and rain further north, so our North Island aspirations would have to wait while we frittered away our time on Nelson's awesome MTB trails.