What comes to mind when I say 'ankle deep mud' and 'sprigged shoes'? A Saturday morning at the local rugby club? Not quite.
What about 'Flurbereinigung' or 'Gout de Terroir'? Something French or perhaps a place of historic significance in Belgium? Well, that's possibly closer...
A serendipitous chain of events a weekend past meant I had the great fortune to ride my bike in a place I’ve never been before. The seed of the ride was planted on the previous weekend’s jaunt on Nelson’s classic Coppermine Loop. When Tristan, Anja and I looked across to the Mt Richmond Forest Park from Windy Point, and wondered what exquisite trail lay on unseen faces. And so the idea of a Dun Saddle - Rocks Hut - Browning Hut - Hackett loop was born.
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.