Nick Crocker has been chief cat herder at the Dodzy Memorial Enduro since its inception in 2013. His laid back race briefing and prize giving contribute to the lore that makes the DME an annual pilgrimage for many of NZ's top gravity riders. The 2018 edition was preceded by 'ex-tropical cyclone' Fehi smashing the Nelson coast. Saturday's practise was warm and the tracks dry(ish). Overnight rain made race-day a slippery affair.
We cut in on the race-day briefing with Nick's prayer to Sameel, the god of Enduro.
... Part four of the briefing is a prayer – this seemed like a good idea last night at 12pm when I wrote it. Um, let’s see how we go.
Firstly, anyone here that is religious, please don’t be offended. This is just banter, not meant to offend anyone. And to further avoid offence I’ve actually avoided praying to any existing gods by created a new god, enduro specific.
You can feel free to pray to this god at any other future events, maybe use it later on today as you drive up the hill or halfway down stage 3 - also at any other Enduro or Super D. I don’t want to hear it at any XC. Maybe Downhill is ok. I’ve named the god of Enduro ‘Sameel’ – that’s not Sam Hill, sounds the same but it’s not. Maybe it’s Italian I’m not really sure. I’ll explain some of his physical characteristics as we go so you can get a feel and have a vision of who we are praying to.
So here we go, after each prayer I’ll say Amen and you should reply Amen.
Sameel - God of Enduro
... with your large beard half Thomas Lindup half Ian Phillips, your squinty Tracey Moseley eyes and your cheeky Jerome Clementz grin.
We thank you for the selfless giving nature of our countless volunteers that make mountain biking happen, not only today at our race but all over the country, events, trail building and committees. Without these people mountain biking would not exist.
Actually "Amen" sounds a bit lame, anyone got an alternate? “Hallelujah”. Ok, Hallelujah it is.
Sameel - Lord of the Super D
... with your large oversize Ricky Pincot calves and muscular Tom Bradshaw thighs.
Thank you for the vision, countless hours of hard work, creativity and bucket loads of cash that have created this place we find ourselves riding in today. A truly unique place, we are so lucky to be here. And we thank the Nelson Mtb committee and crew of James, Dave T and Tom for keeping it accessible, and open to us now.
Sameel - God of Compression and Compassion
... with your ripped upper body, similar to Sam Shaw’s, maybe more ripped like Jamie Nicoll. Sorry I saw Sam going for a swim yesterday, he’s ripped. This is sounding weird now.
We pray for a safe day on the trails. We know we haven’t trained much but can we still have a blinder and heaps left in the tank. We hope that we beat our arch rival-enemy-best mate standing beside us and they take it on the chin and finally concede that we are actually just the better rider, regardless of the fact that they may or may not have ridden in the last 12 months and only lost by 5 seconds. And we hope when they finally admit defeat that we are as humble as possible.
... with your giant symmetrical downstairs operation, similar to the engorged hardtail award (you’re probably starting to wonder why he’s nude, feel free to put a jacket or cloak on him).
Thanks for the chance to be here today with our mates having fun, riding bikes in memory of our mate Dodzy. Who was just an awesome guy with a great infectious energy and an amazing love of life. We hope he’s not annoying you too much, playing Trent from Punchy and Ronnie Mac videos and cracking up like a maniac in Mountain Bike Heaven.
That’s also the end of our race briefing, so we will all head uphill into the rain now. One final prayer tho’, that tonight at the after-function at East St Café no one touches the giant teddy bear that is on the wall and that Ted is delivered from evil.
Bike racks optional. Photo: Matt Wood/DME
Shuttling DME-style. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Practice day on stage 1. Photo: Digby Shaw/DME
... and Scott Emmens on Natural Selection. Photos: Odin Woods/DME
Odin Woods out from behind the camera and in-frame. Photos: Digby Shaw and Matt Wood/DME
Effervescent Richard Goldsbury with his kinda clean Zerode. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
B-Rad was as busy as ever conjuring up first aid for battered bikes. Photo: Digby Shaw/DME
Fast on the trail, and in the carpark. Jordan Phipps and Odin Woods rehydrate. Photo: Matt Wood/DME
And so begins race day. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Nick Crocker's briefing on a wing and a prayer. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Mandatory rain jackets in the morning yielded to an almost balmy afternoon. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Richard Goldsbury with happy-birthday-girl (and fastest over 40) Mel Blomfield. Photo: Digby Shaw/DME
Tristan Rawlence emerges from Mordor on his way to 4th place in the 30-something men. Photo: Digby Shaw/DME
By his own standards, Sam Shaw struggled with food poisoning and a night of vomiting - but a big smile remained firmly on his face. Photo: Matt Wood/DME
'Kidnappers' - classic Gorge ego-track to close out Stage 2. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Anja McDonald's signature smile trumps the tricky conditions. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Tristan Rawlence on stage 3. Photo: Matt Wood/DME
Odin Woods captures Emil de Vries on Red Line near the end of stage 3. Photo: Digby Shaw/DME
Katy Winton - the Scottish rocket- blasts her way to first place. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Another angle on Red Line with Anja McDonald delivering the master class on her way to 3rd place in the Pro-Elite women. Photo: Odin Woods/DME
Anja McDonald, Katy Winton and Harriet Harper on the podium. Photo: Digby Shaw/DME