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The Solo Prospector

21 March 2023

Words: Sam Shaw

07/03/2023 Tuesday

Chill kinda coffee day - although it is harder for me to chill than bike. Actually spent the day moving into Polly's house, a more permanent residence, and checked in on the Lismore Park tidy up. Russell 'peer pressure' Pavedog got a big crew in to clean up in the Lismore forest in prep for a fun new line to be installed. Refer Ground Effect Slush Fund for all the good oil on this Bike Wānaka project.

08/03/2023 Wednesday

Up first thing to make a coffee at the Goodspot for Dan White, who picked me up and carted me up Cardies (MTB park). Up Cardies all day helping do course sweeping for the Crankworx Summer Series. Felt a lil' bit nervous riding a DH track, but after a few easy laps you wouldn't be able to sunshine (cleaning product) the smile off my face. Snuck in three yummy pies and some shots with Neil from Spoke Magazine, holla. Then back home with Dan, then straight back into unpacking stuff from yesterdays house movements. Tuckered.

09/03/2023 Thursday

BIIIIIIG LOAD OF not much wahoo.

10/03/2023 Friday

Up at six, into my soaked Harraways oats mmm, then off down the road to meet Grant (Mr Julbo Guy NZ) for a coffee and a lift over to Alexandra. Registered for the Prospector (three days XC racing) and headed to the closest coffee shop for a double shot with cream... mmm. Then over to Benduros house to go for a ride around the prologue. A few yarns about absolutely everything and we had lapped the course. Home to Bens to take over baby duties and sift around the coffee machine (1950’s Caravel) for espresso x cream x sugar (new found pre race drink thanks to my nutrionist Olly Manson). Over to the race HQ for yarns and race line up, then straight into forty something minutes of time trial suffering, gah. Managed to finish third overall with what felt like gas left in the tank! Back to the new home for the next few nights with the Adams family (far from spooky) with Eddie, Paige, Todd, Nicky, Miley, (another) Sam, Ben, James and James (full house). Off to the lake for ten metre rock bombs (more like five I'd say) then to the pub for a hazy and prize-giving. Home again for dinner and a chocolate naan (don't judge).


11/03/2023 Saturday

Up at six and into the mocka pots and oats. Boys in the van and off to day one start over in Clyde. A nice sunny morning and relatively warm. We started with a climb with some undulations that took around an hour to peak. By the top I was with the yellow jerseys, Craig Oliver and Ethan Rose (refer The Team Prospector for their side of the story), and we put a gap into the field (holla). I chilled (lies) with them for a bit and kept an eye on the rest of the field (unfortunately the competition, Cam and Matt, punctured their way out but impressively still finished). Then on the next long climb I upped the speed and worked my way out off the front for a solo ride to the end. Happily ticking off my plan for the day of working back the time I had lost in yesterdays prologue. Warm down with the Aussies (Gastro Brent and Reece) then over to Benduros for a fun enduro ride in the hills (extended warm down). Back to home base to chill and tidy up. Then the lake for a pin jump, pub for a beer and claps, home for a huuuge dinner thanks to the Adams' and a large puds mmm.

Photo: @prospectormtbrace, @authenticas

12/03/2023 Sunday

Up at five and watched some cycling tours, then outta bed at six for the usual combination of drink and food (could do this for the rest of my dog life). Then boys in the van and off to Maitangi Station for day three start. Managed to get my espresso x cream x sugar fuel and straight to the start line for an XCO style start (full gasgas). I broke off the front early as the teams were not worried about me (luckily) and rode solo until the 35 km mark when Matt Wilson joined in for a race (his teammate Cameron Jones unfortunately crashing out, but ok!). I thought he was messing with me as he would drop on the hills then catch up quickly as each climb flattened out (later to find out he was gasgassed as much as me haha). We rode into the last few sections of the race playing roadie tactics and I managed to beast him in the sprint (thanks Matt for a fun race!!!). Beers and champagne and all that, and into a warm down ride back into Alex (a lil' tipsy and dusty). Back to Mikes house for a shower and off to the pizza pub to partake in the Zimmerframe Awards (all the oldies racing each other - not that old, just baiting them mwahaha). Gene and Xandar Marsh gave me a lift back to Wānaka and bae Polly. Sleep sleep.

Photo: @prospectormtbrace, @authenticas

13/03/2023 Monday

Sleep sleep, walk walk, coffee, bike, chat chat.

14/03/2023 Tuesday

About to bounce out to Australia for Oceania XCO championships. Watch this space...

With thanks to:

Jimmy Williamson and the whole team - entry and a world class organised event, kudos.
Grant Guise - lift over to Alexandra.
Adams family (Todd and Nicky) - too much! place to stay, feed, good company.
Jeremy - pizza and beer.
Gene Marsh - lift back to Wānaka.
JRA cycle shop in Wānaka - for getting the bike ready.
Polly - for being super cute, again.