The NZ Enduro bounced back from last year’s weather bomb to deliver a cracker weekend of fast and sunny singletrack around the Marlborough Sounds. Ground Effect Revolutionaries Anja McDonald and Sam Shaw scored podiums - Anja on the top step in the Amateur Women and Sam 2nd in the Pro Men behind the legendary Jerome Clementz. And Richard Goldsbury casually picked up 4th in the Masters Men.
The Dodzy Memorial Enduro is 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.
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.
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.
When searching for a holiday destination, the constraints were tough but few. It needed to be warm to offset the cold winter we’d been suffering, cheap to fly to, and we wanted quiet roads and friendly people. We ended up landing in France’s Pacific territory of New Caledonia.