Tomorrow morning I am up at 4:30am so I can catch the bus to the airport for my flight down to Christchurch. This has to be the earliest Ive had to get up while in NZ. My flight is at 6:10am and I should be in Christchurch by 7:30 am.. I think it will be early to bed tonight! The reason I took this early flight was because all other flights into Christchurch later in the day was $150-$200 more, so it was a no brainer! Get up early, save money! I’m working late tonight, so I will head home and double check my backpack to make sure I have everything, break down my bike and I should be good to go!
Ive looked at the weather in the south Island and it looks like a warm front is moving in. Fingers crossed the weather will be nice and sunny!
Don’t expect any posts for a week as Ill be in the mountains.. sweet! Big update when I get back to Auckland next Thursday.
This weekend I went riding Saturday and Sunday. I managed to hurl myself through the bush like a cannon ball after my tires lost traction on a wall ride. It had rained earlier and I didn’t really think about how slippery the wall would have been until it was too late. I came off two jumps and just hit the wall and then it went to hell. I felt the tires slipping when I was at the top of the wall and then I was air born! I tucked into a ball and just rolled through the bush. Would have loved to seen it ahaha
After riding Sunday morning I ended up getting ready for my 7-day ride down in the Southern Alps. I picked up heaps of the bars called One Square Meals. Ive never seen them back home, but essentially it is a granola bar that has all the protein and nutrients that a one square meal would have. It was created by some superstar tri-athlete here in NZ. They actually taste pretty good and I eat them quite a bit when I go on long rides. So I got heaps of those, lots of mixed nuts and dried fruit and chocolate too! I picked up a new hydration pack since I burst mine in Rotorua. I am changing my back rotor to a 185 mm instead of 160mm. I found on big a decent the rotor gets too hot and the breaking power goes out the window.. not what you want when you are ripping down some steep ass mountains. So Ive picked up a new rotor and adapter for my break. I also did a bike check to make sure everything was in good condition so I hopefully wont have any issues while riding. Of course I picked up a couple spare tubes. I think I am ready to go!
Ive also done a pre-pack to see how I was going to manage my bike gear, clothing, tent and sleeping bag into my backpack. It works, I just have to strap a few things on! May get dinged with being over weight.. we will see.
My flight into Christchurch is early. I fly at 6:10am.. yikes! I would have preferred to fly late afternoon since that is when Mark is going to arrive, but that ticket was a couple $100 more, so I opted for the early moring. I didn’t know what I was going to do to kill the time, but ive managed to get a hold of Hubby who lives in Christchurch. He is riding the Alps as well, but has to work all day so he is going to leave me a key and I can just chill at his place. I think I may drop my bag and then head to the port hills to ride for the day. Im racking my brain trying to figure out what else I need.. think I got it all. This trip is going to be epic!
If you got any suggestions for what to take.. drop me a comment!
It was Michelle’s birthday last week so we had a couple dinners to attend. The first of the three was at the Onehunga Men’s Club, which I would compare with the Canadian Legion. It’s a mens club where fella’s go to drink, eat, gamble, play pool and watch the game. It is definitely a mix of interesting characters. Michelle’s dad is a member so the whole family met a meal and couple drinks. The food was affordable and the beers were cheap! If we had one close to our place I would def sign up.
Friday night we went to Gina’s, an Italian restaurant in Newmarket. Right after work we hit up the Bluestone room for a couple beers. They were having a free beer testing, so you know I wouldn’t pass that up. After a couple pints we headed to the restaurant to meet up with everyone. It was a nice spot, but a little too busy. The kept messing up the orders and were pretty slow with the food, but the food was tasty. All of the waiters put on the fake Italian accent.. most of them were from Brazil ahaha. Classic!
Sunday we went to Michelle’s parents place for the last of the three birthday meals. This mead was some traditional South African food. We had potjiekos , which is a traditional South African stew, bbq chicken, seafood curry and a crayfish. It was the first time Ive had pretty much all of that minus the bbq chicken. It was all so damn good and I had multiple servings and took some home for my lunch the next day!
Home of the Red Bull Rock Drop: The Martha Mine
Check this out! Red Bull is putting on a race in NZ – Red Bull Rock Drop. This shit is crazy! Only 80 riders and it will be 4 riders at a time flying down 250 ft of vertical. $10,000 in prize money! Riders choose their own lines and race to the bottom. GNARLY!Only the top riders in NZ will be in this event.. Ive applied to race ahah If i actually get in I will most likely die ahah! Ill let you all know if I have been allowed to race and I will then say my goodbyes! Riders choose their own lines and race to the bottom. GNARLY!
Red Bull Rock Drop track.. steep as bro!
If I do end up getting to race in this, it will be a full gear event! Fuck’n eh!
Check out this amazing trials bike video by Danny MacAskill! This guy has crazy skills on a bike. Ive seen his earlier video, which launched him to international fame and this one definitely of the same quality. Below is his first video.
Always amazing riding in Rotorua!
This past weekend I headed down to Rotorua for a day of riding. Originally I had planned to go down with some mates for a weekend of riding, but they bailed so I ended up just going for the day. The weather couldn’t have been better, +20 and sunny! The shuttles were packed with riders as I think everyone wanted to get out and hit some trails on such a nice day. I was up at 6am and on the road by 6:30am. It only takes about 2.5 hours to get there so I made it just in time to catch the first shuttle up the hill.
One of my favourite trails in Rotorua - Split Endz - filled with smooth berms!
My warm up run was on Billy T’s, which is really nice fast and smooth track, which had this really amazing steep as roll in at one point. It pretty much is vertical, but they ended up shaving off the top because so many people were crashing I guess. Personally I think they should have left it, as there was a nana line so if you didn’t want to do the roll-in you had another line to chose from. I went from Billy T’s to G-Rock and then on to Chestnut. Back to the shuttle for another lift up. Then I opted for the jump track which of course was heaps of fun, super flowy with lots of table tops to hit, on to little red riding huck – back to the shuttle! Third run I hit up Billy T to Split endz, which is one of my favourite rides there. It isn’t super steep or jumpy, but just has amazing flow, back and forth berm after berm from there I hit up the pondy downhill to get back to the shuttle. My forth run I had a pretty sweet crash. I ended up getting stuck in a rut and went over the bars and land awkwardly in the bush. I was ok, but I somehow managed to blow my camel pack ahah. I got up and started riding again, when I felt all this water on my ass. I pulled over and checked my camel pack and I blew through it ahah. I drained the water and rode back down, amused! After that run I decided to stop for a bite to eat. After lunch it was back up to ride Billy T’s to Corners and then I rocked the jump track again. By 2:30 I was beat, my forearms and hands were tired and I was super thirsty since I no longer had any water. I got in 6 shuttles and about 4-5 hours or riding… stoked! It was an amazing day of riding; only one crash, the trail conditions were as good as can be – nice and sticky! My last run of the day I met a kiwi that had been living in Canada for the past 3 years and is now back home for a while. We exchanged emails so next time Im down in Rotorua we can ride together. He can really fly, so it will be great to ride and try and keep up with him.
That evening Michelle and I went to the Occidental for a pot of mussels. So tasty! We split a mussel pot and fries – filled us both up to the gills! After that I was knackered so we headed back to our place to crash out.
Sunday I decided not to ride in the morning so we ran around and did all of our shopping. In the avro we headed over to Michelle’s parents place. I was going to help her dad pick up the vespa from being repaired, but the garage wasn’t open so we had a bbq instead. Her dad would usually do all the bbq’n but since he is laid up with a broken foot I took the honours. It was good to be bbq’n again!
New Zealand police are not like the police back in Canada or the US. 1) they don’t carry guns 2) they don’t act like total dicks! In NZ they have their own version of the American police show COPS or the Canadian version, To Serve & Protect and it is called Police Ten 7. This show is quite amusing. Ive seen one espisode where a homeless dude was living under a bridge and using it as both his home and bathroom for both # 1’s and # 2’s. I guess drivers were complaining about seeing this guy shitting as they drove by, so they called the cops on him. The NZ cops rocked up and didn’t ask the guy to move a long or arrest him, just to maybe put up a sheet so people wouldn’t see him doing his business. Ahaha. What a riot! Back home he would have been arrested or at the very least told to not squat under the bridge. Check out this video that made waves around the world a couple years back. Here is a little bit of a background – the cops were called to a neighboorhood because someone broke into a house. They stopped this dude and the police gave him some very good advice!
This was even spoofed on South Park.
This weekend was pretty productive. On Friday night Michelle and I went over to our mates place for a couple beers on his sweet as balcony! Now that I know he has such a sweet balcony I will be there every Friday with a case of beers! Our apartment is small with no balcony or deck and really doesn’t get a lot of light. After seeing his place we’ve both thought it may be time to move to find else. Fun stuff.. looking for an apartment..boo!
Saturday I was up early so I could get some riding in. I was up at 7am and out at the bike park by 8am. It rained on the way out, which means more fun and faster tracks! The riding was great – cant really have a bad time on the bike. You know what they say – a bad day on the bike beats any day off the bike – wise words! On a negative note it looks like my car has a small oil leak and the driver side window came out of its track – boo! Bloody cars.. but that is the nature of the game with vehicle ownership. This week Ill be dropping it by a shop to get at least the oil leak fixed. I am not too stuffed about the window, but if it isn’t too expensive of fix Ill get it done.
After returning home from riding Michelle and I did the groceries and then we tackled my holiday shopping list. I was able to finish all of my shopping on Saturday! This is definitely the earliest I have ever done my shopping and rightly so since I have to post it home. I am still waiting on mail-parcel that was sent in August, so I must get this in the post ASAP and say a prayer!
On Wednesday, Michelle’s dad knocked off of his vespa by a car that crossed lanes and some how didn’t see a her dad. He ended up breaking his foot. When it happened this lady let him leave his vespa at her place while he went off to the hospital. He asked if I could pick it up over the weekend so we headed over to their place Saturday afternoon. When I was younger we had dirt bikes so I wasn’t too concerned about driving a vespa. It was so much fun! I got to drive it for maybe 10 minutes but I loved every second. Anytime Im on two wheels Im usually peddling, so it was fun to rip around the city with just the turn of a throttle. Once I got the vespa back to her parents place I ended up cutting their grass, as it kind of impossible to do with a broken foot. I haven’t cut grass since I lived back home – that was a long time ago. For cutting the grass they had a mean bbq with chicken, sausage, potatoes and salad – hell ya! I am totally missing having my own bbq as back home I would bbq for pretty much half the year. After dinner we watched the Rugby game – Kiwis vs Australia – Kiwis got smoked. Kiwis are not the All Blacks, see there are two styles of rugby here, Union and League and the Kiwis are party of League. I am not going to try and explaining the difference, but league is a faster game and the ozzies dominate it!
On Sunday I was on the road by 7am for woodhill. The reason I get up early to ride is so I can be home by midday so Michelle and I can have sometime together to chill. Got to keep the girl friend happy ehehe It was a good morning riding! I rode a couple tracks that haven’t before, that just tells you how many trails are out at the bike park! I was home by noon so I managed to get in a lot of riding on Sunday. Ive started to stop off at the local fruit and veg shops along to road to score some fresh food! It’s cheaper and much tastier that what you get at grocery store.
Michelle has been asking me to make Red Roni.. my version of mac and cheese so I dove into that once I got cleaned up after riding. Once that was all done we headed over to her brothers place to visit the new born twins who just got home from the hospital this week. They have grown so much and cute as! After a visit it was back home to eat and chill… finally sometime to chill!
This weekend has been busy! I packed heaps into it and managed to get quiet a few things checked off of my to-do list, plus get in a lot or riding. Win-win! I think I relax more through the week than on the weekends.. but isn’t that always the way!
So I’ve got some new travel plans for the end of November! I booked a flight down to Christchurch on the 25th of November and will be returning on the 1st of December. Mark will be picking me up in the late avro of the 25th and then we head off to the mountains for 7 days of mountain biking. I am not exactly sure what mountains or tracks we will be riding as Mark knows all the good tracks so I’m just following. My flight into Christchurch is at 7am so I will need to kill sometime. I am thinking I will be contacting a mate to drop my bags at his place and then I will head up to the Port Hills to ride for the day. I figure that if I have time to kill, may as well be on the bike. Should be an epic trip! I am seriously considering getting a helmet cam to document all of this riding.
Halloween has just passed and I have to say it is not the same as back home in Canada. New Zealand just doesn’t get into the same way that North America does. Kids and people do get dressed up and will go out trick or treating but not in the same numbers as back home. It is not the same at the pubs and bars either – not as much of an event I guess. It is just not marketed like it is back home. You see few pumpkins carved. Also with the seasons being reversed it has definitely thrown the feel for Halloween. I expect cooler weather, fallen leaves, maybe even some snow for Halloween, but in NZ it’s spring so it’s sunny and warm. This year I didn’t do anything for Halloween, which is unusual as I through a Halloween party every year. Just another small difference between Canada and New Zealand I guess. I can tell you now that Christmas with no snow will definitely feel strange.. to say the least