This is a new anti-drink driving commercial that NZTA has put out! It is GREAT!
Archive for October, 2011
I returned from my trip back to Auckland on Saturday for one reason: to be in Auckland when the All Blacks play France in the finals of the Rugby World Cup! The game was to take place on Sunday night, so I flew home on Sat night from Queenstown to ensure the I would have a good nights sleep and that I would be ready to party when the All Blacks WIN!
Sunday there was a nervous buzz in the air! Today the All Blacks would once again be play for the rugby world cup. Up early to prepare – grocery store to get food for next day (i.e. hang over food) and stalk up on beers, plus get some all blacks gear and tattoos to look the part! By noon we were ready to go. I had an All Blacks flag, which I used as a cape, Michelle was rocking her jersey and our faces had tattoos! Go the ALL BLACKS!
We had a couple drinks at our place and at 3pm it was off to the Bluestone Room to meet up with some mates watch the game. We had watched a lot of the RWC games here and figured it was only right to finish off the drive for the championship at the pub! The game didn’t start until 9pm, but everywhere was getting packed out early! The place was packed full of fans – both NZ and France. We had a bite to eat and many a beer to warm up for the big match.
At 9pm it was standing room only. The pub was at capacity – ive never seen it so busy! The All Blacks drew first blood with a try and the French were being held at bay by their amazing defence. It was a tense game to say the least, in which the All Blacks pulled out the narrow victory. The bar erupted in joy! Everyone was high-fiving, hugging, kissing, up on tables, chugging beers… it was pandemonium! More beer and then to the streets to celebrate!
Downtown was packed full of fans. No cars, just a see of All Blacks fans! Joyous is the only way it can be described. The All Blacks had finally brought the cup home! We ended up at another bar for a couple more beers and then Michelle and I called it a night. What an amazing experience to be in NZ when the ALL BLACKS win the Rugby World Cup. This was definitely one of the most exciting times Ive had in NZ! Congrats to New Zealand and the All Blacks!
ps.. this video is fuck’n halarious! This boy has written a song to inspire the All Blacks to WIN… well it must have worked. I can only hope he writes a song about the WIN! Good on ya kid!
Saturday was my last day in Queenstown for riding on this trip and I wanted to make the most of it. We planned Friday night to get up early and try and get in as many runs before I had to head to the airport at mid afternoon.
I awoke to bird chirping, sunshine and blue skies at 8:30am it was straight to breaking down camp. No time to laze around. I packed up all my gear; tear down tent, prep bike for day of riding, find some clean clothes for flight and pack it into the car. Then it was into Bob’s Weigh for breakfast to charge the fuel tanks for a fun fuelled day of downhilling. After some eggs benny and a couple coffee’s it was off to the skyline for some riding.
We were first riders up on the day! Just like the other days it was non-stop action. We managed to squeak in 12 runs in just 4 hours. I wanted to hit each track at least once more and we easily did so. No crashes on the day either, which is always good for the last day of a bike trip. The bike gods were taking care of me!
At 2pm I had to get ready for my flight, so we went downtown to grab some lunch and then I went to the park to break down my bike and get myself ready for my flight. My mate left me at the park and he returned back up the hill to ride – lucky bastard. I broke down my bike for the airplane, changed out of dirty/stinky riding gear and into jeans and a t-shirt for my flight home and then caught a bus to the airport.
Once at the airport I checked my bags, had a celebratory beer, read my book and then it was time to board the plane. On board I easily fell asleep dreaming of returning back to Queenstown to ride once again. I should be back in Jan or Feb to ride again… it cant come soon enough.
With this trip now done it is time to start planning the next. So what is next on the ride radar? Of course there will be a tonne of rides around Auckland; Woodhill, Riverhead, Maraetai and hopefully Dome Valley. But I really want to make a long weekend trip to Rotorua and Taupo in the near future. Ive ridden Rotorua heaps, but Taupo is completely new to me so it’s on my ride radar!
The tracks in the morning were closed since it rained last night, which didn’t really bother me. After riding a full day prior a half day up the hill was sounding pretty good. The morning consisted of eating day old Indian for breakie, cleaning and checking my bike and finishing my book. Nice chill way to start the day – let the body rest before thrashing it again!
At 11:30am we headed into Queenstown to grab a lunch at Bob’s Weigh – my favorite café in Queenstown. You will also get a good coffee and feed at Bob’s! All fuelled up off to the skyline to huss some tracks.
We got out first ride in around 12:30 and managed to get 12 runs in throughout the half-day. Same as the other days; we rode everything. I did manage to have a pretty good crash on Rock Garden. Somehow I went over the bars and head first into the ground. I was pretty lucky not to hurt my neck and am now considering getting one of those neck braces for riding DH – probably a smart move. Our plan was too meet up with a mate at 5pm who was willing to show us a bit of the Fern Hill Loop. You can access it from the trails with a bit of pushing the bike. We met at the bottom of the track at 5pm and hit up a couple of runs together. There were 4 of us, which was pretty sweet. On a couple of tracks we all broke off and headed different routes which pretty cool seeing all these guys rolling together and then all of sudden they flick off in different directions – it reminded me of a bike movie. We waited until the last run up the skyline to head up the Fern Hill Loop. This way we would have an extended day of riding, which is always good!
The push up was about half-hour and being that it was the end of the day it felt like an hour. There was even a river crossing in the middle. The track was steep, rooty & rocky – similar to craigieburn. It was all native bush so lots of beach trees, which means a tonne of roots and slippery ness. Walking up it and seeing what I would be riding back down left a happy/nervous feeling in my gut – it will be fun but there is potential for a good crash ehehe. The thing with roots is they can spit your bike out from underneath you very easily. To ride them you want lots of speed and to be light on the bike so you sort of just skip a long the top of them. Fun eh! After the exhausting push up we had a bit of a breather taking in the amazing view and then it was time to ride. Helmet on, goggles in place, drop in and start hussing. All the apprehension that I felt walking up was instantly gone. My bike was just skipping a long the tops of the roots and the suspension was getting a full work out as I tried to keep up with my mates. A couple of times the back of my bike went sideways, but I always managed to stay on it and keep rolling. Exhilarating! What an amazing trail. I think it is better then some in the park. Definitely worth the push up.
Once back at the car it was time for a beer and then we headed off to Fergburger for a feed. This time I got the Cod Burger… good as! Definitely give it a go! After the feed it was back home for a couple more beers and then bed. Another exhausting, but epic day!
Before I even arrived in Queenstown I was a little apprehensive when it came to camping. When I flew into Queenstown there was a cold front coming through and it was snowing/raining, but thankfully that first cold night I was in a hostel. Last night though was my first night camping and luckily I managed to stay nice and warm in my tent. I had the thermals and was rocking a toque as well, which kept me nice and cozy all night long.
I first awoke at daybreak to the chirping of birds – as you do when you are camping! I grabbed my ipod and tossed on some tunes allowing me a couple more hours of sleep before getting up for good! I crawled out of my tent at 9 am ready to go. We cleaned up the bikes, loaded the car and went into Queenstown for breakie. After a quick bite to eat we hit up the skyline at 10:30 am to start a great day of riding.
The weather was a bit overcast and there was a chance of showers, but the rain seemed to hold off for the most part and when it did rain it just made the tracks sticky! There wasn’t a track we didn’t ride! I ended up hitting some tracks that I didn’t really mean to hit. I thought they were a bit above my ability but I pulled through. Basically I was just following my mate and then all of a sudden it was drop after drop after drop through narrow trees… there nothing I could do but ride it out. There was no where else to go but down so I just rolled with it. When I came to the end of that track there was definitely a smile on my face – I survived ahah! After that it was game on for all the tracks; Vertigo, Hammy’s, Shit Sandwich, Thingymajig, Armageddon, Rock Garden, Drop Garden, Ants, Grundy.. it was steep and gnarly. Fawk yah!
We had a lunch break at 1pm and then back up the skyline. We rode until the days end and managed to get in 20 runs and we weren’t even going that hard. It was a casual 20! Everyone we spoke with thought we were completely mad for doing so many runs in one day. I would say on average people will ride 8 runs… smoked them all. When you are visiting from out of town you def want to make the most of your time.
At the end of the day we definitely deserved a beer! We headed into town to grab some Indian for dinner and then out to the house to drink some beers and play some ping-pong. My body was feeling pretty good; the only thing that was sore was my hands. It was an early night to bed as I was rinsed. The rained and wind picked up throughout the night, but it didn’t matter I managed to keep warm and sleep through the lot! Another epic day of riding! My riding has improved ten-fold… man I love this place!
My prayers were answered and I awoke to blue skies and sunshine on Wednesday. The lifts weren’t opening until 1pm, so I lazed around as long as I could at the hostel and then went back to the library to jump on a computer and read.
At about noon I headed back to the hostel, changed into my riding gear, built up the bike and then it was off to the skyline for an afternoon of riding. Being that it was mid-week there wasn’t too many people out riding so no waiting to get on the skyline! Last time I was down I managed 12 runs in a half day so that is what I was shooting for.
My mate wasn’t arriving until the evening so I rode solo just getting used to the speed of riding downhill again. Around Auckland it is mostly single track so it does take a few runs to get used to flying down a hill with trees, roots, rocks and drops all over the place. I warmed up on Hammy’s track, which is the easiest, but one of the most fun trails. It is pretty wide trail, but it littered with HUGE berms, lips, tabletops and jumps to pop off of. Also hit up Vertigo, Armageddon, Original, Shit Sandwich and Thingymajig. I managed to get in 11 runs in about 4.5 hours. Not bad, just one short of my goal of the day.
At 6pm the skyline stops taking mountain bikers up as it gets pretty dark in the forest, so my day was done. Complete success, no crashes just heaps if fun. My mate arrived just at 6pm and met me at the bottom of the hill as I was coming off the trail. He was all geared out and ready to get up the hill, but he missed the last run of the day.
Hungry from riding we hit up Fergburger for a feed and then we head out to our accommodation to set-up our tents. We are staying on a mate’s front lawn about 20 mins outside of Queenstown. The location is stunning – over looking the lake surrounded by the mountains! One of my favourite things about this place is the outdoor shower. Nothing beats a steaming hot shower while gazing up at the stars.
Since my mate didn’t get any laps in he was itching to ride so we quickly tossed up our tents and headed out to 7 mile to get some runs in. We were told of a short cut to the trail head, but in typical fashion we ended up in the middle bush just making our own track through the bush. We ended up going to high in elevation and had to ride our way down which was an adventure in itself. We soon found our desired track; Kochong, which is one of the best tracks at 7 mile as it is super flowy with jumps. We were able to get in 3 laps as the sun fell. Once back at home we drank some well deserved beer. I was beat and was wondering how my body was going to feel the next day. I had a full day of downhill a head of me… fawk yah!
What an epic day – 11 laps at the bike park, 3 laps at 7-mile. Sweet!
I took some time off this week to head down to Queenstown and do some downhill mountain biking on the skyline. As usual it was an early flight, I like to make the most of my time off so I usually fly really freak’n early to maximise my time riding. Well this time it didn’t quite pan out! I flew into some real shit weather. We are talking about a southerly that has just covered the entire country – cold, wet and windy. Not ideal for riding. When it rains hard and the ground is muddy and soft it is best to stay off the tracks since you just end up destroying! So my day was a wash. The skyline wasn’t taking bikers up, so what was I supposed to do with my time?
Yes Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world and there is heaps to do, but when you don’t want to do a bungy, jump in a speed boat or get drunk there isn’t a lot going on especially on shit weather days. So what do I do? I go the library and read. I spent 3 hours at the library and then another two at a café reading and chilling. It’s like when people go to tropical spots to rest on the beach and read… Well I didn’t have the nice weather, but I read.
By mid avro I checked into my hostel and continued reading. I’ve pretty much polished off my book, which is – ‘two seats left’ the story of contiki travel. Good read! I also hit up the local book shop to read and cruise through some magazines. Also I sent a couple post cards… I didn’t bring my lap top so jumping online isn’t readily available. Now I am just praying for blue skies, sun and dry trails!
I guess my question to you is – what do you do when you are travelling and the weather has gone to hell? Also got any good books you can recommend?
This weekend I was out ripping around at Woodhill Bike Park have a pretty goodtime. Usually when I see someone on the trail Ill bust my ass to catch up and pass them, just a bit competitive I guess and it keeps ya pushing yourself.
Well this weekend some dude passed me and I thought, not today buddy. So I get off the saddle and catch him staying on his back wheel. He’s fast and a good rider. We have a bit a chat as I follow, just the usual; where ya from, what are you doing in NZ, have you been to Canada ect. He is a pretty chill dude, but a hell of rider. So I ride out to the trailhead on his tail and he just breaks into another track, no break/water just riding. So I follow suit and ask him if he minds me riding with him. He’s keen and we are off.
As we ride he tells me that he is an ex-pro tri athlete and that he is training for a couple races. That explains the speed and super fitness – this isn’t a ride in the forest it’s a race against time. Buddy would sprint for 4 minutes and then ride for 4 minutes and then back to sprinting – yikes! I ride with him for an hour and we hit a tonne of tracks. We end up at the back of the park and I am done. I need a water break and I know buddy is not stopping, so we part ways.
It was a great ride and really pushed me. I hope to catch up to this guy on the trails again so I can try and keep-up. That is what it is all about, meeting someone who is better and just trying to hang. It only makes you better I guess, though it did make me feel like I was going to puke ehehe.
Pretty crazy video of a mountain biker in South Africa being taken out by a Springbok.
I remember when I was out at Woodhill Bike Park about a year ago, riding a trail and I heard this noise in the bush that sounded like something was coming my way. Two seconds later a deer sprints through the track right in front of me, bounds over a fence and is gone. Thank fu*k I didnt get smoked like that guy!
Check ou this song from Gotye – pretty sweet eh! So he is an Ozzie (we wont hold that against him) and she is kiwi, so it’s a Trans-Tasman mix.