The piece of shit bike from Cycle Surgery... dont go to cycle surgery!
What an amazing day of riding. I was totally blown away by the two trails I rode. At the start of the day I really didn’t have too much of a plan. I went to pick up a bike from Cycle Surgery and they gave me a 90’s Scott Scalpel hardtail. It was a piece of shit. The front forks didn’t even budge – I was pretty much riding ridged up front. The tires on the bike were very Walmartish. I really couldn’t believe how shit it was, but being the only place I could get a bike I took it.
Earlier that morning I got a call from Mark, the Kiwi mtb’r that I started a conversion with the day before. He was keen to get out for a ride and asked if I wanted to tag a long. Sweet! I met him at the Bethunes Gully which was some amazing single track that they use for xc racing through a native forest. I believe they do the national championship of cross country racing here. There were a couple tails; Haggis Hunter, Nats Track, Dead Cow Gully and Bethunes Gully. Mark usually hits this place up so he was the perfect guide. He tied all of the loops in beautifully. All together it is a 5km ride. It really was a variety of terrain. There was some really sweet flowing single track, with some technical downhill sections, a few steep drop-ins and lots of flow with some peddling– who ever put in the trail new what they were doing. We did the loop three-times and then decided to hit up another trail.
I jumped in the car with Mark and we headed off to Switchback track. This was some of the best singletrack trail ive ever ridden. I was an hour of cutting up your way up the mountain on smooth and well-placed switchbacks. Some of them were dug into the hillside by about 4 feet. Others looped trees, others had stone retaining walls, absolutely gorgeous trail. That was a 15km ride and it was all bliss. At times you would be scaling along side of the hill and there was a steep open drop right beside you. Concentration and focus were very key at these moments. Other times it was all native bush on each side. Amazing! (Oh yah, in NZ they reverse the bike brakes.. so front break lever is where rear break lever is in Canada. Found that a little fucky and really had to keep that in mind. I did send myself over the bars once ahaha.) The higher we got the muddier the trail got. In some sections I was spinning, as my tires were bald. Pretty common theme you can find throughout this blog postings, the bike was shit! Even Mark was surprised that a bike shop would give that out. They told me they tuned it before the ride and I can guarantee the bike was not serviced. I miss my bike ahahha The ride down was totally worth the 60 mins of going up. It was awesome and had amazing flow. You could fly through all the switchbacks that your busted your hump to climb up. Overall: The trail was amazing, the switchbacks blew my mind; how well they were carved out and so manicured, they used the lay of the land amazingly. Ive never been big into climbs, but this was totally worth it. A lot of care and thought went into the track. I was told that they started building it in 2005 and is now almost done.
View after a 45 min climb. Worth all the work.
Yah.. i made it too the top! Now the fun part... coming down and fast!
They have mountain bike trails surrounding the city and are trying to connect all three with a new trail. It would link (I believe) Whare Flat, Switchback Track and Bethunes gully; a 5-6 hour ride. Once it is done it will really put this trails here on the map, as you wouldn’t have to drive to these spots rather do one big loop. It will be an amazing trail network once finished. Dunedin City Council is on board with mountain biking and believes it will bring it a lot of tourist $$$, so they are happy to invest in it. Nice to hear!
After 4 hours of riding we headed back into Dunedin and grab some food. We hit up a asian place where I got seafood teriyaki and some sushi. The seafood was awesome! I think he got three meals – I managed two.
Tomorrow I am taking the piece of shit bike back, its covered in mud and Im not cleaning. Then I am heading out to Marks place to build and then do some more riding. Should be sweet! He’s got a couple bikes, so I am going to borrow one. He wanted to see how I ride before he offered up one of his bikes – fair enough. These bikes are worth more then any car ive ever owned.
Don’t think I will be drinking tonight. Last night we partied in the hostel kitchen until about 230am. I was a little hungover this morning, but I knew I would sweat it all out. Great day!
Before I wasn’t too stoked about being in Dunedin for 3 days, but I wish I were here for a month. They have a sweet trail network and Mark is a great guy. I will be back with my bike to ride with Mark again this year.