After my last trip to Queenstown I started planning the next. I kept an eye out of some cheap flights on Grabaseat.co.nz and managed to score a mid week 4 day trip from the 16th to 20th of December.
Up at 5:30 am and loaded into the car by 6:00am I was off to the airport. Now that I am not living on the airbus route I take the car and park at the airport – luxury! My flight was at 7:30am and I arrived in Queenstown around 9:00am. I did what I usually do; grab the bus into town, cross the road to the park and build my bike, then head off to the hostel to change and head to the gondola. By 10:30am I was on my way up for my first ride down. Usually I would meet up with my mate, but he was a no show, not sure where he was… maybe a cave.
The first day of downhilling is always a bit of a challenge. You have to get used to the speed. Things happen so much faster and if you don’t ride it all the time, there definitely is a warm up period. At first I just didn’t feel good.. kind of awkward, but after the next couple of runs you loosen up and start to lay off the breaks and you find your flow. I managed to get in 15 runs and packed it up at 6pm, rinsed.
I headed back to the hostel, checked in, dropped my bike and headed out for some fergburger! With a Southern Swine and with a quick visit to the dairy for some yogurt (breakie) I headed back to the hotel, devoured it and passed out by 9:30pm a happy boy!
Up at 7:30 am I did a bit of a stretch as I was stiff and sore from my first day. I tend to feel it mostly in my forearms and hands. Going down a track is like doing 100 push ups and you doing those while your holding on for dear life. I had a big bowl of muesli and yogurt, two bananas and some tea. Today I decided to do something a bit different. I wanted to ride out to 7-mile and spend half a day there and then ride the gondie for the other half. 7 mile is a half hour ride out and is some pretty wicked single track. I spent 4 hours here, just looping the tracks. I was about to head back to town to ride the gondie when I found another track across the road, called Gold Digger. It was amazing track that went through native bush a long side a stream and had everything you would want; roots, steeps, rocks, switchbacks, berms… heaven. I loved it so much that I spent my avo there. I rode it 5 times! The ride back to the town was slow and pretty painful.. I was whipped. I never made it up the Gondie. I was back in town by 4pm, tired and hungry. Burger and bed.
Today was a full out charge on the gondie. The body was feeling good. Taking the day to ride single track saved my body. I was first up the hill and was keen to get in as many runs as possible. Hammy’s to loosen up, vertigo, thingy-myjig, orginal, original vertigo, ants, rock garden, Armageddon, ben lemmond, world cup, fern hill.. I rode it all. By mid avo I was hauling. A mate had the avo off so he came in and we rode a couple new tracks that aren’t posted. We had to push up to them and it was well worth it! It was great to ride with my mate, as he had fresh legs and dude has some crazy lines, up over, on the side of things, popping of everything… it was great to watch and follow. At 7:30pm I had been riding for close to 9 hours.. I was rinsed and things were getting loose. It was time to get off the bike and have a beer. 2 beers, a burger later I was in bed.
My last day in Queenie, I was keen to make the most of it. Once again I was first up the gondie and planned to ride hard for a half day. I hit up all my favourite tracks and managed a day of 13 runs. By 2pm my pass had run out and I had to get ready for the airport. I headed to the hostel, changed and then headed back to the park where I unpack to pack up my bike. Half hour later I was on the bus to the airport to head back to Auckland after another amazing bike trip in Queenstown, but of course I managed to also get in one more burger before I left.
Bikes and burger; living the dream.