I spent 3 days down south in Queenstown riding the gondola. All i have to say is.. I LOVE IT DOWN IN QUEENIE! The riding is epic.. gnarly, steep, rocky, rooty downhill with an uplift. What more can you ask for. I arrived on Wednesday at 3:00, met up with my mate, built our bikes up and then headed straight up the gondola. In 3 hours we managed to get in 7 runs and finished with an epic last run down my favorite track!
Amped after the ride we hit up the Atlas where we met some locals, drank too many beers and had the night disappear on us. Next morning was welcomed with a headache and hangover.. luckily it was raining so there was no riding to be had.
Friday was an intense day. The gondola starts running at 10am and we were first in line. It was going to be a gruelling day of runs.. The plan was to get in as many runs as possible.. we hit a couple secret tracks that you have to push too. These trails are not maintained like many of the other tracks in the park, making it more intense/fun to ride. To me that is what riding is all about.. goat like trails that are untouched wtih an element of sketchiness. At one point we were actually chasing a wild goat down the trail. If you come off on a trail like this.. it’s going to hurt and help wont be coming to get you anytime soon. We hit this track a couple times in the morning and then it was lunch break. We had a good feed and then got back on the bike. By late avo my body was feeling the laps. We hit up a double black diamond track and it was here i had my only crash of the trip.. steep and fast i was hard on the breaks and they werent working. Heading for trees i layed it down in hopes to not break my body.. luckily i came out unscathed, but from that run i knew that was the last double black of the day. I ended up banging my derailieur pretty good, which bent it. I could still ride, but shifting was an issue. I rode some easier of the tracks and finished the day in one piece… winning!
That night was filled with a couple beers and early to bed. We rode of 9 hours and managed to do 21 laps. I was pretty happy with that, even with a crash!
I flew out the next day, with hopes of soon returning.