A couple weeks back I took a mate out to Woodhill to hit some jumps. He hasn’t had a lot of experience jumping, so I took him to a fairly easy jump line. You pretty much just point the bike in the right direction and you are good to go! It’s wide open, so even if you do bail there shouldn’t be dyer consequences. We hit this line for about an hour. At the start he was pretty timid and maybe a bit overly cautions but as time passed he got off the breaks and was really doing well. You could see his confidence growing.
Confidence is a funny thing. 1) You have to be confident when hitting jumps. If you think you are going to crash or you cant do it; walk away. 2) There is confidence and then over-confidence. It’s very important to know the difference.
We finished riding that jump line and decided it was time to head back to the car park. One of the trails we took on the way back has a drop and good little gap jump, well first time down my mate just went around it. While talking about it at the end of the trail and eye balling it, he thought he could manage it. I had my doubts, but didn’t say anything. I don’t want to be that guy, saying ‘you cant do it’, ‘ I don’t think you are ready for this’ so I kept my mouth shut. Well I should have said something. He hit the drop and it was all slow motion from there. When he hit the jump he turned his wheel in the air and landed a bit sideways sending him out of control. Boom… face/chin right into a tree.
He lay there, gasping for air and groaning. Ah fuck! We told him to lay still and just relax the best he could. He mentioned his neck was sore which is a pretty big issue. I didn’t want to move him in-case of serious injury, so we rang the ambo to come out and get him. He was totally concussed; didn’t know where he was, where he lived, how he go there..memory gone. The ambo showed up in 45 mins. In the end there was no major problems other than a concussion…thankfully.
A crash like that definietely takes care of that over confidence, but unfortunately destorys the confidence too. I dont think he will be coming out to play anytime soon.
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.
It’s been pretty wet in NZ lately! All this rain has kept me inside, meaning I can work a some new videos. I recently took the video camera out to Woodhill Bike Park to shoot one of my favorite trails, Afterglow. It’s a 2 min downish single track ride packed with lots of berms… sweet!
I recently scored a FREE HD video camera from Tourism New Zealand, so I could capture some of the things I get up to while in NZ. I will be posting them on their website new interactive site! I did take some footage at a rugby game a couple weeks back and recently I took it out to Woodhill Bike Park and took a little video of a short track called ‘The Lightening’. It’s a short, flowy, fun track that isn’t too technical, but is a lot of fun to ride. I never realized how much work went into shooting a film. I was filming all by myself so it was pretty much ride a section, move the camera, ride another section and so on. It is more work than I thought. I guess if I had someone to work with it would be easier, but I don’t have that luxury. So here is my first edit from that shoot.
This past weekend it rained, so woodhill was prime! Ive been given the green light from my phyiso to start to hit some jumps again. Here is a short video I made of me riding at Woodhill on a track called Iron Horse. Pretty easy track with xx-xxx jumps, so it’s a great place to start doing some jumps again. This is a pretty typical track in Woodhill – short downs, wooden structures, pine forst, sand based so good in the rain!
Another weekend down! Like back home, weekends here go way too fast! I took Friday off to ride in Rotorua. I was up at 5:30am and on the road by 6am. It rained pretty much the whole way down. I was thinking it would be a wet day riding, but it stopped as I was outside of Rotorua. I rode all day and drove back in the evening. It was a lot of driving in one day but the trails are worth it. I love riding in Rotorua. The trails are so sick! I am really looking forward to spending sometime their in the summer.
Saturday was a chill day in Auckland. Michelle and I did the usual grocery shop, laundry and clean. In the afternoon we went to the hospital to see Michelle’s new nieces.. yup her brother and partner had twin girls. They are so tiny and super cute! Welcome to the world Evelyn and Jasmine!
Sunday I was riding at woodhill. Another great day on the bike! In the afternoon Michelle and I hit up Degree which is a restaurant at the via duct. We had a coupon from Grab-one. Grab-One is a site that offers daily deals for businesses. It is a simple way to get huge discounts while exploring fun activities in the city. Each day there is a new deal so you just join the mailing list and purchase what you want. We bought two $25 vouchers for $10/voucher for Degree. It is a great way to try new restaurants that would normally be too expensive. We got a lunch platter for two, which is basically some salmon, scallops, steak, chicken, mussels and prawns that you cook on a hot stone at your table. Of course we each had a couple pints of Cider to keep us cool in the afternoon sun. The bill was$40 and with out the vouchers it would have been about $90. It was a great way to spend the afternoon in the sun, eating and cooking!
My rides! The car is perfect for tossing the bike in the back and escaping the city for some sweet trails in Rotorua or Woodhill. Car = freedom!
This past weekend I was able to make it up to Rotorua with Kev and Mario. I haven’t been out riding with these guys for a while. Mario has been in Canada for the last month riding at Whistler and Kev has been busy with home renos. We left Auckland around 6:15am and were in Rotorua around 9:15… not bad time. We unloaded the bikes headed for the shuttle.
We started off with Billy T which is a fast smooth downhill track. It has this one really steep roll over that if you think about it too much you wont do it. After Billy T we hit up Huckle Berry which is filled with jumps, lots of fun. We rode that track heaps, it was wet to start but by mid afternoon the track had dried up quite a bit. Which meant.. fast! We would ride the top of huckle berry and then tie into the bottom of the national downhill track, which is a pretty crazy track.
On the 7th and last run of the day my forearms were burning, and I was pretty much just hanging on for dear life ahaha. It was a great day of riding! My bike was caked in mud and needed a good clean. I decided I would try and get on the bike the next day and clean it afterwards.
Once back in Auckland I took Michelle out to La Procheta, which is a pizza and pasta joint. It is pretty good food and ok service. The prices are great, which keeps up coming back. After dinner we were both beat so it was a movie and then off to bed.
Sunday morning I woke up early and headed to Woodhill Mountain Bike Park for a couple hours of riding while Michelle was at work. This was the maiden voyage in my car. No problems, it got me there and back! Woodhill was heaps of fun, not as good as Rotorua, but still good. It doesn’t have as nice of tracks compared to Rotorua, but it has heaps of jumps and gaps you can play on. I managed to put in 3 hours out their and headed back to Auckland.
Sunday was father’s day in New Zealand, so Michelle and I went to her parents place for dinner. They made some great bbq. I miss having my own bbq! Michelle’s mom made some amazing fresh bread on the bbq and her dad bbq’d some sausage, chicken and pork. It was a hell of a feed. Damn good weekend! Managed a lot of time on the bike, so I was one happy boy! I love the freedom of my own car. Debating on hitting up Rotorua this coming weekend.
I was up early today to catch my shuttle to the airport. My 2nd work road trip has come to an end. I am back in the office, unpacking and debriefing. It was a whirl wind of a trip, with a couple hick-ups but overall a great time.
I flew Jet Star back to Auckland from Queenstown. Everyone here calls it Shit Star and for good reason. It is a budget airline so you pay for water, coffee, it always runs late ect. Flight home was good. The view of the mountains was amazing – I actually took some photos and Ill get them up soon.
This weekend I think I am going to go out to Waiheke Island for a bit of a hike with Michelle and then Im hitting up Woodhill to do some mountain biking on Sunday. The All Blacks play South Africa on Saturday night so Im sure a few bevies will be had at the bar!
On Sunday I headed back out west to Woodhill Bike Park to do some riding with the boyz. Kev picked me up downtown at 7:30 am and we loaded up my bike and hit the road. About a half hour later we were at Woodhill putting out bikes back together and getting ready to ride. It was a cool morning about +12, cloudy with a cool breeze, but perfect for riding. We met up with Mario and rodeto the trail head. Kev had to leave by noon, so we wanted to get in as many trails as possible. I was pretty happy with my riding and hitting pretty much everything in front of me and then it happened.. i crashed ahaha. It was a goodone! I was heading down the XXXXX trail X-Asile, a set of jumps down a steep section that I had up to now avoided. Being that I was having a good day on the bike i was feeling pretty confident in my riding I thought I would just giver! Mistake! I hit the first jump no problem as the second one approached I taped the breaks and that was my downfall. I didnt carry enough speed into the second jump, landed flat with my handle bars slightly angled to the right which sent me bouncing and towards two trees. I managed to steer the bike to avoid trees but I was going down. I ended up twisting my right knee in the wrong direction and landing about 10-15 feet from where I orginally landed the bike. I got up pretty quick but knew that I had tweaked my knee pretty good. I was able to move it in all directions, never heard a pop or snap so I figured it was a sprain. The bike was fine – no damage. Luckily enough this was last run of the day as we were heading in the direction of the carpark and Kev had to get back, so I just jumped back on the bike, rode to car, loaded up and headed back into Auckaland.
I went home, iced my knee and pretty much lazed around the rest of the day. Monday the knee was stiff as hell! I couldnt put a lot of pressure on it, so more ice and rest. It’s feeling better today, still cant put a lot of weight on it and it took me double the time to walk to work but it is on the mend. I hate injuries, but i guess it was just a matter of time and the nature of the game.
Michelle's first ride.. no falls, no blood.. total sucess!
Today I took Michelle out to Woodhill to do some mountain biking. We rented a van from Jucy and headed out west. Woodhill have some decent bikes for rent so Michelle picked one up. This was the first time Michelle ever mountain biked. I gave Michelle a run through of what to expect and the basics of riding and we were off. She did great. I know she was pretty nervous and at times a little scared but she pushed through and did awesome. We rode some trails for about an hour and half and then we breaked for lunch. After that I went off on my own to ride as she had enough for the day. I rode for another hour and half and then decided to pack it in.
Black sand on my pasty white legs!
We then wanted to check Muriwai Beach, which is a black sand beach about a half-hour from Woodhill. Ive never been to a beach with black sand and it was beautiful. Driving there was crazy – winding and sharp bends, tight roads, with a speed limit of 80km – wtf? I wasn’t driving 80km and couldn’t believe someone would actually drive those roads that fast. We walked the beach, watched some surfers carve it up, played in the sand and just chilled out.
No better way to end a great Saturday then with some fish and chips.
By now we were pretty hungry so we headed back to Auckland and down to mission bay to grab some fish and chips – you cant go to the beach with out having fish and chips! If you are ever down in mission bay definitely hit up the Fish Pot!
It was a great Satuday. Michelle got in her first ride and totally pushed herself outside of her comfort zone! You did great babe! Im heading back to Woodhill with the boyz tomorrow to hit some gaps and jumps!