Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get Lost

Or should that be, try NOT to get lost, and get round the forest as fast as you can in the meantime. What am I on about?
Sunday saw a random edition to my training plan. The NZ MTB Orienteering Champs were on in the Whaka forest, so I figured why not give it a nudge. I was super experienced afterall..... with a stellar performance at some primary school orienteering event in Naseby back in, oh, about 1985 I think?! Best case scenario was I'd do great. Worst case.... I'd get lost, ride in circles, and as a result get a solid days training in.
Aparently you need a mapboard and compass. Since my preparation was so good I didn't have either on Sunday morning. So bugger the compass.... but I did fashion a magnificent mapboard out of random stuff around the house. See pic below. Reason #126 for regular ice-cream consumption.
The event? Well I started great, and was leading apparently till the 4th control which I messed up pretty good. Then rode and navigated steadily and slowly brought the gap down until the last control which I made a monumental error on and lost an estimated 7min. Oops.
End result? Well it was an NZ champs, which means obviously I finished in the regular slot.... 2nd. Andrew Bott rode/navigated awesome and smashed me. Great fun though and certainly something different. Recommend all to give it a shot once if you can find an event.
For a proper event report click here
Looking focussed? Well I still knew where I was going at this point!
Only the most technologically advanced equipment for me thanks.
How much sense of this do you make?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Whirinaki Quest

So there is now a new addition to "Cabin and Nic's must do, highly reccomended NZ MTB events" list. The Whirinaki Quest.
We enjoyed an awesome comeback to competitive MTB after a wee break with this great event, now in its second year, which all going well will become an iconic NZ event. Organiser Nick Reader does a great job drawing on his experiences with Motorcycling to bring together the key elements for a great ride.
We turned up on Friday night for the free camping on the sportsground. BBQ dinner, a few beers, and great company made for a very relaxing start to the weekend. Rolling out of bed literally at the start line made things so much easier the next day too!
The event? A great mix of purpose built singletrack, old logging roads, and 4wd trails added up to a challenging ride for all. The final addition at the 30km mark of "Grovel Hill" will go down in Folklore. A bike carry/push to rival the Devils Staircase proved the final kicker.... but led straight to a fresh cut loamy singletrail downhill that in Gaz's words "after two corners made you forget the effort in getting there."
I managed to take a comfy win after being chased hard all the way by Rotorua junior Nigel McDowell. Nic won the women's and managed 10th overall. Making it all the better was the relaxed social atmosphere afterwards. The BBQ cranked up, burgers on offer, and smashed competitors in varying states of "smashedness" relaxing on the grass and telling tall stories of their battles with the course.
Worth the trip? Hell yes. Will we be back? Definately. These guys run an awesome event and have plans for more, so keep your eyes pealed. And we'll see you all at Whirinaki 2010.
The Night before
Post race and organisers Nick and Deb's enjoy a well deserved burger in the sun
.... while Marty goes for the trusty beer and chips combo.
One of the more relaxed race venues you'll come across
The local catering crew was awesome. Steak & Egg burgers anyone?
The "wise" men? Nick and Gaz deep in discussion. Judging by the Gaz's hat I can only assume it was about the best format for a backyard cricket match?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Finding Balance..

It's been pretty busy here in Rotorua for the last couple of weeks. In between working back at the farm in Raetihi, Training, and shop work in Rotorua; Nic managed to find and negotiate a deal on a mint house for us here in Rotorua. So we are now home owners! (Well we will be mid december).

So we'll be expecting visistors a plenty. Are you reading this Conrad? MTB, Dirtbikes, and awesome fishing... and no clashes with XTERRA's NZ & Sth Africa in 2010. No excuses.

In other news, reports of the impending Bushlove/Wgtn December assault on Rotovegas will certainly have the locals concerened. Fortunately we won't have possession of our new house then so at least that is safe.

Other than that its just been fun times mixing work and play (also known by some as training). Road + Runs + ice-cream + MTB + Swimming (even used up a 10swim card in 3 weeks!!) + Pizza and Beer + BMX + great friends to catch up with and hang out = Awesome.

And a wee bit tired..... Resting today. Whirinaki Quest MTB on Saturday, which added to Road Crit racing on Tuesday night, and BMX club racing wednesday will make a great week of bike racing. Life is good.

Tuesday Crit. First Road Race in a loooong time....
.... As it was also for proud mum Sonia
And getting in some sneaky BMX practice