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?

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