Sunday, November 27, 2011

A real challenge

View from the window
The Huka 80km MTB challenge was to prove to be just that, a challenge. One of our 5 members didn't know until 12pm whether he would make a work deadline, and then the pick-up deadline, luckily some slower than planned packing gave him the time bonus required. Then Marco had a spell in the drivers seat. More uncertainty. There was also a minor fly in the ointment when Marco realised he had left his camelbak holder at home. Botty. With a roll of duct tape he managed to fashion my new "eski-bag" spotprize into a passable camelbak. I am sure it wasn't as light as the original though!

Bad norty elitist pedal : (
The wind seemed to follow us up from Wellington and it was a little bit brisk as we started the 15 minute trundle from the accommodation to the race start. Unfortunately 1 minute later Cleetus's XTR pedal just fell off the end of the spindle. Bugger. What to do. Calling on his past as a proponent of one-legged drills the only option was for Cleetus to try to make it to town. For once I had my eftpos card on me and if we could find a bike shop open at 6.30am we might strike it lucky. I pushed him with my left hand while he jammed away with his left leg. The exposed bit along the front of the lake was pretty brutal. Fortune smiled on us and he found a shop and scored some new pedals with time to spare!

The race started and it was up the hill and into the single track. Singletrack that just went on and on. It was awesome. It was a bit windy, but nothing like what Cleetus and myself experienced the week before while riding the "Skyline" track in Wellington. Before long there were ominous creaks and groans, then crashes in the trees. The trees were falling down in the forest. It was pretty damn freaky. Some of them were very very close. After a couple of hours the organisers decided to pull the pin before anyone was badly hurt. It was the right call. They cut out about 20kms of the course and we carried on, some continued hammering, some didn't, it didn't matter, it was race over : (

After we cleaned up we called into BushLove HQ for a bit of a bullshit and then endured the prizegiving and headed back to the digs for a beer and sossies.

A big thanks to Ash for the transport and the accommodation, and Matt-2 for his colourful stories.

I havent done "Taupo" for about 15 years so was blown away at how big it is now. We have unfinished work, so will probably be back next year, hopefully all the weak trees will be gone !