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Mid Week Enzed Pt14: New Zealand Diaries

Sorry for the delay but better late than never. Here is Jimmy Carling’s Mid Week Enzed round up from New Zealand.

Wednesday again eh… Blimey. Weeks are flying by at an alarming rate of knots! It’s been another week of two wheeled shenanigans here in old Enzed. Weather has been pretty dam lush as well of late, except for last Thursday, which of course was League of Gentlemen Day – typical. The forecast had been for rain and winds and thankfully Captain Efficient (Graeme Cooper) had a plan B should things not work out for the much anticipated King of Skippers. Eventually the weather gods got their way and so the K.o.S was postponed a week, which was great news for Paul Angus as it has meant he’s had an extra week of practice runs. Yeh we all know you want that crown eh HuckMeister! Who will take the honours? Pang? Ginge? Or could it be a non Vertigo staff member whose name will be forever etched in the League of Gentlemen history books (a Korma stained napkin from the Curry-In-A-Hurry). Tensions are high, protein shakes are at the ready… It’s on.

Photos:James Allan.

So what did we do instead on that blustery Thursday evening? Well lets see… Almost kill half the pedestrians in town, wreak havoc on the roads and all whilst pissed and in fancy dress. Some thought the event had disappeared off into the abyss of yesteryear, but no… Suited Pursuit made it’s comeback. The only urban event on the calendar, I’m not sure if it’s the most legal of races… But I suppose seen as the LoG is classed as an “un-race” series, it’s all ok. We met in Revolver at 7pm, and by “we” I am referring to the sub-twenty who showed up. Where was everyone?! A few bevvies later and we were split into 4 teams of 4 and each given a team fancy dress outfit. There were the Santas, the Tits ‘n’ Asses, the Bunny Boilers and the Dirty Mexicans which was an all female crew. The idea was simple. The costume was your relay baton which you had to wear on your lap around town and the first team to get all four members back to Revolver were the winners. I’m not even gonna bother trying to explain the whole course, but what I will tell you is that it involved sprinting up a lot of pedestrian only zones, dodging cars at busy roundabouts, hopping on and off the pavements whilst charging the wrong way up a one way street and negotiating a long set of busy steps…

I started things off well for Team Santa, getting back just ahead of the T’s and A’s which was led out by Mat Weir. By the time the second lap came about, Team Santa were still in the lead and by the third lap… well it just all went tits up – BIG TIME. There was a huge wait for Dan Thwaite of Team Santa and Pete Weir of the T’s and A’s. We all thought the local fuzz had put a stop to things somewhere along the course, but in fact it turned out that Dan had ridden his own course which went via Glenorchy and that had allowed Pete to slip into first. A move which thrilled his team, until he went from the top of the steps to the bottom on his face and wrists. Dan saw the whole thing and stopped to make sure he was ok, which he wasn’t. A broken scaphoid and a torn RC joint were nothing compared to the sight of a man wearing plastic breasts and buttcheeks lying in the middle of a pedestrian zone as tourists rush to see if he was alright. It was a serious case of “man-down” for the T’s and A’s as the injured scotsman limped his way back to Revolver.

Of course this led to a serious change in standings. The Invercargill crew which made up Team Bunny Boiler had blasted into a convincing lead, which remained until the very end. Team Santa eventually came home second as The Dirty Mexicans and T’s and A’s battled it out for 3rd and 4th spot. I can’t think of an event where I’ve experienced so much pain at the same time as laughing my head off. The sprint around town left everyone coughing their lungs up for most of the night, but the various bicycle sabotage attempts and general crazy nature of the race meant everyone was in stitches for hours to come. Too funny.

By the time the laughter had died down and my lungs felt normal again, it was Saturday. Fancying a change from the norm, Dan Thwaite, Matt Wragg, Gina Matete and I loaded up the Matete-mobile and headed out to Clyde, just next to Alexandra, to hit up some desert riding. Geographically it isn’t far away, but you wouldn’t believe the difference in landscape and geology. Instead of lush grass, trees and loamy soil you’ll find dust, rocks and wild thyme dominating the entire area. It doesn’t get much looser than here. Its nothing like what you would ride in Europe; open, exposed to wind, dry, no roots or trees. It’s comparable to many riding venues I went to in Australia. After a couple of steady runs we upped the pace and started hitting things a little harder. It’s worth doing a slow run to start with as there are a couple of quirky bits that you don’t wanna mess up. But once you know what’s coming up it’s a hoot. There’s lots of drifting and getting wild, especially if you shuttle all the way to the top and ride the steeper and rockier trails. Later on we pulled out the head cam and filmed a run of the easier downhill or the “student track” as it kept getting referred to. As you’ll see from the video below, I didn’t have the most successful of runs. I was following Dan Thwaite pretty closely and as we compressed into this rise in the trail, I turned a little hastily and the whole front end just locked and bucked me over the front, which explains my snapped Limited Edition, Greg Minnar Formula brake lever… Bollocks. That’s gonna be an expensive replacement, which explains why it’s sat in the shed since… Oh well. Bring out the hardtail.

More Mountain Biking >>

Stay tuned next week for King of Skipper results!

Until then, peace and happy riding.

Jimmy Carling.

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