Wednesday, January 30, 2008

First Round of the North Island MTB Champs

Gareth Owen gutsing it out.
Originally uploaded by m0rehu.
This competition was held in Opotiki on Sunday in the outstanding Blue Mountains. It was agreat opportunity to show off our wonderful playground. The photos are a bit boring because I was stuck in one spot marshalling.

This photo shows gutsy local lad, Gareth Owen, on his thirdlap completing the hill climb. Other photos show our outstanding marshalling team of the Boss, Kurt, Dr Kerr and Lea who had responsibility for marshalling "The Dip" and also another local College student, Glen Baird who gutsed it out over the full long course.

Congratulations to Mike and his team who pulled this great event together on the course largely prepared by Brett and the others he dragged in to get involved.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bush Bashing Down The Military Track

I can't believe this place! There is always something new and adventurous to do. Yesterday as we came out of the bush at top of Block Access Rd yesterday Hedley showed us the beginning of the Military Track that runs from there to Tirohanga - where I live - and before you know it he has organised us to run it the next day.

He described it as a 15km bush run on a largely cleared bench track. I haven't run this far since last year's Motu but thought I would give it a go. It started raining at 5.00pm and Hedley and Teleri and Karl turned up shortly after. We drove up in Hedley's van with his dog doing its share of the driving and then it turned the radio on.

Hedley, Karl and I started the track at 6.00pm while Teleri took the dogs for a run. The 'run' was awesome. Narrow bench track which was reasonably clear for the first 30mins and then was a bit of a bush bash and supplejack clamber for the next hour before we hit Tirohanga Rd and a haul into the wind and rain for 4k back home.

There was a bit of walking, scrambling and climbing as the track petered out in places but the rain and fading light made for a great adventure. As well, Karl and Hedley told hunting stories all the way through and pointed out signs of deer along the way. It was fun AND educational.

I feel like I've run a marathon but it was a great day to bring up 21 days in a row training!

Maraehako Camping

Click here to see the photos from our recent camping at Maraehako. Leigh and I and Lucy and her friend Waitapu.

Huge Turn Out On Sunday To Meet The Three Sisters

About 11 SOBs turned up at Hanaia on Sunday morning to take a brief ride through the Blue Mountains, mainly to check out the dip on the big track as some of us are marshalling there for the National MTB CC Champs here this Sunday. The plan was then to ride the small loop. However, the attraction of the Three Sisters meant we rode most of the big lap.

Myself, the boss, Kate, Roger, Brian, Kerr, Kurt (welcome back), David and Trevor (2 new comers to the Sunday adventures) set off from Hanaia after a coffee and met George and Aaron on the way. It's hard to describe the beauty of this ride. As we plummetted and slid down the dip the air was fill of Kerr's hoots of joy and exhiliration! We all made it safely but Trevor expressed a little discomfort with the technical nature and asked if the three sisters was any steeper!!

After negotiating the beautiful first part of the Military track, clearing windfall on the way, Roger, Brian, Kerr and Aaron elected to include the second part of the Military Track while the rest of us headed straight down King Rd to our appointment with the three sisters!!

It was fantastic downhill to the sisters where we met to discuss tactics and building bravado. After explaining my technique and describing the best part of the track to attempt to get down without parting from the bike David and Trevor promptly announced their intention to walk!

I made it successfully, with one minor fall as I slid out of control into a rut, as did Kurt who also had one minor fall. Others walked, slid and rode bits.

Just after the three sisters we tooki off down the last incline when I hit a rut and was hurled over the edge of the track, through the ferns and pongs, 3-4 metres down the bank where a pine tree stopped my further slide down the cliff. The others following came across my bike on the track and no sight of me as I was hidden several metres below hidden by the undergrowth. I managed to scramble back up (without their help!!) and carry on the ride. No damage, but I was a bit shaken just quietly!

On the way out we met up with Hedley and Teleri who had ridden the Greenhorn loop.

We all met back at Hanaia after about 4 hours of absolute fun and fear. Brian was ecstatic at his successful conquering of the three sisters!

The Grooming of the Three Sisters

On Saturday a group of us turned up in an attempt to tame the three sisters in preparation for the National MTB CC Champs which we are hosting this coming weekend. This was my first time helping with this. A lot of these guys have put a huge amount of work into these tracks, not only for the nationals, but also for the enjoyment of the rest of us.
These photos show Dick riding down the middle sister (Grade 5); they also show Roger and Barry and Paul attempting the difficult walk down the sisters and the group resting part way through the grooming of the girls.

Thursday Night MTB

Here are some photos from the Thursday Night MTB races we have every week with over 30 competitiors each week Great for a wee town eh? Click here for photos of some finishing and of the gathering afterwards.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lot's been happenin

I've come into school today to upload all the photos from our camping trip to Maraehako and of the MTB race last night and I brought the wrong cord! I will post photos shortly.

Our whanau had a great 5 days at Maraehako camping with our 2nd 'daughter' Waitapu. Did lots of kayaking and even managed to catch some fish! Photos to come.

MTBiking last night was fun. Everyone is getting faster each week. I took the camera along to catch a bit of the action. Photos to come.

Wednesday's Taupo training had a great turn out with Jarrod, Barry, Destry, Hedley, Peter, Shane, Rachael, Tessa, Louise, Bruce and even Chris who turned up but had to go home to cook tea.

Getting slowly back to school. NCEA results out today and our students have done very well again. Back on deck next week with fulldays at work making sure we are ready to start. It will be good to catch up with the staff as they come in.

Photos to come.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Taupo Training

First big group turned up tonight to train for Round Taupo Relay. Racheal walked and daughter Louise jogged beside her. Jarrod, Hedley, Destry ang myself set off running the Woodlands circuit where we were pleased to come across James training. We met up with Peter who joined us. Man it was hot. At the end Jarrod and Hedley added on a small 3k loop as well.

It was very hard work, but at least we are under way. Barry turned up at the end "carrying a small injury" and promised to train next week. If I find out the others headed off for a cold beer afterwards, look out.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Woodlands Cycling

Despite the heavy drizzle over 50 turned up for the tuesday night cycle around Woodlands. There were a few highlights. Leigh cruised up to the gathering area, came to a halt and forgot to take her feet out of the pedals and hit the tarseal in a pile of maniacal laughing and bruising. The boss biked to Maraenui and back this morning then raced around the Woodlands circuit to finish 3rd and drop yours truly 200m from the end. The boss and I picked up Lucy and Rick 1/2 way around and dragged them to a good time.

It's a great atmosphere at this weekly event. Now we have to turn up on Thursdays as well to kill ourselves on the MTB circuit! What with the Round Taupo crew having to meet and run on Wednesdays our week is certainly fill of sporting activity with a neat group of Opotiki people.

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Year's Eve 2007 no.2

Oh Dear!


This is what holidays are about - mtbing followed by coffee on the deck with friends (in this case Marg and her whanau and Brian.

New Year's Eve 2007 no. 1

The view of and from the BBQ!

Blue Mountains Are The Best!

What an outstanding area we have in the Blue Mountains for MTBing right on our doorstep. The ride with Leigh, Shirley, Tina and Brian on Saturday over the Greenhorns was cool. Shirley rode all the downhill, while Leigh had a small walking interlude! Tina just ate it all up.

That afternoon Brian and I paddled the upper Waioeka section as he has a new waka, Saracens, and was keen to try it in the river. It was cool to be paddling again. He only had one spill in what looks to be very stable but quite fast boat. I completed a successful roll in it and then gave some help to Brian whi is almost rolling. Quite a tiring day.

Sunday was to prove to be very demanding. The Boss, Dr Kerr, Brian, Roger and I set off to do the Gnarly Old Hands in the Blue Mountains which I hadn't done before. I felt flat right from the start and knew it was going to be tough. As we turned off Valley Station Road we had an awesome single track downhill which was quite testing in places. Getting up the other side was challenging and involved some walking. Up on the 'main road' we were joined by Ross, Colin and Brett and we teared into the first military track which was beautifully carved out by Brett and Colin and others. They have done a wonderful job so that we can all enjoy the area. I was struggling energy wise but enjoyed the bush, spotted a pig and rode over the log bridge!

After a brief rest on Kings Rd we headed back up to the 'main road' and hurtled down the second military track which was largely downhill with lovely berms. Awesome! After gathering back on Kings Road we headed onwards and met at the top of the dreaded 'three sisters' where we sat around building our bravado. This is an awesomely steep set of three downhills that are deeply rutted clay. I followed Colin, Roger, Ross, Brett and Kerr down with the Boss and Brian coming behind. I chose the approach of wedging the seat into my stomach and virtually sitting on the back tyre. This proved successful as I went past a lying down Kerr on the first sister and then came across Brett a long way from his bike and Ross helping him at the bottom of the second and steepest sister. It was impossible to stop at this point so I skidded onwards and downwards and successfully made the third and final. It was a huge thrill to stay on my bike all of the way down, one of only 2 of us I think.

It was a tough ride for me back up the Mangakirikiri and home but was pulled along well by Colin and the others. If you read this Margaret, tell Christopher that I successfully rode over the three logs on the Mangakirikiri track.

All MTBers must get out and enjoy these tracks as they will be logged in a couple of years. Every time you do say a little thanks to Brett and his team for the hard work they have done. Perhaps we need to start thinking of how this area could be preserved. What about a tourism trail for MTB and walking all along the military track to Toatoa. People would travel the world to enjoy it.

Oh yeah, sorry Lea V, we missed you. Get better soon.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

MTB Mayhem

This MTBing on Thursdays at Woodlands is fun! In the previous post you would have seen my involvement with the electric fence. What happened this week?

Roger promised to turn off the electric fence but when Shirley fell off in the thistles and encountered the fence she discovered Roger had been remiss!

Kerr did a Brian. Last week Brian went off with a rip and a snort at the start and at the first corner headed off in the wrong direction until I called him back. Could it happen again I hear you ask? I was happily telling this story before the start and Kerr laughed along with everyone else.

At the start he stole the march with a rolling attack, let out a whoop and took off at a rate of knots and went straight ahead without turning!!! He never did catch up again.

Lea V managed to hang on grimly to my back tyre until we hit the farm. As I was pulling away I heard a bit of a yelp but thought nothing of it. She had hit a small ditch in the grass, sailed over her handlebars and did some serious damage to her shoulder. Thankfully Dr Kerr was there and told her to take 2 disprins and see him tomorrow and then carried on. Thnakfully an LA Fire Dept Paramedic and a neuro surgery nurse were sitting on the hill watching (seriously) and along with Lyn took them to Lyn's and called the ambulance.

After the ride Iwas given the choice of having a cold beer or checking out if she was OK. No contest: I had the beer (and then Leigh and I checked on her). She was getting way too much sympathy at Lyn's so I tried telling her to get tough - though I think she was really hurt. Look out for photos.

Leigh had a great ride taking off 5 minutes from last week. Brian is still going like a flying hamster on his new bike. Jarod continues to consider me to be an awesome athlete by handicapping me out of any chance. Though I grizzle, I appreciate the high regard in which he holds me!!

Planning to take Leigh and Shirley over the Green horns this Sat and then paddle with Brian. On Sunday we plan to take on the Gnarly Old Hands. I promise to take the camera as I know you like the photos.

Is there anyone out there?