After a couple of hours of heavy rain the skies cleared as a spirited bunch of riders loaded their bikes on to the trailer preparing for a good a day of racing.
The day was slightly delayed as we waited for Mike who was flying in from Christchurch to partake in the event. As Mike arrived – on his single speed hard tail 29’er – I wondered if he had thought that this event was going to be something other than what we were riding in – he knew exactly what he had flown in for and put a few concerned looks on a few of the hardcore downhiller faces (getting beat by a hard tail, single speed, 29’er – WTF !). Mike was also aptly dress in cut off denim jeans and a singlet!
The majority of the field took to the slopes on DH rigs, but some of the more experienced riders knew that the trail systems being raced could be equally fast (and easier) on a 6inch trail bike.
From the go Auckland pro-elite missile Byron Scott showed what it takes to be top, laying down some fast times on what were slow and soggy tracks.
With the King Link still proving quick after the deluge both runs were done with about 15 minutes.
The entourage then taxied up to the tight twist top section of Gonna Gotta before being directed into a more flowing bouncy Katore Jumps. And then the sun came out !.
The next track being Half X Buns – Bandy Line (name after Crash-bandy-coot) across the clearing into an overgrown 1st section of Bunny-Jugs.
This was where most of the carnage occurred, twisted bars, buckled wheels with many riders sporting various hand, forearm, elbow scrapes – and some even trying to say they stayed on (with dirt covering their backs) – this trail was good.
From there up to Billy T – as always, whatever the weather, Billy T never fails to put smiles on the dials – with a practice run and race run under the riders belts I can say all were fully charged with 1 track to go.
Pondy DH from Pondy Road where the original start existed was well baked, slick and fast. The first couple of hundred yards were still rough from the clearing work, some tight corners into what is Pondy as we now know it. How fast can you do this? I don’t know, even when your tapped you still have to drop the anchors to get you through some of the foot out flat out turns whilst aiming for the bank on the far exit of the corner. A long pedal sprint to the finish made for good spectating and a collective – “WOW – that’s mean” rang out for the crowd.
All in all a great day – well done to Byron Scott who took it out convincingly; and well done to all the other guys who had the balls to get of bed and were prepared to get soaked.
We are looking to run this event again at the end of summer – same format – same trails. Can you improve on your time – I bet you can. Keep posted to Descend Rotorua for upcoming events and general DH information.
See you on the hill,
The ‘Fat Man’
Thanks to all who helped out.