ROTORUA, NZ New Zealand!! Pretty easy trip really, seemed like it almost took the same time getting to the Sydney airport in traffic as it did to fly over. Not a bad drive either from Auckland, nice way to take in some scenery, only annoying part was snail speed limits on one lane highways. The slower pace is good every now and then I suppose for a nature lover such as myself. Sun was out the whole time too, which was lovely, but just cooking my right side as I drove for a few hrs:). At the end of it I was Looking like Braveheart all dressed up in war, half n half, but with red burnt skin not blue paint. Me n Mel.
Local Rotorua sensation-Craig Pattle has been hosting me for a couple days. Been good fun seeing the town, catching up, meeting crew etc. All the Kiwi DH stars are turning up as well. Cam Cole, Amy, Keiren Bennett, Justin Leov, Blenkinsop, spotted Wynn Masters' ride in the parking lot, Brook McDonald, Nathan Rankin, Matt Walker, and Elisa Canepa from Switzerland. So it'll be a good event full of talent. I'm most excited to see my pal Vanessa Quinn though. She's not racing mtb anymore- traded it for the family life a couple years ago, but word on the street is that she is racing Track in the velodrome. Hopefully I still recognize her and she hasn't turned into a giant quadricep:).
I was here in 2006 for worlds, but having a bit more time to explore, The forest reminded me a lot of Bellingham, which puts a mega smile on my face. Same color dirt, big trees, greenery, Transitions everywhere, not quite as technical, but flow for days, I was loving it!!!.!!! perfect conditions as well- so far. Thanks to Kiwi Bikes for the loner xc machine!
Been a bit tricky sorting out a race schedule, buried deep in the middle of Bikenz website, I've finally worked it out that it all happens sat and sun, and friday they tape out the course. Plenty of people out there as the shuttle bus is running for the other tracks. Designated drinking fountains all over too, it's mtb paradise not having to take a pack or be on the look out for mountain lions, bears, snakes, or even spiders!!. Epic. Only draw back I suppose is that the stAnk from being near geothermal hot springs areas. I've got a wee headache.