Hi! Sign up for our regular newsletter and get up to date info on new products and special offers.

All on for young and old

 

040215WP
Last weekend we took part in the annual Nzo Trailblazer, a ride through the amazing Timber Trail in the forested heart of the North Island.

My colleague for the day was Kate, a good all around bike rider who is getting into mountain biking.

We planned to cruise through the trail, not in any mad rush. I went as fast as I could last year and came nowhere as far as results are concerned. This year we would do it at a civilised pace and be able to contribute meaningfully to work on Monday. Spend more of the day looking at stuff, and connecting with people. That turned out to be even more inspiring than the trail or the forest.

We started with the early group, and worked our way to near the front as we got into the singletrack, both Kate and I are ex-trackies and doing that kind of stuff is hard-wired as we start any event. About halfway up the long first climb we saw the error of our ways, and stopped to fiddle around with our phones’ abilities to capture images (a phone is no use for anything else in the depths of the forest). Among the people riding past us was Dave, who was steaming along with positive comments for anybody he came across.

We stopped again at the first of the epic bridges on the trail - no matter how many times the trail is ridden, the view of the first big bridge is breathtaking. We met a group coming the other way. Mum, Dad and two kids. Dad was on an old hardtail, and had a giant tramping pack on his back, so big it extended past his helmet. Mum was on a basic stepthru town bike, and the two little girls had 20 inch bikes. They had ridden out 25kms the day before, camped overnight, and were heading back after what the kids assured us was “a great big breakfast”. The girls were 8 and 9, having a major adventure, and pretty much summed up what is cool about easily rideable trails in such remote and spectacular places.

We caught up with Dave not far up the track, he was faffing around with a CO2 canister. I had my pump, so I topped up his tyre for him. We did that several times in the following five hours, and each time learned a bit more about him.

He was keen to talk about his immediate life plan: sell up his house in Auckland and move the entire operation to Rotorua, “for the bike-riding”. He reckoned it was time to stop thinking about it, and get to a place where he can ride his mountain bike more, do some road riding, and generally kick back a bit. Our friend Lisa calls stuff like this “creating the mint life”.

A mint life.

Turns out Dave is about to turn 70. Still dreaming up the bike rides ahead, and how he is going to do more of them.