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THAT OLD DEVIL, TIME

 

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1957 was a good year, by all accounts. Momentous things happened: The Cat in the Hat was published, Elvis bought Graceland, Fangio won his 5th World Championship. Some cool things were produced: The Russians came up with Sputnik 1, Chevrolet’s BelAir was the pinnacle of the US automotive arc. Some famous people were born: Siouxsie Sioux, Frances McDormand, Osama Bin Laden to name a few.

It was also the year Chris Keating and I got started. We didn’t meet until we were more than halfway to here, in about 1993 we would meet up with most of Auckland’s growing mountain bike community, park at Strip Rd and go riding in Riverhead Forest.

Mountain biking got its hooks into both of us to the degree that we are both still at it, and still looking for new ways to do it.

If you spend any time at all trawling through the bike media for wisdom and inspiration, you will know two new things are top of mind: how big are the wheels on this sparkly new toy, and is it designed for Enduro?

Putting the wheel size thing aside, because it is either a portal to a debate as long as time itself, or not worth talking about at all, that leaves Enduro.

The second 2W Gravity Enduro took place on the weekend. Riders had five hours in the woods, to ride five timed stages, in any order. Its a new way to ride a mountain bike race, so both Chris and I had entered.

An Enduro is a very sociable event, because the combined race stages only total part of an hour. That leaves four for commuting, catching buses, scarfing coffee, queueing up, talking rubbish: sort of like a regular day for an office worker, except all your workmates are deliriously happy, and you are out in the woods riding bikes.

Anyway, after completing all the stages with varying degrees of elegance, our little posse made it back to the race HQ early. The clever timing system spits out a receipt for your day’s efforts on the spot. While the fast people duke it out in their own alien world, there are classes for the rest of us, and I was leading ours.

Imagine my annoyance when Keating turned up half an hour later, waving a ticket that said he was in first place.

All these years of honing our skills and knocking ourselves around has come to this: on comparing our times we found they were exactly the same. To the second.