Crankworx Rotorua 2019 has come and gone - the highlight for us was the Rotorua round of the Enduro World Series, and we proved to ourselves that it takes as much focus and single-mindedness to spectate as it does to compete.
On race day we headed out on our bikes to intersect with some of the best bike riders in the world tackling three stages in the local woods.
Well, we tried.
The problem on the day was the weather. The only significant rain around here since the start of the year was the day of our friends’ outdoor wedding, and the dirt has long ago turned to dust.
Bringing an EWS to town usually guarantees a deluge, previous editions in Rotorua have been very wet. True to form, the forecast was pretty bad, with solid rain expected in time to make the trails into a long quagmire.
The reality was something else entirely. Yes, it rained overnight. But only just enough to make the trails absolute gold. The exposed roots were slippery enough to be voted into high office, but the dirt was as tacky as a Las Vegas wedding. We only found one actual puddle, and it was well off the best line around my favourite left hand corner.
We found a viewing spot on one of the stages with enough satisfactory features for plenty of action. There was a selection of amateur commentators already on site, and they were warming up by heckling the various juniors and other sports classes bouncing through our field of view. They even heckled me for turning up.
It all looked pretty sound for a good afternoon of entertainment.
But what about those trails? That last one was ridiculous. Almost peeled the tyres off.
We couldn’t stay off our bikes long enough to wait around and see the pros. Within twenty minutes of finding our spot we had given up on spectating and were back in the trails, giggling like fools.
Maybe next time.