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White Line Fever, and the antidote

This time of year I am usually doing different versions of the same thing: cramming in some road miles, trying to get ready to do my annual hundred mile ride around Lake Taupo. Road riding has its nice bits. The bikes can be very nice. There may be scenery. There are downhills, some with corners. There is getting home alive, and all that entails. It is possible, with a bit of planning, to make a road ride into a sort of cafe crawl, with more variety in the menus than what you are likely to find in a forest. However, there are long stretches of what is not exactly boredom, but is a long period of relative sameness. The white...

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It happened here

In Rotorua we are in the middle of the hottest, driest spring since records began, or at least as long as we can remember. Trails are perfect in the trees, or dusty and falling apart where the sun can get at them. These conditions may have contributed to a spectacular near death experience I had the night before last. I was hooning down one of my favourite trails, at what constitutes top speed on my planet, and starting to feel like I was on my game. Got to a short bony bit, where the trail curves gently left and there are a bunch of roots and holes on the main line, but an inside line is available which is quite smooth...

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Intergenerational bike shorts

E-bikes! Love them or hate them. Or both.  For me, it depends whether I am riding one at the time. When I am doing that, I love them. When I am clawing my way up the far side of the accurately named Hill Road in the local patch, out of gears and on the pointy bit of my saddle, and I get passed my a midlife mother and her lovely teenage daughter, I have to admit to a bitter hatred of anything that plugs in. Especially if one of them is halfway down her cassette and doing about fifty rpm because she doesn’t know any better, and the other one is wearing a hoodie and cutoff jeans and isn’t even...

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The big question

We get a lot of emails asking various questions, and among the most frequent is “what should I order, Dobies or Sifters?” The question usually includes a fairly detailed explanation of the living habits of the prospective customer. We sift through the information and try to make a good guess at which product would work best. Obviously a sensible person would order both, but not everybody has that much sense, or cents. If we had any sense we would have produced some sort of ‘pros and cons’ list we could cut and paste.  So far we haven’t, so here are the sweeping generalisations, which you can tailor to suit your lifestyle requirements:Dobies are an outlier. When we thought them up there...

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Scratching Your Itch

Mountain biking is one of the few sports where the participants can create their facility. In many places, they have to.  At the beginning, trails were mostly existing routes created for some other purpose, like hiking, riding motos, or getting to and from trees that needed cutting. Today’s lucky punters can roll up to a trailhead and do their thing without a second thought: the sport is approaching its fourth decade and many places round the world have trail networks ready to go. They will find a ridiculously varied mix of trails handbuilt by volunteer working bees, scratched out by lone wolf enthusiasts, machine built by contractors, and almost unbuilt freeform things created by people riding down a line that...

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