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Down here in New Zealand, we are about to go into Covid-19 Lockdown, with a capital L. Well, semi-lockdown. Supermarkets will remain open.  Apparently a lot pf people didn’t get the memo, our neighbour just reported a queue to get in to our local. I did a quick shop last night on the way home from the trails, and was amazed to see people are STILL hoovering up the toilet paper. In our little island paradise, a lot of stuff gets imported. But not toilet paper. The stuff is made 40 minutes from where we sit. That last word is possibly missing an H, but this is a family newsletter.  Nzo will go into Lockdown in a close facsimile of...

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Self-isolation the hard way

Weirdness prevails. The world we live in (the one with 24/7 bad news, tumbling share markets and disappearing toilet paper) has gone fairly crazy. Many things we like are cancelled. Lucky for us the things we love are not cancelled. Just to make sure they were still out there, we went and checked. Main beach at the Mount: sparkling in the early autumn sun, plenty of people out acting more or less normal, and by careful manoeuvres we kept them all at a distance of at least three metres. Tauranga cycleways: a quite amazing network with everything a fat road bike could desire. Gravel, dirt, some cooch grass, even a long and twisting boardwalk over a mangrove wetland. The trails...

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Product testing and its downfalls

  We’ll admit it. There are definite upsides to be in the business of bike stuff, and near to a whole heap of trails. People tell us we are very lucky, and we can’t disagree. Just so you don’t think everything around here is perfect, here are two things that happened to me recently, which wouldn’t have happened if I had enough sense to be doing something more sensible with my life. Out testing product (honestly, it needs to be done), and all goes well until halfway down the first bit of Split Enz, where I inhale a bee. Or a wasp, doesn’t really matter. Probably better if was a wasp, I hate killing bees.  It stung me on the...

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Getting with the programme

  One of our mates has started a ‘training programme’. He has a ‘coach’. He is thinking about his entry in a ‘race’. I use inverted commas for his versions of these things because they all defy normal definitions. Working backwards from the ‘race’… the event of his dreams is the Whaka 100. It’s more of a nightmare, and unless you are very special you won’t be ‘racing’. You will be grovelling along, hoping you don’t run out of something before the finish. Food, energy, daylight, those sorts of things. By ‘coach’ he means a dude who is a freak of nature. Without giving the game away, the guy he has signed on with can win an XC race on...

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No School like the Old School

The other day we went for an unorchestrated spin in the woods. We had a plan, it went out the window. Our mate had actual written instructions, also rolled into a ball and binned. We followed our noses, if the not the path of least resistance, and ended up doing a lap of some old-school trails. After the ride we commented on how a mountain bike patch full of the trails we enjoy around here can lead to some being bypassed more often than not. The list of trails we rode included some that are hugely popular, and some that many people may never have seen.  Just out curiosity, I researched the lists, and was amazed to find that the...

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