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Not spectating at the EWS

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...

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We've got all day

On Sunday I took the first ride in ages that didn’t have any constraint except my attention span, and I set off intending to run out of gas just after cresting the last uphill. When I say run out of gas, I don’t mean the way a vehicle does - suddenly, with no warning other than the petrol gauge, rarely consulted until after the engine dies. Or even the way an e-bike does, instantly, when the battery stops being your friend and becomes an inert lump of chemicals and electrodes that weighs as much as the rest of the bike and does nothing at all now it’s dead. I mean that slow and irreversible malaise that sets in after a...

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The Local's Hour

  Obviously, a perfect Sunday would start with breakfast prepared by a skilled chef, and coffee ladled out by a barista. After that, with no obligations on the agenda, there is leisurely preparation and a long mountain bike ride in a stunning location, perhaps followed by a swim, more food, and a nap. If there could be more coffee and baked goods at the high point of the ride that would add some polish.But that kind of thing doesn’t always eventuate. Perhaps never, precisely as described. On those Sundays that don’t quite work out like the fantasy above, there is still a jewel to be winkled out.It is that golden hour before dark, late enough so nobody except a local...

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The Nzo Long Term Acid Test

When it comes to long term in-the-field testing of a mountain biking product, it is hard to argue with the patented method we have devised at Nzo. To be fair, we only just realised we had devised it, but it is real and impossible to duplicate: it takes several years and unshakeable confidence in the product. Here is how we do it: roll the thing into a courier bag, and send it to a publisher. Wait, feeling vaguely ill, until a few months later, when it appears in their publication. Read what they say at least four times, mentally winnowing their phrases for gems which can be repeated ad nauseam. Repeat them, ad nauseam. Hope somebody notices. But copy and...

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Like a road race, only crunchy

As the seasons roll by the motivation to enter stuff gets harder to muster. Unless there is a damn good reason, it’s easier to just go for a ride. The Dirty K is a damn good reason. Not only is it a ‘gravel race’, and therefore a logical outing for my latest bike, it is around the top end of Coromandel, and any excuse to go there is a good one. The event tags on to the K2 road race, a 200km hillfest that circumnavigates the middle of Coromandel Peninsula from a different start point each year. In 2018 it was Coromandel town, so when the idea of a rugged alternate ‘race’ was hatched the route north was chosen. A...

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