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Do something different


Coffee. Good. Coffee. Good.

Lately I have been bouncing around the trails on my Surly Krampus, a sled which wears monster truck tyres but has no suspension. The more I ride it the more I like it, but even if I didn’t it provides an example of how adding a new factor to a bike ride makes a familiar experience fresh.

Same thing with riding a well-known track in the dark, riding it in the reverse direction, or doing it on a singlespeed. Or your road bike. Or your mate’s bike. Or under the influence.

For example, one evening I got a text saying get up early for a dawn ride, and as it sounded like an order the next day I met a couple of friends in the darkness of the redwoods and we pedaled up toward daylight.

We didn’t go far, just to the top of the nearest hill.

Forestry operations are a funny thing around here: when it is time for trees to become wood we lose fantastic groves of huge trees, with a well-developed understory of native trees and ferns, and trails we know and love. We gain wide views, a clear understanding of the lay of the land, and new trails that are usually better than the old ones.

The hill we went to has carried a crop of Douglas Fir since this time last century, but they were felled a year or two back. Trails were re-created, and the start point for two of them must be the most photographed place in Rotorua that isn’t a geyser. It has an amazing view of the city, and the forest. That view is temporary, soon enough the young trees will grow up to cover it, but in the meantime it is a place to pause and look around, and more often than not, pull out the phone and broadcast it.

On this morning my friends also pulled out the materials to make fresh coffee, a pile of croissants, and things to smear on them. They had cups and various utensils, and all this stuff came out of various backpacks at about the same time as the sun popped up over Billy T. They even had the forethought to make sure our friend the photographer was part of the crew, so we got a great visual record of the occasion.

We yakked, laughed a lot, and got jacked up on java, sugar and sundry fats hidden in the pastries.

We reached our target heart rates for the day standing on the top of the hill. That was better than our usual way of doing it.

Then the team packed their appliances away and we took off down a trail. I don’t remember which one. Doesn’t matter, I do remember it was more fun than usual, and that is saying a lot.

More coffee. Even better. More coffee. Even better.

021015WP3 The big picture

021015WP4 Graeme captures the moment. I capture Graeme just as the coffee create a small steam explosion out of the top of his head.

021015WP5 Graeme Murray thanks the forest for being such a patient subject for his camera.




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