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June 2016

Suns out, slackers out

The view from where the new trail drops off Hill Road. About a quarter of it is visible in this image. The view from where the new trail drops off Hill Road. About a quarter of it is visible in this image.

Sunday was an accurate repeat of the previous one, showing that while lightning may not strike twice in the same spot, rain can.

Performing the same lap of the same forest, got soaked again in the exact same place.

The thing with weather is that if it gets its groove on and sets into a bit of a pattern, it gets sort of hard to imagine the world anyhow else. We had a couple of weeks of patchy rain, with intermittent consistent rain, mixed with showers. If we couldn’t see the top of Mt Ngongotaha, it would be raining soon, if we could, it already was. Then boom! Bluebird day.

The very same morning that there was no rain forecast, the Rotorua Trails Trust posted a photo of a new trail sign.

A snap decision was that all were bets were off, effective immediately. As this hoodie states, anything you can’t do on a bike can probably wait until tomorrow. Or the next day, weather dependant.

Fabricate a couple of reasons for a trip to town, throw the bike in the van, head for the woods.

By the time I got to the new trail things were drying out nicely, just as well because the trail builders had tacked a temporary sign under the official one saying “stay off if its wet”.

It was new, very soft, and full of promise. A couple of hundred riders will hammer in a line, and it will be gold. The builders were still at it, and were keen to hear opinions, and share the information that they have already scoped another new line for a different part of the same, recently denuded, hill. A comment from one them that still makes me smile was “imagine what this trail will be like in about 8 years, when the trees are back…” Indeed.

A grovel up an old road that has turned into singletrack takes me to the top of a hill, and the trail called Hot X Buns. There I met James. Another of the flexibly employed people around here that can rearrange their working hours to mesh with climatic conditions and hero dirt, he was about to head down the trail. I let him go first, for two reasons: he is much faster than me, and he had an appointment. It was 12.15 when we met, and he reckoned he had to get to the other side of the lake by 1pm. Given the drive takes 20 minutes I thought that was optimistic.

Back to the carpark, showered, and into what passes for business attire in my world, I kicked back with a very good coffee and a yak with Lewis, who was also bending time to ride his bike.

The second of my duties in town was a drop in at the bike shop, where I ran into James again, now looking every inch the successful estate agent.

He got to his appointment with 5 minutes to spare.