>> Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Vegas weekend had been eagerly anticipated. It turned out to be one of the best weekends for a long time. It was a good break from the Wellington climate. Even when it was raining it was warm. The traction on the flowy, well made trails was inspiring and even rank amateurs like us felt like XC (with some internet All Mountain) legends as we hooned around some of the best trails we had ridden.
Go get a cuppa.... Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin...
Sharpie, Angry, Tiger, BGA, Rammer, Conners, Davo, Hayden, Goldie, Fastest Man (+ smokescreen, Mariska), Cabin, T-Rex and Hardman.
We romped up on the Friday morning, via Macca's in Mana and Liquorice Cafe in Turangi (two lunches for worm-ridden Rammer) to arrive in Vegas ready to ride in the avo. Only Fastest Man, Mono and Al went riding. The remaining Spartan's bravado wore off immediately and after some wheelies and bike tests, we ate, drank and lulzed it up in the pools with some awesome macho challenges like one-legged long jump comps (win for Davo) and underwater swimming (well done Rammer).
With Whacko still chasing young girls in Canada we needed a young courier who we could be sure would crash in front of us to provide the entertainment. Hayden didn't disappoint and pulled a stoppie to faceplant in front of the cabins during dinner. After dinner and removing gravel from Hayden, we hit the hotties and burned holes into naked dutch orange picker girls and their mums for a while, before hitting the hay.
Saturday dawned with a modest amount of drizzle and a lot of noise coming from cabin #5, as Hayden, BGA and Tigerbroner fixed each other's Morning Glory's. We met Cabin, Tim and Goldie at the Waipa carpark and hit the trails.
The trails were fantastic. Some of he guys are old hands in Vegas, but some had done very little, and it became abundantly clear why people make such regular pilgrimages up there. The trails were all well formed, had excellent features and flowed like a harpoon daily and nightly. We headed up to the top about three times, with the group mostly divided into the Guns and the Sweaty Pelaton.
We did these trails:
Tahi, Creek, Piglet/Pig, up Katore Road to Gunna Gotta, then A-Trail, Tickler, up Direct Road (loose 4wd climb) then into Frontal Lobotomy, before more 4wd, to Tuhoto Ariki/Hatupatu (great trails, a rooty muddy contrast to the other trails), then back up to hit Billy T, then G-Rock and Roller Coaster. Up the hill once more to do Huckleberry Hound and Corners. Then we did Dragon's Tail before heading out.
We did lots of bike swaps which was cool. People took rides on Davo's rigid singlespeed and realised how hard he was. Davo rode people's fullys and realised just how easy it was. Everyone enjoyed sledding down the hills on the Stumpy (review coming).
It started raining quite a bit and the trails changed, which was cool. Despite the mud the traction was still very good, unlike in Wellington. You don't have to allow for slick clay etc in Vegas, you just pin it like it was dry. Unfortunately Davo's wrists and rest of body were a bit rooted and he needed to get back to the hotties. Despite having moar left in the tank, the gathered strong men decided to pull the pin too and we cruised back for more pool lulz and after some contraband pool beers and a chat with zee Germans (regretfully the orange pickers were not there), we headed to Zippy's for tea.
On the way out we saw Fastest Man prepping his horse for the following morning's Mid N.Island Cup in Eskdale. Fastest Man would have won the race if it were not for a navigation fail within a snif of the finish line. So whilst mildly tragic, it was an awesome ride for someone who id 50kms the previous day and went out with us, geting only a few measly hours sleep. We watched him for cleaning tips. See how FM rep's his sponsors by wearing their hat for a photo op'.
We decided to walk. We each saved about $1 each and it took an hour and was very hot. And we got shot at my this Ned Kelly junior. Classic group decision fail.
After a Zippy's feast we headed to Lava Bar. After a leisurely couple of hours and a few jugs, the numbers of young blond tourists swelled considerably. The rugged old BLR womanisers spent some time coaching NoMiddleRing Richards, preparing him for a stab at a couple of the young Swedes. Sadly he was trumped by a local old man who came along and started showing them his naked fireman calendar. Unorthadox, but he was getting the digits, so full respect to the wrinkly guy.
Davo beat everyone at pool while the assembled cooing crowds watched our stick weilding and ball banging to the evergreen musical delights of N-sync, Back Street Boys and other mildly hetro 90's bands.
We finished the evening with a trip to our friend Alexandra's place. Alexandra had three good friends there who were a little more forward than we anticipated. We were a little out of place as we did't realise it was fancy dress. The girls there seemed to have no end of outfits and kept coming out dressed as nurses, cow girls, devils and such like. We were not accustomed to all this and after being given the good news as their inexpensive outfits fell off, we pleaded and paid them to put them back on. We made a very very hasty exit... after about 4 hours.
Sunday dawned and we headed out for a proper sifty ride and Conners worked his camera magic and later prepared our latest submission to the New World Disorder 13 video auditions. Cracking job Ben! We absolutely love your work. See how we make XC cool...
The Sunday sift was one of the highlights of the weekend and Mono served up a fine few trails to finish the weekend's biking. We stopped and jawboned a lot and took a few runs at some bits to capture some on the camera. The final descent of Rockdrop and Rose garden to the finish was superb. Tones and Davo even managed to man up for some slightly 'beyond XC' riding, including a log ride which was internet 3 meters high, and a huck which was internet 5 meters high.
We did these trails on Sunday morning:
Rockdrop climb, then Grinder, Dipper, then Exit Trail, then the rest of Rockdrop, then Rosebank.
We got back, struck camp and hit the pools for more epic lulz in our bibs. The pool running race was a highlight. Not least of all because it captured BGA and Mono's awe-inspiring Big-O faces.
Rammer & Dave's mate, Stu Hardman joined us for the avo, and after moar Zippy's grub and coffee we headed to the Main Event - The Luge Grand Prix.
This was the most eagerly anticipated event of the weekend. Fiercely competitive men on small tea trays, hurtling down the hill.
We did 5 rides. Mostly on the longer intermediete run. There were extreme shenangans and dangerous tactics as riders were nudged out and put sideways at full speed. Early rounds fell to Clive, Davo and Sharpie, but after a while being at the front held no win so anyone leading put the brakes on to get back into the thick of the action! The Luge was the most fun any of us had had in a very long time. Highly recommended for sure.
Then we returned home (via a traditional kebab in Bulls- v.good) to our beautiful smokescreens and/or adult website subscriptions.
An all time great weekend. Check out the photo album here.
Till next time. Happy trails and safe exploring over the Xmas holidays everyone.
Leonidas (BLR Press Sec).