Coppermine epic au!

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Billed as the Karapoti for those who can actually ride (not really I just made that up) I was really looking forward to the Coppermine epic. With 40k of big climbs, big downhills and some tasty technical riding what's not to like?

After a epically brutal week of night shifts I got a couple of hours kip on Friday afternoon then packed the car for the drive up to Nelson. Heading up through the Huranui then over the Lewis pass reminded me why I moved down South, its an amazing bit of the country. Truly epic. Arriving in Nelson pretty late the Colonel secret herbs and spices (and growth hormones, Mmm) called for some last minute carbo loading. As always in Nelson the day started perfectly with clear skies, sun and not a breath of wind. After getting lost finding the start (thanks search and rescue for pointing me in the right direction!) it wasn't long before I was lining up for the race start.

The race started with a grassy loop (which I dominated with my mad cross skills) then on to the Maitai river trail (where I quickly faded) before heading up a steep forestry road to the Dun mountain railway. For a history lesson czech out

This continued on to 3rd house where us epic riders turned left onto a mofo climb to Fringe hill summit while the enduro course kept going along the Dun walkway. Climbing to 793m it was a real test of the lungs and legs. Even in the granny (which is still an epic worthy 28t ) there was the odd bit where I had to leg it as it was a little greasy from recent rain.
As I approached the summit the tunes started and I met the welcome site of the Santa Cruz Fringe Hill bar. Beer was on offer and in keeping with bushlove style I went for a ginger.

From here it was onto Black Diamond ridge a technical, rooty slippy and generally awesome bit of track. For those Wellington riders think of a slightly rougher version of Mt Lowry however just like everything in the South island better. I thought I was riding alright till I had nice over the bars 180 pike giving the hinge a good bruising.From here the track joined back onto the Dun Mountain railway and onto the Coppermine belt. Quite a bit of work has gone into the trail since I was last in Nelson so it was big-ring climb up to the Coppermine saddle. From here it was all downhill on what was initially a fast flowing track with some epic draining ditches then on to a shortened version of boulder valley. After ~500m of epic gnar where a couple of locals gave me the good news the track smoothed out again to some lovely flowing native bush singletrack.

I gave the invisible bar ends and the big ring a good workout trying to catch them again but that boat had sailed and I crossed the line in 2:25 and a solid top 10 finish.

Well done to the organisers for a really enjoyable and well run race. Also a big up to Santa Cruz NZ for getting behind the race and even putting up a Heckler as the major spot prize. Gets the Bushlove racing seal of approval. To anyone who missed this epic race don't do it again as its probably the best xc course in NZ.

In other epic news I've been doing some other racing down South this year

The year started with the first round of the South Island series where I was bridesmaid to some punter called Justin Leov. My only consolation was he said I wasn't complete shit at downhill. No longer can Slacky mock me.

Next up was the x-stream, x-scenic in Timaru. I had a great battle with local Chch pro Dale again finishing second (if you don't count the 3 underage riders who destroyed us both). Not only was I showered in glory but also cash which I used to buy some beers and nachos overlooking Caroline Bay, EPIC.

Finally the good people at singletrack Canterbury have been running a local hill climb series which I again finished a distant podium in.

2010 mens winners.JPG

Everythings bigger in the South island. Czech out out fishes.
The KFC where I bought my first mountain bike from.
Today tomorrow Timaru. Pro XC hunting ground.

See you punters at Karapoti in a few weeks.



Slacky's NI Cup round up

As the mighty Bushlove's sole competitor (save a token cameo by goldenshanks in Tokoroa)it fell upon my mighty track-building muscled shoulders to shower us in Glory
Despite many yearnings from within the ranks of Bushlove, seeds of dissension were sowed by many emailed bleatings and whinges about the nationals. Such things cannot sully my love of the nationals and the myriad of different track styles, and as such I alone stood proud at the finals with my mighty 4 point lead over Jonty Taylor in the much esteemed Master 1 category.

The first race of the NI series was in Tokoroa on a track partly designed/built by Mikey Northcott. Track was plenty of fun, with some madcore hucks and some XXXtreme northshore.
The old guys have to start in a wave behind the youngies in this race and as such we had to barge our way thru a heap of them racing up the long first section of track. Cabin was long gone and had like a half lap lead after 3 minutes. I smashed goldie for the first half lap, then felt sorry for him and let him past. Noticed the freak, sorry Garth, behind me on lap 2. In yet another kind move, I eased up on a slight downhill 4wd section and let him spin past. I sat behind him for a while, but couldn't stand of the sight of him, so let him go further up the track. My back was giving me a bit of gip but like the mighty Bushlove soldier that I am I get on trucking. Noticed another freak catching me on the last climb on the 3rd lap, but gapped him when I once again deathgripped the final DH and flew down over the jumps. I maintained a good gap on Marcello going up the fireroad, but once into the climbing singletrack, he gained on me, part cos I was climbing like shit with a knaff back, and part cos he was running up the climbs on his SS. Pulled a bit back out on the DH, and he pulled back anytime it went back up. Old buggar was riding hot. Up the last climb and I just buried it, went deep deep into the pain box, so he was 20m behind me by the top. Here I knew I was safe as wasn't anyway catching me on the final DH. I released my inner DH'er and hucked like mad with fingers nowhere near my brakes. thankfully I didn't even realise that he was in M2. 4th in M1, behind Cabin (burglar) Leishman, Jason (goldenshanks) Goldie, and Garth (Freak) Weinburg.

I tripped up to Hamilton with Young Cam, Younger Tom tom, and youngest Jonty, being over a decade older than everyone. We pre-rode the track and it was fun....ish. Not the best place to just ride, but I could see how much fun it was going to be to race.
I thought it was a tad disappointing that Paintrain was only able to field 2 racers at their home race. Poor form. Even I was able to get up and race, sick with the flu as I was(filled a shopping bag of Tissues).However on the start line, this time in a wave ahead of the grommies, some heady banter was had. The start whistle went and I displayed what the other racers where really there to see, my fat arse being in front of them. I decided to let young mr Earnshaw past, as I liked the pale blue top he was wearing, not cos he was faster or anything.
(blatantly stolen from RussS on Vorb)
I also let Focker form the paintrain get close, but not too close, cos he was a dirty Hamiltonian. For some 500 odd corners and 3.5 laps we held this position. However the flu was catching up with me and I was feeling it. I went wide on one corner and made love to a haybale. Unfortunately this stoppage cracked me and I had nothing. Shortly after Focker came past and I couldn't go with him. I did however limit the time loss, and trailed in behind him for the win on M1.

(blatantly stolen from RussS on Vorb)
Putting Bushlove on the podium where it should be. Young Tom tom got edged outa 3rd by a local on the last lap of his race, Cam struggled with no hills and a stuffed back, and Jonty managed a whole 2 corners on the first lap before taking him self out.

I ditched the boys for the Vegas trip and took a hot chick with me instead. Still suffering a bit from the flu the week before, I knew glory would still be mine in some form.
The Vegas track was heaps of fun and some nice wee tricksey bits, some cool jumps, cool berms and mad hucks.
This time we started with the grommies. This was not a problem as they all took off up the hill like scalded cats. I'm pretty sure I went backwards with the slowest start of my life. Garth was long gone, and I was sitting in 2nd. Jonty and Focker were somewhere behind me. Start of the 3rd lap and Jonty Taylor went past me, I stuck with him, not wanting the elastic to break as with him finishing behind me at each race by one spot, things where still tight for the overall. a few corner later and the elastic broke. He was riding a awesome race and I wasn't. Focker in M2 went past in the 4th and again I couldn't go with. going up the switchbacks the last time and I saw Jonty uphead stalling and flaffing. I thought to my self he's toast, hammer down and catch him. Only to find 3 sec's later that I was also toast and the speed I was going was it. Kept the hammer in on all the downs, and really ripped the last time down Exit trail, cos you just never know. Well I must have known, but luckily for Jonty his puncture happened right at the end and could stay in front of me. Freak 1st, Jonty 2nd, and myself 3rd.
This got me 1st in the NI series by a huge 4 points. Epic win.

Mad mad props to Mildie and Hamish and all the other people making this series awesome. they've been doing an awesome job. And mad props to the racers as well for showing up and making the races fun with competition. Shame on those who didn't.


Support the Top Guns of Bushlove

>> Monday, February 22, 2010

You can spend all year training to be the Top Gun, but there eventually comes a time where you must put those skills to test on the battlefield. The men of Bushlove Top Gun are on standby, with battle set down for this Saturday 27th February. Our foes have flown in from throughout New Zealand. What will you say when your grandchildren ask about the Raboplus 2010 Mountain Bike National Championship Battle?

Latest intelligence says the combat is set to occur on the slopes of Mt Victoria. The best place to view the dogfights between the invaders and the brave men of Bushlove will be on the saddle of Mt Victoria (on the below map where the Mt Victoria tunnel crosses underneath Alexandra Road).

View Larger Map

We have managed to intercept the battle plans of the invading force and have our pilots ready, we can now share our battle plans with you.

At 1000 hours the first battle will commence – Code name “XC Age Group Races

Squadron Masters 1 – Tony “Tiger” Keith, Ricky “Slacky” Pincott, Jason Goldie, Davo “Maverick” Aldred

Squadron Masters 2 – Clive “Angry” Bennett, Jonny Waghorn

The second battle of the day will commence at 1400 hours – Code name “XC Proelite”

Squadron Proelite – Dave “Monolith” Sharpe, Edwin “Fastest Man” Crossling, Alistair “Iceman” Crossling

Our intelligence informs us that the invaders jets (aka mountain bikes) don’t work well in noisy conditions. So make some noise!

Bushlove is also fighting off the invaders with other members of the PNP airforce, be there to support all pilots from Wellington!

More info can be found at


Sharing the Lulz - Beginners Outing at Makara

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010

To add some flavour to the official Bike To Work day on Wednesday, Tiger Keith organised an introduction to the Makara Peak mountain bike park for some cobbers from his place of work/sleep, the Dept Of Trade & Enterprise.

Everyone met up after work at the Makara car park and Bushies, Wonderwoman, Angry and Davo joined in to help exhibit the finery of the Koru and Lazy Fern trails. They were joined by novice keeners; Rachael, Bex, Emma, Mike, Sunil, Richard and Carrie.

Although the trails are designed for beginner level mtbers, the Bushies were slightly nervous and amused to see that Bex had a large town bike with 1 inch semi slicks, and Emma had slicks on her mtb. "Whats the worst that could happen?" they asked themselves. Once the images of rescuing people from underneath their town bicycles had been pushed aside, we headed down the trail and over the bridge onto Koru.

Everyone rode really well especially Bex on her epic 29er machine. She was right up front - Go you good thing! Rachael had a spiffy brand new Trek and she was loving getting it off road too.

We cruised up Koru to the skills area for a play. Davo did some poorly executed 3 inch jumps and many dudes and dudettes had a crack at the see-saw. It was drizzling quite a bit, but this failed to dampen anyone's enthusiasm and the group headed round to Lazy Fern for the epic rampage back to the car park.

Everyone loved Lazy Fern and the switchback corners and once everyone got into the rhythm the damp summer air was filled with 'whoops' and 'woots' as our intrepid new mountain bikers experienced some great downhill singletrack - the real mtber's crack.

We finished off with some banter and feesh and cheeps. A great evening's entertainment.


Valentine's day in Rotovegas

>> Wednesday, February 17, 2010

With the final round of the N-Duro Summer Series being on the same day as Valentine's day, you would think all the romance would be put on hold for some bike racing. But Bushlovers know how to ride their bikes with the same passion they… (this sentence has been removed for the safety of innocent minds)

Now this year Cabin has taken on the responsibility of designing the N-Duro courses. It would be fair to say he left the best till last – good job Cabin. With all the usual suspects present and most riders being in pretty good form (with the nationals just around the corner), this all combined to create a great race. To get into the Valentines spirit, the trails were warm and damp… hurr hurr…

So lining up for Bushlove were Mono, Goldie, Mr Al and Mr Ed. It turned out to be a successful day with Mono, Goldie and I all having great rides. Unfortunately Mr Ed is still not 100% after his failed stunt attempt from the first race, so he has to now suffer the gloating of his brother who bet him on the day. Oh yes, I have been letting Edwin know!

Mono cruised round in true sifty fashion for a pretty impressive 4th place (behind Mikey, Cabin and Stu). Goldie stormed round to also go top 10 with an impressive 8th place that will strike fear into his fellow M1 competitors for the upcoming nationals. I finally had a race I couldn't moan about, rolling over the line in 11th (someone from Bushlove must always take the 11th place, it was my turn this time). Despite not feeling that crash hot (no pun intended… or is it?), Mr Ed also finished in the top 20.

This race also saw the debut of my new racing wardrobe. Being a metrosexual strawberry blonde, I must look my best no matter what.

And the week didn't go without its romance. Being the true gentleman Mono is, he boldly stole Cabin's latte for his lady. Cabin didn't even try to steal Mono's coffee for Nic. I think Nic needs to have words with her man.


Godfather Of Wellington XC

In addition to his recent profile in Spoke, Wellington's Godfather of cross country mountainbiking got an article in Hutt News.
Godfather is responsible for the excellent PNP Spring XC Series and bringing the National Championships to Wellington, amongst other things.
He is also responsible for rule-breaking atrocities like wearing boxers with his running shorts.
Good job Marco!


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