(to be read with your best Kiwi accent, Aye Bro? Yeah, Nah!)
Those Thursday nights in Renders were a real taster and provided great training for what was to come. The Port hills tracks, night riding. Far out, Yes, Gnarly downhill tracks in the dark, initially on that vintage 2000 Marin MV with those Orange Manitou (not so) Shocks. Even I started to use phrases like “Jeeez Bro, that was a sick decent” because at that time, I was of the mis-belief that ‘sick’ meant bad and risky. But really, I was on my limit with some of these Bro’s! Minimal shocks, rim brakes, clipped in, skinny 1.95 tyres, a helmet purchased in 2000 and looking like something that I’d found in the recycle bin. I was thinking I needed to change my kit Bro, I needed to get me some ‘Sweet Wheels’. One more tumble straight over the bars saw the end to my bargain basement helmet, it split open like the husk of a horse chestnut while I, on the other hand was completely unscathed, but it was a wake up call. It wasn’t until I got home and realised the helmet had split open by what seemed like an impact on a sharp pointed rock, right at the base of my skull leaving a perfect pyramid shaped impact indentation, Mmmmm could have been 20mm lower and I may not have got up unassisted. So, down to the hat shop I went and purchased a nice new Urge All Mountain bonnet to protect my noggin. I was keen on the Urge lids as they seemed to give better coverage around the base of the skull. Whilst hat shopping, I was surrounded by some ‘Sweet As Wheels’.
The Marin Mount Vision XM range had been launched and the girl was looking ‘Tidy As Bro’! A dabble on the keyboard, a bit of internet bike porn and a store just 420 miles North agreed to spin me a ‘Hot As’ deal when I explained the price tag just has to start with a 1. A few days later a fresh cardboard box came knocking on the door. I wasn’t home at the time so she sat and waited in the sun patiently for me all day on the doorstep…………. ( I love NZ)
Well, like a small child locked in the lolly shop, I put her together and discovered I could cycle right around the house…. Inside….. Yep, through the lounge, out the door, up the hall, into the kitchen, back into the lounge, out the door, up the hall, into the kitchen, around the table, back into the lounge, around the sofa, out the door, up the hall, into the kitchen, back into the lounge…. Faster and faster and faster….until Oooohps, Mmmm, that hole in the jib (plasterboard), mmmm! Looks strangely similar to the type of mark that may be left by a brake lever should someone cycle around inside the home….. Arrh, Yeah, Nah, She’ll be Sweet Bro Aye?...... The beauties of living alone, in a rental property that bares all the scars of some recent, violent Earthquake activity. But really, I ask you, cycling around indoors at your age, tut! How foolish. Worked wonders for my bike skills though, if only I could have my primary school days back now, I’m sure I’d beat Tania Buckle in the sports day slow bicycle race now you know!
Saturday came, the weather was dry, I thumped up the Rapaki Track, right across the peaks and down into the beach resort at Sumner. 25ks done and my Sweet ride was ‘Sweet As’ Bro, Aye? Oooo to be on a 5” All Mountain, with real shocks, real working fully functioning shocks…. Sweeeeeeet!
Now! Sunday, the fortnightly CMBC ride. It was an out of town ride, some 50kms out of town. As usual, the club meets at wherever car park and sorts a spot of car pooling. I’m in with 2 chaps, the driver has a new car and has brought and fitted a gleaming new rack on the roof. Nice…. It’s a Thule, top class Aye Bro? So, triples up, we set off down the main highway…… Tap, tap, tap, click, click, click goes the roof! Driver stops to check his load…. “She’s Sweet Bro Aye?” (I should have checked too). Tap, tap, tap, click, click, click goes the roof. Mmmm! I’m sat in the back, in that akward position where you really want to question someone’s processes but you just don’t know them well enough and your worried that you may insult them.
I know! I’m going to tell the driver the story of the fun my WBS pals just had on the M25 just 4 weeks ago…….. I didn’t get to the punch line before we had an identical experience! Yeah, really, She’s 2 days old with 25kms on the clock and I’m picking bits of her up off the road and trying to prevent her drowning in the stream. Longer story short….a few scars, but she’s sweet! I didn’t get to ride her that day, instead I limped home, bottom lip quivering, off to contact the Major and find out where I could get a new derailleur hanger from.