Saturday, 15 December 2012

MTB: Skyline to Red Rocks

I made another feeble attempt at pretending I was mountain biker. With Mark who had recently arrived in Wellington, and is hanging out with with the folk  from the Wellington Tramping & Mountaineering Club joining in the fun. I must say, I am not (yet?) a very good mountain biker, and it certainly showed. We started with the hardest bit, as I described as “aerobically challenging” with the slog up to Mt Kaukau. At an hour for the first 3km, completed it wasn’t looking good to make it all the way down to Red Rocks.



Once over Mt Kaukau, the riding seemed to get easier and we picked up the climbs up Johnsons Hill, Makara Peak, Brooklyn Wind Turbine, and Hawkins Hill along the way. Not the fastest, but had a lot of fun finding new local territory to explore. In general the tracks in the mountain bike parks, even with their deliberate obstacles were easier to ride than lose rocks, and deep rutting we found on the shared walking/livestock/biking trails. I particularly enjoyed the end-to-end aspect of the route that provided a feeling of having ridden somewhere – especially with a contiguous route off-road route free of motorised traffic  (until the return ride home). Mark, told he me he saw more of Wellington on this ride than in the previous two months he had spent living here. There were plenty of views, and I should have taken a lot more photos while I was catching my breath.


It was a fun outing for the day and raises the question of why hadn’t ridden this ride sooner?


Mt Kaukau

Wrights Hill

Slightly contradictory set of signs approaching Hawkins Hill. Don't bring your road-bike, and don't run! But is a mountain bike a vehicle?


Air traffic radar on the top of Hawkins Hill

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

To Ride, to Race or to experience Adventure? – choose three!

My post-Taupo thinking, now that have the full collection of helmet caps is toward not only finishing but being competitive. I am certainly no natural athlete and are unlikely to come close to that top step. The goal is to be competitive with those that choose to race. To not be making up the numbers, a few of hours off the back. I have more than proven I can finish events, including those with high DNF rates. Time to step it up. I have always said “ride" when others have said “race”. Can I change my mind-set?



As I have always said:

Never again until next year

But next year, the goal is set, and it has set both early and high. The goal is four laps in under 30 hours in next year’s Maxi Enduro. This is a high-bar, an hour per lap less than 2012. To achieve this I am going to have to achieve a few things that are foreign to me – proper nutrition and a methodical, planned approach to training. This should see me drop 7-10kg of the “insulation-wrap” that I carry with me everywhere.


I have always favoured adventure, over racing in my outdoor activities and this no doubt, will continue to be. But for multi-lap events, and events I have done before I think it is time to “step it up”. To step it up, I will need to be leaner, fitter and stronger. It is always important to me to keep the fun, the adventure in all things. It keeps you fresh. It keeps you inspired. To this end, obtaining the base fitness I’ll spend more time on the mountain bike finding new places to explore, tramping and climb the odd mountain. Dabble in some trail running (or more likely marginal trail-jogging) and use randonneuring rides into new and different places as a means of building the base. It will be about incorporating the desire and fun of adventure with a more disciplined training focus. Without fun, without adventure, the risk of becoming stale and bored in training is too great. In boredom all fitness gains are easily lost. With careful thought, adventures will build the base, but 10 weeks beforehand a tunnel-visioned focus must consume me. A time to focus on the specificity of training what is required to achieve the goal that has been set.


Then there are other races, that are simply unobtainium. I was a bit surprised when Tim kindly pointed out I was on the qualified list for the hardest, most gruelling and most epic of all endurance cycling races: The Race Across America. I would have thought I was many hours behind the qualifying pace, but as errant as my appearance amongst far stronger, and many truly great riders – could anything else possibly be a greater motivation to attempt to train to such toward such a  high standard? [NB: I am unlikely to ever be of RAAM Solo standard, but I am huge RAAM fan!]





Buckle your seatbelts, and lets enjoy the ride, or is it a race?


For some final reflection on the 2012 Maxi-Enduro, few more photos…


More start-line, and Maxi-Enduro photos taken my Mum, Dad & nephew Jamie


Before the start with my Mum & my Dad.



Team Potato Guy


Assorted start-line photos


I wasn’t this near Joshua Kench for very long!






The official event highlights video:

Official event video – mostly the one-lappers on Saturday.