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Ride Day 5 at Rotorua

hawkeye's picture

By hawkeye - Posted on 08 December 2014

After riding 5 days out of 6 I think I found the young blokes limits today. Considering he's done very little riding recently he certainly exceeded my expectations. Ah, to be 18 again!

After a couple of passes around The Dipper, and a run down The Challenge that was blocked off during logging earlier in the week, and The Roadside Challenge it was enough. Time to head back for dinner.

He was still smiling though. His verdict on the week: "tough but fun" and keen to come back. "Dad, can you buy me a Cannondale Trigger? Eye-wink "

amarkie's picture

Sounds like you had an awesome trip, after reading about your plan many months ago I found myself evaluating each trail based on if I thought my young bloke would be up to it. I hope to be able to take him to the Redwoods when hes finished the HSC.

I had an amazing time only 2 weeks before you went over. 7/9 days riding and something like 140km later I decided to finish the trip with one almighty last day.

This is every trail I rode on my last day.

hawkeye's picture

That brought back memories Smiling ... and made me regret giving Eagle v Shark the miss. Sad

What did you do to stop camera shake with your chest mount? My footage was chest mount largely unusable, despite pulling it as tight as possible. Ended up putting it on the bars. Maybe I need to put on more weight. Eye-wink

Here's a cut of Corners from top to bottom from Josh's bike:

I think we ended up doing something like 160km plus over the 5 days of riding, although a bit of that was shopping trips into town on the flat.

amarkie's picture

It's pretty easy to rack up the kms thats for sure. I hadn't done much riding in the lead up due to a broken thumb so it took me a few days to get my exhaustion tolerance back up Smiling The last day was epic tho - so much riding !!

Eagle vs Shark was a mix of the Hucks and Corners. Much faster and steeper than Corners, It's a fairly significant step up IMO. I didn't enjoy it first time but it grew on me. As mentioned the options for climbing back can be TORTUROUS - more info here -

Re chest strap, it needs to be so tight that its uncomfortable. If you've got man boobs like me then go even tighter because those puppies are not creating a stable platform. I have to release the tension at the end of every ride or I get pretty sore.

Make sure its on your chest and not your stomach. It really wants to be high up on your sternum, but just low enough that your not touching it with your chin or importantly the helmet strap (or you will have a god aweful clicking noise all the way through the video - happens far too frequently to me). So in order for it to be high your shoulder straps have to be short and tight too.

Helmet gives you the most stable shot but the downside for me is that I get a headache from having the helmet so tight.

hawkeye's picture

Interesting. I have mine as tight as it will go, but I'm a bit of a beanpole, so the tension isn't as high. It might be too low on my chest. It does get knocked a lot when i chest the saddle, so maybe I should take the hint. Will try lifting it up and see if it improves things.

Know what you mean about the helmet. I can't get mine tight enough to stop the movement and on the rutty stuff the front of the helmet occasionally dips down far enough to obscure vision. Not good.

By the time both of us got to the bottom of Corners our lower backs were pretty sore. The second time was much faster, but my hands were just starting to twinge with cramps when we hit the bottom, so twice was enough. Haven't had that happen for years! Smiling

amarkie's picture

Yep I am close to full tightness, if you want to stop the jiggle then I think you will need to cut the straps. Most of the footage in my videos is when Im standing. When Im pedaling the gut makes the camera move too much.

In the intro to Return to Rotorua there are a couple of shots of me pedaling on fire trails the camera looks like it's on a boat, even on Hill Rd which is almost dead flat.

To get descent footage on the XC trails I had to use my helmet, and if it's a smooth trail I can get away with having it a bit looser. I switch locations of the camera based on the riding.

CORNERS - We just don't have trails like that anywhere near the Northern Beaches. Hell your video is a 15min descent. That's the equivalent of Stromlo's Luge running from the top of the mountain to the bottom. My first runs on Corners just about killed me, I didn't get half way down the top section without having a break. Two runs and I was shattered! It gets easier when you know whats coming I can assure you of that. I smashed my PR accidentally in the twilight, I couldn't see the trail very well so I just rode super smooth and committed .. it was an interesting learning experience.

hawkeye's picture

No way I'd attempt that in poor light. If you ran off the edge of the track they wouldn't find you until the next afternoon when the shuttle started up again.

After your comments on Corners I don't feel like such a wuss. Smiling

amarkie's picture

You got me thinking about that run Corners and the (85%) anally retentive part of me couldn't let it go.

So firstly, I was actually pretty scared. It was the last shuttle of the night, on a Thursday night shuttle, so around 7:40pm. I wanted to get away quickly because the light was dimming. However just as I was about to head off these guys who were setting off down Eagle vs Shark (bloody hell, I entertained the thought of going with them) asked if I had an allen key. Of course all that stuff is at the bottom of my pack, inside a pencil case. So by the time he'd done his work and I'd packed up I looked up to find no one was there, including the bastard who just borrowed my tools !!

I was literally standing at the top of the shuttle drop off with no one around me, the majority of riders probably close to approaching the end of Billy T and knowing that the 2 loons who went down EvS were about a minute or 2 ahead of me.

I wasn't too happy about that, so I gave myself a pretty stern talking too about riding focused and in control.

The other thing in my favour was that I had ridden corners a number of times, in fact .. and this is where the anally retentive part comes in, because I counted how many times I've ridden each trail in the Redwoods (I have a problem) ... this was my 8th ride, which is possibly more than I've ridden OMV Blue Descent in the last 12 months, and definitely more than I've ridden the Dam.

So Yeah I wasn't pleased about the predicament I found myself in but there was no way I was riding down the road like a wuss, so I just focused on being smooth, braking early, having my elbows in the right place, looking through the corners, and funnily enough smiling. I always ride better when I'm smiling.

When I came off the end and up the braking ramp I let out a sigh of relief I can assure you. Then tore arse down Hill Rd and then all the way back to the Waipa Carpark. It was dark by the time I got in the car.

Watching the video back the other day showed me that the PR wasn't a lie I rode really smoothly, so it was very encouraging to have got myself through that situation so well. (13:41 + 20sec break at Hill Rd)

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