CRANKWORX: Day Four, There's a Gnome in the Garden

Yes well thank God that's all over. Now it's time to get back into riding for fun. But what the hell is that drumming noise on the roof. Yes it's Typhoon Crackworx. I bet all the racers from yesterday are quite enjoying the fact that any bravado plans they made about shredding in the forest before Sufferfest took it's toll are now automatically shelved for bacon and eggs and a wee snooze on the sofa.

Post race day view from my bedroom: pissing down on Happy Feet, my local trail off the balcony.

Me...I'm a little pissed. Angry I mean, not drunk. I now wish I had pushed my body for 3 hours more than is ever expected and can share in the tremor inducing #smacktalkwiththepros and wear a chainring gouged shin tattoo  limping around with pride. To make up for my previous days softness I just want to get out there and ride and ride hard and get back in the the A-team, whoever/wherever that may be today. There is cool shit going down everywhere. Rides with mates, pros, industry magnates, girlfriends, possibly a grandma or two even. But the depression of heavy rain and post EWS tyre ruts makes me don my street clothes and head into town to find any action I can at the mall.

In case someone actually pays attention to what I write, I got my days confused and todays itinery posted yesterday is actually tomorrows (clear as mud?)

There had been a plan to dig a new trail in the forest and ride with the Specialized NZ boys who I had befriended at a Specialized Dig Day at my local trails. They turned up with tools, beer, food and bikes and a group of willing volunteers to build trails in my 'hood. Well, that wasn't to be but being the top blokes they are , Jeff and I got invited to lunch to talk trail advocacy and a bit more #smacktalkwiththepros with Jared Graves, Curtis Keene our own Keegan Wright and the rest of the Specialized contingent. 

Even if you don't know a pro rider from a pavlova, they are easy to spot... a steely glint in the eyes from behind a mask of dominance. Curtis and Jared (centre and to the left) would have been gunslingers in another era.

I wonder where Keegan (right) would be if he had never picked up a bike? Possibly getting chased through the mall on his skateboard after tagging the courthouse. I would never let Keegan know this, but even for one so young and cheeky, he is a hero of mine having overcome physical hurdles to get on top of his game. Respect. James Elvery, marketing guru from SBC on the left. 

Dig Days and beer, this time from Vegas beer brewers Croucher and Co. 

No comment needed.

We left the boys to continue their training and popped around the corner to see Rob Smail, Mike Metz and Jono Church from the best little bike shop in town so Jeff could hand over more money in pursuit of his sport. The lads here do a fine job of keeping your bike running and are agents for servicing your Fox Suspension products, as well as some of the best #smacktalk regarding what products to run and how to ride them.

Jeff tells his EWS getting 4th tale again while I reminisce the joy of dry underwear ( damn, I should have raced...this battle will play out in my head until next year goddammit). Jeff, Rob, Jono and Annika ( a riding skills instructor, also another girl who can kick my glad I didn't race.)

After that fine catch up, we then head home for food via Wide Open Distributors..purveyors of fine bicycling fruit like Intense, Enve, POC, ODI, FSA, Absolute Black, Chris King, MRP, Stans, Marshguard etc etc God these boys just sell the good stuff. Like a kid in a lolly shop I was. I try and fool sales guru Kris Grom into handing over the new Intense Tracer for an elongated test/review but he didn't get to the top of the sales chain by being a pushover so eventually I get thrown out and call it a day. Early night...Result.

"Hey Grom, have you lost weight? You're looking ripped mate! Matt (his boss) told me to swing by and take the Tracer for a couple of days" (This generally works well but Kris is smart...he even finished school)

A hot bath under the now clear skies. Not sure what's wrong with us but we're drinking fermented tea. photo :Joseph Carter

A hot bath under the now clear skies. Not sure what's wrong with us but we're drinking fermented tea. photo :Joseph Carter

I've been in worse places. Not only is Jeffs' son Joseph a top up and coming cameraman but he's studying street performing as well.

TOMORROW: This time we ride with the SBC (Specialized) team and then video madness with Brett Tippie.