CRANKWORX: Day Five, The Forest Beckons and The Tip Gets His Clothes Off

What a relief to wake to what looks like a glorious day. I'd would have been rapt with any day without actual rain to be honest so I'm pretty pumped as I get the riding outfit on straight out of bed and make plans to meet the Specialized lads again after our abortive attempt yesterday. We need to chat about the upcoming Dig Day they have planned and have some fun as well with a whole lot of their NZ dealers who have made the trip to Rotorua for Crankworx .

Sure it rained last night but volcanic soil means hero soil in any conditions (excepting in the middle of round one of the EWS) 

Fanie Kok the King of Stoke travels the world with Specialized getting people out on the trails with tools as well as bikes.

We meet at the Waipa carpark then ride into the forest to meet the Southstar Shuttles bus they have booked for the morning. The trails are in incredible shape after yesterdays rain and with a lot of whooping and hollering we smash out some laps while discussing the future of trail building in NZ.

A huge Southstar Shuttles bus just for us. I love the first bus of the day...everyone is always super pumped for the speed train down the first chosen trail....

...Even Michelle Melis from Saint Cycles is stoked and doesn't even mention this wee scratch. Hang on Michelle... we haven't even started riding yet?

Mayhem down Corridor. OK there were bits of trail that weren't so hero like.

Gravy train down Eastern Spice. Pretty slick under foot but with a Super Rut from the eWS it was hard pressed to go off line. Young Caleb is pretty handy on a bicycle.

The rock drop on Boulder Dash is pretty damn steep when viewed from the side (and above). It's borderline over the bars if you try and roll it. Caleb again...RAD!

About 12 riders in a train down K2. So much fun. Silt puddles in the hollows kept everyone awake and drifting became the catch phrase of the trail.

Riding blind over the step down some of the young fellas were hucking to flat and just missing the tree at the bottom. Ritchey Goldsbury taking a few pro shots along the way.

French pinner Damien Escalier casually cruising out of the redwoods and back to town for lunch.

Fanie gets in a quick shower at the bike wash.

The team head off into town for lunch and then a bit of work at Crankworx (it's not all play) while I have a quiet lunch at the cafe and wait for Jeff Carter and the Brett Tippie contingent coming into the forest to film for a new video edit coming soon. 

The Tip is running a bit late, so I drop my van over the other side for a speedy getaway to my next appointment and pedal in to meet the Southstar Shuttles landrover at the pickup point. As I hear it chugging up the road I get ready for a quick load up but those bastard journos from Pinkbike have hijacked all the spare slots and they sail past with jeers at my super hero pose trailside in Ritchey Goldsburys' 90's Brett Tippie Rocky Mountain FroRider jersey that I had donned to impress the Tipster. Right...this is war. 

I hang around for the Landy to return but end up getting on the bus with the common folk for a quick run down Corridor as I have to get to my next appointment with my #2 photographer Joseph carter. He's only nine but has an eye for detail, sadly the lure of the Tipster doesn't impress (he's from another era) so I dose him up with lollies and icecream and drop him home and head back into the forest for RAD VIDEO ACTION.


I head out of the forest briefly to collect my photographer Joseph Carter. He's more keen on icecream than snapping Brett tippie so I drop him home and get back to the trails.

Brett "Just The Tip" Tippie is a barrel of laughs and has a barrage of jokes for any occasion. Scoping out a line on K2.

I ride back into the forest to find the team. Thankfully those Pinkbike free riders (see what I did there) are gone and I thumb a lift to to top of K2 to help film the Tip Train down the trail. The next two hours were a blast with three old guys reliving the 90s' when bikes were super expensive and super shit and were only good for hucking off cliffs (we didn't tell Tippie that our balls weren't big enough for that carry on) and as the sun dropped to meet the lake we said goodbye to a great new friend and headed home pumped at the life bikes have given us and promising yet again that we would be doing this and more until the day lawn bowls offers free memberships and craft beer on Fridays.

It's never a normal day with The Tip. you're never sure what's really going on as he is always the joker. At the bottom of K2 he discovers the bee that was stuck under his jersey and having a merry old time with it's stinger.

Jono Drew is Bretts' cameraman for Crankworx. He is a top bloke too. He had his hands full keeping all three Go Pros doing their job. About to drop into Tukonohi.

Brian drove us around the forest in the V8 Landrover supplied by Southstar Shuttles.

Back home to freshen up just in time to catch this amazing sunset.

Yes, we could have stayed home...I mean I have commitments to you guys (and to the media company that I suckered into inviting me to attend), but hey this is Crankworx and sometimes you just gotta party on. So Jeff and I went back to town to meet more famous people and party the night away. (We were back by 9:45 and straight to bed).

Back into town for dinner. Ashley Peters from Joyride and Anka Martin frome RideHouseMartin

Hot meat platter with Ash and Russel Garlick from Trailfund.

Darryl MacFarlane (100%) and ex pro everything Darryn Henderson join us for a bit of banter

Stay tuned for Day whatever it is next...I'm not coping too well with this media extravaganza. I need a haircut and a shave, I can never find my socks and Jeffs' dog keeps jumping on my bed in the middle of the night. I really want to keep you guys up to date, but I'm struggling to stay on top of life and am having too much fun. My excuse to you is that you are either here and are too busy to read my drivel, or you are at home missing out and are constantly bombarded with Crankworx from mainstream media and would probably like a delayed feed from thelatefather when you've calmed down a bit.

I'm trying.... really. I have some banger shots and funny mishaps along with plenty of swag to brag about so stay tuned.... Over but not out.