So relieved and so excited to wake to blue skies. The deck outside my room is still wet from last nights rain but anyone who knows Rotorua knows that the trail surface will be near perfect by lunchtime. Jeff and I head into the forest for first shuttle bus and bust some laps down Corridor and Eastern Spice as well as a couple of rad singletracks that must have had the signs down. Jeff gives me a few lessons on running the phone app for his ShockWiz that I have fitted to my Pike and I push my Hightower to the limits while my body tries to hang on. Riding with Jeff Carter on his home trails means riding pretty damn fast and we leave the forest for Crankworx energised and I'm back on my game.
First stop is the media tent for food, RedBull and the latest gossip. The whole event schedule has been turned on it's head and there are a few frantic faces which only serve to stress me out so I head off to the Sram tent to get on the SWAG wagon. The Worralls team are always stoked to see me and after giving me the bird and trying to lock the door, I find the back way in and pounce on the unsuspecting new boy Logan and demand he fixes my brakes. You might think that being polite and asking for stuff nicely would work but NZ distributors and their staff are highly trained in customer services and fortunately for us consumers, the customer is always right and if you shout at them loud enough you always get your way. Go on...try it out yourself (I'm going to get in so much trouble now). So Logan freaks out and fits new brakes to the Hightower in seven minutes flat... He has a great future.
Jeff has gone off to get some action shots while I watch the Pumptrack Challenge heats and move about looking for more SWAG. The tents are seeing lots of action, the crowds are piling in and the racing starts getting really intense as Keegan Wright and Caroline Buchanan are riding hard and seem to be unbeatable, and smash out each run with style to take the top spots to loud cheers from the crowd.
With the racing action over for the day we head into town and meet up with Emma, Southstar Shuttles newest driver, and cruise the food market for dinner before we head a block south to settle in for the three way joust for top spot in the Deep Summer photo challenge where three photograhers show a series of photographs that they have taken with their own group of riders following a list of guidelines from the organisers. Mad Dog boris takes top honours.
Then off to the final event... A pre release of a new bike movie starring Josh Bryceland and a band of misfits travelling the good ol' US of A with a quick foray into Canada, to keep the spirit of Stevie "Chainsaw" Smith alive.
Then a couple of beers and a bit of pro spotting before the drive home to rest up before starting it all over again tomorrow.
TOMORROW: We take a break from CW to ride with old friends then back at the coalface for more bikes, big jumps and party action.