Its been a while since I got to type that in the subject line! But here we are, on the cusp of the first multi day Bandito bashing since the undocumented Prospector race around 12 months ago. And funnily enough, there’s a correlation between the two.

But first, what the fuck am I talking about? The return to multi day Bandito bunghole frothing is what – The Volcanic Epic! 4 days, around 200km’s and roughly 1,000m of climbing per day of marathon XC fever dreaming and given current state, cramping. Here is this self inflicted weirdness in a picture:

Yes, so the plan was in 2022 to ride the Prospector and then double down on that Bandito base and hit the Volcanic Epic 2 weeks later… But then, of course, Cuntovirus did its thing and vaporised the Volcanic from making its debut in 2022, shifting it out until this year.

Fast forward 12 months to current day antics, where I’m now a faceless, funless corporate work robot, who is also somehow 7kg’s over peak Bandito race weight and I’m left with a couple of options when faced with the decision to either bail on it, or mount up on the Blur and get shanked by skinny elbows. First world XC conundrum options when parked at this cross road appear to be:

  • A) Pull pin on the experience and prepare to be slow roasted in the FOMO oven over the 4 days the event is on?
  • B) Suffer through the experience, riding at a pace that is fuelled by self loathing, too many stomach destroying gels and chased by ghosts of your former fitness glory?
  • C) Fuck that shit off cunt and instead go to Queenstown with the Nomad to have some actual fun“*

*Option C vigorously co-sponsored by The Rodfather and The Creator

While Option C got a lengthy hearing in the last week, ultimately we’ve ended up with Option B getting the nod for a very simply calculation: I’m going to spend that time suffering anyway, so it might as well be on the bike as opposed to in front of a Teams screen (IYKYK). Plus, what’s on the menu trail wise punches a fingertip right in the Blur’s honey hole, so it won’t be all bad:

I will also try something different throughout the week – The hot take race report! Yes, no days of puzzling and grinding on content, I will drop a daily update here regardless of whatever cunted state I find myself in each day.

They will be short on photos, insights or facts, but they will be raw AF and likely to contain all sorts of gruesome horrors – Which, if I know my audience, is what most of you are here for! Plus, much like the long delayed Blur 4 review post, if I don’t do this while I have the time, this caper may never see the dirty light of day.

I suspect ultimately I will need to “Ride slowly” to get through this, which are words that make me want to vomit in my mouth as much as saying “Please, elaborate for me why you’re feeling triggered after I’ve just explained the concept of accountability as nicely as one human being can to another without being condescending“.

Stay tuned – It all kicks off in Rotorua #Vegas on Thursday, Taupo on Friday, Tokoroa Saturday and then back to Vegas for the finale on Sunday. Just to round out the scene setting, what passes as ‘training’ in the current set up was going ok, but naturally fell off a cliff thanks to a combination of work and Cyclone Gabrielle/National Emergency putting a solid dent in best intentions. For those that like data, it would appear I’m heading into this whole Epic scenario with about 10% of the prep and fitness I would usually aim for.

Should be visceral.

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