After yesterdays widely unpopular TT training brain explosion, I had to redeem myself by heading back to the dirt for some more NoMADness and, in line with our theme about doing NEW stuff, going to somewhere I hadn’t ridden before in Welly.
This is easier said than done as you can imagine, over the years I have pretty much ridden most if not all of the usual suspects around the region. But, there was a new set up over in Wainuiomata that needed to be investigated. Usually, you would only go to Wainui if you wanted to feel the surging thrill of conducting a drive by shooting at high speed, but my how things change when you throw in some MTB trails! Nothing is better for dealing with snobbery than throwing up a map of new tracks:
Putting aside my Wainui snobbery that had been instilled in me since I was 6 months old, it was time to head over and check out the action. To call it a ‘Bike Park’ is probably overstating it, but there has been a LOT of work going in here to build a tight little trail network in quite a confined space. They have even built a picnic table so you can trick your family into thinking that maybe one day they can come and have a picnic with you… NOT:
Wellos had indeed turned on a once a year stunning day scenario for the Nomadness and I to indulge in, so I got busy getting about our work. Thanks to the advice of Old Skool shredding legend Rod B, I set off to the top to find some good times. To the credit of the trail builders here, they have done an excellent job of making it reasonably pleasant even on a big bike to wind your way up to the top:
After working my way up Jungle Gym and Labyrinth, I came across Towai Traverse, a tricky little fucker that makes you put a little bit of body language, thought and horse power into it to get some goodness out of it… Much like that girl in the office everyone wants to transact on (you know who you are). Eventually I made it to the best viewage spot, on the ridge along the Freewheel trail… TA DA:
It was such an awesome day I almost started to hum that annoying “You can’t beat Wellington on a good day…” jingle that grates my soul. How do you improve such an awesome vista porn photo shoot? Easy, stick a NOMAD in it, especially one with massive cans:
The trail terrain here is a mix of clay, rock and a bit of gravel – Translation: Awesome in summer when dry, but I suspect a screaming slippery cuntox in winter or when its wet, luckily no such issues for the Nomad expedition today, a classic Wainui trail corner, as you’ll note this place has been carved by the loving hands of mucho volunteers… Good on YA maaaaaates:
Freewheel is a good blast and a must do if you venture into the park, second time through I finally got the flow a bit more and its impressive how much effort has gone into building this trail, my pussy cat paws wanted to blister up just looking at it. Time to go on board with the Robot cam for a few shots:
But the BEST shit was to come… As much as I liked Freewheel it wasn’t until I got into the scary shit of the 491 and Spoon hill trails that I started to get an MTB stiffy happening. I did two runs down here and this is probably so far the DH trail of the trip, especially the full spoon hill… STEEP as a day on TP at the top, but with killer ruts hungry for fresh meat:
And then full balls out rough high speed action further down:
This was probably the first time that I felt the re-suspensioned Nomad getting a serious work out and my best tactic was to hold on, not brake and let the bike do the work… Which it did, in a style which would even make George Clooney go “Woah, fuck, that’s class”. These trails were really good downhill action and the type of trail I love, it makes you say ‘fuck’ involuntarily when ridden fast, plus you feel you’re getting a decent return on climbing investment.
Whilst the trails aren’t long, the lay out of the network means that you can get back up to indulge in more DH shredding without too much drama or expenditure of muscle cash, a massive bonus. I therefore hit run after run for about 2 hours before rolling out, massively satisfied and with a feeling that the MTB mojo is finally starting to return.
So – Wainui, great little park, exceedingly well built & loved and good lay out considering the size of the area. You wouldn’t come here every day, but if you’re in the area you’d be weirder than a Justin Bieber party if you didn’t come and check it out. Based on its fun factor alone, I am pushing the Wainui park into #2 spot on the DNST bike park rankings, which now shape up as so:
- Rotorua – Hard to defeat
- Wainui – Small but packs a punch
- Makara – A controversial move pushing it down the rankings no doubt…
- Craters of the Moon – The old classic favouring the XC crowd
- Eskdale MTB park – You made me spend body cash and gave NO happy ending
In other HOT news, I have my Dirty mitts on the DN T Shirt stash and have started to distribute! Well, I have sent two out, but the longest distribution starts with a single T Shirt: