Saturday, July 25, 2009

Adventurer Al's latest epic...

These spectacular vistas can be found in the South Island's Dobson Valley

Ventana owner and intrepid adventurer Alistair Brown has just sent in these pictures of Dobson Valley, the latest mission in a series aboard his El Rey.
He reports his big wheeled machine is still charging some 2-years since its maiden ride. The big wheels and plush suspension chew through the miles on multi day epics with ease.
I would say keep your eyes peeled for Al, but the fact is he'll probably be out in the middle of Nowhere (or Erewhon?) exploring remote parts of our country in a way that puts riding on local trails to shame.

Mountain Pedaler out...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bikeasaurus Lives!

NZ's newest Ventana aficionado, Jeff has just this week taken delivery of a slick Ventana X-5, specced to fill the difficult bike category (thrashed by marketers) of an 'ultimate-all-mountain-freeride-trail-racing-everyday-machine'!
The melange of categories comes as no surprise given Jeff's unique riding style, and the personalised build fits his multifaceted choice of disciplines like a Troy Lee.

After a bad experience with a bike from a certain dale of medieval artillery, Jeff sought to hang only the nicest parts of the Grinch Green canvas, the result being a who's who of bike bling oozing performance and style.

Highlights include hot-off-the-boat brown Chris King ISO hubs on No tube flows, Fox Talas 36 RC2s, a King sotto voce headset, Thomson seatpost and stem and the crown jewel, a set of Hope Tech M4 brakes.
The attention to detail on this later item is amazing, and due credit must go to the slave CNC robots that whittled the block of billet alloy into the masterpiece of hydraulic control that adorns Jeff's bike.

Jeff is fortunate enough to be leaving the soggy NZ climes for British Columbia, Canada, where the technical riding is sure to blow his mind. Whether stage racing or shredding the nuggety trails of the North Shore, Jeff's new Ventana should see him climb and descend in both comfort and style.

Mountain Pedaler out...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Give it heaps for the Heaphy!

Nydia Bay. If the Heaphy is even half as epic it is well worth fighting for!

The Heaphy track in North-West Nelson has long been forbidden fruit for New Zealand's mountainbikers, with a bushell of premium singletrack off limits due to the tracks location within the Kahurangi National Park.

The track begins near Rockville in Golden Bay and traverses some of this country's most picturesque and ecologically diverse areas, largely due to the geological buffet that forms the park's ridges and valleys. After 80km of bliss the tracks ends in Karamea. Riders of the older school were allowed access before the status of the park was changed, and recall memories of riding the track with a twinkle in their eyes.

T-Dog on the Nydia. This could be you on the Heaphy!

Given this, it is no surprise that mountainbike access to the Heaphy has been the subject of much campaigning to the Department of Conservation (DOC). A decade or so of concerted effort is finally bearing fruit, with a revised draft plan allowing seasonal access between May and October now out for comment.

In stark contrast to earlier interactions with government departments, DOC have made the process as easy as pie!
What better way is there to exercise your democratic right than voicing your support for the changes to the management plan. The plan itself can be found here, with an easy online submission form and guidelines for voicing your views provided. Section 4.1.A (Page 76) is of concern to mountain bikers with details of the proposed access arrangements provided. The deadline is the 4th of September, so be sure to put a submission through before then.

So give it heaps, and we could all soon be riding the singletrack jem that is the Heaphy!

Mountain Pedaler out...