Skiing + Biking = Fantastic Weekend
What a wonderful weekend! We had a fantastic day up the ski field on Saturday, ripping down a hillside on 2 planks makes a fun change from ripping down hillsides on a bike. Weather was wonderful and the snow conditions were good for having some fun. Back to Christchurch for a party that evening and then out to the foothills on Sunday morning for another carry up, ride down mission. I love the accessibility of the mountains from here. Skiing just over an hours drive away, mountain bike tracks 5 minutes from home for during the week, and a bunch of fantastic mountains with trails also about an hours drive away.
Sundays ride involved an hour and a half carry up a hill to get to the top, which then gives you an hour and a half of descending a fantastic piece of single track with flowing sections interspaced with very challenging technical sections! Although there was still snow along the tops, once we dropped off the ridge the track was very dry and in great condition.
I have recently bought myself a second set of wheels for my Turner 5 Spot. My normal trail wheels are a pair of Hope Pro 2 hubs with DT 5.1 rims, and I usually run tubeless Specialized Eskar or Purgatory tyres. There are a number of places down the track where you need to traverse rooty off camber slopes, or where you need to be able to very quickly brake after going off a drop so you can line the next drop up or where you simply need to be able to control your speed through a steep and tight switchback with steps in it. Having ridden down this track a couple of times now I was finding I had a lot less traction doing these moves than my mate Charlie. Then I found out he was running a set of full on super tacky down hill tyres. The wheels I have bought are a pair of Fat Daddy rims and I have put a pair of Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 super tacky double ply tyres on. Compared with my normal trail wheels riding these things on the flat or up a hill feels like you are towing an anchor, but put them downhill on off camber roots and rocks and they just stick!! Today I managed to ride about 4 or 5 challenging sections that I have not ridden previously which put a huge grin on my face! The track was a lot drier than some other times I have ridden it, but the rubber definitely made a big difference!!
Today was another lesson in why it is a good idea to have some zip ties in your bag. I knocked the ratchet off my shoe (Pearl Izumi X-Alp Enduros) on a tree near the top of the track (not impressed). Luckily I was able to thread a couple of zip ties through the screw hole and that held my shoe on my foot. Last time I buy a shoe with ratchets on it for trail riding!!
However even wrecking a pair of shoes that I have only worn trail riding about 10 times could not put a damper on the fantastic weekend I had! Great skiing and great riding with good mates makes me a happy boy!