Friday, October 19, 2012

The Trip, Overall Reflections

Been a couple of days now, and I noticed Steve had put a low ranking on his experience so I figured I'd chuck my oar in. 

Reckon this trip had me with the sorest legs I've had off a trip.  I blame 7 mile for that on our first Q.Town riding day, with all those steep little pinches. 

Partying definitely took a backseat this year, due to the tiredness everybody was experiencing, and also perhaps the larger group, the different levels of 'party-ability'.   But that's been sliding for the last few years.

Overall, I enjoyed most of the riding.  I would not agree with the 'consensus' that the Gondola and Zoots were the best.  To me, the Gondola was the least exciting riding of the whole trip.  It is a product.  A totally artificial form of mountainbiking.  Its not even 'downhill' because the trails are all so easy, lowest common denominator, which, it pretty much has to be.  Its potentially a good introduction to a form of mountainbiking.  But really, its just 'Entertainment' in the way Bungy Jumping or Jetboat rides are, which is what you'd expect from Queenstown.  Zoots, however, was fun, and definitely i'd say more interesting than Hammy's or Vertigo. 

But for me, the 'natural' tracks were the best.  The Skippers Packtrack, and the Moonlight - definitely highlights of my trip.  And of course, Sticky Forest - similar in concept to 7mile, but just done so much better and with so much more variety (and area).

Steve asks, will there be a next year?  Why not?  Is the organisation of it all just getting too much?  As a large group, are we now too disparate in our abilities/speeds/interests?  Do we need to break up?  Go our separate ways?  Or can we travel and stay as one group, but splinter off to do different rides?  We pretty much did that this year.  It's the only way it can stay interesting for all involved.  Will there be a next year?  Cant see why not.

I vote for Marlborough.  Wakamarina, Whites Bay, Waikakaho-Cullens, some of Queen Charlotte, Nydia, Wither Hills (if there's nothing better to do).  Thats several days riding right there, all of which I'd like to experience (or indeed, re-experience).  How 'bout it, guys???


far from the real story said...

I think that you purposely (chose) to miss the incredible tracks that were accessible from the gondola. These tracks were fun exciting and not the full on hard core jump and drop tracks as you might imagine. They were very natural as you like, but also the most scenic.

Tracks are -
World cup
below hobbit)

They were however steep and under normal circumstances you would not want to "waste" the altitude in such a way. Here with the gondola to save you from "wasting" the height one could really enjoy a steep fun technical track.

I really loved these as much as the other doc type - carry a bike over parts - tracks that are similarly enjoyable. Its truly a hill of two halves and you have accurately described the half you rode. Its a real shame you chose not to ride the better half.

I don't think that you would have ridden any more or less of the difficult stuff that I did. I walked down a few bits consistently to avoid mishap. But these bits were short and easy to walk past.

To sum up - I agree with your view on the main tracks - but the rest is magic and far from a "product".

The double black diamond parts of the tracks are easily avoided and there are b lines. Its marked to lowest common denominator with the view of warning hard core - just ride - before looking types.

And fair enough to.
But it should not put off other good riders who prefer good natural "real" riding.

I agree completely with your views on next year and logistics etc.

I wonder if perhaps there was a constant but inadvertent pressure put on the slower riders to try and keep up - that perhaps lowered their enjoyment.

If this was the case from their point of view - (personally I enjoy the challenge of trying to keep going - so this did not lower my enjoyment) - then I am sure that it was not intentional and perhaps best addressed by the riders who may have felt that way.

I am disappointed to have missed the moonlight track but really left it all on the hill the day before and this will go into the bank of must do tracks - for the future.

Sticky was a great end to the riding - good blast and fun on very tired legs.

The last track in sticky on the way out was absolute magic for smooth fast flowing and tight in the trees. Just fun.

Trip overall -
Great - loved it.

swtchbckr said...

Very true, i did miss those tracks and i'm sad to have. I wish i'd given The Hobbit, and maybe Ants, a look, as well as a couple of those others. I guess i just assumed they'd be too 'hardcore DH' or steep and difficult.

Was talking to a guy here at work who has ridden in Queenstown a fair bit, and he said the locals hate the fact that what start out as 'secret' tight twisty fun singletracks get 'found' and become wider and wider due to so many people riding them. he was saying that Qtown Gondola had 90,000 rider days last year, vs Whistler that gets 120-130,000... its a major attraction now.