The New Zealand Diaries


UK riders Ali Parkin, Joe Flanagan and Matt Ineson are living it up in New Zealand for the off-season, and are sending us frequent updates and random photos from their travels.

New Zealand week one: 3/12/09-10/12/09

Hello and welcome to our New Zealand reports. We arrived in Auckland after a 26 hour flight via L.A. That might sound a long time but with all the in-flight entertainment (massive choice of films, TV programs and video games), it literally flew by. One thing I was really looking forward to was the in-flight meal because when you open upyour meal you know you’re really on your way, not just like at the airport where so much can still go wrong.
So anyway we spent the first 2 nights at Scotts Skyway Lodge which is just between the airport and Auckland City. Its a nice joint with a hot tub and pool and only $30 a night with pickup from airport for an extra $10. One of the first things I noticed was how friendly people are over here, with a bus driver giving us his lunch when we were lost and a guy we met called Les from Taupo who showed us around and bought us all an apple and said we could stay at his farm!
After touring the city sampling all the fast food outlets we started looking for a van, which was not easy. We tried a few backpacker hostels and eventually found Road Trip Campers which is Craig’s new business selling campers to folk who need them. We picked up a beauty, a real stunner, ’89 Toyota Hiace, leather seats, radio, RWD, 6 seater in a rare white colour. So we packed up and hit the road.
First race is coming up on the 12th at Dome Valley, run by www.akdh.co.nz, which is north of Auckland so we headed north! First night we camped on a little hill looking west over the sea which was nice then travelled further north and finally found an amazing campsite at Taupiri Bay run by a guy named Robin. I highly recommend staying here, it is up a cliff looking over a bay with scenic islands, a little hut with a deep drop toilet and really does look like something from a movie set. He also let us borrow his kayaks so we took them out for a bit untill i got overconfident between the rocks and  ‘went over the bars’ onto some nasty rocks and got washed ashore.
 

We hit up some sick beaches and watched some surfing, and Joe and Matt got sunburnt on the first day. We drove up past the bay full of islands, nailed some Hoki and Chips at ‘Vinnies’ in Paiho then headed up to the 90 mile beach to let MAJ (the van) loose. The beach is a public highway so you have people flying by in their cars as people are sunbathing! Crazy.
Thankfully Joe has been taking lots of pictures documenting anything unusual so we have a lot of pics of everything and everyone. Today after some travelling through the past week we finally got our bikes out and built them. Staying near Warkworth we went and built a track, about 6 corners but quite steep so we rode that for a while and took some pics.
It was rad finally riding our bikes and getting all loose.
 
WEEK 2

We had our first race on the weekend at Dome Valley which was a sick track. We walked it on the Friday and it was so hot and sweaty we thought we were in for a hot weekend!
The track looked fun with lots of nice corners and jumps to play on, and the dirt was mostly clay. We woke up on Saturday and it had rained overnight which we, as brits, were stoked about.First runs we just messed about sending some filthy whips and goons just enjoying the track. The uplift was sick as as well; with 6 4x4s with trailers you didn’t have to wait long at all. Saturday afternoon brought rain and everyone packed up and we were wondering what all the fuss was about so went for another run and quickly found out why they had deserted the venue, The track was impossible to ride it was like ice and you couldn’t even walk down it, but it was amazing fun.
We woke up on Sunday and the track was still moist and hard to ride, but it soon cleared up was was riding better than ever. The race was a 2 run format with the best one to count. We didn’t know how to feel or how fast everyone would be. Joe was still in Junior for this race and finished 4th with a pretty solid run. Myself and Matt rode in Open (anyone between 19-29) and after a bad 1st run I ended up 8th, Matt, now in only his 10th month of riding had a good first run and was stoked to finish 10th. It was amint weekend and thanks to all the organisers, akdh, etc.
 
We are now staying at Junior 2Stage rider Bryn Dickerson’s house, which is rad with a dual track in the back yard and some sweet jumps as well. So we rode the dual track until sundown and took some pics. We’re heading down to Queenstown this week to wait for the National series to start. Hopefully we’ll have a video of some jumbled together clips soon, including a cable cam of Bryn’s Yard!

 

 

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