CRANKWORX: Day Eight, Whipped into a Frenzy

Another cracker day awaits us. Jeff and I take some time out to catch up with our old mates from our #denvertoLA trip last year. Jeff whips up a cooked breakfast then we head into the forest to relive old times and show some of the lads a few trails they haven't ridden yet.

The A-team. Simon, Stefan, Tim, therodfather, James and Jeff (Jeff is trying to sort out his buses again...who'd own a shuttle business? so stressful) photo: Kevin (I can't go to America, I have to fix up the house) Stanbra.

The A-team. Simon, Stefan, Tim, therodfather, James and Jeff (Jeff is trying to sort out his buses again...who'd own a shuttle business? so stressful) photo: Kevin (I can't go to America, I have to fix up the house) Stanbra.

I'm struggling a bit today (most days lately actually) and I sit at the back most of the morning wishing I trained smarter, drank less, and was 20 years younger) Simon in the mist heading up to the top of Tumeke.

I'm struggling a bit today (most days lately actually) and I sit at the back most of the morning wishing I trained smarter, drank less, and was 20 years younger) Simon in the mist heading up to the top of Tumeke.

Tim dropping in off a bank somewhere in Tumeke.

Tim dropping in off a bank somewhere in Tumeke.

Simon slipping his way through the right hander after the Tumeke chute.

Simon slipping his way through the right hander after the Tumeke chute.

Stefan was recovering from a cold so his hanky hat was in the wash. Tumeke.

Stefan was recovering from a cold so his hanky hat was in the wash. Tumeke.

Some of these lads ride their bikes as often as I do a full days work ,yet they all smashed their first ever ride down Tumeke ...and it was damp and slippery.

Some of these lads ride their bikes as often as I do a full days work ,yet they all smashed their first ever ride down Tumeke ...and it was damp and slippery.

James is actually the most un-trendy rider I know (not Mike as I previously stated in day 3). A helmet he found hanging in the garage in 2006, one of his kids drink bottles, a t-shirt with bikes on it to impress therodfather and he knows his bike is a Giant and that's about it. He must lead a pretty stress free life. And he can out ride me on any hill.... Bastard.  

James is actually the most un-trendy rider I know (not Mike as I previously stated in day 3). A helmet he found hanging in the garage in 2006, one of his kids drink bottles, a t-shirt with bikes on it to impress therodfather and he knows his bike is a Giant and that's about it. He must lead a pretty stress free life. And he can out ride me on any hill.... Bastard.  

Like on our trip to the States, the boys surprise me with their lack of riding time versus their ability to make me feel like it's about time I quit riding and take up lawn bowls. For such varying degrees of skill and experience, we all stick together pretty well and I'm reminded that cycling can be just about hanging with mates (As long as they don't arse about on the trail...ride it or run it, don't just stand there picking your nose.... that's my motto...)

Were you aware that there had been a spot of rain over the last few days? This kid was doing multiple runs through this puddle while I was trying to daintily circumnavigate it. He was having way more fun than me.

Were you aware that there had been a spot of rain over the last few days? This kid was doing multiple runs through this puddle while I was trying to daintily circumnavigate it. He was having way more fun than me.

The simple life of being a kid with a bike and a plank of wood. This is one of the twins Jake or Theo from Queenstown who made fame recently hucking jumps at Gorge Road.

The simple life of being a kid with a bike and a plank of wood. This is one of the twins Jake or Theo from Queenstown who made fame recently hucking jumps at Gorge Road.

After a healthy three hours of riding it's back to the Waipa carpark for lunch in the sun before the lads head off to their respective jobs/duties. Jeff and I head back in to Crankworx to catch the Speed and Style followed closely by the Whip Offs. So excited...things are heating up, it's looking like dry tracks and a perfect weekend.

A quick stop at the Canyon tent to drool over this sexy Spectral.

A quick stop at the Canyon tent to drool over this sexy Spectral.

Then to the Wide Open tent for more drooling, this time the new Intense Tracer.

Then to the Wide Open tent for more drooling, this time the new Intense Tracer.

I wander through the tents once more looking for SWAG but everyone is too busy to sponsor therodfather so I get up to the Mons Speed and Style course to see whats up.

Then I go looking for those bastard Pinkbike seat snatchers (see Day Five)

Then I go looking for those bastard Pinkbike seat snatchers (see Day Five)

Lucky for Pinkbike I get sidetracked by a VIP party at the Mons Royale tent. Beer and trackside action. I love Crankworx.

Lucky for Pinkbike I get sidetracked by a VIP party at the Mons Royale tent. Beer and trackside action. I love Crankworx.

Half a can of Heinekin and I'm ready to fight so head back to the Pinkbike tent. I spy the Mayor of New Plymouth Neil Holdom, an avid mountainbiker, and  don't want to get embroiled in a political stoush and end up on the 6 o'clock news so I save the fisticuffs for a later date.

Half a can of Heinekin and I'm ready to fight so head back to the Pinkbike tent. I spy the Mayor of New Plymouth Neil Holdom, an avid mountainbiker, and  don't want to get embroiled in a political stoush and end up on the 6 o'clock news so I save the fisticuffs for a later date.

I'm exhausted from all this work already so I head to the Sram tent and take a break in Brandon Semenuks spare seat hoping he'll pop over for a chat.....  photo: Wombat.

I'm exhausted from all this work already so I head to the Sram tent and take a break in Brandon Semenuks spare seat hoping he'll pop over for a chat.....  photo: Wombat.

Teva from Worralls fooling around with Tippie. Very unprofessional...this media game is a serious business and we don't need larakins giving it a bad name.

Teva from Worralls fooling around with Tippie. Very unprofessional...this media game is a serious business and we don't need larakins giving it a bad name.

I get serious and head back to the Mons Royale Speed and Style event. It's great to be able to get right onto the track.

I get serious and head back to the Mons Royale Speed and Style event. It's great to be able to get right onto the track.

It was very easy for everyone to get real close to real action. photo: Jeff Carter

It was very easy for everyone to get real close to real action. photo: Jeff Carter

Fricken RAD. Go fast or style it up? First world problems right there.

Fricken RAD. Go fast or style it up? First world problems right there.

I can't even stretch this far on the carpet. photo: Jeff carter

I can't even stretch this far on the carpet. photo: Jeff carter

Snapping out of the berm and into the first big jump feature. I was so excited I forgot to keep tabs on who was who and I stuffed up the rest of my journalistic plan to name the riders... sorry.

Snapping out of the berm and into the first big jump feature. I was so excited I forgot to keep tabs on who was who and I stuffed up the rest of my journalistic plan to name the riders... sorry.

It was selfie and autograph heaven for the kids. My #2 photographer Joseph Carter getting the goods with Jakub Vencal, the Speed and Style winner.  photo: Jeff carter

It was selfie and autograph heaven for the kids. My #2 photographer Joseph Carter getting the goods with Jakub Vencal, the Speed and Style winner.  photo: Jeff carter

As the sun set the crowd regrouped and grew larger as normal working folk arrived from their weekly grind and settled in for the Whip Offs over the biggest mound of dirt I have ever seen. The riders filed up the hill on mass and wowed the crowd with massive air, whipping trains 50 riders long and two up at a time whip fests. I scrambled up the the side of the jump to sprawl out in the dirt with real photographers and nearly wet my pants as rider after rider flew over our heads and I constantly had to remind myself to take heaps of pics.

Then into the real action of the Whip Offs. The ramp step down was huge and so was the mound of dirt the riders had to clear.

Then into the real action of the Whip Offs. The ramp step down was huge and so was the mound of dirt the riders had to clear.

The last time I got that high was 1981 at the back of the bike shed at college.

The last time I got that high was 1981 at the back of the bike shed at college.

Riders heading up the hill on mass for the gravy train.

Riders heading up the hill on mass for the gravy train.

You needed to see the ramp up close to get a real feeling of the scale of it all.

You needed to see the ramp up close to get a real feeling of the scale of it all.

The highlight of my week was hanging on the jump with the whipoffs unfolding right over my head. Now...where are those Pinkbike shuttle theives?

The highlight of my week was hanging on the jump with the whipoffs unfolding right over my head. Now...where are those Pinkbike shuttle theives?

Holy Crap..that's some seriuos height right there.

Holy Crap..that's some seriuos height right there.

Meanwhile Jeff was getting the goods from the crowds perspective. photo: Jeff Carter

Meanwhile Jeff was getting the goods from the crowds perspective. photo: Jeff Carter

Some serious pro photography/video action going on right there.

Some serious pro photography/video action going on right there.

I can't quite fathom the ball size needed to hit this jump line with another rider right next to you.

I can't quite fathom the ball size needed to hit this jump line with another rider right next to you.

Sven Martin trying to get his pole out.

Sven Martin trying to get his pole out.

We salute you. Cam McCaul reaching for the action shot.

We salute you. Cam McCaul reaching for the action shot.

The step down didn't look too bad from this angle but try saying that standing on the lip. photo: Jeff Carter.

The step down didn't look too bad from this angle but try saying that standing on the lip. photo: Jeff Carter.

Sven Martin finally gets his pole out.

Sven Martin finally gets his pole out.

I've never had so much fun and kept asking myself..could I hit a step down and jump that big?...never mind trying a whip in the middle of it all? Hopefully I'll never have to find out. After the riders had run multiple whips and the judges announced the winners Reed Boggs and Casey Brown, everyone filed off to get stuck in exiting traffic while those in the Mons Royale circle of friends headed into their tent for vodka shots and beer and I hear, a bit of frivolity... I was shattered and took off afater a few catch ups for a great nights sleep and dreams of making it big in 2018...well, just getting through it unscathed to be honest.

With that all over it was into the Mons Royale tent for vodka shots and more beer. Thanks Mons... you've been good to me today.

With that all over it was into the Mons Royale tent for vodka shots and more beer. Thanks Mons... you've been good to me today.

I left before it got rowdy. Sun and then alcohol...always a winner.

I left before it got rowdy. Sun and then alcohol...always a winner.

TOMORROW:  Slopestyle gets bumped forward and the weekend starts Crankworxing