Sunday, January 27, 2013

South Island Trip

So we're now back in Rotorua after a great 2.5 week trip to the South Island. It was such an amazing opportunity to see all of New Zealand and ride in so many new places. Here are some pictures of my trip for your enjoyment, (some are cell pics so I apologize for poor quality).
After our race at Bluff we headed to Dunedin for a few days. The trails just outside the city were super fun and flowy and we had a great group ride with some of the locals. 
Road ride to Port Chalmers

From Dunedin we made the 4 hr drive to Glenorchy on lake Wakatipu to do some of the beautiful rides around Queenstown.
View of Lake Wakatipu from Glenorchy

"Muddy Creek" was pretty dry

Rees River
Our Chef

Homemade spagetti and meatballs
NZXC team bonding golf
View from the top of Skippers

Water levels were a bit high in Queenstown
We made a short stop in Craigieburn on our way to Nelson to do an epic ride up around the Craigieburn Ski Field. This was definitely my favourite ride of the trip and one of the best rides I have ever done. After riding up to the ski field, the trail traversed the side of the mountain, crossing some loose, sketchy rock slides. There was also the added excitement that if you rode a little too far to the left, you would fall off a cliff. The weather was also kind to us and after 4 hours on the bike, we made it home 5 minutes before the hail and rain.

Craigieburn Forest Park
Ski Field in January
Ski Field in July?
Traversing the mountain
Just beat the hail
 We spent the last few days of our trip in Nelson for the Top Gun race. It was a great course, but once again I didn't exactly have my race legs and finished up in 3rd. (At least the beach was nice) The 8 hour drive back to Rotorua wasn't so bad, with the 3 hr ferry ride to break things up, and some nice scenery in the North Island.

Nelson's beautiful beach

Ferry back to the North Island

Mt  Doom (Or Tongariro)

Mt Ruapehu

 The weather in Rotorua has been perfect, with everyday being at least 25 degrees and not a drop of rain. Couldn't ask for better training conditions!








Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Video of Dipper Trail

Here's a short video of a bit of Dipper trail in Rotorua

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bluff NZ Cup and NZ so far...

I know it's been a little while so here is an update of the goings-on in New Zealand.

I've had a few weeks of great training around Rotorua and I'm learning to find my way around the forest pretty well now. It has been over 20 degrees most days and I've only had to pull out the arm warmers a couple of times (and I'm not complaining). I got to spend a warm, sunny Christmas with the Peters family and compete in their Christmas tournament, playing some intense croquet and petanque. Our team finished a strong 3rd out of 4 and I learned I'm no good at croquet.

Some Redwoods near Rotorua

My own NZ stocking, thank you Heather :)
Showing everyone how to petanque
For New Years we went to Mount Maunganui on the north coast, and spent some quality time on the beach. It was by far the warmest New Years I can remember and definitely the only one that I've gotten a sunburn.
New Years moon
Top of Mt Maunganui

On Friday we flew down to the South Island to race the first NZ Cup in Bluff. The race course took us up Bluff hill on a long, gradual climb and then back to the bottom on a rocky, bermy trail. I didn't have a great race but ended up rounding off the podium in elite women. It's nice to have the first race of the season under my belt and I'm hoping to have a better race in Nelson in a couple weeks.
Top of Bluff Hill, at the bottom of NZ
Velodrome in Invercargill
For the next couple weeks I'll be travelling with the NZXC team around the South Island, visiting new places and riding lots of new trails!