Race Report: DME

January 29, 2013

This weekend was our first mountain bike race in New Zealand. And what a way to kick off the “season”!

The DME was the first annual memorial enduro put on by NZ Trail Solutions. James Dodds was a local mountain bike legend who was killed in a hunting accident last September. Judging by the turn out of locals and friends at the race, he was a very well loved man.

NZ Trail Solutions are a group of guys who are paid to build mountain bike trails. This is where it gets weird though… The land that NZTS builds on is private land owned by an American millionaire (or billionaire… the jurys’ out). This American guy pays a bunch of guys to just build and maintain MTB trails on his land here in New Zealand, just so they are epic for his enjoyment whenever he decides to chopper in. Which is about twice a year. Oh, and he owns land with such trails and paid trail builders in several other countries as well, including Chile, Canada, and Jamaica. How bizarre is that?
Anyways, NZTS obviously got permission from the Rich American (top 1% anyone?), and they were able to hold this super cool race in Dodzy’s memory. There were 200 entry spots, and due to Scott having a friend who insisted that he go to this race, we signed up quickly before the spots sold out.
Scott’s Ibis soaking up the rays….

The weekend format was different from any other enduro or any race, really, that I’ve ever been a part of. Due to the fact that the trails are private, and are absolutely phenomenal in construction and quality, Saturday was more of a shuttle day than a practice day. Racers were shuttled to the top of the mountain and then split in to groups divided by what they would like to experience (basically grade 3, grade 4, or grade 5 trails). The groups each had an expert guide that then led them down 2400 ft. of stunning mountain bike track.

I got to experience all levels, although grade 5 put me on my feet and had me running a bit. Unfortunately the activity was way too intense to consider bringing the Canon, so I don’t have decent photos. However, Caleb Smith of Spoke Magazine took this incredible shot of Scott.
Credit: Caleb Smith/Spoke Magazine
On Saturday night, there was a pre-race party at Deville Cafe & Bar in Nelson. This was a super rad indoor/outdoor venue that had a decent beer selection, and looked to make a mean flat white. I enjoyed the patio area, and plan on returning soon.
Sunday was race day. And as I mentioned, this was the funniest race I had been to. No one in our group had really pre-ridden the course. Scott & I had both seen about 1/3 of the track. But everyone at the event seemed to agree they were there for the riding, not for the race. Many people even said they wished it was just 2 shuttle days instead of 1 shuttle day and 1 race day. Anyhow, as you may guess, barely any pre-riding equalled some pretty meager race results.
Actually, I thought Scott’s were pretty decent (he got 40th overall, 13th in his class) considering he was up there with a handful of world famous downhill racers, and tons of NZTS trail builders who know the trails inside and out. My results though… haha. Ha. Let’s just say I’m on a diet and a training program so the next race isn’t so pathetic.
For those of you wondering (mom), our next race is the Craigieburn Enduro in 2 weeks.
Scott getting artsy with his bike.
We stayed an extra day in Nelson this time around, and spent time having moonlit strolls along the river, exploring downtown, checking out the beach, and having good beers!
Moon over Nelson
River running by our hotel (pictured on the far right)
Afternoon view of the ocean from a hillside suburb
Last time we were in Nelson I posted a photo of the Free House. This time, we actually got to enjoy it. Not only does this place have awesome rotating beers on tap (and several of them!), they also allow you to order takeaway and have it brought in. We had Indian food from across the street, whilst thoroughly enjoying a Voyager IPA (delicious and well balanced hoppy IPA) and a Strong Ox (dark and daring, and fantastic).
Good beer deserves a photo
The Free House in the setting sun
On the inside. Yes, you get your beer at the alter. So. Cool.
Once again we were sad to leave Nelson, but enjoyed the scenic drive home along the eastern coast of the south island.
Moon rising over Kaikoura

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2 Comments

  • Reply lolcat February 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    ‘and having good beers’

    And the heavens rejoiced as the angels sang.

    Sincerely,
    Less Concerned Kiwi

    • Reply Kristen Fellers February 20, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      Made me laugh out loud, at work. Awkward.

      The angels sang a bit more brightly for Epic Armageddon than for The Yeastie Boys… regardless, I am enjoying the search for hoppy perfection.

    Come on, you must want to tell me something!