Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's all over

On Wednesday 20th June at 5:40pm we landed at Invercargill airport, ending our mountain biking adventure. The jetlag is slowly wearing off and we're adapting back to the Southland winter. Still haven't got back on the bike though.

We must thank those that helped out during the trip. First of all Cherie and Wendy for looking after Patrice and Aimee. Without their help Nicki and I wouldn't have been able to get away together and its great to know that the girls were so happy while we were away. I don't know if we should read too much in to this. Secondly we must thank Martin, Fraser and Spook and the rest of the No Fuss team that made our stay in Fort William so enjoyable. Hopefully we get a chance to repay the hospitality next year. Next is Michelle H, our pitcrew, who helped out on race day and then gave us a guided tour across Scotland to Edinburgh only to spend a night on a deflated airbed in her own flat.

Thanks also to those that helped out with gear and support for the trip. Namely Iconic Adventures, the Mataura Licensing Trust, Sport Southland, Cycling Southland, Cycle Surgery, Southland Building Society, Krank Dirtwear, Torpedo7 and Laker House of Travel.

Entries for the Motatapu Icebreaker open up next month and Iconic Adventures are also starting promotion for the First Flight race around Otago Peninsula and of course the 2008 Moonshine Trail race. So its looks like it'll be back on the bike and more training coming up. Should be good.

Thanks for visiting the blogg and keep in touch.


David & Nicki

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sydney - Again


We've just landed in Sydney after flying from Dubai. Just 2 more flights to home and Patrice & Aimee!

Dubai was very hot again, +40 degrees and we were tired after flying overnight from Paris. We caught a hop-on-hop-off bus around Dubai but kept falling asleep on it. Had a great night with the desert safari, got to ride camels, watch a belly dancer and have a play in the sand dunes in a 4wd. Good fun but they wouldn't let me drive.

Paris was great as well but got a bit stressful when it started raining and we couldn't get a taxi to the airport shuttle. We got to the airport an hour late only to be dropped off at the wrong terminal. Caught the plane on time though.

Better go as we board again shortly. See you all soon.

David & Nicki

Friday, June 15, 2007

Last day in London


Today is Friday and its our last day in London we jump on the Eurostar shortly and head across through the chunnel - should be interesting.

Had a full on day yesterday. First was a ride on the London eye which gives you great views of the city and is a pretty neat thing to do. Then I went to the Star Wars exhibition which featured props, costumes and models from all the episodes. Andrew my bro would have loved it. While I was there Nicki was looking at a Dali/Picasso exhibit next door. Next it was on to the Tower of London with a walk around the tower viewing the armouries and the dungeon and then a look at the Crown Jewels. They were pretty amazing, I've never seen so many diamonds and so much gold before and the workmanship and detail on everything is incredible.

After that it was a quick lunch and then on to the shops via the tube. We haven't used the tube much as it is really expensive now - £4 for a single trip and £5 10p for a day card. Anyway we got off at Piccadilly Place, were many have done so before us, and went in to Lillywhites sports shop. If you can imagine 5 stories of Rebel Sports then you'll get an idea of what it is like. We only shopped on the ground floor, big sale on though with 70% off. That was the end of my shopping after that it was clothes and toys. Hamley's toy store is 5 levels of toys with something for everyone. Staff are always giving demos of the latest and newest toys out and trying to get you to buy them. Only problem was they didn't have any Thunderbirds but luckily Captain Scarlet was there. Finally dragged Nicki out at 8:55pm before we walked back to the Penn Club and then got a curry for tea.

Better go, we're catching up with Carol and Frank Wilson shortly and hopefully Monkey will be there too!

Bye, David

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Hi everyone. We've made it to London after a couple of nights in Edinburgh with Michelle H. Great host although she was a little scared about having us there about 11 o'clock last night - we were actually standing in a haunted graveyard waiting for the MacKenzie poltergeist to appear. Fortunately he didn't.

Sorry can't get any photos uploaded at the moment but if you go to link below you'll see some photos of the event. You might even find Nicki & I amongst them

Still warm over here, hope the snow has disappeared in Invers.

Better go get some tea.

See ya soon.

David & Nicki

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Race

Hi all.

Well Saturday was another brilliant fine day in Fort William, the perfect day for a bike ride. We thought the heat might give us an advantage over the locals, some had to retire with heat stroke! There were a few pretty sharp riders in the race, 3 professional riders did the solo race completing 10 or 11 laps, we certainly noticed when they went past. A local team with a couple of guys from Off beat Bikes and their dad won the overall catergory. Nicki and I were pretty stoked with our effort to complete 8 laps (5 for me, 2 for Nicki and a bonus one thrown). The course was a challenge and neither of us got a clean lap in but we had a great time. With and hour and fifteen minutes left before the close off for the last lap Nicki came in thru the transition which mean not a lot of time for me to get around so we could do one last lap. Luckily I got around in 1 hour 14 minutes & 52 seconds, which was 5 minutes quicker than my previous fastest lap. Everyone near the finish was cheering and telling us how much time was left and Nicki was nearly hysterical when she saw me coming down the last hill with 20 seconds to spare. Fortunately I got around the last corner and managed to be the last one in to complete a lap before the bell sounded. The guys from No Fuss Events were as stoked as we were that we got back in time.

So its now Monday evening and we're in Edinburgh. Yesterday we farewelled the guys from Fort William who were great hosts and hopefully we'll see them in NZ soon, flying in by helicopter! Better go as the shop has put the shutters down.

Hope the snow has thawed in Invers! No such problem here, I reckon it hit 30 degrees on part of the race course.

Bye the now.


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Aye Nessie

Hi again,

Yesterday (Wednesday) was our first full day in Fort William. Once again the weather was fantastic all day, sunrise is about 4:20am and sunset is just before 11pm so we get plenty of daylight to play in.

We took the Renault Trafic van for a burst up the road to Fort Augustus. It goes really well the bikes fit in the back plus we get a great view.

Our first stop off was at the commando memorial then on to Fort Augustus were we got the bikes out for a quick pedal. Then we carried on to Urquart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness but no sign of Nessie. From there we went up to Dun... can't say it let alone spell it but its were the Lochness Visitors centre is. We had a look at the shops but the Nessie museum was closed by the time we arrived.

Then it was a quick trip back to catch up with Martin MacDonald and up to Ben Nevis for a bike around the race course. The course was awesome, fearsome and then some. Technically its the hardest riding I've done and same for Nicki. The start is pretty standard with a bit of a bash along a muddy track, then a climb up the forestry road. The course then heads to the man-made tracks which feature loads of single track with rocks, drops, boardwalk, twist and turns like I've never seen before. I could ride just about all of it with a bit of coaching from Martin and Nicki did a great job. The course looks fairly intimating but the bikes we have soak up the rocks and make the downhill easier.

Better get on my bike as my time is running out. Off to ride Netunes Staircase soon. Should be a nice ride.

Bye and love to P & A.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fort William!


We're here in sunny Fort William having survived the 15 hour flight from Sydney to Dubai, Patrice and Aimee wouldn't have enjoyed that one. We had a quick look around Dubai, 41 degrees was a bit of a change though. Went to a mall, the local electronics market (Sony DSC-H2 Piki), had a cruise down the creek which is acutally a pretty big river. James Rooney took us out on the town were we went to one of 2 pubs in the city and then sampled a bit of local cuisine. The locals all thought we were something pretty good to stare at!

The flight to Glasgow left at 7:50am which meant we were up at 4:00am and off to the airport. It took a meare 7 1/2 hours to get to Glasgow whre Martin MacDonald from No Fuss Events pick us up and drove us through to Fort William. Fantastic scenery, its like around Wanaka except the hills are green with lots of streams and waterfalls. Really beautiful with some of the hills/mountains quite intimidating with shear granite rock faces and steep slopes.

We've been given a 9 seater Renault van to cruise around in for a couple of days, not quite the Young Ones on Tour but its a laugh.

Right better go and get our bikes sorted and then its up to Loch Ness for a look and later we're having a ride around the race course. We'll try to get some photos on soon.

Bye for the now.