Lugging bikes around airports and train stations isn't one of life's great pleasures. Having done it way more than I desire, it was a fairly easy decision to leave my steeds in NZ while I took my annual sabbatical to Aussie.
But you just know as soon as you touch down that you'll regret the decision. I've got a good network of friends with bikes here though, so I didn't think it would matter too much. Or would it?
What I didn't expect was that my two main men when it comes to bike quivers, Kedan and Col, would let me down. Col owns some nice gear; S-Works Epic and Tarmac, Enduro SL, Cannondale singlespeed, plus a motley collection of old Giants. Not much good to me while he's plundering singletrack in Canada though. K-Man, well last time I was here I could choose from a Nomad, El Mariachi and Intense 5.5. Not this time. The El Mariachi is long gone, and the Nomad was deemed too heavy and got flicked two days before my arrival, with a new Tracer on its way to fill the gap.
So luckily, K-Man's boss and all-round nice guy Mick at Gateshead Cycles stepped up and loaned me a Demo Mongoose Teocali Super for a ride. I'm still to give it back! Normally I'd be a little averse to riding the M brand, but I must say it's a nice bike to ride. And when your old stomping ground is calling, it doesn't matter if it's a $7000 bling trolley or a more working-class, honest-to-goodness hobby-horse. It's just good to be riding.