Leif, Mark and I headed to Nelson for a long weekend last Friday night. Our timing couldn't have been better as Ian Goldschmidt (the Coppermine race organiser and all round fit beast) had organised a chopper ride off Dun Mountain as part of his wife Sarah's 40th birthday.
Now if you haven't been to Nelson recently let me tell you that it is inundated with very fine singletrack that all seems to start after long, soul destroying fire road climbs. Coming from Wellington I wasn't quite prepared for the windless unrelenting ascents and after riding Dun Mountain, 629, Kaka Hill, Supplejack, Rimu, R and R and something with Wiggle in the title I was pretty much spent. Luckily Nelson also offers some of the best apres-bike beer and fish'n'chips at the Sprig and Fern.
Since I last visited there has been a truckload of building taking place. Simon Bannister who helped build and reopen Peaking Ridge has been working on 629, a new trail that starts at 629m and drops down to the Matai River. It's an amazing trail littered with technical challenges, steep switchbacks, jumps and log rides.
We had two action packed days in Nelson but we still had one ride to go before our 6pm ferry and that was the now infamous Whites Bay. Whites Bay definitely lived up to its reputation and in hindsight we probably should have left Nelson earlier so we could have squeezed in two Whites Bay loops.
Thanks to Chris and Bob for having us and all the Nelson crew for being so dam friendly and hospitable. And a massive shoutout to Styli for the life saving pads and dropout (I would have been screwed without them).