The best back-country single track in the country. I know this is a BIG CALL, but we got the chance to rediscover the Queen Charlotte track. I think this may be the 3rd time I have had a chance to ride it and I now think that each time I ride it, it just gets better. There is so much to riding the Queen Charlotte that it is a full adventure. There is the organisation (thanks Skoda), food (thanks Ritchey), great single track, amazing views, great lodge’s to stay at. What more could anyone want in a ride? It is no wonder the Kennett Bros. give it the “thumbs up” in their book. We rode it a quite a leisurely pace too, 86km (61km of single track) in 3 days won’t beat any records, but that is the point. It’s defiantly an experience to savour. There is also the opportunity of stop; ride back up the hill you came, to refine your lines.
Day one, Ship Cove to Punga Cove, a nice leisurely ride, except for the steep climb straight out of Ship Cove. It’s a bit of a wake up call after the water taxi ride, it’s also a good time to think about those lighter weight components that your were going to get. Day two, in my opinion, is the best day. It’s about a 30km’s and has lots of climbing, which means lots of descending. The down hill to Torea Saddle is just the best, but it seems to end all too quickly. The temptation was to go and do it again, but with 10k’s to go, the sun going down and one more big climb, it’s best to continue on to Te Mahia. It surprise’s me that some people choose not to do this section; they don’t know what there missing. If there is enough time there is always the James Vogel track.
As you can probably see by the picture, the Vogel’s track is less like a track and more like a collection of tree roots, which can ridden. Well, depending on skill level, I always have a few issues with the Vogel’s track.
Day Three, 11km blast to Anakiwa and 23km road bash to Picton. The Kennett’s rate the final ride to Anakiwa as the best part. It is a very good blast, with the climbs being small and the whole trip being mostly down hill. It is also very popular with trampers, so “control that mountain bike”. The sealed road back to Picton is OK.
By the time you read this, I should be staring at a handful of new Blurs. I have manage to secure 3 Blur LT’s and ONE Blur XC. These frames are basically spoken for. I am working with Santa Cruz to get more new blurs very soon. There has been a BIG demand for these frames and Santa Cruz is trying to keep up. If you require some, please tell me fast.
OK, you can start pre-ordering your Nomads now. Santa Cruz has just confirmed with me that medium powder coated Nomads will start to become available from late July. Then other sizes will be available in August. They will be introduced with only two shock options, the Fox Float R and the new DHX air; the coil version will be available in September. Santa Cruz is working with Fox to customize the DHX coil to the Nomad. I am very sure that this will be a fantastic bike and worth waiting for. So start thinking about your colour chose now. I think ano slate will be the most popular
Hecklers are back in stock! Time to fill your shelves up with these babies. I’ve got them in small, medium and large. Anodised and a couple of powdercoated frames too. All with new shiney fox DHX5.0 coils. Get in quick, these didn’t last long last time.
Thanks again for your support,
Mike Stylianou & Sandra Williams