A Ride With John In Mind

Postby kleinboy on Thu 15/Oct/09 6:00pm

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You've read about in a magazine - here's my take on going riding with this guy:

<div>I'd like to keep this brief; but won't.
They say it's all in the details - and there's a bunch of important stuff here.

Grab a cuppa and settle in.
No names have been changed to protect anyone- they're all real people and more than likely some professional courtesy's and client confidentiality will be breached.
So; I'm at work talking to a guy on the phone about stuff and he says John Tomac was in his shop Imageyesterday, cause his son is racing in the World Junior Motocross Champs the following weekend and he might get to go for a ride with him on the Monday.

Holy Crap I'm thinking - could I wrangle a quick trip to Taupo to go riding with John ?Too right I could.
But after careful consideration it was too rushed and damn expensive.

So I found a way cool picture of John onthe drops from back in the day and emailed it up to my un-named contact and asked if the man could sign it for me instead.
By chance I was talking to the same guy the next week and asked him how the ride went with John.

"Didn't go - he's too busy with his son's MX racing, but he might be going riding on Monday with one of the MTB magazine editors"

Holy Crap I'm thinking - could I wrangle a quick trip to taupo to go riding with JOhn ?Too right I could.

How to stealthfully find out which magazine was riding with John?
Caleb didn't mention it the day before, so emailed Bruce - he said Carl might be onto it.

Carl asked how I knew about it and wasn't thrilled about a million gatecrashers at his party.
After some too-ing and fro-ing and my insistence that I wasn't going to let a ride with John slip through my fingers twice in two weeks, Carl offered me the last seat in the Falcon departing Wellington in two days....

This time, I just looked the other way when I booked my airfares online after asking the boss if I could bunk off for a couple of days - he said it was a mustdo and a good one to tick off the list.
Wifey said go for it (expletives removed)

I sorted a loan bike from Taupo and even better than that I could catch a lift to Queenstown airport with the Boss the next day.
Those of you who know my boss know he is reknowned for his timekeeping.

My flight was at 10.30, his appointment was at 10 - he arrived at 9.05 and it's an hours drive from here.

We got to the airport, (with a ticket along the way) by 9.50.The nice Copper was OKwith posting the ticket as he could see we were in a hurry!

So, Wellington here we come.

Big Brother (mine, not the State) collected me and after forgoing the Friday drinks with Jonty and Oli we went for a great ride around, up, down and along the ridges of Wainuiomata. Image My folks joined us for dinner and luckily we ran out of booze, so hit the hay before things got messy.

<div><div><div><div><div><div><div><div>Just like to point out that it's my brother who has an affectionate relationship with the bottle - not mum and dad.

The early departure turned into a mid afternoon one, introductions were made and off we went; the four guys, with bikes, in a big car loaded fully to the roof and a ride with John in mind.

The towns passed us by, not much to report other than the weather was pretty average through the Desert Road and Taupo looked promising for dinner.
Carl said he couldn't wait till then and how about Turangi ?

"Anyone eaten in Turangi? I think there's the Fish Restaurant behind the gas station, but the service could be slow"

Image

Josh said he'd had a good fish burger at the chippie - thinks it was called the Grand Central Fry....

"Sounds great, take us there Josh"

"It was 9 years ago - might not be there"

A collective "crap" was uttered.

So we turn in, take a right and well blow me down with a feather there it was. GCF.

$6 fish burgers; 4 pieces of fish in each, so freaking big you couldn't close the lid on the box if you tried.

The best fish burger I've ever had, possibly never to be surpassed.

Off to Taupo to collect the bike, then onto Vegas and the Thermal Motor camp and two of your finest little log cabins if you please.

Carl bunked withJosh, I bunked with Warwick who it turns out is a retro MTB grouch just like me.We carried on a like a couple of school girls (not like that Aaron) reminiscing about various races we'd done and the benefits and downfalls of bar ends, drop bars, Onza porcupines and Ringle bottle cages.

Finally we shut up about 1 in the morning and got some kip.

Sunday - hello Sunday, hello rain, but hello Zippys and the cooked breakfast and strong coffee.Image


It was the kind of day that if you were local you'd flag it and watch a re-run of Bathhurst when the Ford Sierras and Godzilla ruled the roost...we didn't have that luxery, so we saddled up, rugged up and hit the trails.Image


I could bore you with a blow by blow account of them all - but lets say A trail, Tickler, Direct, Frontal Labotomy - that's more climbing than I do in a month.

Josh's Pivot and Warwick's Spider weighed maybe 5-6 pounds (each) less than mine and let face it - I suck riding up hills.However, point the Foes FXR down Billy T and I was off like a robbers dog.


It was mighty slippery and adhesion was not a strong point of any of our tires, but who cared ?
Image


ImageOur brakes cared - they wanted to know why we let all the brake pads run down to the metal....oops;

and with Split Enz, Pondy and the Chinese Menu on our dance card, it was looking like a noisey trip home.

We hosed our bikes off, and retired to the showers, walking in fully clothed and rinsed all the filth off everything - shoes, helmets, gloves; the lot.

The Fat Dogcalled for dinner and we met the guys from Tomac bikes who had made the trip from Christchurch.

We were all pretty toasted so didn't drink ourselves into oblivion and besides; Carl would have had a confirmation email from John waiting back at the campground.
Good news awaited. we were on. Image

Monday: Zippys again, then Bike Culture for brake pads which we were all freaking out about - imagine us paying retail for new pads x 6 pair!Mike came to the party and hooked us up, then let us fit them as well. Cheers Mike

Hanging out at the carpark waiting for John to arrive was a jovial affair with much rehersing of our opening lines which mainly consisted of jibberish, followed by more stuttering.

Actually I kept it together and told John he was pretty lucky to be going for a ride with us as it's not something he would get to do every day.

Ben Townley tagged along too - I got to carry his I-phone as he didn't have a pocket (I think he really did, but I can understand his excitement about letting me carry it)
Business first, introductions, discussion of the game plan and off we go to the first of3 photo spots.
Warwick lent John, his wait for it, Tomac signture Oakleys. He was like a schoolgirl.
John popped his carbon signature XC bike up on the back wheel and mono'd down the hill effortlessly - I was suitably impressed. ImageImage
2nd photo spot and John and Ben are egging each other on to hit up a gap jump.....Ben is on an Epic, John has Sids on the front.
It wasn't a problem.
Everyone was impressed.
Even Josh the uber cool xc weenie had his tail wagging by now.

Everyone wanted to ride next to John by now - I got to see the back end of the group - all my mojo got chewed up the day before, but before we turned into Split Enz, Carl said I should slot in next to John and hang onto the master.We ambled along chatting about Bob Roll (go and Google him now if you need to) and John's previous career as a roadie in Europe....then it was a pleasure to watch him carve up the trail like he'd ridden it every other day.

After a little regroup I dropped my camera and that was that; my moment of riding next to John was done and dusted.I thinkit was probably just as well he didn't ride with us the day before as things might have been different - but really I think that's the camomille tea talking.

Back at the carpark John had time to change - yes he was wearing cowboy boots and then he was bombarded with us groupies asking for most everything to be signed.Helmets, t-shirts, jerseys, bikes, cards, you name it.Funnily enough he didn't ask for my signature.
Image
Mike May joined us on the ride with this Yeti....very cool.
And noticed a crack just behind the chainstay - wouldn't that rip your knickers after figuring out how to make a titanium insert that splits so you can mount the belt drive.

Back to zippys for farewells and coffee then it hit the road jack.
GCF was calling and once again it didn't disappoint.

I drove all the way home which ws probably about 250 km's to many, but hey we got there without any tickets or eviction from the pilots seat.
All too soon Monday was there, but luckily big brother has a single group Faema and an excellent recipe for porridge.

Dad ran me into the airport, this time through the Mt Vic tunnel as opposed to round the Bays with the clock ticking....
Family collected me on time and I didn't leave my helmet and Ground Effect top on the plane this time - bonus.
Everyone was pleased to see me, I was pleased to see them, I'd been riding with John Tomac; life was good.
An here'san interesting fact - Cinelli custom made the drop bars John used to run as he wanted a really deep drop section.....
He was pretty impressed when I asked if they were custom.

Who's the man?

Actually I think it was Carl this weekend - just coming right after Glandular Fever, certainly not 100%, but he pulled it off and got it all jacked up.
Cheers Carl.
Cheers John.
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Original Published: 10:52pm Wednesday, 14th October 2009 - NZST
kleinboy
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Member for: 13 years 9 months

Re: A Ride With John In Mind

Postby dented on Thu 15/Oct/09 9:17pm

Is that SlackBoy whimpering?
dented
User avatar
Member for: 13 years 1 month

Re: A Ride With John In Mind

Postby SlackBoy on Thu 15/Oct/09 9:50pm

Just a wee widdle bit
SlackBoy
User avatar
Member for: 16 years 10 months

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