The Trans NZ Enduro provides everything you need for a positive racing experience: Party Trains. Off trail excursions, resulting in near death experiences. New friends and legends. Life management. Day drinking.
We also happened to be racing the course blind, which means no pre-riding, no practice logistics to work out, no real race strategy. There are no start times to rush to meet each morning, and each night, there is no helmet cam footage to review in preparation for the upcoming day. With no idea what terrain each day will bring, there is no pressure, regardless of current standings.
What there are plenty of, however, are moments. Moments of brilliance, when we link turns on unfamiliar stages perfectly, at a pace that is only achieved when racing. Moments of terror, when our calculations are slightly less accurate and leave our bodies and bikes tomahawking through the woods. And moments of intense gyration, when Paul “DJ Vandy Van” van der Ploeg gets ahold of the auxiliary cord at the after party.
It’s certainly madness, but it’s damn fun.