2020 Trans NZ Enduro - Help!!!!

slowmick

Eats Squid
So I got into the Trans NZ Enduro next year. I've paid my money and now after watching more videos and head more blogs i am quietly shitting myself. (Hiding it from the wife).

I thought about contacting all of the past participants by PM to ask for hints and tips for surviving and enjoying but figured this could possibly be a reference for others for future years.

So, team - can you please give me some feedback on suggested training, bike set up, things you wished you'd taken and things you wished you'd left behind.

I am training as much as I can with a 2.5 year old so any tips on targeted training would be appreciated. Any suggestions as to where to ride before hand to get an eye in would also help.

Depending on how my Enduro goes between now an the end on the year i may be needing a new frame. Blowing the shock mid event would be devastating and it has a bad track record. Was looking at a clearance Rune on MTBD but they sold out and i just found out the ENR frames don't come with a shock for the $$.

144 days to go. Fuck me what have i done.
 

moorey

Boom!
You’ll be right, mate. I went in first time half baked, and struggled the first 2 days, but rode myself fitter. The tracks and event are sooo good, you’ll be right. Tracks are so varied, all I can say is mix up your practice, and get ready for a few long climbs.
Day 1/2 are at Craigieburn, gorgeous beech forest mainly. Cheeseman/Kokaine is super steep and loamy in spots, otherwise pretty flowy single trail.
Alexandra day 3 is rockier like Youies DH tracks, but better.
Day 4 at coronet is epic. Big day, mainly flowy, but last stage Slippery Saddle is the steepest thing I’ve ever ridden.
Day 5 is new at Cardrona. Cancelled this year due to weather. Can’t comment.
Day 6 up Skyline and Ben Lomond is tough, but breathtaking. Only 3 stages, but about 1500m of climbing from memory. Stage 2 down the ridge then into missing link is about as good as riding gets.
You’ll be better prepared than me. Do you know @dunndog? He’s done twice...the first he was totally unprepared. Good person to chat to maybe.
I took a 140mm bike both times. Found it plenty (spitty 26 then Five). Don’t do what I did and try an SS to help on the climbing. Not worth compromising grip on the downs.
 

mas2

Likes Dirt
Depending on how my Enduro goes between now an the end on the year i may be needing a new frame. Blowing the shock mid event would be devastating and it has a bad track record. Was looking at a clearance Rune on MTBD but they sold out and i just found out the ENR frames don't come with a shock for the $$.
I had a talk with your wife and we both agreed that you need a new bike. She seemed pretty happy with the decision we made and is fine with extending the credit card if needed. I wouldn't bring it up with her again though because she just wants you to be happy and stop talking about bikes to her.
You're welcome.
 

moorey

Boom!
I had a talk with your wife and we both agreed that you need a new bike. She seemed pretty happy with the decision we made and is fine with extending the credit card if needed. I wouldn't bring it up with her again though because she just wants you to be happy and stop talking about bikes to her.
You're welcome.
She called me to say the same. Odd, she doesn’t know me and no idea how she got my number, but best not argue with her.
 

dh1

Likes Dirt
Hey mate,

I have done 3 already and am heading for a 4th next year.

I will try to put together some comments over the next few days - flat out with work at the moment so my head can’t think properly.

Only day that really gets me a bit scared is out at Alexandra.
 

frenchman

Eats cheese. Sells crack.
Training - ride lots! There’s not a massive rush to get to the beginning of stages due to the timing between riders. This year day 1 and 2 at Craigieburn had a 30-45 min wait at the top of the first few stages in -2’c in snow whilst waiting for everyone to drop in. It sucked. If you can ride 25-30 km and able to make 5-7minute sprints 3 x 4 times you should be fine.

Bike setup is personal preference. I had double down / super gravity front and rear tyres. Was good for every day due to the steep gradient downhill most days. Only a couple of stages were hard work. Going uphill sucked but I didn’t get a flat and the tyres lasted all week. As long as you’re not running boutique running gear (drivetrain brakes etc) the support for spares there is excellent. There was 2 of us there on 5-6yo 26 bikes and they survived fine. I took a full face and it worked well. Screw carrying 2 helmets. The only gear I wish I had was a set of thermals and proper winter riding gloves.

There’s plenty of food on the days so I wouldn’t take a large bag. You really only need 1.5L water + small snacks on you and spares for your bike. A couple of days have stages that have a common start or meeting point so you can leave some of your gear there as well.

If you don’t have a yeti stay away from the tribe.
 

moorey

Boom!
Why? Were they cliquey douchebags or the bikes didn't hold up?

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
Yes.

It’s a Yeti sponsored event. Attracts a few bike flogs.
That said, only came across a couple of douches...and they were all entitled yanks.
One dude came late to dinner first night, missed the main meal, and just walked from table to table, taking things of other peoples plates.
 

climberman

Likes Dirt
You’ll be right, mate. I went in first time half baked, and struggled the first 2 days, but rode myself fitter. The tracks and event are sooo good, you’ll be right. Tracks are so varied, all I can say is mix up your practice, and get ready for a few long climbs.
Day 1/2 are at Craigieburn, gorgeous beech forest mainly. Cheeseman/Kokaine is super steep and loamy in spots, otherwise pretty flowy single trail.
Alexandra day 3 is rockier like Youies DH tracks, but better.
Day 4 at coronet is epic. Big day, mainly flowy, but last stage Slippery Saddle is the steepest thing I’ve ever ridden.
Day 5 is new at Cardrona. Cancelled this year due to weather. Can’t comment.
Day 6 up Skyline and Ben Lomond is tough, but breathtaking. Only 3 stages, but about 1500m of climbing from memory. Stage 2 down the ridge then into missing link is about as good as riding gets.
You’ll be better prepared than me. Do you know @dunndog? He’s done twice...the first he was totally unprepared. Good person to chat to maybe.
I took a 140mm bike both times. Found it plenty (spitty 26 then Five). Don’t do what I did and try an SS to help on the climbing. Not worth compromising grip on the downs.
Pretty much this.

I did the event last year along with my partner and some friends. In terms of ability, realistically, I suck as an enduro rider cant ride well up hills and have no downhill technical capability! My (very loud) mate and I battled it out for 345th place (luckily I pipped him by 36 seconds after five days’ racing … not that I was counting … ) and we were basically last home every day. It was fkn awesome, with lots of riding I hadn’t come across before (beech tree roots and mud, muddy beech roots, shale slide paths…).

Craigieburn is sick (and I went back this winter and skied there!), Coronet’s Slipsaddle is truly astounding, steep and ongoing and rad and if you don’t get down the bottom of it and yell with ecstasy to the gods of MTB you are dead inside. Alexandra my lady and I liked so much we went back later in the week for a visit, really interesting riding. I did give myself concussion there in the event. Ben Lomond descent was wonderful as Moorey notes, would do it daily if I could. My lady and I did a shuttle day at Coronet after the event, I reckon it would be fun racing.

There’s all sorts of rigs. Take what you will be happy on, and be able to grind through some long ascents. There’s not many technical ascents. Take some lube, tubeless goop, and spares though – if you have a spare rear mech or can borrow one from your friend circle to be replaced if used that’d be a good idea. Shimano usually run some spares but all their spares and some Sram spares they have are retail $$ I think. There is very little chance to grab any of that stuff during the course of the event (until maybe Queenstown) and none between the airport and the start of the event.

Weather wise the days can be long and hot or long and cold, up to and including high winds and snow or dead still and 30 degrees. We had all of that. Be ready for that.

Megan organises well and the event runs pretty smoothly. Food and accom were great, transfers worked well and there’s something great about getting picked up from the airport and not having to arrange a thing. Vollies do a great job. Megan’s philosophy for the event is that it’s a bit of a journey of tracks, style and of NZ. I reckon it does this well.

I had no issue with the yeti folks but one of the other major sponsor teams’ members definitely rubbed some people up the wrong way and was probably lucky to be able to walk away from giving a mate some extended lip (don’t constantly rib angry ex-services who have 35 kgs on you would be a good life tip). Our group met some really good folks and saw some great riding and riders. Big French contingent last year, they were hilarious.

Unless you are truly likely to be coming home back of the pack, let the back-of-the-packers go in the early buses. It makes for long days for slow riders, AND ESPECIALLY the vollies and team running the show, when the slowest riders are close to last leaving because everyone reckons ‘they haven’t trained’ but get in three hours earlier than the late-runners. I don’t mind some long slow days but I did come across some frozen and over it vollies late on a few of the days (one just made EWS overall top ten for the year though so she’s probably in a better mood now!). Adjusting the gap between descending riders by an extra 10 or 15 seconds will make a bigger difference to your times than being early on the track.

Our friends went and did the NZEnduro this year and found it also lots of fun but less ‘turn up and go’, and tougher riding (real wet too).
 
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