Last weekend we rode a bike track known as The Old Ghost Road. It is an epic, multi-day ride over on the west coast that follows a long abandoned gold mining route over punishing climbs, through spectacular scenery and down fun descents. It was the second time I’ve ridden it (the first time can be read via this helpful, first plug of 2018 link – Surviving the Old Ghost Road) and it was interesting to see how these trips have evolved – purely from a, ‘what can I get out of this?’ perspective.
Barely a month goes by without some sort of trip report, or thinly-veiled marketing piece, about the Old Ghost Road appearing in a magazine. In fairness, it’s a testament to the quality of the experience. But it does make things a little more difficult in terms of finding a unique angle. Long gone are the days of ‘we rode this, it was good, here are some photos.’ Which is a shame as they are much easier to write. The last one I read was about a guy who did it with only one arm, so me bitching and moaning about the difficulty of a few of the climbs and technical sections does seem a little… I dunno, ungrateful, maybe.
I was hoping to use some sections of the ride, when we had inevitably spread out a bit along the trail, for a bit of a mental brain-storming session while out in the native bush. Where better to think up inventive ways for people to be terrorised and die than in the beauty of the Kiwi wilderness? As it happened, the sections of trail when I was on my own were generally because it was uphill and hard, thus diverting the majority of my attention to questioning why I continue with mountain biking as an enjoyable pastime.
That said, some inspiration did unexpectedly arrive the night before we set off. We were camping in Lyell and in typical, west coast fashion, the weather was horrendous. As I listened to my mates’ battle with their leaking and rapidly collapsing tent from the comfort of my roomy, sturdy, two-man canvas retreat, some ideas did materialise. That was until their panicked shouting was keeping me awake and I had to put my headphones on to drown out the chaos unfolding outside.
And one of those backcountry huts would make an interesting location for a murder mystery. Was it the Kiwi, the Kiwi or the Kiwi that did it?
This will most likely be the dumping ground for the adventure. Although that inevitably means it won’t be completed for at least six months. So just be grateful for the last outlet, and I hope it tides you over you until then.
Blog Post / Newsletter?
Well, that one was easy – just ramble on for 500 words.