Inspiration to get out in the forest comes from different sources. For over a decade, one of mine has been enewsletters from Gary Sullivan at Nzo. There's information about their MTB clothing alongside stories about Gaz's riding experiences. Including one that followed being away from Rotorua for a couple of weeks.
Here's an excerpt:
"I managed one bike ride during a fantastic circuit of the South Island. Great friends to travel with, no major mechanical malfunctions, almost perfect weather and camp spots that defy description made it an almost perfect holiday. Even the sand flies were off their usual game.
But only one bike ride.
I headed straight for the woods as soon as we got back. It was Easter. The sun was shining. Payback time.
I met a refreshing variety of people in a couple of hours.
Two guys on e-bikes. One was a slab of a man on his own fairly new looking rig, and no clue. His mate was on the rental. A skinny dude in skinnier jeans. They were one bar of their glowing battery indicators into their ride, and were already lost. They had completed Katore Jumps and all they really wanted was to do it again. I sent them on a side trip up a big hill, they passed me a little while later (on that hill). Whether they survived Hot X Buns is anybody's guess, but I felt it was the right choice on the day.
I passed a man and his kid at the start of Te Ahi Manawa, The Burning Heart, a trail I love because it is right at the top of my skill set. There is a section down the track a bit I am slowly working my way up to executing, and when I stopped to negotiate with it they caught me. We looked it over together: a guy in a pair of shorts we sold at least 10 years ago, his 13-year-old kid, and me. Don't know how they tackled it, but I clambered over it, thinking it was cool that the three of us were all in the same boat, until the next tricky section took me to that place where thinking is not on the agenda.
Much later, two kids passed me while I was trying not to collapse at the top of my last climb for the day. They were chatting as they rode, in their own little bubble. I followed them into Dragon's Trail and we all flew along while I admired their effortless style. Until they realised I was there, when they pulled over and stopped. I told them to keep going, but they were insistent (and very polite), "you go first". So I did. These guys were really small when I got a good look at them, and very young.
I wonder if they knew how lucky they were to be able to get out in the woods among kilometres of golden dirt, on sweet little duallies, at eleven or twelve or whatever they were.
Don't know, and I doubt if they'd tell me if I asked. But they looked pretty stoked to me."