Young Jack: Enduro Versus NCEA part 1

With no consideration for many local teenagers, the Nelson Mountain Bike Club staged the 2018 Mammoth Enduro presented by Santa Cruz, right in the middle of NCEA exams. My olds were not happy with me entering because they said I would focus only on riding rather than study. They say I have an obsessive personality about things that don’t involve my education.

Mammoth has now been staged for three years, and my mates and I decided to give it a go after watching the second event in 2017. That was a two-day, five-stage per day enduro with a shuttle at the start of each day. Everyone looked pretty wrecked at the end. It didn’t occur to me that it was going to be on my to-do list for 2018. But my mate Leo was keen and for some reason Josh and I agreed.

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 This year the club made Mammoth a one-day, nine-stage event with two shuttles. This was not what I thought I was signing up for but considering the event registrations filled up within two hours of opening, there wasn’t much time for thinking. As soon as registration opened, I was in. But only just - the youngest age category was under 21, with a lower age limit of 16 at the end of the year. I sneaked in by 11 days and was probably the youngest (legal) guy at the event. Race entry was $90. I didn’t get a shirt to reduce the cost to me.

We rode our bikes as much as we could leading up to the event, doing almost every track we thought might be included several times each - with about 20 to choose from. My olds were getting a bit over it, and I suspect they were looking forward to the day for different reasons to me.The trails were announced a couple days before race day. I was pretty happy with the list, although despite all our homework (the wrong kind apparently) there was one trail I had never tested - Matai.

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The trails were announced a couple days before race day. I was pretty happy with the list, although despite all our homework (the wrong kind apparently) there was one trail I had never tested - Matai.

I thought I would be eating a lot on the day so I packed my bag full of sandwiches and fruit. I didn't realise I’d not have the time to enjoy much of it, and on the day just had an occasional muesli bar. Having heaps of food in my bag got pretty annoying and meant I had squashed warm sandwiches for lunch the next day. I know for 2019 to bring, like, virtually nothing that I can’t swallow in a few seconds.

The pre-event race briefing started just when my first exam finished, so it was perfect timing. In the pack there was my race plate, liaison times, map, and a nasty Mammoth hat that I will never wear. My dad dumped me and ran - just like he did when I played cricket and soccer.


Words & Images: Jack Greenaway & Digby Shaw

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