More was revealed as we entered the pits. An equally epic looking mini track weaved its way off to the left, while a new shed gave me peace of mind in case the weather got bad during our three day stay. And the view from the shed was certainly inspiring.
This was to be our first three day Bootcamp in the Christchurch area and, by the looks of things, we had chosen the right venue.
At the moment you cross a small stream and cross the track to reach the starting line, but Todd, the farm owner, and Tex from Grassroots say that they are working on a long uphill start to join onto the main downhill that should be impressive. Going from what they have already achieved, I certainly believe them.
Winding your way around the track, what you get is quite brilliant. It all looks so completely natural, like the hand of God shaped it exactly how it is, and yet the trained eye knows what it must have taken to get the track to this stage.
There are only a few traditional berms, but these are skillfully constructed. Most of the track is designed so that berms and ruts can be pushed into shape by the riders themselves, making for a wide and varied choice of lines.
Precious top soil has been carefully kept over two thirds of the track in order to keep it soft and avoid dust. Tex and Todd know how to keep it from washing away as well.
The jumps here are built with generous and safe landings, with an excellent range of difficulty to help people improve their confidence at distance or whips.
Those three days were filled with loads of bike time either riding, coaching or playing. At night we turned hunter-gatherer, coming home with a really solid eel on the second night that I then put on the BBQ. There was also a little extreme enduro for everyone as we made a mission through some bogs to some excellent hills under pine trees. One of the youngest rider there had a go at one of the biggest hills, showing us that he will be one to watch in the future.
I used the stopwatch quite extensively, but there is much more that I want to achieve at our next camp, so keep your eye out for that, and make sure you get in quick.