Moto Media

from ... Nick Reader

No two Suzuki Desert Storms are ever the same and the twenty eleven version proved to be another very notable event when it was held 15-16 January in the Karioi forest.

The highlight for me was the Enduro Cross event. It started as an add on entertainment component of DS, but now it is a major feature with top riders strutting their stuff in front of an appreciative crowd.

D2R (aka Mark DeLatour) started creating some crazy track options 2 weeks before the event. The conservative risk manager in me scratched my head and thought, "I like this, but hope it will be safe”. I also had a few queries about the 3 vertical tyre options, but my overriding thought was D2R is a smart and cunning fox – he will have it sorted.

And indeed he did because the track produced the most exciting racing yet. It had more speed, more options and produced close and exciting racing with the Power cousins triumphing again.

The man of the hour at the Red Bull high jump was Jason Jepson again – he has the style and technique to smoke everyone on the earth up and down ramp. Good on ya Jason and don't drink all the Red Bull at once!

And now back to the actual trail ride. The Saturday started off running smooth as silk, until our worst fears arose – we had a report of a critically injured rider. The person died from a fall off his bike. I don't know what caused the crash on the fairly easy section of trail, and probably no one ever will. Our condolences to all of his friends and family. This terrible accident took all of my attention for a few hours, but we knew we had 1000 trail riders wanting to ride the awesome trails on the base of Mount Ruapehu. So we closed the Eastern Trail and directed all riders onto the Western. We have 50 staff running this complex event so my crew did a great job of running the event while I dealt with the accident.

Saturday night brings on all the games including High Jump, Enduro Cross, Barrel Racing and Burn out. It was great to see the dude on his Stag party dressed in the pink tutu etc with glow sticks in his wheels – this is what DS is all about – having fun, messing around and doing something different with your mates. The burn out took place against the blade of our Komatsu bulldozer which made for a very industrial look. There was some crazy buggy with a 900cc road bike engine screaming its lungs out against the dozer just to add more noise to the scene.

Chris Power clears the bar but Jason Jepson wins the high jump

Sunday ran smooth as silk with both tracks open and about 900 punters plotting their path in the forest, river beds and stream crossings.

So where to now for DS? We are moving it back into winter so yep that means cold and maybe wet conditions, polyprops, jackets, steam, ruts, braziers and challenge. Date wise I am hoping to get an event run in October or November this year and then run May 2012 and then every May thereafter. The reason we first changed from April to January was because the forest company wanted us to run in January. However we now feel the fire risk is too high in Jan so will revert to winter.

Event development wise I want to add some more humour and fun. We are going to continue with the High Jump and Enduro Cross, but from nightfall we are going inside a bigger marquee for some games. Games we will choose from include Sumo wrestling in massive oversize suits, boxing with oversize gloves (you can't get hurt apparently) and horizontal bungy etc.
Our focus will remain the same – to provide a fun, safe event where friends and family can meet up once a year to ride some of the best trails in NZ.

2011 Trail Ride Calendar. Coming soon ... we have some provisional dates listed on the epic events home page calendar and these will be firmed up soon. Look out for more 2 day trail rides so you can ride the whole weekend !

Epic Events Ltd / Mobile: +64 21 983766 / Fax: +64 7 3765471 / E mail: / Web:
/ Post: PO Box 1636, Taupo, New Zealand.