Refreshing the brain and body - riding the Norco Fluid VLT

It's been a busy year so far, with some tough times - managing sub optimal sockets and needing to cancel a Nepal trek - but importantly some great times - Lucy and Matt's Aoraki/Mt Cook wedding, great programs in Dubai, India and a huge NZ year of presentations, the opening of the Hurunui Heartland Cycle Ride, the new Pro Flex Pivot feet and adapting socket technology to hopefully solve the challenges of the last year.

All topped off with the last 3 days, truly transformational for me.

Friday - Creating, with a skilled digger operator, a new section of trail that is going to bring a huge grin to all riding it here in the Heritage Forest, Hanmer Springs - certainly had a grin on my dial creating it!

Saturday - Working with a great client, presenting a program in that special new space, Tūranga, ChCh's new Library - actually so much more than just a 'library'

Sunday - The icing on the cake - a day riding the Norco Fluid VLT - yep, over to the 'dark side', an e-assist hard tail mountain bike - to think just 3 years ago I was riding a single speed!

To say the ride was transformational for me is an understatement. I have just ridden trails that have been out of my ability for at least the last 10 years, I have just ridden trails that I have never been able to 'clean' - incredible.

While hitting the power button from Economy to Trail to Boost is tempting, it is the smoothing out of my pedal stroke that is the most significant. As a double amputee, I have always had a 'dead spot' at the top of the pedal stroke. This means on technical uphills I 'stall out' - off and walk - not today, I rode hairpins that were previously impossible, magic. It got better going down, the low CoG meant cleaning those same hairpins without augering in as per normal.

Probably the best ride I have had since my silver on 18 October 2000 at the Dunc Gray Velodrome and NZ's first ever Paralympic cycling medal - yes it was that good.

Roll on the the rest of the year!

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