I’ve been in Christchurch since March 10th, and New Zealand since December 18th, and my home, Sheffield feels like a long way away. I miss the Peak, I miss my mates, I miss Wharny, I miss all of the thisisheffield crew, I miss my family, I miss Bragazzi sandwiches, I miss the open moorland and the quirkiness of loam against shin, I miss getting sweaty in a nightclub watching my favourite DJ, I miss watching in awe my favourite bands, I miss riding to a mates house and chatting shit, I miss the hills and tram network of the city, I miss bluebells in the woods, I miss hating mainstream politics, I miss that awkward right hander on NEMBA, I miss wet summers and warm winters, I miss cramming into a van and emerging somewhere new, I miss the banter of riding on a bad day, I miss the banter of riding on a good day, I miss the sweat and leg-ache of pushing a DH bike uphill…..imisssheffield.co.uk.
But like someone mentioned to me once whilst I was lamenting about being back in Sheffield “How can you tell if a plane is full of Brits? You can still hear the whining after the engines have stopped!”. New Zealand is pretty special, especially for riders, epic backcountry singletrack or urban-esque Super D or council funded mountain bike parks. Life is full of distractions, too many at times, work, television, religion, food, film, news, fashion, culture all seek or so it seems to takes us somewhere else, somewhere more exciting, but a reality check is needed, and something I make a conscious effort in doing. Our culture dictates we have to wait for a future, save and earn, pray and heaven, plan and travel, vote and submit, work hard and holiday. Something is missing, our imaginations run dry and life becomes mundane, and we look for a way out, we miss experiences, we miss finding out our limits, our expectations and our boundaries. Our existence is what we make it, it will never be elsewhere, no matter how many films we watch we won’t be in them. We have our noses pushed against the windows of commerce and told ‘this is life’, but to be honest I don’t accept such thought and such practices, I want life, I don’t just want a slice of life, I want the whole fucking bakery.
I find it hard to stop myself missing Sheffield, but when I have access to such riding like the ‘Anaconda’ in such beautiful settings it makes my ‘missing‘ a whole lot easier….