Eagle vs Shark - the people's favourite?

Ever since Casey King and Southstar Trails created it, E vs S has been a popular run.

Diving straight out of the shuttle's top turning circle, or the top of the Frontal Lobotomy climb (if you're that way inclined), the speed and flow of Eagle attracts a torrent of riders. That it delivers punters to the wrong side of the hill from the shuttle run doesn't dissuade many. The new Te Putaka O Tawa forest hub is situated at the trail's exit, so a well planned ride can include a high velocity gallop to finish.

What a lot of people who take the drop down EvsS don't realise is that part of its build was crowd funded - user pays at its best! 

Our favourite story about the trail relates to international visitors (remember those?). I took some mates from California for a few days worth of skids a few years ago, and the Eagle vs Shark ride was burned in their brains as a permanent benchmark for excellence on a mountain bike trail. 

Some months later, after they had returned home, I got a message from one of them asking if I could guide their buddy Morty around on his visit - and please take him on Eagle vs Shark! The guy turned up, and I met him at the carpark. Nice fella, older then I expected. Up to date bike. When he took his long pants off, his legs looked really old - I was curious and asked him exactly how many years had he been alive... that is when I discovered he was 82. 

I sort of panicked a little, but when I asked him how much riding he thought he could do he reckoned he was up for 4 or 5 hours. I explained that getting to EvsS meant a 400m elevation, he reckoned that was going to be ok. So off we went.

He wasn't fast, but there are plenty of people a lot slower. We got up to the top of the hill under our own power, and rode down the trail he had heard so much about. He was very cautious, but he loved it. Like everybody does. I hope I can be riding new trails as nice as Eagle in another couple of decades when I am as old as Morty.


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