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Coppermine Helibike

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By Captain_Spong - Posted on 22 October 2013

Re: This ride meeting: 
Cycle Festival - Coppermine HeliBike

What a great day we had on Saturday with the Coppermine Helibike, beautiful sunny day and lots of happy smiling faces.

There were 42 booked for the trip ranging from the usual scraggy ones like Juddy and Scotty to a couple that had come up from Christchurch just for the trip. Reid Helicopters brought in two of their machines as they did last year to get everyone up there in good time the 6 seat Squirrel and the 4 seat Notar.

I had the "Pleasure" of going up in the Notar with Petra who was showing signs of nervousness from the moment the seatbelt went click. As we took off out over the Maitai Dam and Hamish (the pilot) swung the beast right in a nice arc up toward the saddle there was a fair bit of squeeling coming from the front. Hamish uttered “ahhh our first squealer of the day” and proceeded to tease her all the way up. At one point I pointed out the bridge below us and Hamish said "Where" and tilted the machine over to look, at this point I though it was probably quieter with the headphones off With the helicopter noise than with them on and Petra's microphone sending her vocalisations straight into my eardrums!

Anyway, once we were all up we headed off down the track in groups, including Marty and Julian on the Muni’s. Juddy and Scotty were off in a cloud of dust and eventually there was just a few of us left up the top.

Petra played tour guide and coach to a lady called Ann who was fairly new to mountain biking but determined to go down the South Branch way, Petra had one of my Gopro’s on and the resulting footage was brilliant. What a great ride Ann had with Petra nagging her all the way down to get off her seat! I on the other hand took another new buddy Detlef down under my wing. Detlef came with us on a previous Coppermine trip and after a bit of coaching on the way down went off with a grin on his face and a few ideas to practice. This time down it showed as his form was a lot better, in fact top the point that it was starting to get hard to keep up with him in places! Just as I was telling him that it was obvious his confidence was high he slid into the gutter at the side and did a fairly impressive technical dismount that would have scored a 10 at the Olympic gymnastic event. Goes to show its easy to jinx things. No harm though and the rest of the ride down was great. I did capture it on Video in full HD, so it might make the Buddies Christmas blooper video!

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