Mount Rochfort Plateau
Denniston is an old coal mining town on New Zealand’s West Coast, near Westport. It’s a ghost town now, but there’s still a lot of mining nearby with New Zealand’s largest opencast mine, Stockton, just down the road. It’s on the Mount Rochfort Plateau and has a variety of 4wd track, singletrack and tons of stuff for the trials riders. It’s a rugged playground for anything off-road.
This place really suits fatbikes with lots of large, rocky bits and loose climbs. I aired down my tires to 6 and 8 psi (front/rear) and off we went.
Andrea’s uncle, Tony, has done a lot of trials riding out here and knows the trails well. He was showing us around on the quad. The MTB trails are well-marked and there’s lots of info online to help you get around, but I still feel lost when I’m riding somewhere new.
There are lots of abandoned coal mines in the area with remnants of fan houses, rail tracks and even a coal seam fire that’s been burning since the 50’s. We came across it and you’re basically standing on a cliff with a little bit of smoke coming out of a massive pile of rocks from below. There’s a large coal deposit down there and, somehow, it caught on fire and will burn until there’s no more fuel to burn. Apparently, they’re a pretty big problem all over the world and there’s not really a good way to stop them.
Here’s the Bear in its standard configuration, although I haven’t been running the front fender that much lately, thinking it’s just a big parachute for these weekly Wednesday night races. You don’t know how many times that frame bag gets me the question, “that thing gotta motor in it?”
I did have a problem with the rear tire loosing air after our snack break. It fell from 8 to 4 psi. I’m usually pretty careful about going too fast with low tire pressure as I’ve pinch flatted before. I had thought I had just gotten a thorn right before I parked the bike, allowing for it to slowly leak out before the tire could spin and let the Slime seal up the tube. I put more air in and it held fine.
Later on, I took the tire off and didn’t find anything except a bunch of Slime on the rim side of the tube. There’s even Slime showing through the rim cutouts as if the spoke bed is poking the tube. Seems possible, but I don’t see any damage to the tube. This has happened before and I still don’t really know what’s going on. It’s usually fixed by just adding air and letting it seal up by riding around.
Anywho, Denniston is a cool place to ride with well-established trails and lots of cool, rocky areas to go play on off the trail.