“Pay Attention” I tell myself as I set off down a narrow path riding two wheels in the woods. I’m following a group of locals who know the twists and turns well, which inspires the growing confidence in me. These locals have become good friends of mine during my season in Whistler which has made my season even more special. What better way to finish a Winter by spending most days exploring the immense trail network in the Whistler Valley area. Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton and even some Vancouver trails kept me entertained during the last weeks I spent in Canada.
Below are some of the photos I snapped along the way including maps of the area using my Garmin cycle GPS.
British Columbia has plenty of trails to keep a keen biker entertained. I was fortunate to get a taste of what the area can offer. Returning to B.C in the future is definitely an option and these days spent in the forest with friends has only inspired me to enjoy a Summer… Soon.
Now that I have returned to NZ the biking is still near the top of my priorities. Old and new trails while exploring with friends continue to get me stoked. This weekend some friends and I will drive North and fly into the Heaphy Track with the bikes! Watch this space…
Racing back to Whislter in a rental car from Squamish I do the math in my head. Will we be able to pick everyone up in time and make it out to Big White before ‘Check In’? It’s a beautiful Spring day which makes for great road-trips and we certainly did as 7 of us squeezed our boards, boots, bodies and bags and took off down the Kokahala Highway.
An epic weekend filled with excellent snow, friendly company and a competition which is like no other. This is my 3rd season participating in this event and I can honestly say it was my most favorite weekend of the season. As I won the Mens’ 25-34 category last season it was only appropriate that I step up to the PRO division and compete with the big boys. World Cup racers and Olympic level athletes strap in beside me as I prepare myself for one of two runs down a rutted, fogged in & hair raising course. Day one went very well as I placed 3rd however a crash on a berm day 2 lowered my place to 8th overall. Martin Juare and JP Fok landed themselves with a podium! 270 keen snowboarders and snowskaters of all ages and abilities participated in what is believed to be one of the most respected banked slaloms in the world.
Many thanks goes to Flynn Seddon and his event staff along with Big White for hosting another fine event. The sponsors were proud to be part of the event and were yet again generous with their schwag and prizes. Of course there is a huge thank you to the special group of friends I had the pleasure of traveling, living and riding with over the weekend… Let us aim to make this event bigger and better for the Whistler Crew next season!
As I scroll through my Instagram photos, it seems I have a fascination with clouds and the magic that surrounds me. Every day brings new weather systems creating beautiful and inspiring scenery. The itch to snap it up these moments continue as I work and play here in Whistler, BC… Below are some of the highlights, most of which I shoot from an iPhone.
John Jo from Rideclass Productions spent an hour at Treble Cone going through a couple of tips to work on feeling better in variable snow. Below is a 4 minute video… Have a fun last few weeks of the season! Visit Rookie Academy for more information.
This time next week I will be recovering from the largest shock my body will have ever faced. I feel increasingly privileged to be the one who can help my Dad. Once my kidney is removed it will leave a scar approximately 25cm in length below the ribs on my left side. Open Nephrectomy was chosen over Laparoscopic surgery because my ‘pipes’ into my Kidney are complex. The MRI scan showed this clearly.
Dad will have an incision below his belly button and the new one will be hooked up to his Artery and vein above the bladder. The recovery time for him will be relatively quick and anti-rejection drugs will be taken every day for the rest of his life.
As for me the recovery will be a little longer because my body is loosing a perfectly healthy organ. 6-8 weeks is usually the time suggested for recovery before most people return to work. That puts me around Christmas so I hope to be settled in Whistler before then.
Friends – close & distant, Family, Doctors & Nurses have been super helpful and informative throughout the last few months and this process would not have been smooth without them.
3pm Sunday I am admitted to Christchurch Hospital and the next day Dad & I will do one of the coolest things we’ve ever done together. The next few weeks will be the biggest challenge we have ever taken on. I like a good challenge.
It has been 4 weeks since Dad had surgery. The doctors knocked him out and inserted a tube into his peritoneal cavity. This tube is attached to the outside of his bladder and has a valve. Fluid is drained into the space around his intestines and sits there for a few hours, then drained out through the same tube.
The fluid acts as a third kidney removing the impurities from his blood system. Each bag is filled with electrolytes & Glucose and needs to be at body temperature when drained in.
“The best part about it he says is that I can do it anywhere, sitting on the couch or even a cafe up the mountain!” This process happens four times a day, every day until the transplant which will hopefully happen in October.
The bed slides forward and comes to a rest inside what looks like a dounut. My arms are above my head and I try to relax. ”inhale and hold your breath…’ I feel a warm rush pass through my body from the IV – into my chest, down into my abdomen, groin, fingertips & toes.
It is the iodine or tracer being pumped into my vein and eventually through my Kidneys. BEEP WHIR BUZZ… ‘Now breath normally..’The CT machine seems to have finished scanning my body. After six minutes I find myself inside the donut again getting another scan. I feel hungry thinking about donuts because I was not allowed to have any breakfast that morning. I am also busting to pee because of all the water the doctor told me to drink prior to the scan!
After two days in Dunedin I have had a Psychological Review, CT Scan and a meeting with the Doctor to see how everything is going. So far so good! My blood and tissue is a match with my Dad’s and the ball is rolling.
In a few weeks I will travel to Christchurch with Dad to meet with the surgeons and make a plan for the transplant. Today Dad leaves for Dunedin to start Dialysis. Not the best way to celebrate his Birthday but the results from the treatment will make him feel better and reduce the nausea. A coffee and a catch up with Mum & Dad was enjoyed in Wanaka yesterday instead.
Once again, If you or anyone else you know would like to know more information about this whole process I would love to listen & share more. Thanks for reading.
It has been well over a year now since I found out about my Dad’s Kidneys. They have deteriorated to the point where they’ve just about lost all their function. In about two weeks time, Rob will already have the tube put in and started the Dialysis treatment. This process will help him feel better and potentially reduce the assortment of drugs he currently takes on a daily basis.
Returning from Canada early this season was good because it allowed me to spend quality time with my Sister Rosie and of course Mum (Janey) & Dad. Lots of trips to visit were great because it meant I could bounce thoughts to them and of course get the hugs. The support from them along with friends has been amazing. It only takes a few moments to listen, but it certainly means a lot.
Last week I had a Radioactive fluid injected into my arm. Blood was taken at two hour intervals throughout the day to measure my bodies effectiveness of removing the radiation. The tests will continue, including a psychological assessment, CT Scan an numerous Doctor visits to Dunedin. If this all goes to plan then the operation may take place in October/November. To see my Dad healthy again, dancing Ceroc & Tango, walking up Mt Iron, cycling his cruiser, selling goods at the Farmers Market among many other things will make me and everyone around him very happy.
If you or anyone else you know is affected by Kidney disease, I Would love to hear from you. I hope the few photos i’ve posted share some insight on this whole process and perhaps make it easier for someone considering being a donor themselves. If you have any thoughts or questions I would love to hear from you.