natalie enjoyed her first few races before we left on our trip around australia. unfortunately we couldn’t bring the bikes on our long trip and nat was really looking forward to getting back. she likes those club races in ourimbah and has raced almost all the downhill and gravity enduro rounds.

she loves sharing the experience and the trails with her friends, including the fun before and after the race – and the occasional sausage roll.

normally i’d sign up as well and ride with natalie, although naturally nowhere near as successfully as her. in the past nat was happy to have me shadow her but these days she doesn’t need my help any more and i have the suspicion she actually prefers to ride on her own, i.e. with her mates.

with that in mind i’ve decided to help the club and either manned a stage start or secured a challenging section on the trail as a marshal. there are always so many people who want to ride – who can blame them – but not quite as many who want to help out and so last time kris stepped in to help out as well.

this turned out to be a good idea: one of our friends had a bit of an off in the corner kris as positioned at and dislocated two finders (ouch!) and one of nat’s friends had her front wheel wash out on her, hit the deck and definitely needed a bit of a cuddle.

not that type of cuddle … that’s nat’s pet snake having her weekly lunch.

if you know kris you’d agree she has a natural tendency to strongly emphasise which isn’t really helping when you are looking at a person with fingers sticking out at all the wrong angles or blood gushing from deep cuts. it’s therefore even more astonishing that she has again offered to help out this weekend and promptly had to draw on her recent first aid training once more, this time to help out a racer who would eventually need a few stitches on his elbow.

based on her recent real world experience she then decided to custom build a first aid pack she can easily take out on the trails. she also made one for me … i hope i’ll never need it.

in the meantime nat scored another podium finish – the top step always feels good. baggy shorts and a flannel shirt, that’s clearly a gravity rider.