The Wild Podcast

I chatted to Andy and Jonathan on The Wild Podcast a couple of weeks ago.

“In this episode we chat with explorer, adventurer and outdoors educator Dulkara Martig. We talk about travelling the world as a nomad, her epic traverse of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, gourmet cooking in the outdoors (think pizza and chocolate cake), her love of pack rafting, and the links between spending time in the wild and mental wellbeing.”

Have a listen (47min episode)

 

Let Nature in, Strengthen your well-being: Part 1

I’m collaborating with a couple of different outdoor brands these days. One of the things I’m excited to do is use different platforms to share messages I really care about. I’m also motivated to share things that go beyond ‘adventure stoke’. I wrote two pieces for Macpac for mental health awareness week. In part 1 of this 2 part series, I shared my experience with depression, and the positive impact that nature can have on a person’s outlook.

Continue reading “Let Nature in, Strengthen your well-being: Part 1”

Barron Flat and the Kill Devil

I can’t get enough of mountain biking at the moment. One of the coolest things about Nelson is that the riding is amazing year-round. I’ve been night riding a couple of times a week over winter, mostly pretty casual trails with friends. To celebrate eight consecutive Thursday nights of Involution a few of us headed to the Kill Devil Trail in the Kahurangi National Park.

IMG_4647 Continue reading “Barron Flat and the Kill Devil”

MOUNTAIN BIKING and NEPAL!

A heart warming film that brings together one of my favourite sports and one of my favourite countries in the world. MOUNTAIN BIKING and NEPAL! Stunning cinematography and an inspiring story. Also some lovely insights into life on the streets of Kathmandu and the beautiful mountain backdrops in rural Nepal. Well done to all of the people who brought this film project to life. In a world full of often shallow content it’s always refreshing to have stories with more depth and real authenticity. A film that starts with “Mountain biking is part of my soul. Life is all about mountain biking for me…” has gotta get every MTB lovers attention!

I first rode single track mountain bike trails in Nepal when I was 18yrs old. I was travelling solo at the time and I hired a mountain bike in Kathmandu. After 10 minutes riding out of Thamel (tourist central) I didn’t see another Westerner for the entire time. And for a few hours in the middle I didn’t see another person. The tracks were narrow and windy, linking up stunning sections of jungle and rural villages. That was over 10yrs ago and mountain biking has grown rapidly in Nepal since then. I’m excited for my next trip – it’s going to include a big mountain bike adventure and some packrafting, possibly even the two combined.

Enjoy!

RJ Ripper from Joey Schusler on Vimeo.

 

Rolling Solo

At the start of winter I found myself sitting on the couch at home on a Friday evening with my plans up in the air after someone had bailed on a weekend adventure. My feet were still itchy for a mission. I wasn’t in the mood to go solo but the thought of spending the weekend in town was even less appealing. Within a few minutes I had a ride to Lyell sorted and the keys to a car waiting for me in Golden Bay. I threw some gear together, boiled some eggs, lubed my chain and put some air in my tyres. Two and a half days later I had covered 250km and crawled into bed at home, still covered in mud, feeling satisfied after another great mountain biking adventure in my local national park. 

It was after lunchtime when I finally pulled away from Lyell. I had loaded my mountain bike up with food and camping gear. As I pedalled through the beech forest with afternoon light streaming through, I listened to small streams trickling and fallen leaves crunching under my wheels. A fantail flitted around, eating small insects I’d stirred up.

I kept pedalling until I hit snow and the track was lined with icicles. The alpine zone is my favourite part on wilderness bike trips. In nice weather the horizon goes on forever and you get that sense of never-ending freedom. I stayed up there to savour the beginning of golden hour, my favourite time of day.

I sat on the tops and gazed out at the never-ending horizon. I’d been pondering many things on the ride but mostly I just enjoyed the moment, feeling the freedom and flow…the sheer pleasure of riding a bike. 

I poked my head into Ghost Lake Hut quickly. The fire was cozy and a bunch of mountain bikers had settled in for the evening. Daylight was slipping away so I continued on, making it down The Staircase just before dark. Pink was starting to fill the sky, with snow-capped peaks in the distance.

I spent the night in Stern Valley. The next morning I slept in and rode out to Mokihinui. I waited two and a half hours on the side of the road trying to hitch a ride. About four cars stopped but none had room for bikes. I should have just ridden but I thought I’d get a lift! The evening ended with me sitting on the side of the road eating hot potato mash out of my Jetboil. I finally admitted defeat (my first ever failed hitch-hiking mission) and continued pedalling up the Panekire Bluff road in the dark. I rolled into Little Wanganui with a thin layer of ice on the road and the cold stinging my cheeks. 

As I passed the pub in Little Wanganui I spontaneously decided to get a cozy cabin with a heater and settled in for a short sleep. The next day I continued riding to Karamea in time for second breakfast with a friend – two pieces of chocolate cake with cream and a cup of tea. It was around 11am by the time I finally hit the Heaphy Track.

The first section of the track is just a few metres back from the beach, winding its way between luscious Nikau Palms. The contrast from snow and icicles the day before was super cool. I felt right at home. I’d lived on the West Coast for a large chunk of my childhood and the wild beaches always meant freedom to me. The sound of the crashing waves and the salty sea breeze on my cheeks energised me as I pedalled.

I’d biked the Heaphy many times before. It never gets old. This time, once I left the beach behind at Heaphy Hut, I didn’t stop at all. I was racing daylight.

I saw my first kiwi in the wild, darting down the track near Perry Saddle Hut just before nightfall. I made it out to Brown Hut (the road) a bit after dark and returned home to Nelson feeling tired but satisfied. Too sleepy to have a shower, I slipped into a sleeping bag liner under my duvet, still covered in mud.