Free Candy Tour Episode 1 – A Verification Situation 1024 622 The Free Radicals

Free Candy Tour Episode 1 – A Verification Situation

The van we’ve purchased runs great – except when it comes to starting, idling or climbing hills. It has also developed a fairly serious mouse problem and a permanent odor of farts and feet, though that’s hardly through any fault of its own. When we bought the van, we joked that if we couldn’t resell it at the end of our trip we’d just burn it and send it off a cliff. Three weeks later, it seems like that might actually be the most sanitary way to dispose of it.

It is, however reluctantly, doing the job we need it to do: transport the four of us to the finest tracks on New Zealand’s South Island. We arrived in Christchurch in early February, traded a couple Italian hippies a pile of cash for the van, slapped a bike rack on the back, taped “Free Candy” across the passenger side windows and moved into our new home. With roughly a month to kill before reporting to Craigieburn to race the Trans NZ Enduro, our only priority was to ride as many of the Island’s famed tracks as possible.

Gas prices in New Zealand are equivalent to roughly $8 USD per gallon, so we resisted the urge to immediately drive up and down the Island hitting the hotspots we’ve read about for years. Instead, we focused our efforts on exploring the central South Island. From laps at the Christchurch Adventure Park, to a helicopter shuttle in Reefton, to exploring some of the secret tracks in Craigieburn, it doesn’t feel like that decision has been a compromise at all.

These are a few random moments from the first leg of our trip.

Pre Candy Tour – Two weeks on Vancouver Island 1024 683 The Free Radicals

Pre Candy Tour – Two weeks on Vancouver Island

Last September, with one fully functional bike and seven functional wrists between the four of us, we boarded the ferry to Vancouver Island with a plan that was somewhere between vague and nonexistent. This is a brief glimpse into the aimless and carefree two weeks that followed.

For 2017, we’re embarking on the Free Candy Tour, an adventure that will take us all over Oceania and North America, racing a schedule of Trans-style enduro events. Along the way, we will be documenting all of the uncensored and unglamorous experiences that come with our exploits and releasing eight episodes, one per month throughout our racing season.

A Vantastic Voyage through the Thompson Okanagan 1024 681 The Free Radicals

A Vantastic Voyage through the Thompson Okanagan

Tearing yourself away from the riding mecca of the Sea-to-Sky is always hard, especially during prime spring conditions. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out for those less acronym savvy) is real. Yet when Mountain Biking BC, a rad tourism organization working hard to promote everything mountain bikes in the province, offers you the chance to explore new riding areas with your friends you don’t just jump, you say “How high?”.

Four guys; Harry, Mark, Taylor and Will make up the Free Radicals. We drag along Max Berkowitz, the 19-year old video wonder kid and Simon McLaine, photographer and froth-lord, for a 7-day trip through the Thompson-Okanagan to seek out a sample of the region’s best trails, food and drinks.

Huge thanks to Mountain Biking BC and Martin Littlejohn for making this trip possible.

Video by Max Berkowitz Visual // @maxberkowitzvisual

Photos by Simon Mclaine // @mclainemedia

Design by Lula-Belle Jedynak