Words and Photos Odin Woods

The What 

Kiwi Beervet. A prestigious non-event aimed at the elite, beer (and whiskey) enthusiasts willing to travel the extra mile to quench their thirst. The goal is to pay homage to the iconic Kiwi pub, Tavern, Hotel, and Inn. Separated by long gravel roads, mountain passes, 4x4 track, repurposed rail trail, and A2O trail. 15 of us endeavored to connect the dots using the road less traveled.

The Where 

Central Otago – Waitaki district – NZ. Big vistas, even bigger mountains, and a whole lot of open space.
Day one – Alexandra to Dansys Pass 115km, 1129m climbing, 4 pubs
Day two – Dansys Pass to Otematata 107km, 1257m climbing, 4 pubs
Day three – Otematata to Wedderburn 104km, 1700m climbing, 1 pub, supplemented with whiskey and per diem beer
Day four – Wedderburn to Ophir 58km, 400m climbing, 4 pubs
Day five – Ophir to Alexandra 64km, 1300m climbing, 1 pub, supplemented with whiskey and per diem beer

The who

Hand-selected by El Presidente himself (Tony H) 14 people were vetted for their skills they would bring to the Kiwi Beervet, no skill was to be useful in anyway or to conform with any social norms. We ranged from drainlayers to doctors, engineers to bike mechanics. Most of that now meant nothing, (maybe the bike mechanic bit) we just needed to be able and thirsty. The rest would take care of itself.

The ride

Since the 2019 installment of the Kiwi Beervet I had been pondering what kind of terrain 2020 would bring. Big climbs? Longer days? Gravel roads to single track ratio? This got me thinking about bike choice. Do I need a new bike for this? It’s a pretty good excuse for a new bike right? But I couldn’t tear my self away from how much I’ve enjoyed riding my 2013 Kona Unit. So I became determined to make this bike my permanent long haul, beer-drinking, whiskey carting, bike packing rig. It’s got good bones (the best) so what could I change to make this more suited to what I want to do?…. Fuck it I’m putting drop bars on it! And if anyone with a sharp eye noticed, yes I have drilled holes in the frame and retrofitted an internal dropper post. And its f*#king amazing!

 

 2013 Kona Unit 19’’ frame 
Carbon 29 Toseek fork 
Cane Creek Headset 
Spank Flare 440mm drop bars
Spank 35mm stem 
Shimano Ultegra R8000 hydraulic brake/shifters
Retro fitted XT callipers to road shifters
Shimano 180 F/R rotors
SRAM XO carbon 170mm cranks with 32T chainring
Shimano GRX 11 speed derailleur 
Shimano XT 11-42 cassette 
LEV internal 100m dropper actuated off LH shifter  
WTB Volt saddle
Hope Pro 2 Hubs 
Stans Arch Wheels 
WTB 2.0 Nine Line tires
Custom rivnutted down tube for Anything Cage (whiskey)
Custom titanium King Cage (water)
Dirtbag Utility Co frame bags and front bag
Revalate seat bag and top tank