Rotorua summed up

Everyone was very friendly. From the people from Melbourne we met on day 1 to the gals from Cambridge we met on Tokarangi trail.
Riding The Dipper at maximum attack on Easter Sunday when the trail was super busy. We lucked out with the traffic and got a mostly clean run through. I hit all the jump lines with enough speed to clear all the tables and doubles. The berms in there are rock hard, the dirt like concrete, and it flows well. Great fun.
Pushing to discover how fast one can go down the top half of Be Rude Not 2. I don't know if there is a limit, in practical terms. Which is to say no matter how hard you pedal the slope is just not that steep to get the speed up enough to worry. What a hoot!
The map says Tuhoto Ariki is 5 km long. The reality was it seems never-ending. A tight, technical trail with more roots to ride on than dirt. We had to portage around one fallen tree. The others were technically rideable but when wet and slippery I had to dab to clear them. I learned how fast you can go without the brakes on if you keep loose and low and let the bike move around underneath you. The answer is quite fast, and the bike can move a long way if the front wheel rides the diagonal of the roots.
Hot Cross Buns reminded me a lot of the end of A-line at Whistler (after a flowing jumps track it goes off into the trees for the final run to the GLC drops through a much more technical and rough bit of track) and I was astounded at how well the Yeti dealt with it. The head angle might be 3 degrees steeper than the one on my V10, and the travel is only 2/3 as much (150 rather than 200) but it just dealt with it. The margin for error might be smaller, but wow!
Corners reminded me of the blue runs at Silver Star. Not any specific one, but just the lot of them in general (SuperStar & Shazam in particular, but also bits of RockStar - a black run). Again, the Yeti monstered it.
We didn't shuttle our first day and rode up the shuttle road giving us a chance to ride Frontal Lobotomy. I think you need to have had one of these in order to ride up these hills all the time! The steep bits have so much traction it is only gravity that holds you back (not like trying to ride up the firetrails on Isaacs Ridge where it is traction on loose gravel that prevents making it). At least the steep bits are short.
After we came out of Tuhotu Ariki we turned right to go to Split Enz, only it is left. Almost immediately we came on these two guys riding up. "Where are you two headed?" I asked, thinking there were no trails in that direction. Lucky for us they set us straight before we descended too far. Because Split Enz is an excellent flowing track. It has these big trees with buttressed roots and the trail kicks over them (picture an uphill cliff and a downhill drop and the path goes between the tree and the uphill side but it peaks in a jump and a turn as it passes over the bump caused by this big rooty projection from the trunk). With a bit of practice I am sure you could take them at full speed and get a nice mini-hip jump going off each one.
I'm also grateful because Split Enz is the only way to get to Pondy and that was so much fun. There is a jumps line at the bottom of Pondy DH on the right. I was going about 60 when we passed it and didn't even acknowledge what they were at first, and then it was too late to do anything about them. I've said this a lot - next time!
My best non-cycling memory was the Dog's Bollocks Burger I ordered in town. It was the biggest burger I've ever seen. Two beef patties (nicely seasoned by the way). Fried egg. Bacon. Two onion rings. Two nests of beet root. All on a big bun. It was 20 cm thick! Kathryn had a chicken burger and got two breasts, lots of sauce, more nests of beet root and therefore something she couldn't eat (but also well seasoned and yummy).
Rotorua, I'm coming back!