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Growing MTB Parks

  Last week we delivered a run of custom stuff for a special crew. They were happy with how it came out, we were very happy with how it came about. We made mountain bike tops and t shirts for a group of people working in forestry.  Half the staff in the company that manages the trees in our local patch ride bikes in the forest. Many of the people who don’t ride bikes do other recreational stuff in the trees, and they love the forest as much as the bike-riders. They came to us with their motto, and a shopping list, and we were stoked to be able to complete the operation. The aspect of this project that really...

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2020 and the state of the sport

  During the festive season a mate penned a couple of articles for the local paper. These got us thinking about the state of our sport from where we sit… and it is amazing. And confusing, in equal measures. Graeme’s weekly mountain biking column in a daily newspaper, for a start. That would have seemed very unlikely to a younger me, when I wheelied out of a bike shop on my first mountain bike 35 years ago.  There were no magazines around to help us figure out what we were supposed to be doing on these things.  Today we are swamped with imagery and inspiration, but it doesn’t necessarily represent reality.  The latest edition of a magazine arrived over the...

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Trees / No Trees / New Trees

In Rotorua, most of our riding is done in a ‘working forest’. It is a very complex scenario - the land is owned by its original occupants, iwi of Te Arawa. They generously allow all the development for recreational activity, including mountain biking, to take place in their forest. The trees are managed by a local timber company. The way they have decided to harvest is quite different to how it would be done if the trees were not interlaced with several hundred kilometres of trails. The foresters understand how valuable the recreational aspect of the forest is to the city - many of them ride - and so they are taking down fairly small areas dotted around the forest...

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White Line Fever, and the antidote

This time of year I am usually doing different versions of the same thing: cramming in some road miles, trying to get ready to do my annual hundred mile ride around Lake Taupo. Road riding has its nice bits. The bikes can be very nice. There may be scenery. There are downhills, some with corners. There is getting home alive, and all that entails. It is possible, with a bit of planning, to make a road ride into a sort of cafe crawl, with more variety in the menus than what you are likely to find in a forest. However, there are long stretches of what is not exactly boredom, but is a long period of relative sameness. The white...

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It happened here

In Rotorua we are in the middle of the hottest, driest spring since records began, or at least as long as we can remember. Trails are perfect in the trees, or dusty and falling apart where the sun can get at them. These conditions may have contributed to a spectacular near death experience I had the night before last. I was hooning down one of my favourite trails, at what constitutes top speed on my planet, and starting to feel like I was on my game. Got to a short bony bit, where the trail curves gently left and there are a bunch of roots and holes on the main line, but an inside line is available which is quite smooth...

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