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April 2014

WHAT'S THE USE-BY DATE ON THESE THINGS?

What do you mean, does my bum look big in these? Your bum is hanging out of the things! What do you mean, does my bum look big in these? Your bum is hanging out of the things!

We have released the 2014 version of our key product, the Dobies mountain bike shorts.

They are made in New Zealand. They are the best representation of our design we have managed to muster thus far, the quality of the manufacturing is really good.

When we have talked to people about our products, we often get a comment along the lines of “your product only has one problem - we can’t wear it out”. That is what we try for, because we believe in making things that are multifunctional, and last a long time.

There is a problem with that approach. Most people only need a couple of pairs of mountain bike shorts. If they buy two or three from us, they have themselves covered for the foreseeable future.

There is also something about Nzo that seems to appeal to people who like to flog a pair of shorts into oblivion, which takes as long as 15 years in some cases. And they take pride in it! People will wear a pair of Dobies until their families must be ashamed to be seen with them, and then send us a picture of the results. They seem to say Look! these damn things may look terrible, but I can still wear them and not get arrested!

Which is all good, don’t get us wrong. Even though the piping is hanging out and the zips have ceased to function, and the pockets can not be trusted, they still do the main job they were bought for. Perhaps they form a bridge to simpler times before the owner had teenage offspring and their iPhone’s running costs.

We marvel at the number of bicycles, cars, and even houses that are exchanged for new ones in a customer’s life while that same pair of shorts gets wheeled out of the laundry for another lap of the woods.

Which brings me to my point: we are not going to make shorts that self-destruct, so if you want to be able to get some more when the ones you have finally dissolve, tell your mates about us!

Two invisible ninjas square off to do battle, both stark naked except for their Dobies. Two invisible ninjas square off to do battle, both stark naked except for their Dobies.

 

REX TESTS THE TIMBER

Showing good taste, Rex's choice of bedside table reading matter shows his enthusiasm is not dented any more than the tree was. Showing good taste, Rex's choice of bedside table reading matter shows his enthusiasm is not dented any more than the tree was.

Our friend Rex was out there doing things we all do on our bikes. He was seeing how fast he could go down a piece of trail he was familiar with. Or he was seeing if he could ride down a trail he wasn’t familiar with. The inherent problem with either of these activities is that he would eventually find out - perhaps the speed dialled was too fast, or maybe he couldn’t ride down that trail, not today anyway, and not without crashing.

I wasn’t there, but I believe a handlebar snicked a tree just before a dropoff, causing a modified trajectory that brought another tree into play, so it sounds like the speed scenario was the one being tested.

The thing with trees, as Coxy once pointed out to me when I was laid out on a trail unable to breathe, is that if you cut one in half they are wood all the way through. Run into one headfirst at any sort of pace and you will have concussion, and if you are really pinning it, a broken neck.

That is what Rex did.

Rex is a man of style, his career is in the other end of fashion from the lowly rung occupied by mountain bike shorts makers, so his first act after having his new neck-brace fitted was to snap a selfie showing how it set off his ancient Nzo Classic shorts. And arrange for it to get on to Facebook with the terse message, neck broken, all good, see you soon. More or less.

The expected torrent of sympathy and derision ensued, and we all watched the situation tensely as the medicos worked through an observation period, an operation, and what I would guess would be an admonishment regarding running into trees.

Rex was right, he was lucky, the surgeons were skillful, and all is well.

What we liked best about the whole bad thing was Rex’s report post-panelbeating: it all went well, got some scars, hugely grateful to everybody and especially my lovely wife, going out bike riding asap.

Don’t be talking to Rex about giving that bike riding stuff up. Maybe get him to minimise the bike riding stuff-ups.

 

THE 20th MOONRIDE IS THE Nzo MOONRIDE

010414MR3

At the weekend we were up to our ears in the 20th edition of the Moonride.

Moved from its former home in the wet and cold end of May, the event nestled into its new date in March as if it was made for it. It was not big as it used to be, but it did become the Nzo Moonride. We have attended every Monride in some capacity since Nzo was launched 16 years ago, and to be able to stick our logo on the front of the whole event was very good.


As a way for a gang of people to get together and experience an event, the Nzo Moonride is hard to beat. This year the race returned to its roots, with a longer and more challenging course, and the feedback so far has been really positive. If you are up for the 24 Hour category (like we were; sort of) the thing starts at 10pm on Friday night, and winds inexorably on until the same hour Saturday Night. That is value for money, if sheer volume is how you measure entry fee returns.

Quite a few teams featured riders at the top of the sport, and the competition was tight at the pointy end of all the categories, but the great thing from our point of view was the number of kids having a go.

There can’t be too many other sports events that can be entered by a family, everybody in the same race, on the track with the best in business (also in the same race), and that can include bacon. And eggs. The experience of riding through the darkening campsite with the cooking aromas of various things to eat wafting across the track is unusual in bike races.

Sadly, everything was not perfect. One of the competitors, Andrew Carmichael from Tauranga, died of a heart failure during the event. Our thoughts, and I am sure those of all the riders, supporters, volunteers and the event organisers, are with his family.

Some girls take the occasion seriously. Some girls take the occasion seriously.

010414MR2 Our mate Kate, a very good trackie, entered her second ever mountain bike race, the 6 hour solo. And did pretty well! Very proud of her.