I have just come off an awesome summer in the Southern Hemispheres biking capital, Queenstown! Every summer for the past five years I have enjoyed what Queenstown and the surrounding area have to offer and it keeps drawing me back with nothing but good times. This summer started off pretty chill with lots of sessions at Mini and Big Dream which is a DH bike paradise with jumps of all sizes along with an awesome mulch jump for the small bike. The dream arena is on all year round due to its superb draining. It sees a lot of use at the end of each season when the Gorge Road jump park is still too wet to ride. Gorge opened at the start of December this summer which stole the show for me, after a summer in Morzine with no dirt jumps what so ever. I didn’t touch any of my other bikes for a few weeks after Gorge opened with plenty of all day sessions and sessions until dark going down with an awesome crew.
Flip Bar at the Mini Dream mulch jump(Pic: Emmerson Wilken)
Come the new year there were a few races on the horizon which I decided I would give a go. I had just built up a new Turner 5-Spot trail bike so wanted to see how it would go in a few enduros. I started out racing XC pretty seriously and like to think I still have a bit of fitness left from that so thought I might do alright but never expected to be getting podiums! The first enduro of the summer I did was the DME which sold out in an amazing four minutes so I was lucky to sneak in there! The race is held on some private trails up near the top of the South Island which are some of the best trails I have ridden in NZ and with 80 km of single track to choose from there was no shortage of choice for the organizers. I surprised myself with a 4th place not to far back from the winner Justin Leov which I couldn’t have been happier with! This re-ignited my passion for racing so I ended up doing a few more enduros and mega avalanche style races over the summer with plenty of podiums including a couple where I ended up on the top step.
DME enduro (Pic: David Chadwick)