Race Report: Moonride, 18-May-2013

The Moonride has for many years been the stuff of New Zealand Mountain Bike legends.  Started back in 1994 as part of the mid-winter festival it has enjoyed numerous ups and downs, for the most part getting bigger and better each time.  The original concept was for it to be a team relay MTB race at the bleakest, coldest, wettest time of year from Friday night to Saturday morning.  Given these original input criteria for the race, the 2013 event had a lot to live up to.  Could it take the title of one of the coldest, bleakest and wettest Moonrides ever?  We were about to find out! [Read more…]

Race Report: AKSS Champs Series 1/3 – Sanders Reserve, 07-April-2013

Apparently last Sunday everyone really did get an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning. Even so, it still somehow felt like we didn’t as we headed out to Sanders Reserve early in the morning for the first of three Auckland Secondary School MTB Champs races.  Despite a chill in the air first thing, the sun was up and ready for action with Sanders Reserve looking stunning.  The car park quickly filled to overflowing as the competitors rolled in.  The course was marked and groomed with a noticeable amount of grass piled high beside the tracks showing the preparation in trying to avoid that pesky issue of a hay bale forming around the rear cassette!  The course was well prepared but had its share of tricky sections to test the unwary.  One poor rider from Auckland Grammar was duly carted off to sample the delights of the local Accident and Emergency after unexpectedly getting the urge to dismount via the handlebars.  No damage to the new bike, but a little problem with hand and wrist movement meant a start for this rider was out of the question. [Read more…]

Race Report: NZ Cup Race Final – Hunua, Auckland, 10-Feb-2013

The final round of the NZ Cup XC Championship series saw the world of MTB converge on Hunua.

The course was based around an abbreviated version of the Moumoukai Farm Loop taking in such favourites as Water Wheels, DC3, Pipeline (in reverse), Devolution, Girl Power, then Rocky’s Roots also done in reverse just to keep things interesting before heading back to the barn paddock.  A 6.5km lap with about 140m of climbing sounded quite tame but those grassy hills had a nasty habit of really sapping every ounce of energy and combined with heat in the high 20’s made for a pressure cooker of a race.  I am convinced that the designer of Pipeline was someone who owned a nice 26” wheeled, narrow barred Mountain bike and wanted to teach these upstarts with bigger wheels and wider bars a jolly good lesson.  The course was suitably tight and twisty! [Read more…]