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The Suspension LabMoerangi - Iconic back-country ridingThe Inside Line - Local knowledge from Rotorua ridersMAN DOWN - Rotorua's First Response Unit in action Another massive decade for MTB in Rotorua
And Gregg Brown and Gary Sullivan had front row seats to this remarkable growth...

From the Rotorua Daily Post and Bay of Plenty Times.

Words: Graeme Simpson, bluedog media

 

Gregg was a long time president of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club (and a life member) and helped manage the transition of trails oversight to the Rotorua Trails Trust as its first chairperson. He was a founder of Ride Rotorua in 2007, chaired Bay Trust and was elected to the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, a major supporter of mountain biking, in 2019.

His restaurants, the Pig and Whistle and Caper’s Epicurean, are major sponsors of mountain bike events and the Rotorua Singlespeed Society, including two world championships and nationals over the last ten years.
 

His highlights of the decade?
“Diggers,” he says. “Love them or hate them, they create a whole heap of trails. No trail is a bad trail.
“E-Bikes. Same again. Putting a generation back on bikes. And seat droppers. Best bit of bike kit ever. Riding down hills with the seat up was plain crazy…but that’s what you did before this bit of gear came about.”

 

Clair Coker

Photo: Trails at Sunset (Clair Coker).

 

And Gregg's prediction for 2030?
“Whakawerawera Forest landowners will phase out Radiata Pine for slower growing native species to slow or stop the destruction of trails via harvesting operations,” he continues. “Only then can we call these trails world class.”

 

Gary Sullivan is another past president and life member of the Mountain Bike Club, current president of the Singlespeed Society and another founder of Ride Rotorua.
Through his MTB clothing company, Nzo, Gaz has sponsored the sport for over 20 years as well as being graphic designer behind the unique look of many events from the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships to the Rotorua Bike Festival to Singlespeed World and National Championships.

Formation of the Rotorua Trails Trust tops his list for 2010 to 2019.
“This moved the process of creating and maintaining trails in the forest into a whole new era,” he says. “Can’t please everybody, but the overall standard of trails in the forest, and their year-round usability has improved so much I sold my single speed.”

Fraser Britton - CWX

Photo: Crankworx Dual Slalom (Fraser Britton).

 

Crankworx coming to town was also a highlight.
“There isn't much crossover between the event and what I call mountain biking, but as a way to draw the city into the sport, and promote Rotorua to the world, it’s hands-down the biggest thing ever.


“Same with Enduros. The format, and the local versions of it, have breathed new life into the competition scene both here and abroad. An event that closely mirrors what most people do on an average ride is gold.”

Top innovation?
“Remote control dropper posts. Hard to believe we rode without them,” says Gaz.

 

Fraser Britton - Enduro

Photo: Enduros have breathed new life into the competition scene over the last decade (Fraser Britton).


So, a very big decade and my bikes of the 2010s are from two ends of the spectrum - though, both have Rotorua DNA.
First up, a Jeffson steel gravel bike I helped hand build with Jeff Anderson in 2014. An extraordinary experience, never to be forgotten. Second, my Zerode Taniwha, designed in Rotorua by Rob Metz, fully carbon, 27.5” wheels and with a Pinion Technology internal gearbox, my innovation of the decade.

 

A brilliant bike, recently made better by a full tune-up, new rear hub and wheel rebuild by Jono Church at The Suspension Lab.

I can see the future.


• Dave Donaldson from Crankworx Rotorua and Jonathan Dodd from the Rotorua Bike Festival also took a look back on the decade.