Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bike Culture


A bike shop - but not as you know it!
Bike Culture is a new store in Rotorua, owned and operated by Rob Smail and Mike Metz (some of the most experienced mechanic’s in NZ) and will be specialising in servicing. They will also be a Santa Cruz dealer.

1133 Pukuatua St (down from Zippys), Rotorua.
07 343 9372

Opens Friday 1st June, go and check them out!

Official Opening Party Saturday 5.00pm.

I'll assume everyone is invited, I'll be there and come and see the new Santa Cruz single pivot range. New Superlight, Heckler and Bullit!


Bike Culture isn't even open yet and it's already hit the headlines, Graeme Simpson had this to say in todays Rotorua's Daily Post;
Rotorua Daily Post MTB Column – Wednesday May 30, 2007
I’m not sure when I first met Rob and Annika Smail.
But I know it was out in the Forest or maybe at Zippy Central before or after a ride. They were doing what we’d done for years before moving to Rotorua. Hit the road out of Auckland on Friday evening or Saturday morning with a car packed full of bikes and head south at almost every opportunity.
Rob has been mountain biking for a long time, Annika not so long. She’s now represented New Zealand at World Cups and last year’s World Champs in cross-country so I’m sure she won’t mind me telling this story. When we first went riding with her she stopped to let us pass on Be Rude Not To. It didn’t take long till she was leaving us in the dust up and down hills.
Actually, that’s not quite true. Like other people we ride with in Rotorua – Gaz from N-Zo, photographer Graeme Murray, Morgan from Zippy’s – Rob and Annika always stop and shoot the breeze so we can catch up.
A few years ago we rode the 42 Traverse with Gaz, GM, Rob and Annika. It was a bitterly cold autumn day with icy windblown sleet on the first section into the trailhead. On one of the long climbs one of the crew (let’s call her, Carolyn) developed a temporary, bike-fatigue form of Tourette’s Syndrome. Graeme M just dropped back to ride with her and keep her going.
Rob and Annika didn’t just ride here. They also joined the local Club (and in Annika’s case rode for it at national level) and got involved in trail building. They were part of the Good Friday team who trail blazed the first part of Hot Cross Buns.
Eventually they couldn’t stand the travel any longer and moved to Rotorua.
Rob rides a Santa Cruz and was looking after our Blurs even before he arrived in town. It was good to have him closer to home at Bike Vegas.
When we first got into mountain biking back in the mid-90s our first bikes were far simpler than the Blurs – hard tails, v-brakes, front forks with 80 mill of travel.
They still needed a bit of maintaining and the place to go in Auckland was definitely Cyco on Ponsonby Road. It was also a time when a weekend didn’t seem complete without a visit to a bike shop to drool over the bling, so we got to know the Cyco guys well enough to say hello to.
Mike Metz was one of them.
We’d still see Mike after we moved to Rotorua. He was friends of new friends down here like Gaz and Glen from N-Zo and was often seen in the forest just riding along or down from Auckland to race in national series rounds or Nduro races.
2007 and if anyone needed any more evidence that Rotorua is the capital city of MTB in NZ, here it is: like so many others, Mike has also moved to town.
And he’s gone into business with Rob. 40 combined years of bike skills and wrenching wisdom can now be found at Bike Culture in Pukuatua Street.
In a town with a fine tradition of top bike mechanics (like New Zealand team spanner men, Dale and Ryan Hollows, and bike builders like Jeff Anderson and Graeme Pearson, for example) that’s surely a good sign of a healthy bike environment.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Not Easy Being Green

OK,
I just got my next small shipment of frames from Santa Cruz and Ibis.
Lime Green seems to be the new black.

The medium Bullit pictured currently doesn't have a home, this frame is now in Hub Cycles in Christchurh.....go and check it out before it's gone.

The Lime Green Mojo is a small and look so nice in the flesh.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Syndicate Rule Lisbon


This just in from Syndicate Team Manager, Kathy Sessler.

PEATY RULES LISBON DOWNTOWN, SIXTH YEAR IN A ROW!!!!
RENNIE CHASES HIM IN!

May 19, 2007
Lisbon, Portugal

What can we say other than Steve Peat rules the downhill in Lisbon, should be voted for mayor of the town at the very least! Peaty wins the downhill in Lisbon for the 6th year in a row, obliterating the nearest competitor by 2.624 seconds, and that is teammate, Nathan Rennie. If you could say this was a great romp for the Santa Cruz Syndicate, you would be correct. It was brilliant that Santa Cruz Bicycles owner, Rob Roskopp was on site to witness the brilliant moves of his team into first and second place at this amazing downtown race!

The lead up into this event following the World Cup race in Vigo, Spain, just last weekend was one of relaxation and training. After Vigo, many of the top racers went to the sleepy town of Lousa, Portugal, to relax and train before heading south to Lisbon for the annual Lisbon Downtown Race. Riding tourist bikes to the riverside watering hole, Nathan Rennie and the Syndicate staff enjoyed the day relaxing with the Honda Team. The next day was spent shuttling downhill runs on the awesome local track, with many of the local mountain bike fans in awe of their heroes coming t honor their home track.
On to Lisbon, where Friday was spent having a leisurely day at the beachside town of Cascais, Portugal.

It all happens on Saturday at the Lisbon Downtown with practice, qualifier, and race all on the day.
With the ladies watching out their windows peeping through their laundry, and dogs running amuck, Steve Peat posted the fastest qualifying run at 1:42.29.
Greg Minnaar was second at 1:43.23 in second, back of the ace of this course at 1:43.90. Santa Cruz Syndicate rider Nathan Rennie had a solid run coming
in third with a 1;43.90. Peat said he really didn't
think it felt like a great run, and Rennie said he over braked in a lot of places and both concur that you learn something each and every run on this course.

The final was a huge buildup as the qualifiers were run in reverse order and the Syndicate riders were stacked at the top. Filip Polc was in the hot-throne as Rennie blasted in with a 1:42.282, unseating Polc.
Basking in the 6 minutes of glory until teammate Steve Peat comes down the course, as the amazing tactician maneuvered his way through the cobbles to blast into first place, yet again, besting Rennie's time by 2.624 seconds. Santa Cruz Syndicate is stoked to rule Lisbon with a first and second place finish at this prestigious downtown race!!

The master, Steve Peat says, "I smoked Nathan by
2.642983853 seconds on a one minute track! And I dedicate this win to Rob and Lepa. The boys did good cuz they had the three b's leading up to this race (beach, beer, bikes.).

Rennie says, " I'm quite happy with my run, although I crashed 3 times..hold on..no.that's only the number of seconds Steve beat me by! I'm 3000 euros happier and it makes up for last week in Vigo!"

The boys head off to Ae Forest in Scotland next week for the NPS British National, then Wheels of Speed in Germany.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Santa Cruz Bicycles
SRAM
Rock Shox
Truvativ
Avid
Kenda
DT Swiss
WTB
Crankbrothers
Lizard Skins
Clif Bar
Troy Lee Designs
Chris King
Five Ten

Final top five:

1: Steve Peat: 1:39.658 SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE
2: Nathan Rennie: 1:42. 282 SANTA CRUZ SYNDICATE
3: Filip Polc: 1:42.444
4: Samuel Hill: 1:42.543
5: Matti Lehikoinen 1:42.563

Kathy Sessler
Santa Cruz Syndicate
Team Manager




Monday, May 14, 2007

Syndicate Report from Vigo Spain



PEATY 4TH IN VIGO DH, BEAUMONT WINS

Sunday May 13, 2007
Vigo, Spain

Marc Beaumont, MBUK Santa Cruz rider, wins his first UCI World Cup Downhill in Vigo, Spain today. Santa Cruz Syndicate’s Steve Peat squeaks onto the podium with the rapidly changing conditions coming in 4th position. David Vazquez from Spain thrilled the home crowd with his outstanding 2nd place performance, followed by Greg Minnaar, Peat, and Sam Hill.
Weather ruled this race, and the rain that was forecast during the week actually arrived, with bits of sun one moment, to hail, to sun to rain, to more rain, then sun.

In yesterday’s qualifier, today’s winner, Marc Beaumont suffered a crash and just made it into the show qualifying in 75th position. Starting his race about 1:00 pm today, he had the best of the days changing conditions and sat in the hotseat until the end. He says, “I was 75th yesterday and I was in no fit state to race today with my shoulder and knee. I just rode solid and risked nothing. Still I have a hard time realizing that I won, it is taking some time for it to sink in.”

Syndicate mechanics, Doug Hatfield and Rick Clarkson had their work cut out for them. With dry and wet condition tires set up, they were at the top of the hill changing wheels back and forth as the conditions changed. “We set up for wet, then dry, then changed back to wet, then dry, and the race started up wet, and it ended dry,” said Doug and Rick.

In the end, Peat was happy that his run ended in a podium because he did not think it was close. He made two mistakes on the top, which made it hard to carry speed where you needed to. “I lost time on the bottom by messing up corners that were crucial to carrying speed. I didn’t expect to be on the podium with the run I did, and only off by 2 seconds in those conditions wasn’t too bad,” said Peat.

Nathan Rennie had a dismal result on a dismal day, sorry to say, finishing in 26th position with a time of 2:46.77, 9.56 seconds back of the winner. Of his run Rennie said, “I slid out in the corner before the wooden bridge, then went to pedal, sliding my rear wheel off the bridge. With no speed to make the next jump I had to ride through the creek. Not a good day.”

In the end, Peat enjoyed spraying his former protégée, Beaumont, with a huge dose of champagne, duly earned, with a sense of pride. The proud Peat has a new subject to bring up and that is Josh Bryceland who competed in his first World Cup today. Another victim of the rain, the first 20 seconds of his race was drying and then it started to piss down. Even still, he pulled off a 29th place finish with a time of 2:47.23.

Next for the Santa Cruz Syndicate riders is Lisbon Downtown next weekend, and we are hoping for pleasant weather!




Friday, May 11, 2007

Anja McDonald reports on the Nasbey 12hour....Solo

Ok, I've been a little slack with posting to my blog. Can I say I been busy? Will that work?

Ok Nasbey 12 Hour was in April, Anja McDonald, current Nation XC Champ and Blur XC rider, thought she would give it a go, solo. Anja finished in third with some stiff competition from her fellow R&R team riders.

Results can be found here www.vorb.org.nz/article-58322.html

Anja's Report

After all those weekends spent following the national series races and preparing for the Oceanias, you start feeling withdrawal symptoms when you have to go a week or two without a race lined up. So, the Naseby 12 hr presented itself as an opportunity to get a whole month’s worth of racing out of the way - in just one day.

We had pretty much perfect conditions for the race, which was lucky because as the Naseby campground owner informed me (as I polished off half a box of muesli over breakfast) there were going to be 600 competitors out there carving up the trails that day. Seven of those were individual females, which I think would have to be the highest number of individual female entries in any 12hr event in the country.

So, knowing I was really only good for the length of a cross country race, doing something 6 times that length for the first time had me quite nervous. But after getting some nutritional advice from friend and fellow competitor Sara Macdonald, and sorting an exceptionally efficient and dedicated support crew, I figured I'd get through it.

And I did. The first 5 hours were actually pretty comfortable, mentally and physically. But at about 6 hours, I lost interest in any of the food I'd arranged, small aches and pains started to be amplified and my average heart rate hit rock bottom. And as the night wore on, I was counting my lucky stars that I had the Blur smoothing out the bumpy track for me!

But, the Naseby 12hr, in it's 3rd year, is still one of those fantastically 'local' feeling races. And with all the encouragement I was getting from people out on the trails and especially while weaving around the tent sites, I was spurred on to keep the hammer down for the full 12 hours.

Towards the end of the night, however, even after my lights had failed twice and i was reduced to asking passers-by if i could follow them to get back to the finish line, my primary concern was whether i could afford a comfort stop at the loos - which i had to pass every lap, or if i should just hold on till the end...

The race finished up at 9pm and I finally got the toilet stop i'd been fixated on for the previous 3 or so hours. I wish I had more to say about the prize giving and after match function down at the Royal Hotel, but I'd already retired to my sleeping bag in a state of complete fatigue by that stage. But, I can say, it was great to take on a completely new challenge with this event, and have to say, it's a race I'll put in my diary for next year.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dob in ya Mates competiton



For those of you are lucky enough to receive my monthly emailed News Letter, you will know that I ran a competition to win a lovely Santa Cruz S Man bottle opener. I had 10 to give away and these 1o people emailed me quick with their mates email address's, it was a bit worrying
I've listed the Top Ten Dobbers below. It might of been the person that dobbed you in.
If you would like to be on the email list, send me an email and I'll add you to my database.
A big thanks to everyone who 'Dobbed in a Mate', it's good to know you are all out there and happy to help spread the word.
I might have to think of some other competition now too...but I am completely out of S man bottle openers.

Top Ten Dobbers!
Keighley R. - Auckland
Dale E. - Palmy North
Mark A. - Auckland
Shane T -Hamilton
Richard S - Palmy North
Mickey F - Dunedin
Glenn D - Tauranga
Mark H - Auckland
Carol-Lyn C - Auckland
Jack C - Taranaki