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November 2016

Specialized Healthy Catch Ups back for Summer 16/17

Specialized Healthy Catch Ups at Rabbit Ridge

Specialized healthy catch ups is a program for 2016 that aims to promote healthy living for females. The program asks leading Specialized retailers around the world to organise social cycling experiences for women that are about friendship, fitness and fun. The initiative aims to inspire people to get out there, discover new experiences with friends –and have lots of fun along the way!

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

Outside Sports hosted social ladies rides in January, February and March 2016 which turned out to be so popular we decided to make an annual event. The first ladies ride of this summer was to go ahead at Rabbit Ridge Bike Park on the last Sunday of November, within a couple of days from the event announcement the ride was fully booked.

Rabbit Ridge Bike Park is located next to Gibbston Valley Winery and features more than 40kms of trails suitable for all levels of riders. A perfect place for anyone getting into mountain biking that wants something a bit less intimidating than a lot of the riding in Queenstown.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

As the weekend approached the forecast wasn’t looking great and early Sunday morning the rain was pouring down. Between the clouds we saw that there had been a big snowfall on the surrounding mountains –

and it’s supposed to be the start of summer!?

We decided to go with the optimistic approach and head out to meet at Gibbston Valley Winery hoping that the sun would come out and the trails would be dry. On meeting at Gibbston valley Winery, Sean from Rabbit Ride had just got back from test riding the trails with a bike caked in mud.

It was not looking promising.......

We were expecting a small turnout due to poor conditions but nearly everyone that booked showed up excited to ride– great effort! The enthusiasm from the group seemed to pay off as the sun started to peek through the clouds and the rain stopped - a ride was definitely in order.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

The call was made that Rabbit Ridge was too slippery and the Queenstown trail across the road would be a good option. The group set off to ride the loop down by the river with the possibility of coming back to the Ridge if it dried out. The trail took the group on a loop down towards the river for a cruisy ride looking out over the Kawarau. As the group rode, the sun seemed to fight its way through the clouds making for a pretty nice day! The snow on the hills made for some great scenery and everyone seemed stoked to be out riding.

There was a mix of skill levels but everyone rode as a group and the more skilled riders gave riding tips and encouragement, making for a really great environment for all. Ronan the mechanic from Outside Sports rode along at the back to fix anything that went wrong and had with him the Specialized Levo pedal assisted mountain bike which several of the ladies had a turn on which made the ride a LOT easier.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

After the river loop we got a call from Sean who had been keeping an eye on the trail conditions at Rabbit Ridge and he had good news. The lower trails had soaked up all the water and it was looking good to ride!

As we had already done a decent amount of pedalling and food and wine was on the mind, we decided some shuttle runs would be more enjoyable then riding to the top of the park. With the Outside Sports truck and the Rabbit Ridge van, the riders were taken to the top of the park for a couple of descending trails to finish the ride.

Everyone arrived back at Gibbston Valley Winery where some complimentary bottles of wine and juice were waiting for the thirsty riders. After a post ride catch up over some food and drink, the riders left with new friends and have hopefully been inspired to get out there and do more healthy social catch ups.

Healthy Catch Ups Rabbit Ridge Outside Sports NZ

Thank you to Rabbit Ridge for free access to the trails, Gibbston Valley Winery for hosting us, and all the riders who came along with such great attitudes!

Keep an eye on the Healthy Catch Ups Facebook page for information on the next ride, and feel free to use the page to organise your own healthy catch up!

Thanks to:

Specialized Healthy Catch Ups programme

Rabbit Ridge Bike Park

Gibbston Valley Winery

Cookies Coaching


Photo Credit: Meagan Lee Wilken

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Specialized Bike Demo Trailer is back!

The Specialized Bike Demo Trailer is back! 

Specialized Bike Demo Days Outside Sports NZ

Specialized are bringing the Bike Demo Trailer to Queenstown and Wanaka with a mountain Bike focused fleet of new season bikes for you to try! Epics, Cambers, Stumpjumpers, Rhymes, Enduros and Levos for you to take for a spin.


Where: Queenstown- 7 Mile

When: Saturday 19th November, 9am- 3pm

What to Bring: No Bookings required, just bring riding gear and ID.


Where: Wanaka- Sticky Forest

When: Sunday 20th November, 9am- 3pm

What to Bring: No Bookings required, just bring riding gear and ID.

Get along and try one out! 


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Days like these are what Queenstown life is all about!

Inter store ride at Rude Rock

By Elmo

To kick summer off, employees from all the Queenstown bike shops got together after work for a big group bike ride at a local favourite, the Rude Rock trail.

Outside Sports bike Queenstown Rude Rock NZ

Rude Rock is up at the Coronet peak ski area and has easy shuttle access along the Coronet Peak road making it perfect for group rides. It is a fast and flowy trail that weaves along the open tussock hills and is extremely fun for both intermediate and advanced mountain bikers.

Outside Sports bike Queenstown Rude Rock NZ

At 6pm everyone shut up shop and nearly 40 riders piled into vans to head up Coronet Peak. The sun was leaving town but as Rude Rock is up on the hill there was still plenty of daylight left to ride. It was a beautiful calm afternoon and spirits were high – everyone was stoked to finish the workday and get out for a ride with all of their buddy’s.

People piled out of the vans at the top of the road and lined up at the start of the trail for a huge party train down. Some good sorts had recently done some digging to spruce up the track so it was riding perfectly. The pack dropped in and the hills echoed with the sounds of excited riders doing what they enjoy most. Everyone had an awesome time sending it down the hill again and again until it was nearly too dark to see. With the last bit of light all the riders mingled in the carpark for plenty of hi-fives, a beer, and a good catch up about the winter and plans for summer before heading home or to the pub. 

Outside Sports bike Queenstown Rude Rock NZ

Cheers to everyone involved for an awesome evening, it was great to get everyone from the local shops together and share a ride. Days like that are what Queenstown life is all about!

Bring on the bike season.


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Specialized Dig Day Queenstown

Specialized Dig Day, Outside Sports NZ

Love living and riding in Queenstown? Want to help build and maintain the local trails? 

Here's your chance to get a taste of what trail building is about - get involved and give back to the mighty Queenstown trails for an evening. Riders of all levels (and non-riders) are encouraged to come out, cut some new lines, earn some trail karma and have a hand in expanding the formidable local trail network.

The Queenstown MTB Club, along with experienced trail builders and local good sorts will lead digging on a new trail close to town. Work will be focussed on some sweet hand built single track. No name until it's built!

The Specialized NZ team will be there digging, as well as supporting volunteers with food, drinks, tools and maybe some bikes for a quick ride afterwards! We will be rolling on downtown afterwards with support from Atlas Bar.


Friday 18th November

Meet at Bottom of Skyline Gondola, Brecon Street.
2 groups with safety briefing to be given at these times.
• Early group -4pm 
• Later (after work) group 6pm

Dig will be from 4pm – 8pm
We will be cutting a new trail
We will be accessing the dig site via the Skyline Gondola, then walking across to start of Hammy’s. 
The Dig will be higher up above Hammy’s track and will be clearly signposted.

Skyline to provide free access for volunteers - Thanks Skyline!

Season pass holders can go up when they want

Specialized Team will put on a mean BBQ for volunteers down at the lake front from 8pm


- Pick, shovel, grubber, rake, pruning saw, garden snips if you have them. Some tools will be provided, but it would be a big help if you can bring your own to lend to others if needed.
- Warm gear for when it gets cold
- Sturdy/protective footwear and gloves

Follow the Facebook event page for updates: Dig Day- Queenstown

#RideMoreNZ #WhereAdventuresBegin #IamSpecialized

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Race Report: XTrail China: New Zealand Adventure Race Team

XTrail China: Race for the Finish

We had a good quick change and were onto the bikes again. This area in which we were doing the abseiling and biking reminded me of Central Otago. We charged along these lovely back roads under the setting sun and an approaching front. I remember hoping the rain wouldn't come too soon. After the next CP by the river we charged after George and ended up in a village as it was getting dark and beginning to rain. It became obvious that the route finding wasn't easy around this village, with the old maps and inaccurate roads.

"Which village was it anyway? Not the one we thought as it turned out!"

We biked around some fields and eventually after a couple of hours we were able to work out where we were. However, we lost valuable time and team morale was low. But on reaching the CP we were surprised to find we were still in 5th, which was a boost. Then we were onto finding a track up the left hand side of a river. This was tricky and there was no obvious track but the bearing was right so we went for it. What an adventure this was…up the side of what seemed a steep river canyon with our bikes on wet slippery bluffs above a river canyon in the dark. We did question the route at times. There seemed no way through and certainly no obvious track, but carried on to eventually come to the CP at the top of the river canyon, much to our relief.

"We then had about an 8km descent to finish, fantastic! What can go wrong?!"

But my goodness, it was so slippery and muddy it was hard to stay upright, never mind the sleeting cold rain....this river valley descent took forever. The lights of Altay took a long time to appear by which time we were in for a 2km run through town to the hotel and finish line. Wow, what a relief it was. And we cam in 5th yea! For me, I just celebrated finishing in one piece. China hasn't been good to me the last 2 years and it was great not to have to go home via Auckland hospital!

jo williams outside sports nz

We were happy with the result, but know we could have done better. We lost valuable time with a small slip in concentration when the bike navigation was particularly tricky, especially when we were in a different village to what we thought. It was good to be in touch with the lead teams most of the race. It was great preparation for the Adventure Racing World Champs in one month time. The scenery and cultural experiences were amazing. It was definitely a race to do again.

jo williams outside sports nz

Thanks for all the support from friends, family and Wanaka Physiotherapy keeping my body in one piece, which makes it possible to do these adventures. Thanks also to Outside Sports for keeping my bike on track and supporting me over the years.

The Team’s next big Adventure is in Australia next month for XPD. This year it is the Adventure Race World Championships, which gives us an opportunity to race against the world’s best. Exciting times are ahead.


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