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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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Ride, learn and re-charge

Biking Welcome Rock and Roaring Lion Trail

By Richie

This was about to be my first overnight bike trip with my partner and novice biker Ashley… Maybe I was a little bit nervous. I figured as long as her tyres were pumped, seat at the correct height and I was carrying most of the gear, we would be just fine! 

We left Wanaka around noon and made out way toward Lake Wakatipu. After a quick dip in the fresh waters somewhere near Garston, we drove up the Nevis road and made our last minute checks next to an old ski hut. 

Richie Johnston Welcome Rock, Roaring Lion Trail 

This was the second time on this trail for me and I was itching to share the experience with another while embracing the wilderness, history and serenity. While riding the trail, I started to imagine what it must have been like for the Gold Miners including the many Chinese who spent their days on this very trail. Often we would see large steel water pipes alongside the trail which were a reminder of the hard work and effort they went through for the nuggets of gold. My mind wandered again, thinking of the nuggets of Chocolate I had buried deep within my pack. 

Roaring Lion trail Richie Outside Sports NZ

As we rode toward the Mud Hut, I instantly noticed the upgrades along the way, including some widening, berms to assist cornering and Information panels. The wider track provided many opportunities to pull over and read some of the area’s history. After riding around 7km we puled up to the famous Mud Hut and prepared the outdoor bathtub. It was such a treat to know we were the only people in the valley that night, sleeping in such a historical area. The clouds cleared and the stars seemed much brighter that night as we finished off the last of the Pinot. 

Roaring Lion trail Richie Outside Sports NZ

We took our time the following day making the time to snack, read the placards and shoot some video along the way. It was great to see Ashley take the corners like a champ and ride the trail well! This day would be the longest trail-ride she’s ever completed, fueled by mixed nuts, chocolate and plenty of encouragement of course. 

Richie Johnston Welcome Rock, Roaring Lion Trail

Roaring Lion trail Richie Outside Sports NZ

The last 5km stretch involved a well maintained gravel road, which a shuttle could easily pick you up from if pre-arranged. We climbed one of the massive rocks off to the side of the road and enjoyed a picnic lunch, before making our way back to the truck… Even with most of our food gone, I had to make sure I was still carrying most of the gear. Mission success, we’ll be back for sure!


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School Holiday Racing Wrap Up

On Thursday the 22nd I travelled up to Palmerston North for National Secondary Schools Road Cycling Champs.

I got out on the road race course the following day. It was going to be a tough race because of the wind patterns and it proved to be on race day.

It was a filthy day.

The rain was pouring down and it was really windy. We had two laps of a 18km course with a slightly uphill finish into a headwind. The race got underway and we were straight into a crosswind which stretched the bunch out instantly.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ

Everyone was right up in the gutter trying to make the most of the slipstream in the wind. A breakaway got away in the first kilometres and it looked set to stick. It was the 2015 NZ Champ and the 2016 south island champion. They got a gap out to around 30 seconds to a minute in the tailwind. When we hit the headwind back to the finish of the first lap the wind was to much and we caught them.

Towards the end of the some attacks were attempted but the headwind was to strong and with about 2km to go the bunch almost came to a standstill.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ

It came down to a bunch sprint and I was impatient and dived in on the inside of the road trying to get up to the front again. I got boxed in and didn’t make it out until the final 50 metres and by that time I didn’t have a chance to sprint with the front guys. I sprinted to 11th in the 97 man record field. I also raced a criterium but had a really bad race and couldn’t get a top 3 sprint to gain points. I finished back in 24th.

I was back in Queenstown mid day Tuesday and unpacked my bike and made it out for the first group ride of the summer.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ

I then took Wednesday off to prepare for the junior tour of southland before travelling down to Invercargill on Thursday.

I was a first year U17 in the two year age bracket. We started racing on Friday with a 3.6 km ITT and a kermess and I placed 18th equal of 30 boys.

I conceded 18 seconds to the leader and in stage 2 I rolled through with the bunch and didn’t lose any time. Stage 3 and 4 were the same. I had the speed to stay with the bunch but couldn’t sprint with the leaders. On day 3 we had our biggest day with a criterium and a 80km road race. I started the crit in the morning despite feeling awful.

It was hard and I hung on to the bunch without loosing any time…. just.

I started the final stage and hung on for the first lap of the course but about 4km into the second lap I dropped when the bunch accelerated out of a corner. I time trialled for 36km to the finish loosing 10 minutes on general classification. I was stuffed.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ

I then had south island secondary schools track cycling champs the next two days. I was pretty rubbish at that too but it was all a really good experience and the cycling I’m doing on top of my tri is really improving my ability as a triathlete. I spent the rest of the holidays training. I had a really great last day of the holidays over in Wanaka riding sticky forest and deans bank trails.

Reuben Thompson Outside Sports NZ


Read more of Reuben's Blogs.

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Bike’Vember sessions

MTB Skills Sessions

By MissionWow Wanaka.

Mission WOW are inspiring women to challenge themselves!

Through face-to-face networking events, Mission WOW works to facilitate building communities of women who share a common curiosity to discover their full potential. By creating a friendly and supportive environment, Mission WOW hope to motivate women to want to learn new skills and have fun.

Mission WOW (Women of Winter/wheels/water) was created as an ideas exchange for women in the outdoors, a medium through which to trade knowledge and skills, share past experiences and plan future adventures.


To give you the skills to be more confident on your bike so you can enjoy riding more.


To provide a fun, supportive environment to learn in
To encourage beginner riders to progress their skills
To inspire experienced riders to challenge themselves and step up their riding to the next level
To build a community of like- minded riders

Come and benefit from our newly revised programme with by internationally recognised PMBI bike coaching qualification

Upcoming Wanaka courses for beginner- intermediate levels

  • Women’s Bike’Vember sessions: 27 Oct- 24 Nov 2016, 5 week Thursday night sessions involving bike maintenance, body position, braking, gears, cornering, line choice and lots more 6-8pm, $165,  Register here

  • 3 hour Fundamentals course- dates on request (4-6 people)- body position, braking, gears, cornering on request here

Mission WOW Wanaka Bike women skills

Whether it be for fitness, fun, family or with the intention of entering adventure races., there are so many fundamental skills to learn about biking which can help make it more enjoyable and so you can progress through whatever goals you may have.

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For the past five years we have be runing a full on one-day bike skills workshops, 3 hour clinics and 5 week skills sessions, catering for 40-50 women in various ability groups, linking it with bike maintenance and sports nutrition.

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South Island Champs

South Island Champs

By Reuben;

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of July I raced in Christchurch at the South Island secondary schools championships. I was racing an individual time trial and a road race. The time trial was 3.4 km on a dead flat course at Ruapuna motorsport park. I went better than I expected for an off season race coming away with bronze.

 Reuben South Island Champs

Sunday was the road race. All started well with two other boys and I breaking away around 7 km into the 20 km race. We got our gap out to 24 seconds on the main bunch then......

"with 5 km to go I noticed I had a flat tyre".

I worked on the front as hard as I could trying to stay ahead of the main and to stay on when the other boys attacked. When the other two sprinted for the line there was no way I could match their pace but made it home for a second bronze of the weekend. I made it to the finish with the bunch only 25-50 metres back.

My wheel has some minor scrapes but otherwise it was well worth pushing on with the flat tyre although a bit gutted to have had a flat in the first place, especially when that is the first ever one I've had other than slow leaks on a road bike.

We have since been staying at the Spencerville holiday park where I have been playing on the Bottle Lake Forest MTB trails and exploring the roads surrounding Christchurch up the Port Hills. Really stoked to podium at this event as this was my first ever bike race this time last year. Wouldn't believe I have come this far in only twelve months of riding.


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