New Zealand Bike Park Rider Defeats Pro Roadies
Being in the bike park business for over three decades, I know all park riders will appreciate this story.
While on holiday before Whistler’s snow season in Christchurch, NZ, I was lucky to witness a really cool bike race called The Cannonball Run. As you are aware, each November transforms worldwide into Movember. Proceeds from this race support Men’s health.
Race format: 32 racers in each category. Bikers are paired up and battle each other up 8 floors in a car park, loser goes home. To reach the finals you will have to endure 5 uphill battles.
The Christchurch Adventure Park needed help manning their booth on the top-floor, so I volunteered. Little did I know that I was about to witness one of the coolest races I have seen in years. I assumed it would all be shaved legged roadies, so I was already feeling like a fish out of water. When I saw a few Mtn bikers that had entered I thought for sure there is no way they have a chance against a roadie. Boy was I wrong, lucky I did not lay a bet. Game on, hairy vs shaved legs, Lycra vs baggy shorts, clipless vs flat pedals.
In the end two Mtn bikers place 1-2 in the open men’s category.
First place went to Jacob Turner. Jacob has placed in some of New Zealand’s top XC Mtn bike events in the U17 category. This young man can fly, he did not even look tired at the end of 5 uphill sprints. I asked him why he entered this event and he replied, “I heard it was an awesome event and men’s health is very important.” Jacob also mentioned that he felt that his Mtn bike had an advantage with more crank clearance, so he could pedal through the uphill corners and the tires had better traction. I bet next year Jacob will have inspired a whole new Mtn bike crew to race alongside him. Well done bud.
Now, what makes this story really special and hits a ten on the cool factor is the Mtn biker who placed second, Cameron Kay. Cameron popped by the CAP tent and we chatted about bike park stuff and how he was a Year-Round Passholder at CAP and that he was planning to pop over the bike park for some laps later in the afternoon.
I assumed like me that he was a spectator since he was on his hard tail with flat pedals and his attire was flannel shirt and baggy shorts, just like me. As the race started, I decide to walk down a flight and take a few action photos. Who do I see? Holy S#*& Batman, it’s Cam taking on a Pro roadie and taking him out Critérium style on the last corner. I had no words to describe what I just saw. My reaction was a fist pump and an expletive I cannot print. I thought when I saw him lined up against another roadie in the semi-final that this must be it, no way he could do this again. But my gut said kick some roadie butt again Cam and he did not disappoint. So now there were two Mtn bikers in the final, I was pumped.
Cameron expressed afterwards that he had only heard of this event a few days before. His mate convinced him to enter at the last minute, so Cam removed his sons top tube seat and the rest is history.
This is a real Dad, how inspirational is he for his son, that you never know unless you try. And not just to his son but to me and every bike park rider on the planet. If I am in the area next year I am definitely signing up for this event, not just for the support of Movember but to have a chance to beat a roadie on a Mtn bike would be a top bucket list contender. I will also have to work on my Movember moustache, hairy legs, hairy stash.
Written by: Tom Radke
Photos: Bevan Triebels, Triebels Photography