Archive for the ‘Riding’ Category

Gorrick 100km

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Sunday was the frist race of the season for both of us starting with a wee 100km burst around Swinley Forest.  As we left dorking heading to Swinley the day looked like it was going to be very wet and by the look on Darren’s face he was not really looking forward to it (apparently he melts in the rain) but by the time we got to Swinley the rain had stopped and was alot brighter.

The race was over a 14.3km loop and we had to do 7 laps of the course.  My bike of choice was my Ellwsorth Evolve and Darren rode his Speciliazed Stumpjumper so once food and drink was in place we headed for the start line and at 8.30am we were off and as usual we started near the back of the field ( we must learn to pull our finger’s out and start at the front).   We headed up a gravel road then into single track which caused a small pile up as always happens at the start of the race, then it opened up a bit so passing was a bit easier and then I heard the call for MEDIC a guy had crashed in the first few minutes and smashed his face in so I turned around and went back and got help then stayed with the guy until the medics got there.  I was now right at the back of the field last man actually so time to play catch up, Darren at this point had managed to worm his way up to about halfway.   The course was fairly dry with only a couple of boggy bits and wound around Swinley Forest taking in some of the good bits including a few  sharp climbs AKA the wall and after seven times up this puppy was happy to see the last of it, once past this point the course was fairly flat and fast with some good fun single track bits where I had the pleasure of ripping past a few guys much to their suprise…….  

By the end of the first lap I had managed to catch up and pass most of the women riders so was fairly happy and now settled down into a steady pace.   Most people were very friendly and it helped pass the time chatting to fellow riders with a bit of banter thrown in.  The course was enjoyable and had a bit of everything for everyone  and the big wheels were a god send on the open gravel tracks where it really showed its speed and made a few guys on their 26inch tyres blow as I managed to brease past them.

Darren was going so well he was having trouble keeping count of how many laps he had done even resorting to counting fingers to try and work out where he was thinking he had another lap to go but then finding out he had actually finished much to his relief . 

Darrens time 7.03 and ended in 19th position in Mens so a great result given he was on a all mountain bike racing some of the race wippets on their carbon 29er speed machines.

I finished 2nd in the womans so for me was not bad effort for first race of the season and very happy with the bike it rode like a dream thanks to my mechanic (darren) and to the guys at Freeborn and Haven for all their help you guys ROCK.

So all in all a great day out,  now time to get stuck into some training and big miles to get myself alot stronger and fitter for the next few big races looming.

Amanda and Darren

AJ’s Road Trip to Rotorua

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Well the weekend was looming and looking at the weather forcast its was going to be a scorcher( kiwi speak HOT). Firday came and I decided it was time I went on a road trip but where to go with so many options was hard to decide… in the end Taupo and Rotorua won me over. After a 2 hour drive I reach Taupo and time was 6pm so enough time for me to do a quick ride on the W2K loop this is a 28km return loop of nice fast flowing single track with views over Lake taupo perfect for a Friday blast.
Saturday morning after a coffee at my favourite coffee house in Taupo I drove to Whakarewarewa (love to hear how you guys pronounce this one)Rotorua MTB park where you are spoilt with over 100km of single track throughout the forest with trails for all including a international downhill track.

Once on the bike I head off to the top of the forest opting for leg power over the uplift, once at the top of all the downhill trails I head off down Huckleberry hound which is a fast trail with some knarly roots and a section of bumps of varying heights that you need to pump over.  This leads onto corners which has 69 bermed corners which has you grinning from ear to ear once you get to the bottom its graded a level 3 so in UK would be a like a blue / red run.  Once at the bottom I decide to go back up to the top and ride one of my favourite loops here called Tuhoto Ariki which is a lovely grade 4 (Black run) single track through covered native bush with lots of tree roots to ride both going up and down,  the track always changes every year due to weather which makes it a great ride as you never know whats coming.

From here I then linked onto Split Ends a brillant fast swooping trail with great views out over Rotorua then onto 3 other trails to get back to near the bottom then it was back up to the top for one more blast down a trail that runs alongside Corners called little red riding huck by this stage my stomach was telling me it was time to go for food guess after 5 hours I was starting to run on empty so off to the campsite for Pizza a bottle of cider and the hot pools to soak my weary bones ready for another days riding tomorrow.

Sunday got up early to hit the trails and also get on the uplift to do some practise on corners as this is definatley my weak point after doing 6 runs down corners I was starting to get the idea of it all and actually got faster too so much more fun when you get the speed up.  After this I thought I had better do a bit of climbing so off up to the top to Billy T a grade 4 track which is very fast and has lots of drops in it and about half way down I found a new track they call snuffaluffagus so headed off down this again was a grade 4 trail so like a black run in UK and the trail started off fine with a few bumps and came round a corner to be met with a steep drop off lets just say I shat myself and am sure all of Rotorua could hear me swear but at least I managed to stay on the bike but would not get any points for style!   Once at the bottom I was buzzing so headed back over to Split Endz for another yippie and down pondy old and pondy new onto rollercoster and then down old chevy to get to the bottom then for me it was two last trails that I had to do “Be Rude Not  To” they have just opened the trail again due to logging and Mad If You Dont both these trails are so much fun it was a great way to end the day so 6 hours riding and a massive grin on my face it was time to pack up my trusty Epiphany and head back to hastings ready for work Monday.


Classic Trail Riding in NZ

Monday, March 19th, 2012

HI thought it was time I wrote on the blog so for those of you who know me Hi and for those that dont let me introduce myself.

My name is Amanda Brooks and as you might have guessed I’m from NZ and am a keen MTB rider who dabbles in endurance racing.  Actually some of you may have already seen or heard me out on the trails in Peaslake as I’m the one usually on the back of our Ellsworth tandam laughing loudly (thats the sign I am starting to bric it on the back).  I am currently in NZ training and working so though I would do a few write up of some of the trails we have here.

Rameaka / Cannon loop trail this is my favourite training ride as is on my Mums back door, situated in a small town called Takaka Golen Bay.   I ride from mums place so a 22km gravel road warm up to the start of the single track once here you head up climbing all the way to the top starting on benched single track from the creek winding up through some pine forest, then it pops out onto a gravel road where you cross it on to the  newly opened Rameka pack track and follow this up through a open gulley that has some awesome views over golden bay and the kaharangi mountain range  then you will dissapair into mature native forest where you will grunt up a short knarly climb to then be rewarded with a gental graident to the top middle ring all the way over some very sweet single track over roots and rocks with a few small creek crossings.  Once at the top of this track “pages saddle” the ride then hooks onto the Cannon Loop which was built by the local MTB club, this track loops around a working Department of Conservation farm and takes in some lovely open back country and the trail has something for everyone including a trip through log city where they have taken the track over some of the fallen trees’  the last part of this is swooping bermed corners down to the Harwoods hole care park where it’s then a short climb to pages saddle and back down the Rameka going back down they way you came up and believe me this is the best part,  the track is great to climb BUT this will have you smiling all the weay down to the bottom 25km away.  So it takes me 5.5 hours about 1600m climbing and 78km round trip back to Mums a perfect days riding with some awesome single track.  Keep you posted on my next trip.

Happy riding! Amanda.

Sunday Snow

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Originally, the plan this Sunday was to race the Rogate Resurgence event (now postponed until next weekend) with Haven Distribution/Devinci team rider Brad Sheehan, customer Joe and his son, Alfie. Unfortunately, the inclement weather put paid to that. So rather than go back to bed,  plan B was implemented: head over to Pitch and meet up with the Sunday morning shop ride.  Having wheel spun are way up the hill past the snow weighted trees to car park 3, we found Paul, George and Matt waiting for us…

Shop Rides

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Here’s a couple of videos from the FreebornTV helmet cam to give you taste of our Sunday morning rides. Give the shop a call if you’re interested in joining us and we can give you more specific directions.

Devinci Wilson featured in SRAM’s X0 press camp

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Our friends at magazine were guests of SRAM at their recent press camp to launch the new XO groupset, which features DH specific rear derailleur and crankset / chain guide

“What does a featherweight 29er, a burly six incher and a full bore downhill bike have in common? What do all day backcountry epics, climbs that are counted in hours not minutes, downhills that are technically demanding but are interspersed with challenging up and overs, and weekend podium places on three minute downhill charges have in common? As mountain biking becomes ever more infinitely divided and recategorized into ever increasing sub-genres there are very few threads that comfortably and effortlessly weave between them all. There are few riders who are comfortable in any and all camps, there are very few media outlets that juggle all the tastes and fancies, and there is almost no bike that can be enjoyed equally in all these domains. However, the SRAM XO groupset is the most versatile and perhaps genre defying element in mountain biking.”

“On day two we were released into the Bike Park with brand new Devinci Wilson downhill sleds.”

More info and the full article found here:

2011 Devinci Factory Tour

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Check out this awesome video feature from our friends at Pinkbike showing an insiders view of the Devinci factory in Quebec, Canada

For more than 20 years, Devinci has designed and built bikes that exceed the highest industry standards. This commitment to craftsmanship is a byproduct of rigorous training and Devinci’s dedicated staff of bike pros, skilled engineers, and visionary designers. The Devinci team has logged countless hours of researching, testing, integrating, analyzing, inventing, designing, producing, welding, double-checking, machining, calculating, assembling, painting, riding, discussing, anticipating, influencing, partying, growing, helping, recycling, laughing, smiling and, most important, believing. We are all this and more. This is what the Devinci brand is all about.

Some great comments from Pinkbike viewers of the article:

“Makes me want to buy a new bike from Devinci.”

“Not to mention they stand behind their product 100%. Hooked me up for a warranty frame no problem, and seemed very eager to help out another rider.”

“i’m so glad to live nearby, i’ve been there and they are just a bunch of nice people wich love to ride. Support your local/dedicated brand!!”

“Very impressed that Devinci do everything in house. I know of only one other bike manufacturer that does this and that’s Nicolai. Any others?”

“This video shows some of the reasons my last two bikes have been devinci’s. Keep up the awesome work guys!”

“Devinci is one legit company!”

“This is why I love my 2011 Wilson so much.”

“seeing this video makes me want to own a devinci.”

More info, and the video itself, found here:

Phil S review on his Devinci Dixon SP

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Freeborn Friend Phil S has recently written this comprehensive and flattering review on his experiences with his Devinci Dixon Split-Pivot mountain bike

If I had to describe the Dixon in one word, that word would be “balanced”. It’s not so heavy that it feels like anything more than a 5″ trail bike, yet it feels burly and slack enough to ride in the Alps without having to worry about breaking your bike. The tapered head tube and bolt-thru rear end make everything feel really sitff and responsive, and pedalling the bike (even standing up) is truly mond-boggling. The Dixon just shoots forward with little or no discernable pedal bob – it’s one of the best pedalling full suspension bikes I’ve ever ridden. There is no evidence of brake jack when riding the rough stuff either. Whatever Dave Weagle is having for breakfast, it’s working. The best way I can describe the suspension feel of the Dixon is ‘taut’.

More here:

PHIL S in LAXX, Switzerland

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Freeborn friend Phil Steinhardt has just returned from a 2 week break to Laxx, Switzerland, where he rode the hell out of his Devinci Wilson SP and Devinci Dixon SP bikes

“Riding the Never End trail in Laax, Switzerland on my Devinci Wilson SP. Starting at 2,216 metres above sea level, the trail descends more than 1100 metres over a total of 7.4 kilometres”

Phil is a professional photographer and very keen mountain biker, and has put together this great video for your enjoyment!

Check it out here:

Devinci news on RideMonkey

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Devinci had an interesting booth this year at Crankworx. Whether they were serving fine French Canadian food, showing us Canada’s fastest racer’s rig, or flaunting their new prototype 29″ Split Pivot bike, we were glued to Devinci.

Stevie Smith’s Canadian Open winning bike was on display, and Simon Gauthier of Devinci was kind enough to show us some of the custom modifications that Stevie is running. It turns out that World Cup level racing sometimes requires fine tuning, who knew?!

More info here: