The elves (oh yes, stay tuned, those bloody christmas elves will be appearing again soon) forgot to post this whilst I was away last week.
So here is last weeks New Zealand happenings for you.
“Okay folks, I’m just gonna cut straight to it. Last Thursday’s League of Gentlemen debut was a roaring success, I forget exact figures, but it was a fantastic turnout. The sun was shining, arguably one of the nicest days of spring/summer so far, the trails were fast and dusty and everyone had a tinge of excitment in them knowing that this was the first of many fun LoG’s to come. Massive thanks to Tom Hey, Pangus and Si “Ginge” Smith for their efforts in the track design and signage, Tony T-man Moore and Gaz Dommett for helping marshall whilst injured, the Queenstown MTB Club, Ziptrek and the council for putting some moolah into the trails and of course Graeme Cooper for running the whole damn thing this year. Massive thanks to Revolver for hosting us aswell (more on Revolver further down the page). There were so many fresh faces about, good signs that the sport is growing and headed in the right direction. Coronet Peak – You sure are missing out this year.
Graeme and his league of gentlemens!
For those unfamiliar with the LoG series, it’s racing in it’s most basic and fun form. Take your own timing device, take a beer or three, two bucks entry fee (what’s that… less than a quid these days?!) and don’t forget your sense of humour. Last thursday’s opener, entitled Das Uber D, started outside the gondola terminal on Skyline, headed down the fire track, round the first bend, left into the vertigo track, down to where it crosses the fire road, back up the fire road into Dan’s track, down Dan’s track to the fire road, back up the fire road, right into Rock n Rolla, down to the fire road, back up the road into Pink Bits, down Pink Bits to the fire road (how many more time can I say fire road…), back up the fire road until dropping into V Line, down V Line, into Upper Terd Sandwich, Terd Sandwich, back onto V line until the end, with the finish line being in Revolver bar and contestants not being allowed to stop their clocks until they had chugged a beer. Oh and of course, not having use of the gondola to initially get up Skyline, everyone had to push their bikes to the top (can take anywhere from 30 mins to an hour depending on fitness) before any of this could even happen!
The hike to the top of skyline presents a picturesque reward. Lake Wakatipu in it’s early evening glory.
Once everyone was gathered and entry fee’s paid, it was time to saddle up. The Vertigo boys didn’t hang about and as soon as Mr Cooper gave the go ahead, they were off, all setting a blistering fast pace. With the exception of a certain long haired ginger fella… Some say his mech couldn’t cope with the sheer force being laid down by his legs… Others say it was cos he drilled his mech to save weight… The only thing that is for sure is that poor Si’s mech went awol before he could even get the wind flowing through those long orange locks. An eventual time of 52 mins, hold on I’ve just been corrected – 52 minutes and 17 seconds, was quite off the pace, given the winning time was sub 10! Speaking of which… How the… Webbo. What the hell?! Most times were around the 14 minute mark. Phenomenal time by the lad. Are you sure that wasn’t just the time it took you to down a beer? Good work buddy. Of course, despite everyone trying to get down as quick as poss, this really is a social event. Everyone busts a gut to get a good time, but the great thing about a series like this is that in the end, it’s all about fun and riding with a great group of people. I stopped towards the bottom to take snaps, and almost everyone that rode past gave a hollering “Yeh BOI!” or “Yeeeooo!”. The vibe is that of simple, honest fun and it’s bloody infectious. Got problems getting numbers up to races in your area? Try something like this. Inject a bit of fun. The League of Gentlemen is a fundamental mountain bike lesson. Keep it fun and keep it real. There’s no room for prima donna’s here, just smiles and good times.
Good times which continued long into the night for some, it’s easy to get carried away when a race finishes in a bar… And seen as most people usually haven’t had dinner yet, it all gets blurry quite quickly! We’re incredibly fortunate to have a place like Revolver. How many bars can you think of that would allow sweaty, stinking bikers (and their bikes) into their establishment? And not only this but have a pint waiting for you on the bar when you got in? There’s not many I tell thee. Johnno is the man behind it all, so I went down to have a chat to him and find out a little bit more. Without further ado, here’s the man himself…
Years living in Queenstown?
How long have you been running the place?
The place has run me for 4 yrs now, but the brand has been on the go since 2001.
In a nutshell, what is Revolver?
We are promoter’s of music & culture and cool cats in the local community, a live entertainment venue and a lifestyle brand.
Describe your involvement with the local biking community:
Really just trying to help some mates with fund raising ideas for the local mtb club. We were keen to start some new events through out the summer and we have helped in promoting and helping to hold events over the last 4 yrs or so.
We started with a shitty BBQ and some sounds – getto as, with a strong accent on being non competitive & social.
Matt films all the events; some are played back later in the bar or edited to be part of the latest Summer Series Films which get released at the end of the season.
Revolver; letting the good times roll. Cheers Johnno. (Pic courtesy of James Allan)
In a town full of pubs and backpacker bars, was it your initial intention to be totally different or was it something that evolved with time?
The town is pretty commercial and mostly all about the travellers dollar, whereas we always wanted to go the other way and get around the many local cultures and communities that existed.
We focus on facilitating or promoting cool events and making good shit happen on the local scene – inside and out.
Music, Sport, Performing Arts & Film – always Revolving around good people doing good things and helping them to grow.
Our Brand mission statement is:
All the music and culture that’s fit to represent !
You’ve had some big bands pass through, do you get to enjoy them play or are you normally too busy?
I get to enjoy their sound checks when no-one’s around. Otherwise I enjoy it when the event is over and everything went well.
Which famous band / singer would you love to play in Revolver?
Davd Bowie would be pretty cool.
Which famous band / singer would you categorically NOT let play in Revolver?
As the captain of H.M.S Revolver, at the helm of the alternative scene, where do you see things being further down the line?
Bigger and better definitely. Everything is growing here noticibly as word gets out about Queenstown. People are going away and talking about their experiences for sure.We are pretty lucky to live here and do what we choose.
Is it true Matty Boombatty is unsure about making another summer sessions film because the fame and obsessed fans has proven all too much?!
Yes. He now enjoys somewhat of a celebrity profile in town. But then so does Ronald Mc Donald…
The Top NZ Acts coming up are
Who makes the tastiest pies in the south island? (A controversial topic amongst many)
Arrowtown Bakery are mean.
There’s so many. Everyone that comes out and supports others who are throwing it down & making things happen –
you know who you are !!
So there you have it. If you’re headed this way there’s a ton of fun lined up for you music/event wise this summer. Show some love, pop your head in and have a natter to Johnno, Matty and the crew. (Little tip – the Mac’s cider is the bomb!)
Next week – Gorge road jump jam.
Until then, peace and happy riding.”