Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sponsorship: Advice for young players

 I am aware that there are many younger athletes that read this blog..... and many times I have resisted the temptation to launch into a frustrated rant about what sponsorship means and why MTB's situation may never get any better until the riders stop expecting handouts and instead start working to developing the sport, its profile, and therefore its meaning to the community.

 Today, I stumbled across this piece from cyclingnews' James Huang.

 I urge all aspiring athletes to read it with an open mind, and discuss it with others. Ask questions if you need to. It explains things quite well. Remember its not about you, its about what you can do for brand X

 Over the years I have had this discussion with many, many people. Some get it. Others it seems to go in one ear and out the other - and they still expect handouts.

 I've had some good branding success over the years with CabinRacing, Aunt Bettys Cycling, and Black Dirt Racing. What goes unseen is the untold hours behind the scenes: relationship building with sponsors/media/event organisers. Media releases. Debriefs. School visits. Community coaching. The list goes on.

My plea to our current and future athletes? Put in the hard yards on the sponsorship front. Stop expecting handouts. Be proud and passionate about your choices to pursue this hobby. Be an ambassador, and you can help change the professional opportunties in our sport.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Highlander 40km

So I did an event on the weekend. Been a while! Decided it was worth a hit out so lined up for the 40km at last weekends Highlander. Decided to use the Coppermine in full trail ride mode. Climbed ok. Descents were suddenly heaps of fun. 2hrs and a bit later....

Bit smashed after ~1100m climbing and masses of singletrack. Oly Shaw smoked me. Brett blew up in 2nd but I fell about 30sec short of catching him. 3rd. Solid. And way less beat up than on my hardtail. Funny that?! Must do it again.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New toy

 Not racing seriously for a period of time has its advantages. For instance 1) A few (well, a lot) more extra dollars saved in the pocket. And 2) less need for a one purpose specialist bike. Which got me thinking as to what bike I might choose if I only had one bike. You know, something that climbs well, but is super fun downhill. Really sure footed on rough trails. Reliable etc...

.... so I bought/built one. And here she is. An Avanti Coppermine 2, with customized spec. For the tech geeks read below for spec's. For everyone else, all you need to know is its super fun to ride!

Avanti Coppermine 2 (Medium) - 130mm travel 29er
Fox 34 fork
Stans Arch EX All Mtn Wheelset
XT Trail brakes (180 rotors)
KS Lev dropper post
SRAM XX1 crankset
X9 type 2 derailleur + Trigger shifter
XT Cassette

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Just Chillin....

 A quick wee post to ensure everyone knows we are still alive and kicking! As we said in our last update we've just been enjoying a summer of cruising rather than structured and focussed training. In fact I (Cabin) have effectively retired - for the 2013 NZ race season at least. However the weekend just been was interesting for us mentally as between the Karapoti Classic (the iconic NZ MTB race), Ironman NZ, XTERRA Phillipines we watched the progress of friends from a distance.... and perhaps started to feel some pangs of competitive urge. I consequently punched out a hilly 1hr30 trail run, then tried to keep up with Oly Shaw for a 3hr+ MTB ride....had to have a wee nap later!
It's been kinda nice being on the sidelines and away from any pressure of expectation. Of course theres always too much going on in the way of real fun so we haven't been totally inactive. Been utilising my Magellan and doing a bit of Stava training as I burgle a few KOM's now and then. I even managed two events.... and used Nic's 20"BMX for both. The yeah boi sick MTB race in December. But then the Rotorua Bike Festival "Bike Speedway". 4 laps sprint races on a short, loose gravel oval track. NO BRAKES. and contact allowed. Pretty fun, and more than a little sketchy. Gotta be good training for something. Triathlon swims perhaps?!