Bike Morzine owner Russ Paver is lucky enough to spend the winter in the MTB capital of the southern hemisphere - Queenstown, NZ. Check out his recent antics at one of Queenstowns mates races - FernHill Frenzy.
Fernhil Frenzy is old school, much like its creator, Queenstown legend Dave Zee. No Promotion, No social media, No Posters, No Sponsors, only word of mouth and 1 rule - get to the bottom as fast as you can, any trail, any bike, any way.
A crowd of nearly 100 riders made up of Pro's, Punters, DH'ers, XC'ers, BMX'ers Men, Women, Children and a man in a sumo suit, made the 1 hour climb from the top of the Skyline Gondola to the top of Fernhill Loop, the home of many epic Queenstown trails. Once up there organiser Dave Zee split the group into 2 lines of riders, who were instructed to line up their bikes and then swap sides.
3,2,1 Go! 2 lines of 50 screaming riders sprinting towards each other desperately searching/wrestling for their bikes. Once you had located your trusty steed it was point and shoot time - the trail snakes through an open field full of tussocks (sturdy spikey kiwi bush) where hanging off the back and pointing for the tiny hole in the forest was the fastest technique. From here the trail heads down the fast straights and tight switchbacks of the walking track, inside lines were the aim of the game, on the trail, in the shrubs or through the trees - they all count. Once you leave the woods and the harrowing shouts of Eddie Masters chasing you down, its into some rapid pine tree single track, before opening up into the world famous (mini) dream track and hitting small jumps at three times the normal speed. Onto the bottom half of Wynyard Downhill for some wide, dusty and loose berms the perfect place for some seriously sketchy last minute over takes and your done.
Over 100 mountain bikers of all ages, sexes and origins in a car park peaking like Chinese ducks, everybody with "this one overtake" story, a whole load of high fives and fist bumps all washed down by a few cold beers.
Long live the mates race!!
Full Race Run: