Latest News: Time to rock the forest!
Thursday April 24: Immediate release.


Over two hundred one-geared mountainbikers will take to the trails in Rotorua's magnificent Whakarewarewa Forest this Anzac weekend for the first Pig & Whistle New Zealand Singlespeed Championship.
"It's great to be in the last couple of days of the countdown to race start on Saturday, April 26," says event director, Dean Watson. "The Speights is on ice for the after-match party, our great team of volunteers is ready to go, the design of the tattoo for the top man and woman is finalized, the official T-shirt is on sale, and it's time to race."
Singlespeed mountain biking is experiencing rapid growth with World Championships attracting bigger and bigger fields every year.
"This year's event is in August in Napa, California in the heart of US wine country," says Graeme Simpson, another member of the Rotorua event team. "Over 1100 people registered for the 400 places available."
There will be, at least, one Kiwi on the start line in Napa.
"The Rotorua Singlespeed Society did some fast talking and managed to secure a place for first Kiwi across the line this weekend," says Simpson.
Singlespeeding is really a return to the early days of mountain biking when the sport's pioneers adapted fat-tyred, one-geared delivery bikes to ride off-road in the forests north of San Francisco.
"It's also a return to simplicity," says Simpson. "It's pretty tough on the body, but it makes you fitter, stronger and a better rider. There's nothing quite like it."
Proof of this is the wide range of people who've entered - from long time singlespeeders like Rotorua's Garth Weinberg and four time US Cyclocross Women's Champion, Katie Compton, from Colorado, to top New Zealand pro-elite cross-country riders, Mark "Cabin" Leishman and Annika Smail.
"Actually, we're not sure how seriously Cabin's taking it," says Watson. "Last we heard he was planning a tribute to cricketer, Mark Richardson, with a full beige brigade skin-suit to match his "mocha" bike."
For most riders it's all about having a laugh.
"We've even got a few downhill racers entered," continues Simpson, "including Craig Pattle from Rotorua who I understand will be wearing something pink."
A singlespeed tradition the team is sticking to, is keeping the course a secret till the start. Attempts to find out where and what it is have been met with threats of disqualification.
"The race starts at 1PM and we'll have arrows from the main trailheads at Waipa and Long Mile Road to direct spectators to the event HQ in the forest," says Watson. "This will be a fun event to watch and also a very, very tight race for the titles."
More sponsors have joined the championship partnership in the last week - Surly and Salsa Bikes, White Industries, Rimskinz and Galaxy United Travel.
New Zealand Mountain Biker magazine will be there - not just to report on the event for the next issue. They're racing, as well.
And the Singlespeed Championship will also be covered by New Zealand's leading cycling web site, VORB, providing photos, video, news and results as the event happens.
"Tama Easton from VORB is all set up, from this morning, to receive PiXT photos of the build up and the race, itself," says Simpson. "Get out your mobile, get snapping and sending."
The weekend's events begin before sunrise on Anzac Day, Friday April 25, with a ride (for all bikers not just singlespeeders) to the Dawn Service at Ohinemutu Marae on the shores of Lake Rotorua.
"The Singlespeed Champs may all be about fun," says Simpson. "However, it'll be great to start the weekend recognizing the sacrifices Kiwis and Aussies have made in the past."

For a full event programme check the Singlespeed website
Contacts:
Event organizer - Dean Watson, 021 301440 or [email protected]
Media - Graeme Simpson, 021 746538 or [email protected]