What I don't know about bikes and riding you could fit on the side of a double decker bus. This section is full of advice and will either help or entertain you but I'm hoping it will do both.



                              DO YOU RIDE WHERE YOU SHOULDN'T? Take THIS with you.


                              DRIVE YOURSELF UP THE WALL


                              WHAT THE HELL IS 27.5 PLUS? Click HERE to enlighten yourself (slightly)    (Spoke mag.)


                              STRUGGLING IN THE RUT? Read THIS to stay in the high line.     (spoke mag.)


                               IT'S ALL UP IN THE AIR. Want to fly? book your ticket HERE


                                                          RATE YOURSELF

                               Hanging with the Pros


                            It's not easy getting to know famous people. This is how I do it. 


Talk about hanging with the pros...Cam McCaul got to meet his hero therodfather at Crankworx. If you've got hair...use it.

I was lounging by the pool in Spoke Magazine’s luxury chalet in Queenstown not so long ago reminiscing about my life as a professional guru and the stress of dealing with my fans when the Swedish masseur/maid that Spoke employs handed me a fresh martini and asked me the dumbest of questions. “How come you have so many rich beautiful girlfriends ?” I mean, how do you respond to that? Isn’t it obvious? I thought of all the witty yet true answers I could have replied with (Have you not seen my Spoke paycheque? Look at these abs! Have you seen me ride?), but the moment passed and I drifted back to my dreams of riding pro and it hit me that the God-like creatures that get paid to ride are also bombarded with dumb questions from awestruck fans on a daily basis making their lives a living hell so what better for my next article but how to behave around a Pro.

First off, we have to recognize a Pro in the first place and then break into that very tight circle. You need to remember that these guys and girls get paid to ride. Yes that’s right , they earn a wage, they get cash and a whole lot of goodies to go with it. With this goes a whole lot of ass kissing, limos, jet planes, pimped out 4x4’s and more champagne filled spa pools than you can throw a goldfish at and all they have to do is ride big and/or fast, talk the talk, and promote whatever swag they get paid to use! Life is perfect and they don’t need any fawning fans hanging around annoying them.

But beware….! Hanging around these gods are the 2nd tier ,the Semi-Pro. These cats get swag (free bike and parts and race entries and so forth), along with a good chunk of their flights, beer, petrol, hotels and maids etc. but NO wages, NO pimp mobile, only hot water in the spa and they have a normal job off-season but they are one step away from turning pro and have a whole lot of work to do….don’t get in their way. They form an impenetrable barrier around the Pros and it takes some nerve getting through.

Then there is the 3rd tier, the sponsored rider. These are normal guys just like you but have managed to be such a pain in the ass to bike and non-bike companies that they have managed to get a good deal (retail less 20%) on bike and kit or some free spaghetti just to shut them up. They are generally smooth talkers who can type a good cv and podiumed some obscure local race that only 3 people entered. You needn’t worry about these ones as they still have to go to work every day so the coast is clear from 9-5.

So, how do you get in? Easy!

1.Ride as big/fast as they do. (Fat chance of that).

2. Get a job with a top notch bike mag. (suckers, I already got that one).

3.Rent a luxury chalet next to the gondola and throw 24hr parties everyday.

4.Rent a helicopter and bribe/blackmail the local council for landing concessions.

5. Be a cool dude to hang with and don’t ask dumb questions.(You still need to be able to ride big and/or fast but just not as fast as in #1.)

So you see #5 is by far the most reasonable, so I asked my Pro mates what were the dumbest  questions they had been asked.

“Why is Aaron Gwin so fast?”

“When you are about to flip a 72 ft canyon gap do you think you are going to die?”

“Can you really make a living riding bikes?”

“What will you do when you can’t ride anymore?”

“What are those RedBull/Monster Energy girls like in the sack?”

“Do you train for DH with no brakes sometimes?”

“What happened to you to get such a bad race time”

“What do you eat for breakfast”

“Are you Sam Cole?”

“Is it awesome signing autographs for hot chicks all the time?”

“ Do you know Rod Bardsley? He’s so dreamy”.

“What’s the dumbest question you’ve ever been asked”.(Bugger!)


Pretty bad huh? To get in like Flynn, you need to get straight to the point and ask the most pertinent questions, or sometimes a simple statement is even better. These beauties work best for me.

Want lots of cool friends? Just book a heli to Mt. Royal, Marlborough.        photo : therodfather


“Wanna go for a ride in my jet/heli/limo/Ferrarri/Hummer?”

“My sister’s a bikini model and she thinks you’re hot”

“My dad owns a brewery”

“Can I carry your bike to the top of that mountain for you?”

“I’ve got this big ‘ol chalet to myself, you guys are welcome to stay”

“Someone just gave me free tickets to Hooters, who’s in?”

Obviously you need to be able to back this up. That’s where my huge Spoke salary plays its part, how you do it is up to you.

Good luck getting to the top, don’t forget who your real mates are though now will you, as it’s pretty hard to stay up there…ask any Pro!

Rod "don't you know who I am?" Bardsley

"Look, it's someone older than me"  Ned Overend finally gets to meet therodfather