Global event backed by local businesses...

Local businesses and enthusiasts ganging up to make SSWC10NZ work.


Immediate release: October 8 2010 (NZ Summer Time).
• 2010 Singlespeed World Championships just two weeks away in Rotorua, New Zealand.
• over 900 entries from 30 countries - the biggest SSWC ever...

Simple, elegant and a real challenge – that’s what one-geared mountain bikes are all about...

The 2010 Singlespeed Worlds in Rotorua, New Zealand on October 23 are also a return to simpler times, with local businesses and enthusiasts ganging up to make it work.
Sporting events today are often the territory of big corporate sponsorship - not this one.
The Singlespeed Worlds is an eccentric and unsanctioned event, off the mainstream radar in many ways.
However, the race on October 23, on the magnificent trail network in the Whakarewarewa Forest, south of Rotorua, has attracted an entry list of over 900 mountain bikers from 30 countries. This will be the biggest Singlespeed Worlds in it's 12 year history.
Riders are already gathering from as far away as Greenland and from the USA, Australia, Europe, Asia and Africa. With no qualification and first in, first-served entry the biggest national “teams” are from New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
The United States is where mountain biking began in the 1970s and where the first singlespeed World Champs were run in 1999.
Since then, the event has visited Wales, Australia (in 2003), Germany, Sweden and Scotland as well as various venues in the USA, growing in numbers every year.
There will be a sprinkling of stars from the international and New Zealand mountain biking scenes at the sharp end of the Labour Weekend race.
They will be the ones going head to head to win the tattoos for first man and woman.
However, for most of the 900 or so riders, it will be about having a laugh, a beer or two after the race (and perhaps during!) and the right to say they represented their country at a world championship.
This is a ‘people’s race’ in the truest sense.

The Rotorua event was three years in the making.
The idea to run a New Zealand Singlespeed champs had been floating around for a long time.
Then two Rotorua friends, Dean from Nduro Events and Graeme from bluedog media, who’d already workedbrains together on a variety of projects, crossed paths out in the forest on a sunny, spring afternoon.
And the idea really took shape.
“I was setting up for an Nduro race and Graeme was on his first-ever singlespeed ride and was buzzing,” says Dean. “A few of us had talked about running a one-speed New Zealand champs for a while, but the timing was never quite right for various reasons.
Suddenly, the planets aligned and it all made sense. Game on”
(photo: The "brain's" trust; Dean and Graeme at SSWC HQ - thanks to Spoke magazine)

Enter the Rotorua Singlespeed Society (the RSSS) formed in October 2007 over a few beers at the Pig & Whistle pub in the heart of town.
Two New Zealand championships in 2008 and 2009 in Rotorua, fund-raising to get RSSS riders to the World Championships in Napa, California in 2008 and Durango, Colorado in 2009, and this year’s New Zealand Championships in Queenstown, followed.
Now, it’s almost time for the Worlds.
“What hasn’t changed are our great core event team matched by a wonderful core group of partners,” says Graeme.
“And the relationship with the sponsors is not just on a first name basis, a lot of them are people we ride with.”

Back in October 2007, phone calls were made and support was quickly put together.
“Gaz at Nzo dirtwear and Bruce the editor of New Zealand Mountain Biker magazine were on board, without a second thought. Design of a logo, a poster and an ad - and a place to put it - sorted, all in under half a day,” continues Graeme.
“Gregg at the Pig & Whistle  also put his hand up to help and he brought Mike the local rep for Speight’s beer with him.”
Others soon followed - and have stuck around.

The main group of sponsors for World Singlespeed World Championships is the same as the first New Zealand championships: the Pig and Whistle, Speight's, Melissa and the crew at Agroventures, Nzo, Ride Rotorua, Dave at Bike Vegas, Rotorua photographer, Graeme M and  Kiwibikes.
“You do feel a sense of responsibility with the small local businesses, as they are really reaching into their own pockets to back us,” says Graeme.
“And we run our own businesses, so we know what that feels like.”
For Gregg, from the Pig & Whistle, it was an easy decision.
“I love mountain biking and I'd worked with all the guys on more serious things, like the 2006 UCI World Mountain Bike Champs, so I knew the whole team had all the right experience,” he says.
“Graeme sent me a link to a video of the 2007 Singlespeed Worlds in Scotland and it looked like the sort of fun event that really suited the Pig’s personality.”

The Pig & Whistle was the main sponsor for the 2008 New Zealand champs. 
This was a big success, with good numbers and international coverage.
“We then helped out the Society with the fund-raiser to get our champions, Garth and Annika, to Napa for the 08 Worlds,“ continues Gregg.
“After being involved so much, it seemed to be rude not to go to Napa with a big crew from the RSSS - and I have to say it was one of the best days of life.”
Although the dice fell in favour of Durango in Colorado hosting the 09 Worlds, Gregg was already signed up to sponsor the 2009 New Zealand Championships.
“That was another big weekend and I knew the guys – Dean and Graeme, Marcus, Carolyn, Paul, Gaz, Rick, Jase, Mark, Garth and the rest of the crew - weren’t giving up on getting the Worlds here. Me, too,” he says.
“When the news came through from Durango that Rotorua would be the venue for 2010, it was all on…and it hasn’t stopped since.
Now, it’s New Zealand’s chance to see just how much fun we all had in California two years ago.
Over 900 mountain bikers from 30 countries, all in once place, at the same time – what’s not to like?”

Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Ireland and South Africa will be taking part in the bid process for Singlespeed World Champs 2011 in Rotorua.
In Durango,  that was a Karaoke competition between New Zealand (represented by RSSS members, Vicki Butterworth from Hawkes Bay and John McCartney from Queentown), Italy, Canada and Hungary.
New Zealand and Italy progressed to round 2 - a game of pick-up basketball game with the Kiwis prevailing.
What Rotorua has in store for this year’s bidders will be revealed through race week.
“It will be one part, uniquely Kiwi and one part, diabolical,” says Dean with a genuinely scary laugh. 

• Supporting 88BIKES and CanTeen

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