The Australian Mountain Bike Championships is a multi-day event which brings together a huge collection of talented, passionate people. In addition to our country’s elite and up-and-coming racers rolling around the car-park-come-event-centre, tons of bike industry folk and local media personalities are an important part of the weekend as well.
I spent the 2013 Champs working as part of a three-person crew with Flow Mountain Bike’s Chris Southwood and Mick Ross. Armed with my camera and a voice recorder I enjoyed the change in rhythm from typing stories and the different challenges quick, timely and unique web content allow.
Southwood and I ran up the hillside on three separate occasions, cameras in one hand, story ideas in another, then bolted back down again in time to see the winners cross the line. I was still negotiating lines over the granite and blackberries on Monday night as I drifted off to sleep.
But the highlights of the event, for me, went far beyond documenting it. I loved the different perspective you get of an event when you’re there to cover it, rather than race it. Meeting some of the downhill crowd, then watching them race on Sunday – down the granite-y track in the pouring, teeming rain – made me more keen than ever to grab a bike and give it a go. It was also a huge thrill and a great privilege to watch and learn from the best in a media sense as well.
Thank you to Flow for having me along, to the Friday beer ride crew for keeping the weekend real, to all the riders for never even hesitating when asked for a few words and to mountain biking for being so contagious.
If you haven’t seen it already, Flow’s coverage of the event is here: