Spoke Magazine

Frankly Thursday – Lance Brown

Posted by johnoldale on Thursday November 24 2011

Lance has a dream job in a dream location. He is head trail builder/ maintainer at the Skyline accessed trails in Queenstown. For those of you who have had the pleasure of riding his masterpieces, it’s fair to say he does a damn fine job. If you want proof of this statement get down there ASAP. You won’t be sorry.

How old are you?
39

Where do you live?
Closeburn, QUEENSTOWN

What do you like best about living where you do?
The abundance of things to do, and great people to enjoy doing them with.

What do you dislike about living where you do?
No waves, keen to surf more.

How did you get involved in the mountain bike scene to begin with, and how long ago was that?
Well back in the day living in Auckland a group of us formed the Eastern mountain bike club, riding in the Whitford forest in maybe 1990, and of course the weekend missions to Rotovegas. Trail riding is where my roots are at but I enjoy downhill and dirtjumping too.

What’s your ‘day’ job? What does it involve?
I work for Skyline Queenstown and have been employed to carry out trail maintenance in the Queenstown Bike Park within the Ben Lomond Reserve. It’s great if you like raking up berms, picking up sticks and putting in drains, haha. Generally I’m out and about working by myself or with a small crew and the focus has been on getting the trails ready for a beating this summer, making things as sustainable as possible and working to reinstate some of the older trails. We have nine tracks but more would be great.

What are five benefits of working with bikes all day every day?
It’s great to have seen things evolve to this stage, having worked in various capacities in the cycling industry in New Zealand over the past two decades, it;s rewarding to see the growth of the bike culture in Queenstown and nationally with big thanks going out to Queenstown Mountain BikingCclub for their ongoing commitment to developing the scene here. Seeing people enjoy riding the trails and buzzing about their day is great.

How would you describe your riding style?
Mellow, I like to keep it tame these days but still really enjoy the sensation of shredding some corners and boosting some jumps. It’s great chasing your mates around and having some laughs.

Favourite trail?
Mmm… tough one, depends on mood. We have some good flavours here in Queenstown. My backyard being 7 mile is pretty awesome, but I like the QBP because you can get your fix easy and mix it up. Long live the Fernhill Loop.

What’s one thing you’ve learned in the last 10 years?
Hard work pays off in the long run, and don’t throw dirt because you lose ground…

What’s wrong with mountain biking?
Lycra and bar ends.

What are three things right with mountain biking?
QBP, gondola rides up, and props to those who dig.

Top two mountain bike developments in the last 10 years (bike park, part or whatever)?
The opening of QBP and the trial opening of the Heaphy, yeah!

All time favourite rider?
Lots, those who have inspired me to get back in the saddle after being knocked down rate highly. But I think back in time to those crazy videos of Chain Smoke etc, those riders that are still around now and doing it for the love of it.

Top five favourite bits of mountain bike kit?
Specialized Demo8, Troy Lee helmet, Five Ten shoes, and of course I wouldn’t go anywhere backcountry without my CamelBak.

Who do you look up to?
Those who put back in, dig and inspire others to do the same. Props to NG.

What are your vices?
Time, need more.

Finish this sentence: “On a Saturday I like to get up and….”
Have a yummy breakfast, catch up with my mates and go ride bikes or play in the mountains and be content for what I’ve got — stoked on living in New Zealand.

Image Gallery (3 Photos)

  • Jono

    Nice one Lance, and awesome job up the hill, trails are just getting better and better!