James Lewis is a bit of a legend. With energy drink in hand, James has got many racers and weekend warriors back on their bike in no time at all. James is in charge of SRAM repairs in New Zealand. This job often takes him out of his workshop in Auckland and into a muddy field to service racers’ forks at all manner of events. When he’s not fixing people’s bikes, James is renowned for getting his huck on, and he’s even been known to cause a bit of a stir in the Masters DH category.
How old are you?
Where do you live?
Lovely Oranga, Auckland
What do you like best about living where you do?
VERY close to work and about the middle of town so going north or south for a ride is easy.
What do you dislike about living where you do?
My neighbours drink more than I do which keeps me up at night.
How did you get involved in the mountain bike scene to begin with, and how long ago was that?
I lived in Palmerston North for a year when I was 14ish and it was just the thing you did as a grommet down there.
We also have some very good family friends, the Bangs, in Levin. They were into it big time so there was definitely a lot of encouragement from them.
What’s your ‘day’ job? What does it involve?
Customer service / workshop at WH Worrall & Co. I do a lot varied work for Worralls, from answering the phones, servicing and repairing most of the products we supply to running the SRAM neutral race support over the summer.
26” or 29” and why?
No question 26”, because I’m not over six foot.
What are five benefits of working with bikes all day every day?
- I’m never bored
- I get to work with some great people
- I love trick new stuff and I’m surrounded by it every day
- the workshop keeps my brain engaged
- I’m not flipping burgers, or worse, digging holes
How would you describe your riding style?
Too far over the nose.
Dirt Merchant into A-Line.
What’s one thing you’ve learned in the last 10 years?
Every day you ride the better you get, and listen to my mother.
What’s wrong with mountain biking?
No chairlift in Auckland.
What are three things right with mountain biking?
- Keeping me to some level of fitness
- It brings many people together; 90% of my friends ride bikes
Top two mountain bike developments in the last 10 years (bike park, part or whatever)?
- Definitely bike parks, a great example being Woodhill in Auckland. A lot of people would never have gotten into the sport if it wasn’t there.
- The uppy downy post.
All time favourite rider?
Steve Peat X10
Top five favourite bits of mountain bike kit?
- RockShox Pike
- RockShox Reverb
- Avid Elixir 9
- GT Fury
- Blackmarket Killswitch
Who do you look up to?
Graham and Terry Lewis
What are your vices?
Beer and bikes
Finish this sentence: “On a Saturday I like to get up and….”
Drink coffee then out on the bike