FRANKLY THURFRIDAY - Simon Bannister

Ladies and Gents - Simon Bannister......How old are you (if you want to tell us)? On the back end of my 30s. Where do you live? Nelson (the logging capital of New Zealand. Haha!)

What do you like best about living where you do? Sun, singletrack, friends, the outdoors.

What do you dislike about living where you do? Logging, Nick Smith (not sure I can say that, haha.) How did you get involved in the MTB scene to begin with, and how long ago was that? I became involved in Greymouth back in the mid 80s, when my friend who was a mountain biker lent me a Boss bike and took me on a ride. I enjoyed it more than he did and rode more stuff too (it annoyed him too!). I was hooked then and raced in the local winter series and won it more by consistency than speed, haha!

What was your involvement with the Peaking Ridge trail? Myself and a friend Greg Smith went up on a rainy day and marked it out then cleared it the next day with the help of a few others.

What was the biggest challenge with building the trail? Lugging the wood up there for the ramps and keeping it quiet before it was finished.

What's your 'day' job? What does it involve? I am a plumber and work around picking up and dropping off my daughter at school etc. I have erratic hours that's for sure. When I don’t have work I go build or maintain trails.

Winter is about to hit - do you hang up the bike for winter or keep riding? We ride right through winter, both night rides and missions. It's awesome here because it stays quite dry during winter.

How would you describe your riding style? Part skill, part good luck, part stubbornness, part experience. You can't ride for this long and not learn something.

Favourite trail (aside from any you've built)? Croesus Track and Mt Starveal Helibike.

What's one thing you've learned in the last 10 years? If you think you know a track well, think again!! What's wrong with mountain biking? Bike prices.

What's right with mountain biking? Everything but the price of bikes, haha!

Best MTB development in the last 10 years (bike park, part or whatever)? Dropper seatposts.

All time favourite rider? Chris Akrigg

Favourite piece of MTB kit? Ground Effect Baked Alaska.

Who do you look up to? My friend Kevin. What are your vices? Sprig and Fern Beer, Trade Me bike section, my daughter Aria.

Finish this sentence - "on a Saturday I like to get up and...." go to the market for a one of Doris's German bratwursts then get a coffee from the cute girl in the arcade then off for a ride. Yay bliss.