“Dave, Snowy, myself and a whole lot of other Christchurch locals (Rupert, Mcconch, T Matts etc) built the Living Springs track for the 2010 national series race. We always knew it was going to be wild as the terrain down there is extremely steep. We would go up and build maybe three times a week. It was pretty hard going and took us ages to build, it came right down to the wire and we were still building it days before the race. What resulted was nothing less than a monster, it was super gnarly. I think the track itself wasn’t too bad but the conditions and the fact the track was so fresh made the first day of practice a write off. It was eventually decided to can the track all together on practice day and actually race the secondary schools track further down the road. The lads who built it were all pretty disappointed but I think the right decision was made.
I believe that Dave, Jimmy and Pieter went up and filmed this section not long after the race and it looks like the track had bedded in a bit better. Dave and Jimmy do a good job of showcasing the track with Dave smashing a few sections in (Sam) Hill-esce fashion which is testament to how good of a rider he was, especially in the steeps.”
I have been lucky enough to witness a few moments in my filming career where a rider steps up, and goes above and beyond to do something they didn’t even know they could do themselves. Watching Dave Balderstone ride the Living Springs track was such a moment. The way he got more confident as the track got more technical and how he just got faster and faster on those line choices I will remember it for a long time. It’s those moments that makes your film better and makes you glad you’re behind a camera instead of on your own bike.
I picked up the always steezy Jimmy Wilson and Dave early in the morning to go film the Living Springs track. We weren’t one hundred percent sure if we were allowed to ride it, but Dave and the boys had put in so much effort to build it that it would have been rude not to. The track was so steep and doing multiple runs was going to be a mission, I only had a camera and struggled to walk around the hill. So I quickly decided to film them both as if they were one rider, this was to reduce the amount of time it would have taken for them to push back up the hill, and then some clever editing would take care of the rest…..
Straight out of the blocks Jimmy was on form roosting corners and going fast, while Dave had already flipped over the bars in a loose corner and was taking his time and being a little more careful. It wasn’t long before Jimmy had his first crash and was starting to look a little spooked, and when he had his second bigger crash he pulled out since he had Oceania’s in Rotorua that week, and was hoping for Worlds qualification.
I didn’t really know Dave that well, and wasn’t sure what he was capable of. He was riding well, especially for the conditions and the track, but I didn’t think he was going to start throwing down and end up being the star of the section. When we sent the film to Australian Mountain Bike magazine to be cover mounted, the editor at the time made special mention of that “steep, technical track” and how well Dave had ridden it!