Okay, so we’re a little bit late this week, but we’ve made up for it with probably the most comprehensive list of answers ever seen for Frankly Thursday. Settle in with a hot cuppa and a blanky as we present to you Mr Richie Goldsbury.
Who is Richie Goldsbury?
A young sifter who has gotten old, a never was, a father, trail rider, trail and frame builder, in it for fun. And possibly the second person to be seen in the theoretical third dimension in the Kennett’s book!
How did you get involved in the mountain bike scene to begin with, and how long ago was that?
In third form I got a bike to ride to school on, and it just carried on from there. I guess it’ll be 25 years pretty soon, might have to have a party.
What’s your ‘day’ job?
Mechanical design of custom refrigeration products at SKOPE in Christchurch. What does it involve? Drawing pictures of fridges. That’s right, rectangles of different sizes and proportions. Sounds silly, but some people actually want this. “Our designers are constantly designing the latest designs.” It also involves writing replies to people’s emails which are well beyond the technical knowledge of the question givers.
Tell us about ‘bike soccer’. Shouldn’t it be ‘bike football’?
Bike soccer is the funnest team sport I’ve played. It was pretty big in Auckland, and I tried to kick it off in Christchurch when we moved here, but it’s pretty easy to go mountain biking here instead, so I don’t really play anymore. We had an international UK versus Auckland game at Redcliffs Primary a year or two ago. Bike football could be another sport as is cycle ball, which is big in Germany and Austria, also known as radball, but unlike that overly vain sport of Frisbee Netball (ultimate, they call it) radball translated from German doesn’t mean rad like rad to the power of sick, or the BMX movie Rad, or radical, it means ride. Google it if you want. Bike soccer has two rules proper 1) foot on the ground get out of town and 2) last goal wins. After that you can only score from the front of the goals (but no offside or any other silly rules like that). Best goal ever was a young fella nicknamed H-bomb (can’t remember his name, but once there was a photo in Spoke of him jumping off the roof outside C1) in Christchurch who scored by kicking the ball under his bike while wheelieing. Goalposts are four wheelbases of a bike apart. Half the people play one way, the other play the other way. Three or four aside is best. My first game I think was on top of the Farmers car park building (five stories tall) with the West Auckland Mountain Bike Club (rat to kill) in about 1990, then after the National final race was over in Blenheim–Onamalutu domain– in ’93, Steve Gurney chucked together a game. In about ’95 it kicked off regular in Auckland, first in Potters Park, then into the Domain.
Is it not as hipster-friendly as bike polo?
The Kennetts brought polo to New Zealand in ’89, but the need for stuff and having little hammers flying at spokes seems rather contrived compared to the pureness of bike soccer. I shouldn’t diss it though since the Christchurch Hardcourt Polo fraternity seem to be keeping me in beer lately.
You designed and built your own bike, is that right? Tell us about it…
I’ve built a bunch, now download the document if you can be bothered. It has a bit about the current bike, and steps along the way. But basically short chainstay, carbon, gearbox mounted to swingarm. Not too light, goes all right! Made by ASP, a great company in Ferrymead, Christchurch. http://asp3d.co.nz/ We have five of them rolling at the moment, and two more being made. Mine was the first one out of the mould, and people (especially old men, my peer group now I guess) always think it’s a downhill bike, but there are probably only five or ten bikes in the country that have gone further from the carpark than my bike.
And the kiddy carrier?
Used once, free to a good home! Since making it the foam from the seats has been used elsewhere, as a headpiece for me as the alligator for our twins’ Peter Pan birthday party.
What are the coolest sunglasses of all time?
Melanie (wife) had a hobby of buying ridiculous sunglasses. She now seems to have moved on to socks! The best riding glasses I’ve ever had are some Elvis glasses sitting at Mildy’s house at the moment; not too dark, far enough from your face that they don’t fog over (though they fill up with snow sometimes). They’re graduated though which I don’t like. Previous to those were some yellow lens Dirty Dogs, impossible not to be happy looking through those. Pretty keen to get some Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses which are designed to help the wearer develop a relaxed attitude to danger. The lenses turn completely black at the first hint of trouble, thus preventing the wearer from seeing anything that might alarm him/her. (Douglas Adams quote) I think I need them since most pictures of me riding are at pretty tech sections, and I generally look really nervous!
How would you describe your riding style?
I like riding slow tracks fast. I’m not very happy above 30km/h (but I have no idea how fast that actually is). Pretty smooth most of the time, but mostly playful on the track. http://www.vorb.org.nz/outback-styles-t90992.html
It’s silly to pick a favourite, I always recommend a top ten. http://www.pinkbike.com/video/193850 http://www.pinkbike.com/video/101543/ Those are both of our tracks. Radsick is pretty fun to hang around and just do little laps, but really I’m more into bitchy beech forest singletrack. The kind of trail riding that surrounds Christchurch, Taupo and Nelson. Hopefully one day I’ll finish my “I heart CHCH” video which I was making for the Queenstown Bike Festival, that’s got some fine trails in it.
What’s one thing you’ve learnt in the last 10 years?
When you have kids you can actually step up your game and do more. We used to sit around and watch TV, now we’ll do anything to get out of the house!
What’s wrong with mountain biking?
National Parks blanket closed to mountain bikes is the biggest thing wrong with it. A few things are improving there, but it’s a long gap between DOC understanding mountain bike desires and expectations, as shown by a friend saying she was having a great mountain bike experience riding Fowlers Pass to the St James cycleway, but then the way out the cycleway was a let down.
Lack of funding for DOC. They, like most government departments, are feeling the strain. We need as many visitor days as possible, as that shows facilities are being used. I got a hut pass this year and am writing down nights in huts whenever I pass them. Unused facilities will be pulled out. Accountants say that it’s cheaper to fly in a chopper and pull out a hut than it is to maintain them. Trail closures happen also.
I remember when Rohloff hubs were released and thinking ‘sweet, in two years time we won’t have deraillers anymore’. Now 15 years later almost everyone still does.
Dave Balderstone dying last year, he was a great kid, an awesome rider, super smooth, and a major contributor to biking in Christchurch. His trails are steeper than I make, but they are so much fun, he is sadly missed by many.
Comments on the Internet can be funny, but more often they’re just stupid. How many times does someone have to ask “what’s the song?” on PinkBike, when normally it’s written at the end of the video. More so I get annoyed by people saying “I’d get a Zerode if they were proven on the World Cup”. Don’t they have any idea of how many dollars it takes? Honda spent squillions of dollars trying to get a World Championship, and didn’t. Cam Cole earned one for Aaron from Lahaar on a shoestring of dollars, but thousands of hours of his work.
What’s right with mountain biking?
So many paths to good times.
Top two mountain bike developments in the last 10 years?
Zerode bikes. It’s great that Rob has a company underway and a totally sweet product. If I won Lotto I’d buy in, and we’d get as many New Zealand boys as we could afford on the bikes racing World Cups. Get that happening, and try to get a more specific gearbox running, and tool up and get a sweet as trail bike running.
Queenstown gondola. Everyone says that I know, and it doesn’t hold all the keys, but it’s pretty sweet, and I never used to bother going to Queenstown before then. Now we go there, camp at the holiday park, I get up early, maybe ride Queenstown Hill or Fernhill first, then roll down and get a half day pass, roll laps until near the end of the half day when Mel comes up with the kids, then I do a lap down Hammies with them http://www.pinkbike.com/video/249902/ and she rides the afternoon half day. I go to Habebes and get one salad for me and the kids, and a takeaway for Mel, it rolls really nice. We need one in McVicors Forest in Christchurch! (There goes the other half of my Lotto money.)
All time favourite rider?
Again, go for a top ten. Glen Sisarich, because he rides so aggressive, and has a good eye. One time he rode with us at Riverhead, on a track I’d ridden hundreds of times, and he kept on riding new lines, doubling up little bits I’d never seen. Anyone riding in the ’90s has Glen stories. John Kirkaldie for killing it here and overseas and getting the doors open for all the newer New Zealand riders. All the current New Zealand DH racers have been really good. Having a podium like we almost had last year at Fort William really is incredible, the boys doing the World Cup are all so fast. Hopefully this weekend they manage even better! Cam did great at a race a couple of years ago so I thought I’d get up and watch Freecaster in the middle of the night for the next race, and I have been ever since. Normally a bunch of people come around and we all sit there and cross our fingers for the New Zealand boys, and any Zerode riders. It’s a shame that the junior XC isn’t also broadcast or else Anton Cooper would probably have the same effect. I got the chance to ride with both Jerome Clements and Nico Vouilloz this summer, which was pretty awesome. Jerome was all over the trail, dealing to it, and really nice to watch. Nico was perfect everywhere. Nick the pom and I were trying our best to stay on his wheel, but were messing it up the whole way, and panic chasing. It seemed that every corner he’d get set up and roll around then I’d come in too fast, and too inside then square off the turn then pedal to catch up, just to repeat on the next corner. On a steep track I’d be lost between pedals, and end up with the wrong foot out on switchbacks, so in the end gave up the chase. But number one would be Rob Metz, because we’ve ridden together heaps and he’s so smooth. http://www.pinkbike.com/video/193931
Top five favourite bits of mountain bike kit?
My Marzzochi bomber 55RC3 Ti. They’re so much better than the 36s, Lyrics and Boxxers I’ve had before, no matter where you are, they make it feel like you have infinite front wheel traction. Hopefully they’re still trucking awesome in three or five years, but six months in they’re perfect on original oil, whereas all the other forks at six months of regular services were already showing that they wouldn’t (and didn’t) survive a year. The amount of times I’ve done something really stupid, like grab a handful of front brake mid slippery corner and rather than be spanked like I deserved the bike has just stopped. People say they are so supple you lose trail feel with them, but I now trust them to not pay attention to trail feel, and between them and my Salsa 15 or 20 degree bend handlebars and ODI mushroom grips I don’t get arm pump these days. I’m too old to ride with standard eight back four up bend bars. They make my wrists hurt, I think they were designed for space aliens.
I like my bike, I think it suits me pretty well. One of the things about becoming a homebuilder is that you don’t really want to fall on your sword and go back to a factory bike. Luckily right now I think my bike is actually better suited to me than any other bike available. Derailleurs are supposedly getting better and better, but they still change gears really slowly and only when you are pedalling. I don’t think HammerSchmidt is the answer but it changes gears like nothing else, and everyone should have a go on one just to see how wrong derailleurs still are. The Alfine hubs are pretty good, but they aren’t slick like that. Hopefully one day we’ll end up with something truly excellent. Maybe it will be electric drive, like a Smart Drive washing machine.
I’m a recent convert to double wall tyres, they’re heavy but you don’t get punctures, and I’ve dropped the tyre pressure to 42psi.
Is fluoro/neon right for mountain biking?
Why not? I’m going to Europe in a couple of weeks and seem to be getting together a full yellow set of riding gear. Pretty disturbing really. Nothing worse than photos of people in the forest all dressed in black, so you can’t see them.
Who do you look up to?
Tjebbe Bruin and Chris Mildon. They both give so much to the sports they do. Melanie, since she makes my lifestyle possible, by matching it, and always being keen.
What are your vices?
Probably watching Internet riding videos. Club skifields. New Zealand has a bunch of (by world standards) lame commercial ski areas. But we also have the clubbies, they are the real deal! We mostly go to Broken River, but always keen on Olympus etc for a change.
Finish this sentence: “On a Saturday I like to get up and….”
Each week it’s different. Quite often we’re away, or heading away somewhere. I guess the short answer is go riding. Preferably with a bunch of friends on unfamiliar tracks.
Nice one Richie!! H-Bomb = Henry Barrett and he would still rip these days if he had another DH bike……..