Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

Introduction

Auckland Grammar School Mountain Biking has a proud history. The club was started in 1997 and is now the largest school club in Auckland, regularly fielding over 25 competitors in the Auckland Schools competition. Weekly rides are well attended with upwards of 30 riders on a regular weekend. Our focus is cross country but we endeavor to support Enduro and Downhill members, recognizing this is an area of competition.

Club rides are on Sunday mornings with members meeting at 7.45am at Gate 4 every Sunday of the year. These rides travel to Woodhill, Riverhead, Totara Park, Waitawa, Hunua, and occasionally Fourforty Mountain Biking Park. We employ a professional coach who will spend time with each rider every term.

We also arrange trips away from Auckland to ride other fabulous tracks in the wider area. Boys are encouraged to represent Auckland Grammar in the North Island Secondary Schools competition in March and the National Secondary Schools competition in October.

We can only be so successful with the support of parents and Old Boys who regularly commit to helping with transport and coaching/supervising groups on Sundays. We ask that all parents commit at some level, even if only occasionally, such as transport, race assistance or even the BBQ. Parents who are able to regularly ride with the group and/or join the committee please contact the Master in Charge. We really value and appreciate all the assistance parents are able to give.

Our members generally ride in 3 groups depending on numbers attending:

Development

This group is for those beginning their mountain biking journey or wanting to build up fitness. In Term 1 they are expected to attend at least three basic skills sessions (either after school or Saturday afternoon) at Arch Hill Park in addition to the Sunday ride.

Development riders are expected to ride every Sunday as that is the only way they will develop fitness and skills and move up to the next group.  Riders are encouraged to enter the Auckland Schools competition if they feel confident.

The School's Mountain Biking club is unable to accommodate riders who only attend on rare occasions as they pose a health and safety risk and we do not have the resources to provide the one-on-one supervision these riders usually require.

Intermediate

This group is for those building on their technical skills and fitness or those with advanced skills needed to improve their fitness.  Intermediate riders are expected to ride every Sunday and are encouraged to arrange their own midweek ride(s). Riders are expected to enter the Auckland Schools competition and encouraged to enter the North Island and National school competitions.

Advanced

This group is for those of advanced technical skills and a high degree of fitness.  All riders in this group are expected to compete in all Auckland and NZ Secondary Schools competitions.  From experience we find if boys commit to Mountain Biking as a sport they will progress to the Advanced group during their time at Grammar.

All our riders enjoy their time on a bike with a group of like minded boys, with many friendships made and maintained over the years.

General Information

Terms played: Terms 1, 2 and 3

Muster: Beginning of Term 1. Listen for notices in assembly

Practice Times:

  • Every Sunday - meet at Auckland Grammar School outside Gate 2 at 7.45am returning around 12.30pm. We ride during all school holidays
  • Term 1 - meet after school or Saturday afternoons at Arch Hill Park for Development Group skills and fitness training.
  • Term 1 - meet after school to travel to Riverhead for Intermediate/Advanced group competition training

Costs: $150 Club fee charged during Term 1 to the Parent Portal. Members need to cover their own park fees at Woodhill and Fourforty Mountain Biking Park.

Registration: Head to the School's Mountain Biking page, click Sign Up at the top, and fill in the form. Payment will then be processed through the Parent Portal. You will see the Mountain Biking calendar on this site which will be kept up-to-date with meetings, rides and events.

Once you have signed up, you will be added to the mailing list to get weekly emails with regards to upcoming rides and also get the link to join the Facebook group which will include details of current Mountain Biking events. You can also follow updates and results on the Auckland Schools Mountain Biking Facebook page.

Equipment: Mountain bike, helmet, gloves, spare tube, muesli bar, water bottle/camelback

Meetings: Members must come to ALL meetings and respond to registration emails. Those who do not attend and do not register for their ride will not be allowed to ride on Sundays.

GrammarNet: There is a page on GrammarNet with more information for riders. It is a closed group or lots more information for riders (closed group) - click here for more information.

The Master in Charge of Mountain Biking is Mr Hasler. Students are able to speak to him in the History department (Room H1) during the School day or contact him via email.

We recognise some riders who wish to compete for Auckland Grammar School in Mountain Biking often have clashes with other sporting commitments. If you are in the situation please contact Mr Hasler with details. Mr Hasler would also like to hear from you if you are an Enduro or Downhill only rider.

Please note at present we do not cater for e-bike riders.

2020 Chronicle Report for Mountain Biking

This year was disrupted by two lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns, which resulted in one race in the Auckland Schools Series cancelled (Race 2 at Hunua Regional Park) and one delayed (Race 5 at Totara Park). The North Island Championships were cancelled and the National Championships were moved to Lower Hutt in October. However, Auckland riders were not allowed to attend due to lockdown.

The Mountain Biking Club continues its growth, with riders joining as late as Term 3. 40 riders took part in our rides this year, and many of them competed in at least one Auckland Schools event. Auckland Grammar had over 25 riders, in School colours at a venue on any given Sunday, and were certainly noticed and admired.

Our numbers are so large we now have to split into four groups on our Sunday morning rides. We would like to thank these parents in particular for their regular contribution to these rides: Mr M. Harvison, Mrs N. Malpass, Mrs A. Wright, Mr M. Hiddleston, Mr D. Buckley, Mr D. Rhodes-McRae, Mr A. Bell, Mr A. Vincent, Mr D. Carter, Mr Flaws, Mr Altoft, and Mr S. Stebbings.

Our new riders develop skills quickly, due in large part to parental help with our coaching and fitness rides on Sunday's. Having two coaches, James Kirkham and Charlotte Rayner, makes a real difference to the fitness and skill levels of all riders as many riders pushed themselves so they could move up the groups to the 'elite' group.

The focus of the Club is to support and encourage our riders to develop and improve - so their every ride is better than the last. While many aim to become high performance athletes, the Club welcomes boys who enjoy the ride and camaraderie and whose focus is more social.

In 2020 we also have endeavoured to support riders who want to do Enduro events competitively, by holding specific training sessions with the appropriate safety gear.

The group rides every Sunday at various venues such as Riverhead Forest, Hunua Regional Park, Waitawa Regional Park, 440 Bikepark, Totara Park, Maraetai Forest, and Woodhill Forest. Those focusing on the North Island Championships had supervised training midweek in Term 1.

The 2020 Cyco Auckland Schools Mountain Bike Cross Country Championships was a four race series, over Terms 1, 2 and 3. Race 2 at Hunua Regional Park was cancelled due to the nationwide lockdown. The final had to be moved from 30 August 30 to 11 October in the school holidays, due to a second lockdown. It was fortunate Auckland moved to Level 1 in the week prior so we could have spectators at the final.

Race 1 aimed to prepare riders for the North Island Championships. Riverhead was at its best; dry, hard packed and fast. There were 284 entries to this race, and our best results were:

  • In the Under 14s J. Barclay finishing 1st and F. Houghton finishing an impressive 4th
  • In the Under 15s Z. Wylie was 2nd
  • In the Under 16s we had 3 riders in the top 10: Z. Buckley 6th, F. Rhodes-MacRae 9th, and F. Wilton 10th
  • In the Under 17s our best rider was F. Wright at 6th
  • In the Under 20s we had 4 riders in the top 10: O. Simcock-Smith finished 4th, T. Stebbings 7th, A. Moody 9th, and O. Malpass 10th.

Race 3 was at Waitawa. Luckily the weather was fine with light winds. Outstanding performances included:

  • In the Under 14s J. Barclay was 1st and F. Houghton 6th
  • In the Under 15s Z. Wylie was 3rd and H. Bolland was 7th
  • In the Under 16s Z. Buckley was 5th and F. Rhodes-McRae 9th
  • In the Under 17s T. Hiddleston was 7th, F. Wright 8th
  • In the Under 20s O. Simcock-Smith was 5th, and T. Stebbings 8th.

Race 4 was held at Woodhill Forest, using the new trails including 'Sandy Togs' that had just been finished.

  • In the Under 14s J. Barclay was 1st and F. Houghton 4th
  • In the Under 16s F. Wilton was 7th
  • In the Under 17s T. Hiddleston was 8th, F. Wright 9th, and F. Clarkson 10th
  • In the Under 20s O. Simcock-Smith was 3rd, T. Stebbings 5th, and O. Malpass 9th.

In the afternoon was the Auckland Schools Relay Championships, and Grammar had an impressive number of teams entered.

  • The Under 16B team of F. Rhodes-McRae, A. Bell, and M. Vincent was 3rd
  • The Under 16A team of J. Barclay, Z. Wylie and T. Hiddleston's brother James in the team, was 1st in the Composite School grade
  • One Under 20 team of O. Simcock-Smith, F. Wright and T. Hiddleston finished 2nd
  • The other Under 20 team of T. Stebbings, O. Malpass and P. Griffiths finished 3rd amongst the Auckland teams.

Race 5 was at Totara Park. Results were:

  • In the Under 14s J. Barclay was 1st and F. Houghton 5th
  • In the Under 15s Z. Wylie was 9th
  • In the Under 16s Z. Buckley was 6th and F. Malpass was 10th
  • In the Under 17s T. Hiddleston was 3rd, F. Wright was 5th, P. Griffiths was 8th and L. White was 9th
  • In the Under 20s O. Simcock-Smith was 3rd, T. Stebbings was 5th, and O. Malpass was 8th. 

To decide the Auckland Series Champion, the best three results from the 4 races are taken.

  • In the Under 14s J. Barclay was 1st overall (with an impressive 4 wins) and F. Houghton 5th
  • In the Under 15s Z. Wylie was 4th
  • In the Under 16s Z. Buckley was 7th
  • In the Under 17s T. Hiddleston was 4th, F. Wright was 5th and P. Griffiths was 8th
  • In the Under 20s O. Simcock-Smith was 4th, T. Stebbings was 5th, and O. Malpass was 9th.

Auckland Grammar came second to win the Best Boys School Trophy for the series on 799 points for the 4 races, only 7 points behind Westlake Boys High School.