Will we see another local champion in Vegas? Garth takes out Rad Ross in 2010

In November, SSWC returns to NZ. There was always an informal rule that it didn’t touch down in the same place twice, but the 2017 edition is heading back to Vegas.

Although controversial, the RSS knows how to throw a singlespeed party and the sculpted volcanic trails make for an ideal course. For those who can keep atop the gear and pull out the necessary speed, countless moments of zen lay in wait.

The 2010 edition was a banger (even if the writer did spend a decent chunk of it in a holding cell) but 2017 promises to be slightly more intimate with a little more heart. Suicide Prevention is the benefactor of the entry fees, and we’ll be unlikely to see the 1000-strong crowd that showed for the first event.

Make no mistake though, it will be one to attend. Wherever SSWC goes, a lovable troupe of drogues follows. It is one of the few races where you start relaxing before you’ve even arrived. The race itself is almost a formality tacked on to a much larger and greater weekend.

The pertinent press deets appear below. You need to be entered by 1 Oct to get a shirt, and it might interest you to know that the hosting rights challenge will probably be between Bend, Oregon and sweet Canada.

Chainslap is sending yours truly along with a tote bag of disposable cameras, $200 of Victoria Bitter, the Instagram login and no firm guidelines regarding profanity. So I’ll be having fun at least.

See you there xx


Koh Kitizawa from Japan, Singlespeed World Championships 2010. He’s returning to Rotorua in November (Photo: Alan Ofsoski).

Press release:

Singlespeed World Championships, Rotorua.

Have some fun, maybe help a mate.

That’s the theme of the 2017 Singlespeed Mountain Bike World Championships on November 18 in Rotorua.

“Our events, including New Zealand, Anzac and the World Championships in 2010, are loud and colourful with extravagant costumes and this year will be no different,” says Gary Sullivan, president from the host club, the Rotorua Singlespeed Society, and the event’s main partner, Nzoactive.com. “At the same time, we’ve always tried to use them to make a positive contribution.”

The Society has made significant donations to CanTeen, 88Bikes, Cancer Society, Kidney Health New Zealand, the Returned Servicemen’s Association Welfare Fund and the Rotorua Trail Trust.

In 2017, the beneficiary will be suicide prevention awareness.

“It’s a growing issue in New Zealand,” Sullivan continues. “We want to try and help.”

Entry for the event includes a one-off T-shirt (designed by Sullivan), the race, beverages and a party, breakfast and the Filmed by Bike Festival from Portland in Oregon all at the event HQ, the Pig and Whistle.

“Filmed by Bike gave us the rights to screen the festival at a very low community rate because of our record with donations and promoting mountain biking in Rotorua and New Zealand,” Sullivan. “And there’s a reason it’s called ‘the world’s best bike movies’. It’s a brilliant, one hour programme of bike film shorts.”

The event is well supported by a solid blend of local government, businesses and charitable trusts.

“We have two beautiful bike frames to give away, steel by Jeffson Bikes and bamboo by Freddy Salgado at Bikeys,” adds Sullivan. “And Helibike Rotorua have 5 seats on a flight to the Moerangi Trail in the ancient Whirinaki Forest south of the city.”

Rotorua Lakes Council, First Sovereign Trust, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and the New Zealand Community Trust are also backing the event.

The championships’ prize swag bag is literally that.

“Dancing Moose are locals producing quality bike packing gear,” says Sullivan. “A full Rotorua Experience from Off-Road New Zealand, QE Health Wellness and Spa, Agroventures and Rotorua Canopy Tours will be in one of their bags and Holiday Inn are also in the mix.”

Enter at www.rotoruasinglespeed.com