DirtCraft December Newsletter 2022

Term 1 DirtSkill and Adult Skills

With a busy event Calendar in 2023 I am currently working out the best timetable for T1 2023. Keeping in mind we’ve also got Oropi harvesting to factor in towards the end of March/April its going to be a busy little term. Term 1 will start on 6th February. Grading days are listed now on the website and registrations will be available from the 18th December.

Oropi Super D Series

We have two final rounds of Oropi Super D Series left. Entries are from $10 and is available for anyone to race. Round #4 is this Friday and will see Trail Mix as the Hard track and Exit course (in reverse) as the easy course. Round 5 is on Friday 16th December with Hidden trail the Hard course and Grim Creeper the easy course. This will be your last opportunity to race Oropi before harvesting.

Timed Training

We have 3 Timed Training sessions left. If it is appropriate for you then you’ve been emailed an invitation. Sunday 11th December sees Trail Mix and 6 Drops at Oropi while Monday 12th December sees the Jumps Park at Summerhill for timed training. A pretty unique opportunity for instant feedback to guide your riding and development.

Upcoming Events

We’re working hard to get some more events on the calendar in 2023 and there are even more exciting plans for 2023/2024 season also, which includes an Endurance/Relay event, Offroad Duathlon, and an Enduro series.

Right now, I am currently working to deliver the following events throughout 2023, so start getting hyped!

NEW*** Club XC Champs (March)

NEW*** Club Enduro Champs (March)

NEW*** WBOP Intermediate Champs XC & Enduro (May)

NEW*** WBOP Highschool Champs (TBC)

NEW*** Clapped Rig Carnival (May)

NEW*** Summerhill Cyclocross (July)

AIMS Games MTB (September)

WAIBOP Primary School Event (September)

Rider Assist Initiative and Sponsorship

We’re excited to be introducing our Rider Assist Initiative (RAI) in 2023. There are plenty of riders and families in the Mountain Biking community who experience financial hardship, solo parents are a common example of this. The RAI aims to provide financial support to those who need it to keep progressing their Mountain Biking. 20% of all financial sponsorship of DirtCraft goes towards the RAI.

This pool of funds is divided amongst successful applicants who apply to the head coach to access these funds. Beyond the head coach the RAI is completely anonymous so riders involved can apply for up to $500 per season. At the end of the season successful applicants provide an anonymous letter of thanks summarising their season, and opportunities that were made possible from the RAI. The letter is sent to DirtCraft and anonymously on to sponsoring organisations as a token of application.

Riders and families will be able to apply for the RAI from mid-2023. To sponsor DirtCraft and support the RAI please contact tristanhride@gmail.com.

Christmas Ride

We’re hosting a Christmas ride from 5.00pm to 6.00pm Summerhill on Monday 12th December. All DirtCraft riders are welcome. Kids under 10 need an accompanying adult. There is no structure to this ride, its just a case of getting together for a few social laps before the end of the year. Riders are 100% responsible for themselves throughout the Christmas ride. Club night racing will follow this from 6.30pm onwards.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you if I do not see you before 2023.



2022 WBOP MTB Primary School Event

Tuesday 15th of November saw a very exciting event held at Summerhill for the first time. Our first ever WBOP Primary School event saw over 90 riders from over 15 different schools compete in the year 4, 5 and 6 categories.

The day kicked off with registration from 9.00am at the jumps park where the event was based out of for the day. The course consisted of a 1.2km lap marked out with course tape and cones to stop the kids from exploring other trails. We packed in plenty of jumps, twists and turns and some age appropriate technical sections to challenge the riders.

The first race of the day saw around 30 year 4 boys and girls take on the course. They had 20 minutes to complete as many laps as they could. After a challenging start in the grassy paddock next to the jumps park the riders spread out. We had Mackenzie BURCH LIVING winning from Ryan LUKE and Mason MCGILL in third for the year 4 boys. Paige VEAL took the girls win followed by Lani ROOZENDAAL and April FERGUS in third.

Next up was the year 5s who had to take on the same for 25 minutes. There were plenty of spectators on course supporting the riders and it was great to see an awesome environment to encourage the kids amongst some misty rain. Cohen KNIGHT finished first male ahead of Rylan CAPPER-PARKES and Jacob HYDE-CLINCH who claimed third. In the girls we saw a very dominant ride from Sierra BECA to win over Eva BREWERTON and Sennen HARRIS. This race also saw a significant crash involving a few riders on the start and we were impressed to see everyone get back up and carry on racing.

The final race of the day was our year 6 race. These kids were racing for 30 minutes and we saw a strong performance from our male winner Mayson SNOW followed by Roman WAIN and Oscar ALLEN. In the year 6 girls we had Sienna BREWERTON winning just ahead of Oona HEPBURN.

Following the racing we had a fun little wheelie competition which was judged by a few of our volunteers. We saw Pearce SIGNAL taking the win here and scoring himself a $50 Cycle Obsession Voucher. A big thankyou to everyone who helped make the day happen. We’re excited for 2023 and even considering schools team race into the competition.

DirtCraft October Newsletter 2022

AIMS Games

After three long years Zespri AIMS Games made its return. Restarting such a massive tournament with over 10000 students, 320 schools, 1800 volunteers and 23 sports is no easy task. But wider AIMS team pulled it together to get the gears back into motion once again. To read the fill article head to: http://dirtcraft.nz/news/


DirtSkill Registrations are open. If you register and pay before 5th October then you will receive a 10% discount. Our DirtSkill programme aims to give riders confidence, competence and understanding of a variety of skills required for healthy growth as a young mountain biker. Our sessions progress from riders as young as 7 through to our older groups for 17 and 18 year old’s. Registrations can be found at: http://dirtcraft.nz/services/dirtskill/

Adult Skills

Our first Term Long Summer Adult Skills sessions registrations are open. And to celebrate we are offing classes from $180 for 8 sessions! If you are after a variety of skills sessions at an affordable price from knowledgeable and experienced coaches then Adult Skills is the right place for you. We aim to deliver engaging through adult specific skills sessions to identify and minimize bad habits and teach correct, safe and confidence building riding techniques. This is a process, not something that is mastered in one or two sessions, but in multiple sessions over multiple terms. To find out more or to register visit: http://dirtcraft.nz/adult-skills/

Oropi Super D Series

We know this highly anticipated race series has taken a long time to deliver, but you’ll need to wait a little longer for full information. Right now, we can tell you that sporadically throughout later October, November and December there will be Super D racing at Oropi. This will take place roughly from 5.00pm to 8.00pm most Fridays from the main Oropi Carpark. The finer details are still being worked on. More information can be found real soon at: http://dirtcraft.nz/events/oropi-super-d-series/

Network & Mapping Evening

If you are or have an Intermediate school aged rider then we strongly recommend you come to our network and mapping evening on the 28th of October. DirtCraft families $40, other families $60.

We will kick off with an information presentation to parents to outline what DirtCraft is working on beyond skill learning. This includes developing both the rider and the person as your child progresses through their teenage years.

Our second presentation will demonstrate the programmes we offer and how this assists riders development. It will also outline to the kids all the opportunities we have on offer for DirtCraft riders going forward.

Finally, we will wrap the evening up with a shared dinner and chance for meeting new faces and finding some new riding buddies. For more information check out: http://dirtcraft.nz/adult-skills/

Development Squad

If you’re year 9 to 12 in 2022 you may want to consider applying for the 2023 Development Squad. The 2023 focuses of the squad are:

  1. To make high level NZL and International racing more accessible.
  2. To assist character development with situational learning in the MTB environment.

The Development Squad has a focus around developing the character of the rider as they develop through Highschool. Camps, training and racing present the perfect opportunity for growth and development of the individual. Our focuses to assist this include –

Maturity – Riders are able to keep a level head and open mind in new environments.

Independence – Riders are in positions where they are encouraged to develop Independence.

Resilience – Riders face adversity and assisted with developing resilience.

Send your applications to tristanhride@gmail.com

or for more information visit: http://dirtcraft.nz/development-squad/


We are having a big merchandise sale on at the moment. Selected items and sizes need to go. Head over to our Merchandise page to find some sweet deals. In particular our larger sized short sleeve trail tops need to go! http://dirtcraft.nz/merchandise/

Network & Mapping Evening

DirtCraft is delivering our Network and Mapping evening on the 28th October 2022 to Intermediate aged riders and their families.

We will kick off with an information presentation to parents to outline what DirtCraft is working on beyond skill learning. This includes developing both the rider and the person as your child progresses through their teenage years.

Our second presentation will demonstrate the programmes we offer and how this assists riders development. It will also outline to the kids all the opportunities we have on offer for DirtCraft riders going forward.

Finally, we will wrap the evening up with a shared dinner and chance for meeting new faces and finding some new riding buddies.

When:   Friday 28th October, 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Where:  Tauranga Boys College Staffroom

Cost:     $40.00

The cost is $40 per family (paid prior). This needs to be paid prior to attending. Non DirtCraft families are also welcome and their rate is $60 (paid in cash on the day).


5.30pm to 6.00pm: Presentation to parents only. (Games on the field for the kids)

6.00pm to 6.30pm: Parents & Kids presentation regarding high school, events, coaching and opportunities as riders go forward.

6.30pm to 7.30pm Networking and shared dinner. Potluck dinner to mix and mingle with everyone to make some new riding/carpooling buddies.

Please bring a dish of food to share at the conclusion of the evening. There are plates, cutlery and cups there, but it would be wise to bring your own. There are microwaves to reheat any food.

The Tauranga Boys staffroom can be found near the Theater. My recommendation is to park in the school from the Cameron road entrance opposite Harvey Norman.

If you haven’t received an invite please RSVP with tristanhride@gmail.com

2022 Zespri AIMS Games Post Event Writeup

After three long years Zespri AIMS Games made its return. Restarting such a massive tournament with over 10000 students, 320 schools, 1800 volunteers and 23 sports is no easy task. But wider AIMS team pulled it together to get the gears back into motion once again.

We were excited to be hosting the Mountain Biking event once again at the beautiful Summerhill MTB Park. The weather turned it on for a few days while the racing was happening. We were lucky enough to have Laser Eye Centre on board as our Code Sponsor. Giant Bicycles New Zealand and Camelbak New Zealand donating some generous prizes for our place getters and a few lucky spot prize winners.

Although the Cross Country and Enduro race days saw some beautiful weather, it was anything but calm in the lead up to the race. With over 40 different volunteers helping to deliver the event throughout the week a big focus of our manpower was directed towards getting and keeping the trails in tip top condition. With high winds and significant rainfall on the days leading up to the event, there were some challenges to overcome for the delivery crew.

The weather conditions settled for registration and practice as we saw the first of our 360 different riders start to trickle into the venue prepped for the Cross Country and Enduro Events. Students from Kerikeri through to Christchurch along with family, teachers and supporters, made for quite the turnout on the event day.

Wednesday saw the Cross Country racing with our Year 7 and 8 boys and girls tackling two laps of the 5km circuit. The course allowed for epic spectator viewing and was in top shape thanks to Mountainbike Tauranga. The club really turned it on for the event with plenty of volunteers helping out and great trails offered to the students. A particular highlight was the Hoekey Pokey section of trail which saw some jump, berm and climbing action, all condensed into one area which allowed for an epic spectator atmosphere as you could see riders on about five different sections of trail over four or so minutes.

We wrapped up the Cross Country Day with our prizegiving, a word from our venue host Summerhill, Club president and a few games to engage the students. This saw wheelie competitions, running races and all sorts of organised chaos to entertain everyone. Our four winners were SOPHIE ARCHER, Saint Kentigern College, COOPER MCMORRAN, Berkley Normal Middle School, SOPHIA WESTON, Wadestown School and ALEX BOTHA, Howick Intermediate.

Thursday saw the riders take on Summerhills’ first ever Enduro event with simultaneously running stages. This was a big logistical challenge for the organisers but worked out come race day with good preparation. The riders took on GT Track, Flying Mullet and Beeftub. These three high speed tracks saw plenty of jumps, berms, a few ruts, technical sections, water crossings and more to challenge the riders. Local bike store, Cycle Obsession was setup with an onsite workstation to help keep the bikes in check and we had two Camelbak water stations to keep the riders hydrated out there.

The Event Director had a few challenges throughout the day but nothing that couldn’t be overcome and lead to a successful day. Come prizegiving the event had an informal stoppie competition which had the engagement of over 40 different students along with a volunteer competition to see who could manage the best wheelie. This made for fun and games when giving out our prizes donated by Giant and Camelbak. The times came in and we had some tight racing on a few stages of the high speed course. Our eventual winners were BAXTER SURREY, Highlands Intermediate, JAXON MAIR, Otumoetai Intermediate, ADDISON RUTHERFURD, Mangorei School, POPPY RICHARDSON, Mount Maunganui College.

Between the efforts of AIMS Games, Mountainbike Tauranga, DirtCraft, Summerhill and everyone else who pitched in the event was a huge success with overwhelming positive feedback from students and spectators. We had no major injuries, an amazing course and brought in more than $7000 for Mountainbike Tauranga, Summerhill and the DirtCraft Development Squad which is a huge injection to the local Mountain Biking community for their efforts to deliver the event. With plenty of exciting plans for 2023 including the reintroduction of a team’s event, there is so much to look forward to. Right now, DirtCraft is focusing on building and delivering a range of other new events.

Tristan Haycock – Mountain Biking Event Director & DirtCraft Founder

DirtCraft Launch

Why The Change?

In 2016 I (Tristan) founded the Mountainbike Tauranga Youth Academy in my final year of Highschool with two objectives. 1. To formalise an organic network of information sharing from my experiences as an athlete to other young riders within Mountainbike Tauranga. 2. To make enough money to fund my racing travels until I was successful enough to be a professional rider. As you’ll learn the objectives went through huge change over the next few years leading up to now.

As I grew I found more and more purpose in coaching, until 2019 where it over took racing as the priority in my life. From here the Mountainbike Tauranga Youth Academy morphed into the Junior Development Process and grew rapidly. I could invest energy into the programmes and found huge fulfilment in my work. I found that empowering others to coach and share this journey also not only expanded the impact we could have but was also packed with healthy growth in itself. I had uncovered a great system to develop great riders and great leaders.

Here we are a few years later and things are changing again. Now we’re doing it properly. Towards the end of June we founded DirtCraft and utlised the winter to setup up the new company as best we could. I use ‘We’ terminology because it really is a team effort from the community to get DirtCraft off the ground. August 1st we launched our plans to the world and our website, registrations, merch and coaches are all to follow.

A few months prior to DirtCraft launching it was decided that the ‘Junior Development Process’ operation that had grown rapidly from 10 kids to over 250 in a few years was not suited to fit within the Mountainbike Tauranga umbrella. It was time to create a separate entity. We thank the club for fostering the growth of this platform until now. But from 2021 onwards we will be standing on our own feet. Something that is very daunting but exciting at the same time as the opportunities are endless. We will continue to maintain a mutually benefitable relationship with Mountainbike Tauranga as we boost their club memberships and in return gain access to the local trails for operations.


There’s been plenty learnt so far, and plenty more still to come on our exciting journey as DirtCraft. Over the past 5 years we have developed the craft of coaching and empowered others with coaching opportunities. Thus having a larger reach with our sessions but also allowing genuine leadership and responsibility opportunities for our coaches. Our structure is developed from lessons over the passed five years as we’ve developed this platform. Tristan’s international experiences as an athlete, formal qualifications, networking and passion for the sport.

Our sessions are developed to have a great mixture of fun, learning, self development and connection, all in a safe environment for learning and progression. We’ve learnt what the kids want, we’ve learnt what the parents want, we’ve learnt every family is different, we’ve learnt how to provide an environment where the kids are comfortable to be themselves, try, fail, learn, connect. We’ve learnt how to encourage kids to enjoy each others company, face challenge and be inspired. We’ve learned the balance of fun and productivity, we’ve learnt when to be staunch, where to be dynamic. We’ve learnt that adults don’t want to miss out on skill learning. And most importantly we’ve learnt that there is so much more to learn! We invite you to join us on this learning journey. As you develop skills, fitness, confidence and experience, while we improve our services and our craft for the future

What to expect

So what does all this mean? I’ll break it down as simple as I can for you. We are including adult skills coaching and we are going to keep growing the Academy in the kids space. There will also be an expansion into the the events space, from everything to First Aid Courses, to races, mechanical courses and more. Have a look below for a quick overview. Or scan through the website for a more in-depth breakdown.

Private Coaching (Adults or Kids)

1:1 Coaching – Skill learning, Skill progression

Group Coaching – Skill learning, Skill progression

DirtCraft Academy

Skills – Skill Learning (we know how much you love the current Youth Academy)

Training – Physical group training and mental/physical individual training.

Experience – Holiday Programmes, Camps, Girls Programme, Race accessibility.


Merchandise – There is some sweet DIrtCraft swagger on the way.

Events – We have plenty of events planned in the pipeline.

Coaching – We want to empower others to pursue leadership and responsibility positions. Who knows where this could lead DirtCraft and these individuals in the future.