Exploring Waimate mountain biking

A champion English cyclist and mountain bike designer has given a big thumbs up to Waimate and South Canterbury’s mountain bike scene.


Sam Shucksmith, who won the United Kingdom’s Gravity Enduro series championship in 2015, has recently visited Waimate where he enjoyed riding some of the district’s MTB tracks.

Sam is positive about the mountain bike scene here.

He says Waimate’s big easy track is in its infancy but has huge potential when the rides become more established.

‘It’s brilliant that there’s something for everybody. I enjoyed the ascent of the Big Easy - an easy undulating climb with wonderful panoramic views from the top.’

He loved the steeper technical downhill tracks, and said it was pretty amazing to see wallabies, and hear native birds during his ride.

‘If I had more time I’d head out the back of the Hunter Hills and through to Kurow via the Meyers Pass, that sounds like a weekend adventure for a crew of friends.’

His advice for the Waimate tracks was that the finishing touches are as important as the overall ride - this all takes time and energy but he can see from the more established tracks the care and attention that has gone into them. These new tracks translate to a bright future for sport and recreation in the district, he says.

'You’ve got the choice of some cool runs, or a three-hour circuit from the car park - plus, I hear that you’ll soon be able to finish off with a cool refreshing craft beer at the Harvest Kitchen and Bar -  or refuel for lunch to get you back up the hill!’

Sam’s love of mountain biking and his engineering background landed him a great job with Whyte, a United Kingdom company that specialise in designing EWS thoroughbred G170 series bikes, trail hardtails and award-winning Wessex road bikes. Sam also races for Whyte on their enduro team.

‘I love testing my designs out on the field to their full potential.’

Learn more about Waimate's tracks here.

Enter the Whitehorse Big Easy event, being held on April 8 this year, to test yourself on the tracks against riders from all over the country.

Favourite thing to do:

‘Mountain biking with friends.’

Favourite bite to eat:

‘Jo’s Turkish eggs and chickpeas in hot smoky tomato sauce.’

Favourite thing about Waimate District:  

‘The closeness to everywhere - the four days we had here we explored the beach, the hills, the river and the lakes.’


Kate O'Connell