The popular off-road motorcycle series is getting changes, but in name only

Cambridge’s Dylan Yearbury, a Kiwi international, cut his teeth in competitions such as the Forestland Cross-country Series. Photo / Andy McGechan,

The more things change, the more things stay the same and that must be a good thing as far as the New Zealand mountain bike community is concerned.

The popular Dirt Guide Cross-country series has just undergone a transition, but in name only, with the popular Central North Island competition now known as the Forestland Cross-country series.

Based in forestry near and around Tokoroa, the beloved series has only had a slight rebranding, although there is also a new main sponsor for the series and that is Forbes and Davies, the New Zealand’s leading importer and wholesaler of motorcycle tyres, mountain bike tyres, riding apparel, helmets and accessories.

Forbes and Davies is the New Zealand distributor for key brands such as O’Neal, Arai and Ogio and these brands have a long relationship with the series.

Therefore, it made sense for the series organizers to continue the relationship with the series and these brands, as well as the long-standing Forbes and Davies brands, such as Maxima oil, Metzeler tires, Maxi Grip ATV and the Dirt Tire range, along with many others, brings a fresh look too.

Nothing else will change in the series which caters to cross-country racers ages 7, through teens, adult men and women and older age brackets too, with veteran racers in sixties or more, all passionate to join.

The series, originally formed by husband and wife couple Sean and Adele Clarke in 2008, has grown to become one of the biggest cross-country motorcycle events in New Zealand, with riders traveling from all over the island of North to attend.

The past two seasons have been marred by restrictions put in place to help curb the Covid-19 pandemic, but now there is light at the end of that tunnel and runners are looking to get back to their favorite sporting pursuits, the Forestland Cross-country series. likely to be a perfect outlet for that pent up adrenaline.

The 2022 edition of the series is due to kick off at Tar Hill, revisiting a popular location from previous years, located just south of Tokoroa, on June 18-19, and it will send runners along many of the same leafy forest trails as they have enjoyed in the past and will be managed and run by the same knowledgeable crew. The remaining two rounds will take place in the forest lands of Ohakuri, halfway between Tokoroa and Taupō.

A new motorcycling organization, the Forestland Motorcycle Club, has been formed primarily to organize this series, but also to support other similar events or motocross activities in the future.

Sean Clarke from Tokoroa said he was delighted to once again be able to offer Kiwi dirt bike riders an experience they have obviously enjoyed so much over the past few years, something that appeals to all skill levels and bicycle driving abilities, elite national championship winning stars. of the sport, up to beginners or novice riders.

“Only a few people win races like this, so it’s not really about winning, it’s about participating and having fun,” Clarke said.

He says there are usually plenty of fresh trails to run, which makes racing safe, fun and challenging all at the same time.

Individuals such as Tom Buxton from Helensville, Paul Whibley from Manawatu, Dylan Yearbury from Cambridge, Liam Draper from Howick and Rachael Archer from Te Awamutu, for example, all learned their craft runs like this before heading to the abroad to win international glory.

Seth Reardon from Whanganui, Taupō pair Hadleigh Knight and Wil Yeoman, Rotorua trio Bradley Lauder, Callum Dudson and Ethan Harris, Jake Whitaker from Wellington, James Scott from Oparau, Luke Brown from Otorohanga, Sam Parker from New Plymouth and Jake Wightman of Tokoroa, to name a few, you might expect to be in the top spots when the Forestland cross-country series kicks off in June.

Taupō's Hadleigh Knight is expected to be a leading force in the new Forestland Cross-country series.  Photo / Andy McGechan,
Taupō’s Hadleigh Knight is expected to be a leading force in the new Forestland Cross-country series. Photo / Andy McGechan,

Riders such as Ethan Jameson of Whangamata, Daniel Bates of Rotorua, Josh Houghton of New Plymouth, Jared Hannon of Cambridge and Nixon Parkes of Te Awamutu usually top the junior ranks.

The popularity of this competition, which includes a 90-minute junior race followed shortly by a two-hour senior race, features separate tracks and several different levels incorporated into the day’s race, catering to all levels of confidence and skill. ability.

This series is also an ideal opportunity for less experienced or beginner riders to learn from the masters and perhaps put into practice on the ride the next day.

The Forestland Cross-country series is also supported by Kiwi Rider magazine, Forest Trail Events, Satco Logging Equipment and Husqvarna motorcycles.

Schedule of the Forestland Cross-country series:
Round 1, Tar Hill, June 18-19
Round 2, Ohakuri, July 16-17
Round 3, Ohakuri, August 27-28.

About Frances R. Smith

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