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Friday, 19 April 2019 12:25 am

Stolen motorbike was catalyst for flying Jamie’s world adventures


DOWNHILL DARE DEVIL: Jamie Lyall back home after a weekend riding his mountain bike with friends. IMAGE: Hayley Gastmeier

WHEN thieves stole Jamie Lyall’s motorbike it was the beginning of an adventure that has taken him around the world racing mountain bikes and building downhill tracks.

After replacing his motorbike with a new mountain bike, the 23-year-old from the Kapiti Coast has been competing in New Zealand and overseas for the past five years.

Jamie says he has had a few podiums in his time racing throughout New Zealand, and has attended the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Series twice.

In 2012’s Downhill World Cup Jamie’s bike was the only downhill mountain bike designed and developed in New Zealand to be raced overseas.

Jamie’s bike was made by his favourite brand, Zerode, a company created by two downhill riders from Rotorua. The unique design attracted a lot of attention from overseas riders.

He also competed in this year’s Downhill World Cup visiting courses in Great Britain, Austria, Canada, and the United States.

Jamie’s favourite downhill tracks are in Fort William in Scotland, Schladming in Austria, and in New Zealand he says the trails in Rotorua are the best in the country.

It was those Rotorua tracks that led Jamie to his building overseas.

His father, Rhys Lyall, said American millionaire Kenneth Dart was so impressed when he visited Rotorua’s downhill trails he enlisted a Kiwi track building company to build tracks for his own personal use.

Dart, whose family made its money by inventing the Styrofoam cup, has had trails made all over the world and this venture has taken Jamie to Jamaica and Chile where he worked on the projects.

In the extreme sport on steep and rough terrain, and often located on ski fields during the summer months, injuries are common and Jamie says they’re “just part of it.”

Over the years he has broken his arms, hands and feet, but it’s more the muscle and ligament injuries that worry him because they take longer to heal and hurt more than broken bones.

He doesn’t have many accidents these days and says you shouldn’t have many injuries if you’re fit and healthy.

He rides his cross country bike around Wellington three to four times a week keeping his fitness up, and visits the downhill tracks in Rotorua a couple times a month.

Jamie’s role models are his friends that race mountain bikes for a job representing different bike companies.

“They get paid for it and they don’t have to work. They’re so fast and everyone knows who they are.”

“It’s something I’d rather do, I’d much rather be riding my bike than drilling a hole.”

The downhill fanatic works for Webster Drilling and says his competitive mountain biking time is running out.

“By 30 you’re normally done.”

“I’d never make big money out of it.”

But says he would be happy if a season did not cost him anything.

The rider is realistic about his chances and says he’ll just keep riding and having fun.

“I’ll ride for as long as I can.”


BIKING EXTREME: The 23 year old from Kapiti Coast all geared up and in action. IMAGE: Jamie Lyall

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