A few of you may remember when I wrote ( *Tried to write in between self induced comas ) a few (almost) funny pieces for Dirt about how incredibly awesome life was in Queenstown. Since then we’ve interviewed the Huck Wizard himself, Paul Angus, here on Descent-World and have been chomping on the proverbial chorizo sausage to feature more stuff.
One thing that is incredible about Queenstown, on top of Germans, no-one batting an eye lid when you say huck yeah and the legendary huhhhheeerrr sound, is the Atlas Jam.
Our mate Goose put this together for us in his own unique style and Callum Wood – @cwoodphoto – sent us through an absolute banger of a gallery. Be sure to follow them both on the old Instagram!
It seemed like just yesterday we were gliding down on the snowy slopes above Lake Wakatipu. All too soon the snow started to melt and the warmer westerly weather fronts start to take over the district. We start to dust off our fork seals, lube our chains and push up and down our dropper seat posts knowing that the riding season is upon us.
At this point in the season the Skyline Gondola and Queenstown Bike Park have already been open for two months, some might say summer is already well underway. But for a lot of locals the official start of summer is when the now annual Atlas Beer Cafe and Queenstown Mountain Bike Club fundraiser and Wynyard Jam takes place on the transitions and landings of mini dream in the Wynyard Freeride park.
In previous years the riding took place and then the party happened down at the steamer warf complex at the awesome Atlas Bar. This year the party was taken up to the riding!
Atlas Bar with a selection of craft beers, a BBQ, a dj was on a hand until the live band turned up, there was a huge raffle prize giveaway with a ridiculous prize list that would put the national lottery to shame.
This huge setup didn’t over shadow the riding however which once again took precedent over everything else once things got going.
That oh so familiar buzz that happens when a group of riders get together was present in abundance and the sound of downhill bikes ripping up the lips and landing to flat and sideways was a delight to hear.
The riding was just a bit of a jam until the Vertigo Bikes Huckathon started at 7pm. Vertigo Bikes is synonymous with organising awesome events in Queenstown, so the addition of the Huckathon to give the crowd an hour long huck spectacular from some of the best riders in the town was a great addition to the evening.
There were three categories riders could be judged on, best goon style, best whip and best overall style. There were about 60 riders wowing the crowds and the atmosphere was electric.
Amongst the mix were some famous Queenstown locals Kelly McGarry, Conor MacFarlane and Eddie Masters, as well as a heap of other riders from an ever deepening bucket of talent that now live in Queenstown.
Whips were being thrown around more freely than the sausages on the BBQ, bar humps, mech checks and front wheel head butts were getting the judges excited and the steeze and style from some of the riders was oozing more than the froth from the top of the craft beers on tap.
There were riders that came out on top but no one really cared, the stoke was high and the mega train to finish the Huckathon off was one that will go down in Queenstown history.
A big shout out and thanks has to go to Atlas Beer Cafe and all the dedicated volunteers in the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club.
This event is just one that shows the strength of the mountain bike community in Queenstown which is showing no signs of slowing down. Here is to an awesome Summer of Shred!