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 / Sports



Spoke strives to bring a fresh and innovative look at mountain biking through original content, bold design and high quality production values. It provides an unbiased look at the lives and activities of mountain bikers in Aotearoa, consistently pushing the boundaries of mountain bike photography and graphic design. Spoke is published four times a year

New Zealand
Arrowsmith Media Ltd
Read More
5 Issues


1 min.
charlie's choice

The moment we arrived at this location, Charlie spotted a steep chute that he thought would work well for a pan-shot. I told him, "it won't work, it's too steep, it's not the right kind of foreground, not worth it". So we went off to shoot the trail we'd come down to shoot. After a successful session Charlie again suggested that we try capturing a pan shot in this section, again, I told him, "it's no good, it'll look rubbish, not worth it" Charlie was adamant that it would work, so I finally gave up and said "fine, knock yourself out then, if it'll make you happy". Turns out it worked really well, and I should follow my own advice: it's important to let the riders shoot on the things…

1 min.
off the beaten track

Unless, for some crazy reason, you are heading to Palmerston North, almost all road trips north from Wellington lead past Foxton. Now, thanks to Southstar Trails, you actually have a reason other than gas to stop there. That reason? The absolutely massive Foxton Beach pump track. After our first attempt at shooting photos was thwarted by over 100 jandal wearing kids on scooters, Elliot knew we had to get back. On this, our second visit, Elliot hit the jackpot, the light was firing and there wasn’t a scooter in sight. Rider: Elliot Smith Location: Foxton Beach, NZ Shutter speed: 1/1000 Aperture: f3.2 ISO: 1000…

1 min.
not the whole story

There is a good story behind this shot, and I imagine it’s one that Nils doesn’t want told. It’s a classic example of the old adage ‘photos only need to look good for a split second’. The next two frames in the sequence tell the full story, with Nils fully nosed in and a look of terror on his face. Like all good stories though, this one ends well, so maybe we should just appreciate the insane shape he’s cutting. I should also add that Nils, along with Brady Stone and John Richardson, recently took out the EWS U21 Trophy of Nations for Team NZL. Congratulations boys! Rider: Nils Heiniger Location: Rotorua, NZ Shutter speed: 1/1000 Aperture: f1.2 ISO: 100…

4 min.

They say that if you rocked a trend the first time around, then you’re too old to rock it again when it swings back decades later. Well luckily for you readers, the Rodfather is a timeless icon and can make anything work at any time. You should see me in socks and sandals! Mullet bikes: yes, it’s stressing me out too. Business in the front, party in the back. It’s not new. There’s been 69ers for yonks and recently the Foes Mixer fumbled into the scene with a 27.5/29er. Even now the industry can’t decide what the numbers are; 975er? Let’s keep it simple: it’s a 79er. Is it better? Faster? Funner? There’s some unsupported data online that says it’s an improvement on same-wheel-sized bikes and the theory is good. A big…

2 min.
fixation disorder

My name is Mr B, and I have an addiction. It’s not a mental illness by the clinical definition, but is an insidious reliance that leaves me feeling hollow and melancholy without it. I’m talking about Strava, obviously. But I’m taking steps to regulate my behaviour. The turning point came in the same way as many moments of self-realisation do for those who’ve slipped into reliance on external stimulus for their supposed heightened sense of enjoyment. A single event that, upon reflection, made me realise I’d gradually shifted into a pattern of use that could be defined as addiction. I’d had a solid run of a few weeks with a light workload and good weather. That culminated in a lot of rides in the forest and I was in the groove, with…

9 min.
the trusty chevrolet blazer

Chapter 1 - Jump Start – The mission to the Trails Touching down in Vancouver, I was a bundle of nervous energy, excited to ride and race in one of the world’s most famous mountain bike destinations—but first I had to get from the city up to Whistler. What is, in theory, an easy task turned into a six-hour ordeal that still only got me as far as Squamish. Knowing that great New Zealander Tom Bradshaw was residing somewhere near Vancouver, I flicked him a text saying I’d shout him sushi (world’s best sushi in Vancouver) if he could swing by the airport and pick me up. An hour later a sweaty man in Kiwiana clothing rolled up in a Nissan Xterra and parked on an angle about two metres from…