1000 bike park laps at Skyline Queenstown

James Crossland has been living the dream in the Southern Hemisphere’s mountain biking Disney Land of Queenstown for the past couple of years. For the second successive season he has done more bike park laps than anyone else. This year, however, he became the first person to hit the elusive 1000 runs in a season.

You are not impressed? You should be.

To put that into perspective, the average amount of runs over a season for a local would probably be around 150-200. Pro’s that live in town who don’t work might well get up to about 300 runs. James was holding down a full time job. That is commitment.  James took a minute once the dust of a 1000 laps settled to tell a little bit about himself and the bike he used to do this feat.

The bike

James’s weapon of choice was a Giant Glory Advanced with a custom galaxy vinyl sticker job.  Interesting fact to note, most of the components on this bike apart from the frame and rims all did the previous season in the bike park (about 800 runs).  Particularly impressive for a set of forks and a shock to run so non problematic for two seasons of hard riding!

The man himself

Giant Glory Advanced 0 frame size large.
Fork – Marzocchi 888
Shock – Marzocchi Rocco
Rims- DT Swiss EX471
Spokes – DT Swiss champion
Bars – Chromag BZA Carbon 35
Stem – Chromag BZA 35
Grips – DMR death grips – softs
Brakes – Sram guide rsc (organic pads)
Tyres – maxxis minion dhr2 ST front and rear
Cranks – Truvativ Descendant 165
Mech – rohloff singespeed park rat specific tensioner

Parts used during the 1000 lap season

Tyres – 15
Brake pads – 15 pairs
Disc rotor – 1 SRAM centreline 200
Grips – 2 sets desthgrips
Frame Bearings – replaced main rocker bearings once
Headset bearings – 1 x lower headset bearing
Single speed tensioner – x2
Tubless sealant – copious amounts!

Bike servicing
1 complete strip down
1 brake bleed front and rear
1 shock service (no seals)
1 complete fork service (no seals)
2 x lower leg service


The man himself

DW: State your name, age, hometown, current occupation.
James, 25 years young, Sheffield (steel city), full time grafter/ bike mechanic/ MTB coach at vertigo bikes

DW: How long have you been riding bikes?
A while not sure maybe 12 years

DW: How long have you been in Queenstown?
2 years

DW: How do you rate Queenstown to other riding destinations around the world you have been to?
Pretty bloody sick aye!

DW: Did you start of the summer thinking you wanted to do 1000 laps or did it just become apparent as the summer went on that is was going to be quite achievable?
Sort of joked about it at the end of last season, and then mid season had done quite a few laps so decided to crack on and get err done
DW: Do you know how many runs your closest rival did?
No idea wasn’t really about that just like riding the big bike

DW: 1000 uplifts in the gondola equates to approximately 133 hours of sitting in a gondola cabin, what would you think about?
It’s all good means I spent about the same time hitting holes and slapping turns, rather be sat in a gondi cabin than riding up hill.

DW: Favorite bike park lap in Queenstown?
Tough one, armashreddon, grundy, Fundy, KY, chunder goat

DW: Biggest challenge to hitting 1000 runs in a season?
Keeping the gf happy

DW: Do you think it was harder to keep your bike or body running for 1000 laps?
Neither the bike went well and managed to stay injury free so was all good

DW: Some quick bike stats; flats or Spuds?

DW: Soft or firm?
Firm up front

DW: Fast or slow?

DW: Tubes or Tubeless?
Tubeless it’s not the stone age

DW: Organic or Sintered?

DW: Super Tacky or 60a?

DW: Fat grips or thin grips?
Medium definitely not  chodes

DW: Carbon Bars or Alloy Bars?
Carbon, minimal buzz

DW: What’s next?
Back to the happy valley (stocksbridge) for the forseeable, who knows really will be riding bikes a lot though

DW: Any thanks?
Big shout out to my parents for making me happen good job, my GF Nush for putting up with my shit, the lifties at skyline for lifting my bike many times, vertigo bikes for being GC’s and anyone who did laps with me. Chur.

Tommy Wilkinson

"I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve" - But I do love bikes.

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