About us

Who Is MBO?

Current Officers

President – Rob Havill (president at mountainbikingotago.co.nz)

Vice President – Craig Bates

Secretary – Greg Bouwer (secretary at mountainbikingotago.co.nz)

Treasurer – Sophie O’Connell (treasurer at mountainbikingotago.co.nz)

Membership – Rob Havill, Greg Bouwer

DH Coordinator –  Jason Hasler

Enduro Coordinator – Lars Winther

XC Coordinator – Greg Bouwer

Naseby 12Hr Coordinator – Craig Bates

Web – Adrian Robinson

General Executive: Rick Thompson, Adrian Robinson, Richard Van der Lem,  Glyn Howell, Hamish Seaton, Jason Hasler, Adrian Ruthven, Graham Spenceley, Lars Winther, Jono Pascoe, Georgia Mayer, Sheree Hasler, Dean Meddar, Kane Flurey, Jason Bryant, Amber Werensteyn, Alec Middleton, Nick Taylor

How Did it All Start?

A Brief History

A group of enthusiasts founded the Dunedin Mountain Bike Club in 1989. The initial publicity for the club promoted ‘getting out and about rather than just talking about it’ with meetings kept as informal as possible. From the very start access to tracks, promoting good will with other track users, and safe riding were priorities for the club. Jenny Cooper, a founding member, expounded the virtues of the Dunedin surrounds as a perfect environment for using the new multi-geared, fat tired bikes. She urged riders to get out and enjoy it but cautioned them to ‘respect others, respect the land, and respect yourself’ Right from the start the club recognised that members were not the only users of tracks and they should acknowledge other group’s interests. The club focused on organising recreational rides that in the early 1990s were staged fortnightly. With rising numbers the club introduced membership fees in 1990 of $10 for an individual, $5 for school students and $15 for a family or couple. These fees were to cover trailer hire and other expenses.

Primarily the club organises weekly recreation rides and gets anywhere between five to twenty five people along. Races are important for club members and it is at these events where they get large turnouts from mostly non-members. Even as early as 1990 a race attracted over seventy participants. The club informs its members through a regular newsletter and has had a weekly column in a local newspaper, the Dunedin Star Midweek. This column first appeared in April 1989 and the two main authors have been Jenny Cooper (1989 to 1991) and Trev Gerrish (since 1991 to mid 1995). The club adopts a conciliatory nature when advocating on behalf of mountain bikers. A popular topic discussed in the newspaper column is places where mountain bikers shouldn’t cycle. One column warned against riding on walkways such as the Pineapple track. Another cautioned that the police have the power to issue instant fines of up to $500 for mountain bikers caught in ‘no go’ areas. Advocacy for other riders is important. Members promote the value of the club by saying, ‘without a local club to tackle these issues mountain biking in Otago will not continue with as much freedom as it does today’. It is obvious in these reports that the club feared the closing of many track because of conflict with walkers. The club promoted tolerance to the rules imposed by the DCC and DoC believing that a creating a harmonious relationship with walkers would present them as responsible users worthy of their own tracks.

On 13 September 1996, the club became an incorporated society officially known as Mountain Biking Otago Inc. As part of incorporation the club had to produce a constitution. In this constitution the stated purpose of club is to promote and develop mountain biking as a recreational pursuit and competitive sport in the Otago region. The objectives are ‘to be a pro-active advocate for issues affecting recreational and competitive mountain bikers in Otago, in particular to work for improved land and trail access for mountain biking’ and ‘to promote responsible mountain biking and in particular, adherence to nationally recognised ‘Off Road Codes’ by all mountain bikers’. What is clear in these stated objectives is the implied role of Mountain Biking Otago in lobbying land authorities to provide better facilities for all mountain bikers. 

Excerpt from a dissertation by Andrew Corney, 1998