Last week I wrote about some of the terrific people I encountered at this year's Crankworx.

I ran out of words in the column just as I caught up with Dave Donaldson at the Slopestyle on the Saturday.

Dave really needs no introduction. He's been one of the pillars of the mountain bike movement in Rotorua and New Zealand since the mid-1990s. Initially, this was mainly built on the work of volunteers and at a time when there was little community or government support, local or national.

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Dave was a long-standing Rotorua Mountain Bike Club committee stalwart and so was his wife, Shreeve. They were instrumental in securing the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, a real tipping point in local, national and international recognition of our trails.

He was chairman of the organising committee and a board director of MTB Worlds 2006 Ltd that oversaw the event.

Dave chaired the organising committee of the 2009 UCI Trials World Cup in Rotorua and fills the same role for MTB Events Ltd, the not-for-profit company that holds the licence for Crankworx. As well as his day jobs in the New Zealand Police and a Rotorua Lakes councillor and deputy mayor.

One of the other, lesser-known roles that Dave has filled since 2003 is director of the mountain bike course for Xterra. He helps design that course and, along with Shreeve, wrangles the marshals.

I've marshalled on Xterra since 2003, missing only one year.

Dave's work on this is always super-organised and it's a pleasure to rock up to briefing early on event morning. It's a wonderful team of people and the bonus, the last two years, has been seeing local Sam Osborne on his ride to the men's title.

15 Apr, 2018 6:00am
3 minutes to read

Keep in mind that for the last few years Dave has worked on Xterra in the shadow of Crankworx. While his time is stretched, the briefing notes, marshal lists, maps, radios, lunches, high-vis vests, first aid kits and radios are always there, all ready to go at 8am.

It's a cliche to talk about "tireless commitment".

In this case it's true, but if anyone in our mountain bike community has a reason to be tired, it's Dave.

As the rain drifted in on that Saturday in March and the Slopestyle was looking less and less likely, I decided to head home.

On the way to the carpark, I came across another Rotorua legend, Ash Edwardes. He does a lot of the maintenance work in our trail network, including clearing a record amount of windfall over the last year.

His enthusiasm is infectious and he was especially effusive about how the Turbo Levo ebike, donated by Specialized and Cyclezone, has made his mahi so much speedier and easier. Access time is well down and so is the physical wear and tear, not having to pedal or hike in.

We talked for quite a while until the rain got really heavy, we both finally realised how cold it was and my old riding jacket finally gave up the ghost after over 15 very hard years and was leaking like a sieve.

It's almost winter - I really need to get a new one.