Five years.

How did it get to be five years since James Dodds passed away?

There's that old saying that you can die three times. The first time is for real. The second is when you are buried. The third is when the world stops talking about you. That's not happening with Dodzy.

He was a successful mountain bike racer, representing his country, and a mentor and role model to a lot of riders who followed him.


That was just the beginning. Gary Sullivan, from, was one of his close friends: "Dodzy was a pioneer of many things. International downhiller, mountain bike skills coach, professional trail builder, groundbreaking bike designer: Dodzy explored all these career options before many other people had even recognised their possibility. And he nailed all of them.

Building four successful businesses in 10 years was only half the story. Every time we met, he was excited about something that was usually nothing to do with any of them.

If I had to sum him up in two words, it would be 'boundless enthusiasm'.

The kind that generates its own energy."

Dodzy's legacy and spirit live on.

With local friends, his partner, Gabby Molloy, set up the James Dodds Memorial Fund. Jo Price and Mark Woods, organised the Yea Boi Sick races to help build that fund, administered by Rotorua's Geyser Community Foundation.

The outcome is the Dodzy Skills Park, nestled among giant Redwoods at the end of Long Mile Road and under the Nursery Road hill climb into the forest. It is home to the unofficial 16" Dual Slalom World Championships at Rotorua Bike Festivals. Thanks to Alan Ofsoski for this week's photo from the 2015 event. It perfectly captures a sense of joy and humour. And that's how Dodzy always lived his life.

There's a working bee at the Park tomorrow starting at 10am. Go and have a dig for Dodzy.

One of my favourite trails in the forest is Dragon's Tail, running parallel to Red Tank Road.

It was built by Dodzy and the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club opening in October 2008. It's twisty, undulating and fast with some tight up and downhill switchbacks adding to the challenge.

My current ride is a Zerode Taniwha. There's Dodzy DNA in that, too. He was Rob Metz's partner in the early days of the development of the first Zerode G2, a downhill bike with an internal gearbox. The Taniwha is the direct descendant of that and a truly mind-blowing trail bike.

And one of my enduring memories in mountain biking is doing an MTB Skills Clinic Phundamentals course run by Gabby and Dodzy. I'd been riding for a long time, but learnt a lot that day. It ended with a fast dash through Creek Trail. The only rider to crash? James, somersaulting into the bushes, followed by shocked silence, until he emerged, huge trademark grin on his face, fern leaf sticking out of his helmet. Cue, laughter.

Ride on, James, e kare.

Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te Kārohirohi i mua i tōu huarahi (May the ocean glisten as greenstone, may the shimmer of light ever dance across your pathway).