It is not often you see Rotorua siblings Lewis and Ruby Ryan far from a mountain bike or without smiles on their faces.

The pair have been regular participants in the Winter MTB Series throughout the years and will line up again for the second round of the 2018 edition tomorrow.

Lewis, 20, said the pair grew up riding with their father and still loved to hit the trails together whenever they got a chance.

"We both grew up riding, we've done it for as long as we can remember, it's definitely been a family affair for us.


"We're definitely competitive with each other, but definitely supportive as well. Ruby is my favourite person to ride with and my least favourite person to ride with. She'll always try to sprint me at the top of the hill, but we've always got each others' backs as well.

"It's a super cool relationship."

Lewis finished third in the long course race in the first round of this year's series, in one of the closest finishes the event has ever seen, and expected another good battle this weekend.

Rotorua mountain biker Lewis Ryan. Photo/Nduro Events, Ezra Newick
Rotorua mountain biker Lewis Ryan. Photo/Nduro Events, Ezra Newick

"The course looks pretty sweet. We have so many awesome trails there, so you always wish there are some of your favourites, but at the same time they always do a good job of having a mix of everything for everyone.

"There's such a mix of different climbs, the low-gradient road climbs suit some of the bigger stronger guys, then you've got some really short, steep and pinchy stuff where the younger guys excel. I don't think it's a course that will totally suit any one person, there's a good chance it will be a tight race."

Ruby has only been back on a bike for two weeks and missed the first round of the series after suffering a wrist and head injury in April. She is signed up for the mid course event tomorrow and said she could not wait to get back racing.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how I go. I really like the course, it has some pretty hard uphills so it will be a good test.

"I've been doing the Winter Series for about three years. It's a good way to keep up my fitness and test myself against the other competitors who I race in summer. It's a good way to see how close I am to them."


She preferred cross-country over other mountain bike disciplines because it was a good challenge and had her eyes on competing at the world championships in the future - something Lewis was helping her try to achieve.

"My brother and I are really close, we've always ridden together. We don't get the opportunity to ride together too often now, but we really treasure the times we do.

"I just love the feeling of riding, even the up hills which other people dread, I just love the pain, as well as the feeling of going down. Cross-country is a good fight and it has a good mix of everything. You have to have the technical skills, you need to be fit and mentally you have to be pretty tough.

"Next year I hope to go on the world scene and definitely world champs is my biggest goal. Lewis is super supportive, I don't think I'd be where I am or get where I want to go without him, he helps me so much off and on the bike. He annotates my training and makes sure I'm on track which is really good."

Winter MTB Series Round Two Start Times
(From Long Mile Road)

E Bike: 9.15am
Long Course: 9.20am
Short Course: 9.48am
Mid Course: 10am