There aren't many sports where you can help build the stadium. Mountain biking is one of those and Rick Todd has been involved with trail construction in the Whakarewarewa Forest for a quarter of a century.
"I was flatting with Morgan Wilson who runs Zippy Central Café, now," he says.
"He bought a bike and started heading out, coming home saying how awesome it was, so I bought one, a Diamond Back ASCENT EX. The Dipper was 1/2 built, so it was early days."
He started taking out a foldout saw and fixing up blown trees, hangover trees and branches and clearing water holes.
"I thought that these were ruining my ride, so how about an organised 'trail maintenance crew'. That's how the club trail crew started, maintaining the trails and building different lines or features on trails like Rosebank, Grinder, Creek and No Brains."
With fellow Rotorua MTB pioneers Kev Walton, Graeme Murray and Alden Ardern, he built the Taniwha DH in 1994, then Rock Drop with Dean Watson and Matt Goodman in 2000.
"We went for a walk through that block, found the two rock features and said there has to be a trail through this.
"Hot X Buns was a cool start too. A bunch of mates sitting in Zippy's [cafe] on a cold, wet Easter Friday in 2004, wondering what to do … and the rest is history."
With his partner, Kate Thompson, he went to the 1998 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Mont St Anne in Canada and had a wonderful time.
"Club president Dave Donaldson was starting his quest to bring the Worlds to Rotorua, eventually winning hosting rights for 2006," he continues.
"I initially got involved on the site crew at Skyline, then volunteered to build the Cross Country working with course director Simon Kennett.
"I just tried to use as much of the natural terrain as possible adding features to make it more interesting, keeping away from luge tracks and the DH course. I heard a few of the downhillers enjoyed the farm and lower downhill sections."
The work didn't stop there.
"I scoped the block between Hill and Reservoir roads for Old Chevy early in 2006 preparing for the next job after the Worlds. The early walks in the block were really exciting looking at the terrain, tricky with the stream crossings, particularly the second one which is the only place it could have been.
"Claude Manihera, who maintained the trails for Rotorua council back then, Red McHale and the Department of Corrections community service crews helped with the trail and bridges.
"It used the best of the natural terrain, drained really well, with tough climbs, fun descents and was a real test on a singlespeed …"
Thirteen years later the crew is back rebuilding berms and jumps and adding more fun features and improving flow.
"Building a trail or section that flows and is fun to ride is a real achievement, then test riding what you've built and proving it works.
"The key is to have a team of like-minded people, generally they gravitate together and work well for the same end result. I've got lots of good mates from mountain biking, some I don't see enough, but when I do it's like I saw them yesterday."
See www.riderotorua.com for information on specific trails.