Back in April, Rotorua mountain biker Mike Robertson had the sort of catastrophic crash no one wants to experience attempting one of the big air features at the Crankworx Rotorua site.

His recuperation was long and sometimes hard.

"I had four weeks of memory loss and only in the last couple of months have started to experience days without any concussion symptoms. But we're over four down and my only real niggle is my shoulder," he says.

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"I'm lucky that the quality of life hasn't really changed now I'm through the worst of it. I managed to get out for walks early on which helped a lot with my concussion.

"I have a close-knit network of friends and family that caught up with me often, a big deal as I often wanted to just spend time on my own, away from the world.

"When I was able, I got into the forest as much as I could, running, walking and just taking it all in, the simple things became my focus. Currently, I'm just going hard with the physio, preparing for the upcoming race season. Recovery is going well."

Mike's carers and friends are a big part of that process.

"They are super-important and played a huge role in getting me back to speed. Cati (Pearson), my partner has been awesome, making sure I eat, walking me and generally helping me live," he continues.

"My family made the trip up from Wellington to help us out during the first week. My friends, especially Josh, Mat, Clem, Brooke and Nick, these guys and gals took
heaps of time out to be there for me. Legends."

Getting back to work was also important.

"A big focus, as well as getting back on the bike," Mike continues. "Peak Safety, who I was meant to start with the day after my accident, were super supportive with my return to work. Even though I had technically finished up at Skyline Rotorua Mountain Bike Park, the crew there've been so supportive with coffee chats, yarns and allowing me to get out there and wander around with my camera."

As Mike's health improved, the presence of his photos blossomed on social media.

"I think my attitude toward my injury was different to what it should've been. It allowed me to try something different. I was presented with an opportunity to learn something. I needed to be involved in the mountain bike community still as it is a huge part of my life.

"Under the influence of pain relief I strolled into Harvey Norman and purchased a camera. I started taking photos of my friends and the feedback started to roll in. People loved my work, photos were being shared and the stoke was real.

"It's felt good to be able to take photos of people who wouldn't generally get photos taken of them. These are the people [who] make the community what it is, that's what I support and that's why Trailside Imagery was formed.

"The story of opportunity - opportunities are open doors and I just happened to walk through the photography one."

Count me in as a fan of Mike's growing talent. Check out some of his outstanding photos - Trailside Imagery on Instagram.