"The only thing I miss about Auckland is going to Rotorua for the weekend."
It's a line from Gary Sullivan, aka Gaz, from Nzo Industries.
Gaz has come up with concept for the online store and the design for all the clothing at shop.riderotorua.com.
The slogans on the shirts are his work, too. He's a master of the witty one-liner and a lot of the shirts and hoodies reflect that.
The comment he made about missing Auckland is one he made after he and his business and life partner, Glen Anderson, moved to Rotorua more than 20 years ago to set up their pioneering mountain bike clothing business.
It was something I could easily relate to after moving here in 2000. No more dropping into Friday evening traffic on the Southern Motorway in a van packed with bikes and dogs crawling to the Bombays. Then after a weekend of riding before reluctantly packing up and heading north. When we started these regular trips, in the early 1990s, there was only a relatively small number of inner, core trails. Maybe 30km. Still a major improvement on the Woodhill Bike Park north of Auckland.
Gaz has left a major imprint on Rotorua and New Zealand mountain biking, alongside the clothing that he and Glen are responsible for he worked on the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships as part of the organising committee and designer of the website and clothing range.
In 2007, he was a founding partner of the not-for-profit Ride Rotorua on his own dime with Gregg Brown from the Pig and Whistle and Nduro Events founder, Dean Watson (and me) and designed the website www.riderotorua.com.
This has comprehensive descriptions of all the trails in the Whakarewarewa Forest Bike Park and central North Island, written by locals, a map that is free to download and information about some wonderful local businesses.
The Ride Rotorua Facebook page has over 21,000 followers worldwide.
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An 'unsung hero' of the mountain bike community
A year later Gaz designed all the art work for the 2008 New Zealand Singlespeed Championships in Rotorua. He has continued in that role for a long line of singlespeed events including two world championships in 2010 and 2017. Each event t-shirt has a unique Gaz spin and are collector's items.
In late 2012, he was part of a small team that put the first Rotorua Bike Festival together for February 2013.
He holds the unique distinction of being the only person to be both President of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club (and a life member) and the Rotorua Singlespeed Society. He will hold the latter role for his lifetime. The Society is slow to change.
T-shirts, hoodies and stickers – all essential ingredients of the mountain bike experience.
So, if you're someone who loves the Rotorua trails, you're in luck.
Thanks to the Ride Rotorua team, all three are now available on shop.riderotorua.com all celebrating our place.
• Ten per cent of the price of every T-shirt and hoodie you buy at shop.riderotorua.com will be donated to the Rotorua Trails Trust. It's the perfect opportunity to express your inner fandom for those trails and make an active contribution to them.
Say it loud, say it proud - Ride Rotorua.