New Zealand Summer is Here

The Season of Shred party has become a staple event in Queenstown, NZ, at the start of each summer. The brain child of Amy Freedman-Davis, she wanted to create a cool way to kick off the riding season while helping out the local mountain bike club. Originally taking place at Atlas Beer Café for the first few years, the past three events have been held at the Wynyard Bike Park, the home-town haunt for all the local shredders. The proceeds from the raffles and food continue to benefit Queenstown Mountain Bike Club (QTMBC), so it’s not just a great party, it's a proper gathering and community event.

by Zach Faulkner

Rain, Sun, Beer, Food, and Friends; The Atlas SOS party delivered once again!

This year the weather did its best to dampen spirits, but the stoke was high, and the riders and crowd powered through the wet, holding on for a fantastic afternoon of shredding, live music, great food and drink, topped off with great heckling on the mic.  A fine example of a mountain bike scene which is thriving and full of passionate people, the Atlas SOS party has become a must-attend event at the start of every summer - especially because you might win a brand new bike in the raffle! 

The Atlas SOS party got off to a rainy start, but the fat droplets were little deterrent and the riders got the fun alive as they warmed up for the jump jam a little later.
It was looking grim about and hour into the event.
The grills were hissing as the drops fell from the sky.
With tacos on the menu from Atlas, the spectators and riders alike were appeased and reminded that a little rain does the soul some good.
A full range of brew on tap and friendly bartenders were a strong component in keeping the audience smiling and the rain at bay... in spirit at least.
When you are hanging out with friends in the rain, food and drink go a long way to keeping times light-hearted.

The precipitation varied and at times made all in attendance question their commitment to hanging out.

The bikes got streadily more brown at the afternoon went on.
Jackson Pollock would have been pleased with how the equipment and riders looked at the end of the day.

Wynyard Bike Park is a pretty majesitc setting for any gathering.

Jake Hood was undeterred by the weather, taking more laps than most and enjoying every minute of it.

Be there, or be square.
The prize boxes were stacked deep with a plethora of goodies ranging from vouchers and gear, to coffee and bike tools.
Get among it!
The card machine was running hot as raffle tickets and t-shirts made their way in the hands of the crowd.

The opening couple of hours of the event ebbed and flowed with the crowd as people sought shelter and ran home for coats, but the riding never stopped.

Ryan Thom (George Brannigan's mechanic) and Ben sporting sponsor-correct hats for the day.

Good news, Bad News is playing!
Bad News, someone stole Santa's Hat.
After the heavier drops hammered the hill, the riding conditions quickly went from damp to slick.
After riders had a few hours to show up and settle in on the jumps, a quick pause was applied so that the wet conditions could be mitigated.
Dry soil was sourced from the side of landings and used to resurface the run-in and jump faces.
A watering can was ironically used as a warning item to show that the smaller line was closed off.
The judging panel for the jump jam was more like a group of friends heckling friends riding.
A bet was made regarding manualing from the stepdown to the step-over - Jake Hood won the alleged $100 first try.

Joel Tunbridge setting the tone for the jump jam.

Long-standing local and NZ Pro, Reon Boe can still hold it down with the kids.

They call him McGnarly. Rad has no age limit.

You can ride a bike with no hands, but you can't play a guitar the same way.

The GO and STOP signs kept riders and foot traffic from interacting.

It was all hands on deck keeping the event running smoothly.
It was hard work feeding the scores of hungry and damp attendees.

The event may have been in New Zealand, but this Euro table was on point.

When the sun came out, so did the shenanigans.

Everyone enjoys a good backie.

The audience was happily entertained with a variety of goon riding and proper sending.

The light popped out for a minute and made for a super cool light-bro situation.

No coal is being received this year with a whip like this!

The man behind Dream Track/Mini Dream, Emmerson Wilkinson, getting upsidedown on his handy work.

When sending it gets a little off-track.

If there is one thing that Queenstown is known for, it is breeding riders who can whip. Joel goes for a big oppo-whip.

Lindsey Francis and Wes McCallister saw that the third year of the Wynyard SOS party went off without a hitch.

Solid day in the rain for Craig Munro and Joel Tunbridge.

Is it really an MTB party without a mosh pit?

Santa showed up with a tobaggan because his sleigh was in the shop. [Antione Bizet dressing seasonally]

Hit up www.queenstownmtb.co.nz for info on the Queenstown MTB Club and if you're in the area, stop at the Atlas Beer Cafe for some suds and grub.

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