Sport

Mountain biker jams with the best at New Zealand event

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February 08, 2018

Tatura mountain biker Andrew Nilbett practises ahead of the weekend's invitation-only Farm Jam event in New Zealand.

The world’s best freestyle motocross, mountain bike and BMX riders descended on a farm in New Zealand last weekend for a massive feast of action sports.

Among the competitors at this year’s Farm Jam, in Winton on New Zealand’s South Island, was Tatura’s Andrew Nilbett, heading to the invite-only event for the second time.

Mr Nilbett, a mountain biker, said he was thrilled to get another call to go to the big-ticket event.

‘‘I’m very excited. It only comes up once every two years,’’ he said in the lead-up to the event.

‘‘I don’t really go to things like this expecting to win, I just expect to enjoy the experience, hang out with some really good riders and hopefully pull off some good tricks.’’

The jumps competition started in 2008 when brothers Dan and Brett Frew built a huge array of jumps on their 1052ha farm.

‘‘They organised a jam, which is where a whole bunch of riders come and jump, and each rider votes for their favourite at the end,’’ Mr Nilbett said.

‘‘Each year it has just grown and grown.

‘‘There are heaps of international riders from the UK, Canada and really everywhere.

‘‘There’s 20 to 25 riders in each category and on the day of competition there would be 5000 to 6000 people on the hill watching.’’

The event is invite-only, but attracts some of the best riders across the different classes.

Mr Nilbett earned his invite via a chance meeting.

‘‘I’ve travelled to Queenstown once or twice a year to ride trails, and one time I got talking to a guy who happened to be one of the main organisers,’’ he said.

‘‘He said I should come over and give it a go, which I did two years ago, and I was invited back for this year.’’

Mr Nilbett has been riding for more than 10 years, regularly practising on the jumps he built on his property just outside Tatura.

The primary school teacher said he rode three or four times a week and enjoyed producing videos for YouTube channel Nibbers MTB.

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