Back in the rose tinted days of 1994, at the birth of Ground Effect, we tossed around a swag of ideas to capture our grand vision - not to just design and make great cycle clothing - but to inspire a Cycling Revolution.
We became embroiled in mountain bike, and cycle, advocacy. Ground Effect was tagged with the by-line ‘gear for the cycling revolution’. Our newsletter was christened UnderGround - the unofficial journal of the cycling revolution.
And our sponsored riders became ‘revolutionary’ soldiers. They’re an eclectic bunch of passionate cyclists, backcountry adventurers, battle-hardened racers, trail builders, advocates, gear testers, photographers and social media nodes. Catch up on their latest adventures here or stalk them individually on Instagram.
Never short of a smile or plans for another adventure with her trail dog Tihitawa. Cati is born and bred Rotorua - earning pocket money as a tour guide at the tender age of 13 and going on to found Mud Maidens women's ride group.
Her happy place is hitting pristine cornflake-coated singletrack on a backcountry mission after a suitable session of hike-a-bike suffering. Cati completed the 2022 Tour Te Waipounamu - the seriously tough 1331 km off-road traverse of Aotearoa's southern motu that includes 35 km of hike-a-bike (with laden bikes).
Borrowing from the stage vernacular, Craig is a cycling triple threat with mtb, road and bee keeping amongst his disparate quiver of skills. When not crafting Wai-Ora honey with his partner Priscilla - he delivers mtb skills' clinics to up and coming young riders. His teachings are backed up with biking-the-talk on the XCO and XC Marathon circuits. Notable results for Craig include winning the 2023 NZ Marathon Champs, a podium at the BC Bike Race and 5th on the GC in the 2023 Tour of Southland.
Multi-day multi-sport adventurer, mtb guide, designer and builder of pump tracks and jump parks, and sometime graphic artist. Damian is equally at home mixing with the groms at the jump park, launching drop-offs with his bike-packing laden conveyance, or extracting a caffeine hit for any and all at a backcountry hut. Notable missions include the Waiau Toa Odyssey - biking and pack rafting from Lake Rotoiti to Kekerengu. And a gutsy winter bikepacking Grand Loop of the Heaphy and Old Ghost Road.
A mountain bike original - Dave renounced his petrol head trail biking fetish, for a bright blue and fully rigid Miyata Ridge Runner, in 1986. He was a founding member of the NZ Mountain Bike Association and part of the NZ team at the first Mtb World Championships in Durango in 1990.
Dave has explored most nooks and crannies of the NZ backcountry - including the first off-road mtb traverse of the South Island. He's ridden extensively overseas including multiple trips to USA, Canada, South America, Europe and Kenya-Tanzania. Dave is a prolific blogger and takes iconic backcountry photos for his NZ Mtb Calendar.
Deane started out mountain biking in the early days of the Nelson scene. A lengthy 'mid-life' stint as a river guide left him well qualified and highly motivated to evolve his outdoor passions into bikerafting - a morphing of bikepacking and packrafting. Riding singletrack loaded with a boat is not for the faint. Neither is descending a grade 3+ rapid with a bike strapped to your packraft. Those seeking inspiration, or with less-intrepid aspirations, should check out the impressive short films of a couple of Deane's adventures - Fluid Trails, Forgotten Highways and the Waiau Toa Odyssey.
Partner in crime, life and adventures with Dave Mitchell. Ditte has ridden her mountain bike to most corners of the globe and NZ's more obscure tracks, routes and braided river valleys. Ditte spends a lot of time smiling and patiently chomping at the bit while Dave catches the moment on his digital box brownie.
Growing up in Nelson, the epicentre of Aotearoa gnarl, it was inevitable that Emma would develop a taste and talent for technical descents, competing in downhill and enduro races.
The product of an active outdoorsy family, it's also no great surprise that she is a formidable endurance athlete with forays into adventure racing and bikepacking brevets. Emma was fastest woman, and 6th overall, in the 2022 Tour Te Waipounamu. Her acknowledged vice is a preference for ice cream on any occasion and in any flavour.
Once dubbed ‘The World’s Fastest Privateer’, Jamie Nicoll’s story is worthy of Hollywood-Biopic. Suffering near-fatal burns while track building in Chilean Patagonia, he battled back to score a factory ride on the Enduro World Series, placing 8th in 2013. Racing amongst the world’s best - he has won the Trans-Savoie, Mountain of Hell and NZ Enduro (twice), podiumed at Crankworx and Trans Provence.
Adventure has always defined Jamie. He has naturally transitioned from racing to more specific adventure riding - organising, leading and capturing mountain bike trips to exotic locations. His office and home while in NZ is a red 1960 Bedford school bus, parked up on his 'plot' just out of Motueka. It has solar panels, a wood stove and outdoor shower. Simple living.
As an 18 year old, Jimmy sold everything to 'ride the world' - literally. 39,100 km, 2100 hours in the saddle, 300,000 metres of climbing, 32 countries, 393 days and a lap of the world later he returned home to Adelaide. Having concluded that he can travel far, Jimmy is now pushing himself to go far AND fast on multi-day bikepacking events, building to a tilt at the 5500km 2020 Indian Pacific Wheel Race - solo from Fremantle to the Sydney Opera House.
Along with Tony and Richie, Odin provides the third leg of the Ground Effect selfie brigade. His evocative snaps at sunrise and dusk never fail to draw a gasp of envy. He's a committed and skilled hardtailer - his weapon of choice at the NZ Enduro and Ground Effect staff trip on the Old Ghost Road, with no lack of pace evident.
Odin is also an artisan in high demand - with hours spent hammering and welding in his shed to produce industrial objects d'art or North Shore style bike racks for his mates.
Ollie has a healthy obsession with design and innovation to make his bike go faster for longer, on road and off. He hangs his helmet in Nelson and when not keeping his young son Max away from scissors, is often spied charging Peking Ridge with his best mate Tristan Rawlence.
It's a well kept secret that Richie is actually three clones. There is no other reasonable explanation as to how he clocks so many miles riding or snowboarding, builds so much first class singletrack, marshals the troops on his infamous pre-dawn backcountry hike-a-bike adventures... and holds down a full time job.
He also designs and builds his own mid-mount gear box bikes (although has now given that away in favour of a Zerode Taniwha from his mate Rob Metz) and is master of action-selfies and an insightful instagram poet. Favourite weekend destinations include Craigieburn and Alexandra.
Robin has the twin unfair advantage of spending her childhood in the outdoor meccas of the South Island's West Coast and Central Otago. An early addiction to whitewater kayaking gave way to mountain biking after four shoulder injuries made descending rivers a little too challenging on her body.
She now hangs her helmet in Christchurch and embarks on regular backcountry missions - both with and without her bike, but generally with her trusty sidekick Kea the dog for company. A selection of enduro races also pieper her annual calendar. The definitive "yes" girl - always willing to give a new (wider) gap, obstacle or step-down a whirl.
A reformed cross country whippet, Sam campaigned as a member of the NZ XC team on the World Cup circuit in 2013. Since then he’s turned enduro and tucked a Batchelor of Science (majoring in ecology) under his belt. He’s recently revisited XC and had a couple of tilts racing in Europe and the US. Now based in Wānaka and squeezing work and biking into his days he’s developed a taste for traveling fast and light on his gravel bike, with one eye on Wānaka's Lismore Bike Park.
Lead test pilot at Ground Effect, Simon cleverly orchestrated his own redundancy some decades ago enabling his life to revolve around biking, surfing, sea kayaking and skiing. We are jealous as hell.
He clocks serious miles on and off-road, testing new Ground Effect designs and fabrics. Hard to please (we like that) and a committed analytical, Simon religiously records and summarises conditions, data and performance parameters. He suffers being seen in public wearing odd coloured half and half garments but claims compensation as a regular for 10:30 coffee, scones and chitchat at Ground Effect... that is when he and partner Mandy are not AWOL somewhere about the South Island in their 4WD camper loaded with the requisite toys. Still jealous.
Simon's cycling CV is thicker than most. He and brothers Paul and Jonathan have authored numerous books, including the iconic Classic NZ Mtb Rides. They founded the Karapoti Classic Mtb Race and brought the first World Cup to NZ - hosted at Wellington's Mount Victoria.
He was one of the ringleaders responsible for establishing Wellington's Makara Peak mountain bike park and continues to be involved both track building and tree planting. Was a founding member of the NZ Mountain Bike Association and part of the NZ team at the first Mtb World Championships in Durango in 1990. A cycle touring enthusiast, Simon completed the 4000km Great Divide Race in 2008 and organised the first three Kiwi Brevets around the top of the South Island, introducing dirt Brevets to New Zealand. A lifelong mountain bike and cycling advocate, Simon's current focus is infrastructure to support commuting by bike.
Once upon a time, a long time ago Tony lived in Auckland. Along with team mates Richie, Stylie, Sadie, Hira and Mags - he formed the Ground Effect Latte Racers. Our original, and only, race team. For several years they campaigned the NZ National Series wearing baggy shorts and dispensing Cookie Time to lycra clad fellow competitors.
Now based in Christchurch Tony still rides, a lot. He takes outstanding selfies on the Port Hills and further afield. He has friends too but they also take selfies. Tony has mountain biked and toured extensively around Europe. He's a renown gastrophile. There's a very long waiting list for places on gourmet multi-day trips when Tony is in charge of catering. Most recently he has combined his passion for bikes and beer in the Kiwi Beervet 'non-event'.