Having a month long trip in New Zealand planned I was looking for some good riding spots to visit. During countless hours of research I came access a place called the dirt farm, visited by the 50:1 boys in 2016 it looked amazing from the first few seconds of footage I saw, mainly my attention being drawn to a big 360 berm that later I discovered was on a trail called toilet bowl.
Driving in from the coast the hills soon start to rise up, getting to the top of the farm and parking up the views were breathtaking, mount Taraniaki in the far distance and then closer views to the kapiti coast. Riding bikes near the sun in the mountains what more can anybody want?!
Being in a camper for several weeks we were offered to stay in one of two camping pods that Tim had built, now this was what I call camping. More akin to a small house this place was perfect big living area, sofa and super comfy bed with a log burner for the cooler nights. Lying in bed and waking up to seaside views to die for.
Waking at 9 with the excitement to ride new trails I heard Tim coming back into the farm on his quad bike, learning that he had been up since 0530 on the digger shaping and sculpting what I soon discover were some of the best shaped trails I’ve ridden.
A mix of trails from the fast and flowing green room to the grade 6 sky burial there is something for everybody.
The farm is set around 3 main zones with the trails winding their way down the hillside with berms, rollers step ups,step downs,tables and doubles all keeping you on your toes. We were joined by several riders from the local area of all abilities to sample the trails and give Tim some feedback before a summer opening in 2018. Uplift provide by minibus and trailer with a quick loading and fast uplift road plenty of runs were had all day.
After a few warm up runs on the green room firing out some laps of the toilet bowl trail were right up my street. The trail follows the entrance and uplift roads dropping off a ridge with a mix of tables and doubles and then the main feature itself the toilet bowl, a step down into a huge berm that makes you do a full 360. The first of any type of trail feature that I have ridden like this.
Following a BBQ lunch, we headed up to the trails that overlook the farm with sky burial the main attraction. I’ve ridden some of the bigger jumps in the uk including the 50:1 line at revolution bike park but these made them look small. Perfectly shaped but some of the biggest kickers and gaps I’ve come across. Having been to mechanic at the red bull hardline event for consecutive events the jumps at the dirt farm also make these look small. Being on my trail bike and not carrying minerals big enough never mind the big boy pants I decided to sit this session out and pick up my camera.
Having been invited up by Bryn Dickerson, wellington local and all round Pinner he has been Guinea pig for most of the creations here at the dirt farm. Watching him send the jumps on the trail was inspiring! I can see how Tim gets the ideas for the features from his days ski-ing.
Bryn Dickerson –
” I know the phrase “unique” gets bandied around a bunch in the MTB scene but DirtFarm and its creator Tim Browne really are! Tim is a mad scientist, an ex-age group champion of Freestyle Skiing who isn’t afraid to build big jumps and features which are different from the norm. This mindset results in trails that really are one of a kind, using the contours of the hills as much as possible to make the features flow rather than engineering through excavation. The figurehead trail “Sky Burial” is a masterpiece of construction. I’ve been lucky enough to act as guinea pig/feedback man for this grade 6 “pro line” and every time I arrive I get overly excited at the fun I’m about to have on the big jumps and new features that he has created!
That said, being able to warm up on regular jumps and trails is also important and I often find myself getting distracted on the awesome techy trails on the front face. Warming up there are plenty of options from the flow of grade 2 “Green Room” right up to the techy grade 5 “Gauntlet”. “Gauntlet” by name is certainly a Gauntlet by nature, bloody challenging in the wet and only marginally easier in the dry it leaves you coming back for more every time with a ridiculous smile on your face.
Set up high in the hills, the views out over the plains below are gorgeous with the sea far close by it brings a uniquely coastal feel to the farm. Getting to spend a night up in the cabins Tim has made provided one of the best views I’ve ever woken up to before another day of shredding!! “