Guerrilla Camp - The WC Privateer's Pitch

Jun 15, 2013
by Nathan Hughes  
 
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Just several days ago the small, alpine district town of Daolasa, Val Di Sole, knew little of poverty and oppression. It was an area where the whir of turbo-trainers was drowned out only by the deafening rub of lycra on leather and the fluttering of banknotes in the wallets of bicycle industry fat-cats as they queued for afternoon ice-cream. Fast forward to June 12, 2013. Traveler types from a foreign land are spotted attempting to converse with an innocent rider on a top flight international team program. The intruders were scared off using classic Italian arm flailing techniques, only to see them return in the early hours, scavenging for spare spoke nipples and axle grease.

From that point onward, things would never be the same again in Val di Sole. Basic lean-to shelters in the forest became significant areas of underprivileged temporary housing, before reaching their current status as a fully flourished bicycle rider ghetto. In this exclusive report, Pinkbike got the scoop on this notorious shanty town, known to some locally as 'Guerrilla camp'.

It might not look like much principally because it isn t. What is surprising though is how much rolling out a red carpet can provide a sense of regal majesty even within the confines of an Alpine pasture.
  Here we explore a classic pitch in this poorly understood and much feared residency. Things don't seem to be as bad as those in the industry big-rig area feared. What is surprising also, is how much rolling out a red carpet can provide a sense of regal majesty even within the confines of an Alpine pasture.

The sharp-eyed amongst us may have noticed the Syndicate logo of the easy-up shelter, acquired not through crime, but purely mistake as a both kind and wealthy person was supposed to donate a Transition tent, but sent them off with the wrong one. Also notable is the fact that as far as the eye can see there seems to be no issue with the reported 'unroadworthy vehicles' described during all the irrational panic in the 'vans with graphics' car park.

Introducing the one of the most formidable RV set-ups currently on the World Cup circuit.... Meet The Marae the marauding vehicle of these Kiwi privateers. Purchased for just 999.99 including MOT from a little known London backwater. The van is named after the word for a sacred place in Mauri tradition. PB has every confidence in the sanctity and peace afforded by this means of transport even 120kph. Interestingly there is a small Adam Brayton sticker acting as both a figurehead for this vessel and team mascot.
  On the contrary- introducing one of the most formidable RV set-ups currently on the World Cup circuit.... Meet 'The Marae', the marauding vehicle of these Kiwi privateers. Purchased for just 999.99 pounds (including MOT) from a little known London backwater. The van is named after the word for a 'sacred place' in Maori tradition. PB has every confidence in the sanctity and peace afforded by this means of transport, even at 120kph. Interestingly there is a small Adam Brayton sticker acting as both a figurehead for this vessel and team mascot.

Wyn Master s brother Eddy is the proud helmsman of the vehicle over 166 000 miles young.
  Wyn Master's brother, Eddy is the proud helmsman of the vehicle over 166,000 miles young. And she's roomy.

Despite this reporters best efforts to push for a potential sale price estimate the owners were reluctant to place any figure on such well appointed living quarters. Yes kids before you ask that is an i-pod and pad compatible entertainment station and mums you are correct in thinking that is a luxurious fold out bed for all the family currently accommodating 3 sharers. And the shower Well it runs almost as thick and fast as oil drips from the undercarriage. So there are in fact dual showers.
  Despite this reporters best efforts to push for a potential sale price estimate, the owners were reluctant to place any figure on such well appointed living quarters. Yes, kids, before you ask that is an i-pod and pad compatible entertainment station, and mums you are correct in thinking that is a luxurious fold out bed for all the family, currently accommodating 3 sharers. And the shower? Well it runs almost as thick and fast as oil drips from the undercarriage. I'm underselling it now. There are in fact dual showers.

Eddy and Reece were working as trail builders in Australia before hitting the road to make Innerleithen National in May. There s no mechanic for their self-bought Zerode G1s but Eddy assures us pull it out n go approach is the ever the best method. Eddy s came in 43rd last weekend and both the guys are going for top 50s tomorrow but agree that to get out alive is the real priority.
  Eddy Masters and Reece Potter, key figures in the ghetto, both repping highly 'inappropriate' bicycle racing garments, both qualifying for the finals. 33rd and 47th respectively.

A UCI official at Fort William suggested that Eddy 'go home and have a think about the image he is portraying', due to it being highly 'unprofessional'. To which his response was obviously, 'I'm not a professional.' Everybody should know by now there's no fresher way to travel than in a Hawaiian.

Eddy and Reece were working as trail builders in Australia before hitting the road to make Innerleithen National in May. There's no mechanic for their self-bought Zerode G1s, but Eddy assures us 'pull it out n go' approach is ever the best method. Eddy came in 43rd last weekend and both the guys are going for top 50s tomorrow, but agree that to 'get out alive' is the real priority.

The Victory Plate in all its golden glory equipped with delicate slicing machete and blood smeared five-prong fork. To dine from this receptacle is considered the ultimate honor in this ghetto race community. Only he with the fastest split shall lay his meat upon its embossed surface.
  The 'Victory Plate' in all its golden glory, equipped with delicate slicing machete and blood smeared (?) five-prong fork. To dine from this receptacle is considered the ultimate honor in this ghetto race community. Only he with the fastest split shall lay his meat upon its embossed surface. Seriously, it's a tradition.

Team Kiwi privateer moved into this area of underprivileged temporary housing several days ago. Guerilla camp as it is known colloquially is now considered a fully flourished ghetto to the population of racers in smart sponsorship clothing in the big-rig area.
  Rich not in material goods, but of great spiritual wealth... It's Team Kiwi privateer 2013.

What did Pinkbike learn during their short-lived adventure to 'the other side'? Guerrilla camp is in fact quite a marvelous place, full of individuals living and racing on a shoestring. If you have the means, please donate some form of sponsorship to these underprivileged young riders who go out for the race of their lives tomorrow afternoon. Beers and river-friendly shampoo are their currency.

83 Comments

  • + 163
 Now that is the real spirit of mountain biking
  • + 19
 Cheer up dozer , onya kiwi boys !
  • + 61
 nothing gay about this article, I assume you saw the picture of the handsome nz lads and your mind instantly turned to sex... and despite what your pastor told you, there's nothing wrong with that, either!
  • + 13
 lol pb suspended him
  • + 19
 If by gay you mean "happy" then yes, this is a SUPER "gay" article...

With all the focus that the big guns get, you can easily forget that there are guys there who have to set-up their pits, wrench on their own bikes AND race them... IMO that takes some serious effort and in a way means they're more hardcore then the pro's are. They sure have to put out a LOT more effort and work to make it all happen.

Big ups to the Kiwi crew. If I ever see you guys out at a race I'll shout you a few rounds... And I'll bring you a case of Dr. Brauners too.
  • + 6
 Haha Magna-Excitor I was going to say something similar. Anyways love those ghetto/ gypsy privateers. Can't wait to spend a few weeks in Portes du Soleil in my VW T3 this year. Keep on the Spirit!
  • + 1
 LOL-Poor old dozer...
  • + 2
 Ha ha-Classic Smile
  • + 1
 Hahahaha elegant punishment!!
  • - 3
 Tell me this is some kind of new pinkbike related frape
  • + 18
 I actually prefer to read these type of articles then any other WC story.. you can just relate to them all as just 'regular' riders.. imagine if they took a win?! Man that would be dope!
  • + 8
 PB should make photo stories of these dudes through the whole world cup series. that's just awesome!
  • + 2
 @Manuesi: YES, that is a GREAT idea... Make it happen PB, we want regular "guerrilla camp" updates with the WC coverage!!!!
  • + 4
 YES!!! they made a series 'LIFESTYLES OF THE POOR AND HOMELESS' mpora.com/videos/AAdi5kjqvmcw
[Reply]
  • + 70
 unprofessional? f*ck you UCI, this is rad
  • + 11
 Hell yeah! I was wondering who was the dude in the shirt flapping around like crazy in the video yesterday, love it! Big Grin
  • + 5
 When I saw this guy on vid I told myself - YEAH! At once someone!
  • + 8
 A UCI official at Fort William suggested that Eddy 'go home and have a think about the image he is portraying', due to it being highly 'unprofessional'.

Response from rest of the MTB world: "Go stick a broken seat tube up your backsides."


Anyone notice the UCI´s dear leader Pat McQuaid can´t even get support for renomination in his home country? Irish people recognise a c*** when they see one.
  • + 8
 That is so f*cked... So they want to mandate what, that everyone be in clown pajamas and have as MANY sponsorship stickers on their kit??? Screw the UCI. my answer to any a*shole like that would have been "I'd like to see YOU try to ride this track"... Or maybe "If you want to buy me clothes have at... otherwise f*ck off". What a joke the UCI is.
[Reply]
  • + 30
 Eddy Masters one of the funniest cheekiest guys in NZ downhill scene !

Legend has it that he rides his fastest while wearing jandals

Wheres that Matt Walker ? Thought he would be lurking around Guerrilla Camp

Eyes on Eddy he qualified faster than some Big Names on this round, good luck for the race NZ will be watching yeeeeewww!
  • + 6
 All Kiwis are cheeky by default! Love 'em!
[Reply]
  • + 26
 Hey PB. Just to remind you, its 'Maori' not 'Mauri'. Screw the UCI official, If a team isn't paying your expenses portray whatever image the hell you want!! GO EDDY!!!
  • + 5
 indeed. Thanks for the correction, fixed up!
  • + 31
 Great story by the way... Someone should follow them for the season to show the 'other' side to the WC.
  • + 29
 Yes! A video series called "Life in the Ghetto"!
  • + 1
 i actually quite like the picture stories and the captions. theyre pretty damn descriptive. on that note, id live to see more 'privateer camp!' features at the races!
[Reply]
  • + 27
 Awesome! Let's see more features on privateers doing it on a shoestring, not just the guys bankrolled by sugar water money
[Reply]
  • + 23
 This is a beautiful thing, one of the million reasons downhill is so rad!
[Reply]
  • + 15
 one of the best PB articles iv read in a long, long time...
[Reply]
  • + 8
 This is what racing is really about. Someone should do a full spectrum interview with these guys on the wheel base of their rigs and how much air pressure they run in their tires. A ton of respect goes out to the leather clad underbelly of the world cup DH circuit.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Richest guys on the mountain. All they need now is some sweet Kiwi campervan art. Seriously though, setup a blog with a 'sponsor now' button and see what it looks like to be sponsored by every MTBer like me who wishes he had the guts to go for it.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Fawk yeah. Cheers guys, hope you make it to the top 10 with Hawaiian shirts.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 bikes cost more than those vans haha, that's how it should be
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Tu Meke bradas! Ghetto for life, UCI official doesn't know what's up. Roll on.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Privateers rule, great to see the ghetto Kiwi boys flying it high, those Zerodes are just plain sick as! Robs got the v2 dialled.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Keep gypsy-Racing alive! LOL
[Reply]
  • + 6
 More of these guys please PB. Pay them in tires and brake pads if you have to, just get an interview.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Great article! The more exposure these guys get, the better!
The image of Eddy ripping up the course in his Hawaiian shirt had me in stitches! Smile
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Nice looking Zerode G2's by the way
[Reply]
  • + 2
 entering the site, you will immediately see a sign that points to "THE ELITE"...and sure enough, the big names and teams with the means are all there. i watced these privateer guys with there zerode bikes rip the trails of val the sole in style, wearing leather jackets, polo's, and a very clean, unsponsored outfit on race day! like them. i too had to settle in a tent near many privateers since i do not have the cash to pay for expensive hotels in the site, but still, like them, made the most of what good time i can get. goodluck and more power to you, the unsung heroes of DH.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Wyn Masters was a crowd favourite at the Rotorua Bike Festival back in February. Rode in everything he could even a Street Crit - in LYCRA! Redwoods Coast (in his grots), Bike Speedway, Skyline Sprint Warrior (1st time the venue for 06 Worlds was used for MTB since the big show, 7 years ago) and NZ National Champs DH. He would have raced Gravity Enduro but it was on same day as DH.
He and Blenki turned up at BMX Rotorua one evening and the guys thought they were there to test the Jumps Jam course. Nope, they'd just rocked up to help groom it at the end of a shovel.
Spirit of MTB? Hell, yeah!
Hopefully they'll be back in 2014. www.facebook.com/RotoruaBikeFestival
[Reply]
  • + 3
 this is one of the reasons I prefer mountain biking to road riding. It is not about what you've got it is all about having a go.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Ed Masters pulled off 26th. Wonder if he did it in the Hawaiian haha. I guess he'll get the plate and bloodied utensils tonight...
  • + 1
 He raced in a leather jacket at Innerleithen a week before Fort William.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Love how these guys look like they're on vacation and not at "work" like the factory guys.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Awesome article, the best yet from Val Di Sole; I'm jealous of these guys.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Awesome. Stick it to the UCI
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Keeping it kiwi! Good luck bros
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Believe it or not, one of my great ancestors, "The Swamp Fox", taught the Americans (during the Revolutionary War) about Guerrilla warfare.
This looks a little different.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I like this article... No pressure of winning, podium... Just havin fun and... Gettin out alive...
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Fair play to those guys, living the dream albeit on their own backs and not like the privileged few who are backed by sponsors and full teams behind them!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 It's not just the surfer lifestyle think about all the dirtbags in climbing
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I can't wait to see the Hawaiian shirt streak past in the webcast (if indeed they show the 47th qualifier)... I wonder how Rob Warner would comment on that piece of riders kit??
  • + 3
 He was one in one of the earlier videos, forget which one but it made me smile.
  • + 1
 Haha I saw that too. After reading this I was trying to find the clip, but couldn't remember which one it was.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Here in Brazil a group of riders became a legeng with that style. We call MULAMBO STYLE!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Finally get to see some boobs on pinkbike
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Do these guys have a lot of money from somewhere to fund their racing or do they receve a small amount of prize money to keep them going?
  • + 10
 No they work all off season saving as much as possible to get overseas to give it a go and try to make a name for themselves
  • + 2
 Respect. I cant make enough for a good bike full stop never mind traveling the world cup on top (note to self in the next life don't have kids)
[Reply]
  • + 2
 You dudes going to make it to St.Anne this year?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How often do racers shout for the Marshal? Only these boys at Ft William. Stay with it it boys!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Yeah Stringy!!! Whoop some ass!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Classy as fuck, go hard boiz!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 there on G2's not G1's just saying
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Got to find me a 5 pronged fork here in the states! Man fork.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 another reason the F*&%()_)*^%^$#$K the UCI!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Living the dream! Like numerous racers in the uk myself included!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Surfer lifestyle taken to the mountains!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Kia Kaha fullas, rip it up tomorrow
[Reply]
  • + 1
 yeeeeah eddie. fastest receding hairline on the mountain!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Keep it up fellas!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great idea Skootur!
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