Video: Carnage on the NZ Enduro River Crossing [Updated with Response from NZ Enduro]

Mar 11, 2019 at 7:45
by James Smurthwaite  

bigquotesWe take health and safety very seriously at NZ Enduro. Since most of the racing is blind every blind feature that can’t be rolled safely is identified and signed appropriately.

The final day's racing was held on Jentree MTB, it was our bad weather back up plan from the intended day of racing at Wakamarina which is a much more technical and difficult trail system. We cancelled that because of safety concerns (not being able to use helicopters should they be needed for evacuation purposes). A stage on day one was also cancelled as its wet clay surface made it too unsafe to ride, safety comes first.

That said Jentree offered the easiest and tamest trails of the three days. Everything was within sight of the rego area and race village which was set up adjacent to the stream crossing. Riders could inspect the stream, its bottom contours and pre-ride it if they wanted. A double gap jump was closed off above the stream as we don’t feel those are safe for blind racing. It also slowed the riders speed a little before the corner. The whole stage was within sight of the start line, so riders waiting to start could watch other riders crossing the stream and see what techniques worked and what didn’t. Most riders made the crossing successfully at all speeds, slow, medium and fast. Like on any trail or race track in any discipline of MTB riders can choose how fast they want to ride features and sections. This freedom of choice is fundamentally the beauty of MTB. This stream crossing is also part of the XC loop and has been used multiple times (at greater depths) in XC races hosted here.

There were no injuries on this crossing just a few happy wet racers and a couple of bruised egos.

Above is James Rennie who exercised his freedom of choice.
Sven Martin, NZ Enduro Organizer



After three days of enduro racing through New Zealand, you need a good dip and a cool off, most riders probably weren't expecting it to happen like this though. The very last obstacle of the NZEnduro 2019 was a river crossing that left plenty of riders soaking wet and sprawled on the floor.

Who did it best? None other than Peaty himself. He locked his shock out, hucked the whole thing and finished the race with his Royal kit pristine and dry. How's that for some new tricks?

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182 Comments

  • + 305
 I wouldn't want to see someone hurt in such a stupid way.
  • + 77
 yup, this trap can break your neck in no time...
  • + 80
 I would have been pissed. snap a wrist over some crap like that.
  • + 16
 Yeah, I would hope they were informing riders of the current condition of the crossing before starting them. Might have been fine during practice and the first twenty riders.
  • + 30
 I hear next round there's a limbo line.
  • + 4
 Painful to watch
  • + 36
 Then you should tell someone not to try and ride stuff they cant ride. What's the difference between this and a big gap jump? Slow down if you cant make it. not the organisers fault sorry. The photographers whould have not been there, but again, free choices, if you ar not standing where you should, its your problem, the main concern is making it unsafe for the rider.
  • - 5
flag stefanfresh (Mar 11, 2019 at 10:59) (Below Threshold)
 @S851: any crap can can break your naeck in no time
  • + 9
 @stefanfresh: If it is a gap jump through fog, you have a valid point. Either way, still careless and dangerous by the event staff to include it, esp at the end there with people going full clip.

Jumping rivers never ends well....
www.youtube.com/watch?v=14xu-wlQXkU
  • + 27
 @stefanfresh: in all fairness you can see the conditions of a gap jump....you can't see what the situation is going to be under that water.
  • + 8
 We were there heckling and were amazed they left this in but taped off the gap jump just before it.
  • - 31
flag chriskneeland (Mar 11, 2019 at 13:00) (Below Threshold)
 @captainslappa: Gotta love events run by non riders.
  • + 20
 @chriskneeland: non riders? might wanna do a smidgen of research there buddy.
  • - 23
flag chriskneeland (Mar 11, 2019 at 13:19) (Below Threshold)
 @shmoodiver: I was being facetious. I guess you missed the point.
  • + 2
 @stefanfresh: What's the difference between this and a big gap jump?

Gap jumps are signed as such and you can accurately judge them ahead of time.

This is like a gap jump you practiced on, then after the first twenty riders they reshaped the lip and made it longer while you were on course.
  • + 51
 Sections and race atmosphere like this is what mountain bike racing is built on. Just because people are crashing doesn't make it dangerous. You ride into that fully expecting to get buck-wild and potentially fall off. The sport is inherently dangerous - but this is far less dangerous than so many other features on trails.

I'm genuinely shocked at all the peal-clutching. Go back to your groomed flow trails (which I might add, given the speeds involved, are many times more dangerous than this feature)
  • + 23
 the only stupid thing was that anyone thought they could speed through that like they are on a dirtbike with weight and torque behind you. I can't see why everyone there wouldn't try what peat did?! Even a poorly executed bunny hop would have made it more than half way across. Did all you commenters who would be so mad forget this sport is dangerous and requires skill?
  • + 3
 @ryanbpoquette: dangerous and careless are two different things. Setting people up for failure with a feature like this is a ton different. A ride around to get to the finish or the creek crossing would have been a better decision. If one former world champ is the only one who pulled off getting across dry, you set the bar too high.

Mach 5 into deep standing water right before the finish on a timed event is a dick move
  • + 1
 Edited. Stupid phone.
  • - 13
flag jrocksdh (Mar 12, 2019 at 6:37) (Below Threshold)
 pretty lame...similar to the mexicans putting booby traps along baja 5/1k races.
  • - 9
flag jrocksdh (Mar 12, 2019 at 6:38) (Below Threshold)
 @captainslappa: should have been heckling the organizers
  • - 2
 All you saying it's no different than any other obstacle, bulloney. Even the gnarliest root/rock mess, you see, you have time, it's on land, you go slow, you're fine. They're plowing full speed into that, it's water, and you can't see the bottom. I know enduro has a blind racing format, but I don't think that's what's meant... guaranteed crashes and probable injuries
  • + 6
 @Linc: excatly!
@Adamrideshisbike You honestly shouldnt be in mountain biking then!

I, honestly, don't get what the big deal is... If you don't incorporate features in a course where the really skilled people can make the difference whats the point. The fun is when a course has stuff that rewuires all kinds of skills. All you have to do if you dont think you can make it is slow down or walk or not race! Simple. It´s like saying that in the mega you wouldnt want to be hurt by another rider... well dont race the mega. free world free choice. Peaty pulled it off, proves can be done, proves he is the best. If no one else can, its their problem, not the race organisers. Now if you dont mind Im gonna go find a river crossing I can practise on.
  • - 7
flag mtbikeaddict (Mar 12, 2019 at 12:59) (Below Threshold)
 @stefanfresh: Hope you don't crash and gain perspective
  • - 5
flag usedbikestuff (Mar 12, 2019 at 13:01) (Below Threshold)
 @stefanfresh: Just don't start a kickstarter to repair your spine when you scorpion. We all warned you.
  • + 8
 @usedbikestuff: Why would he need to? He has the NHS to pick up his healthcare tab, paid for by his taxes.
  • + 9
 @usedbikestuff: its not setting them up for failure when they know its there and can see it from the bottom where they start the day from. Peaty said he locked his shock out at the top for more pop. He knew it was there, just like every other rider. Lifting the front wheel up for a manual gets riders half way across, so even the smallest bunny hop would give the riders a chance to make it. And for those who don't want to do that, they could have gotten off and walked or slowed down. This was not dangerous, the clips just show people who weren't skilled enough to get across trying and failing, like what happens on any other normal feature when people try things that are over their skill level. Nothing wrong on the organizer, only on the riders for overestimating their skills.
  • + 5
 @inverted180: @stefanfresh: in all fairness you can see the conditions of a gap jump....you can't see what the situation is going to be under that water.

Being that I was at the event I can tell you first hand ALL the races checked that crossing before heading up the hill.@stefanfresh hard to see from the other side of the planet.
  • + 1
 @Schroder78: as long as the riders knew what they were getting themselves into... fair play.
  • + 7
 If (and they did) the riders all knew about the crossing then blaming the organizers is a joke. I broke my leg into 15 pieces at a bike park. Did I get upset with Rays MTB? Nope, I knew the risk of riding the jumps I was riding. I was trying to go higher, I went faster into the jump than I had before, no one told me to do that. I did have a sweet moment of setting my dislocated foot into place, that made me feel pretty bad ass when the nurses at the hospital all got wide eyed when I told them. They also made me wait for several hours before bringing me back because I was laughing and joking so they decided I was low priority. Joke was on them I’m just some Neanderthal that doesn’t feel pain lol

Notice how all my fellow Americans haven’t even thought about your healthcare system. It’s too bad we don’t have something like that. I’m not blaming anyone here, I don’t know their individual stand points, but it just doesn’t make sense. We’re fine wasting our tax money on a fundamentally messed up incarceration system, a border wall and a bloated useless representative system but when it comes to something that literally EVERY SINGLE PERSON in this country could benefit from so many people get bent out of shape over it.
  • + 1
 @TheSlayer99: I wasn't there so i can't tell you, but if Peaty's one of few who got it done then that's a bit ridiculous.
If you put a brick wall a car's length at the end of a rally stage and said, well the drivers should have stopped in time, they knew it was there when they did the course preview, they'd tell you get bent that is a dumb idea.
  • + 4
 @usedbikestuff I am from Spain, we don't have to crowdfound our surgeries.

@mtbikeaddict Only by crashing do we gain perspective, that's how I know what i can and can't do on a bke! It's quite simple really...

@Schroder78 , I'm not quite sure I follow with the hard to see from the other side of the world... all I saw is riders trying to do something they didnt have the skill to pull off to try and make a better time. Whenever I race and there is a feature I cant ride I get off or rider around it...

If there had been glass shards, metal spikes, or boulders the size of a car under that river then your arguments are somwehat more founded, otherwise... Just a bunch of moaning bikers. Complain about world cups getting to manicured... then through in a rough river crossing and everyone goes crazy
  • + 2
 @usedbikestuff: So we've seen about a dozen crashes out of about 120 riders. So we can assume 90% made it across without enough drama to make it into the crash reel vid. So I wouldn't say that Peaty was the only one, he just had more style then most.
  • + 1
 @stefanfresh: Oh my apologies, I should have announced the sarcasm, it appears that no one here got it. What you just said was exactly my point, so it seems we agree. I would not wish injury on anyone, I was just noting that if you went to practice a river crossing as you said, and perhaps crashed, as is likely, as they did, you might gain some perspective how a river crossing could be dangerous. Smile
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: that makes sense hahaha. I totally missed that one. Sorry bud
  • + 0
 @stefanfresh: Lol no worries, sorry if I was rude. tup
  • + 2
 o please. by the sounds of it everyone could see this before doing it. so everyone who crash did it know full well there was a chance of getting hurt. but saying that there is always a chance of getting hurt its mountain biking. if you think your going to stay injury free in this sport your doing the wrong sport. this just look fun and that why i started mountain biking because it is fun!
  • + 138
 Come on organisers, less of a circus act/trick at the end please. Yes the crowd love it but you are putting a lottery ticket in as a feature.
Your spectator/media management is a joke, we see in the Burgtec clip the rider crashing into the crowd. This could easily of led to a media person being injured or a rider.

We had had a spectator killed here in the UK already, one to many. Please don’t let that happen again. Think about rider and spectator management please rather than creating click bait features.
  • + 48
 This... it's funny until it's not when someone gets hurt from poor track design.
  • + 19
 @gramboh: one scorpion and a paraplegic and this conversation really changes.
  • + 1
 Si the media in that spot are all professionals and they all factor risk into assessing the safety of their job. I agree if it's spectators because you can't assume they know any better but media professionals in mountain biking have a much lower chance of dying/being injured at work than countless other professions so let them work in peace.
  • + 15
 @robparkinvideo: Come on Rob, you can't blag a blagger. If they are so professional like you say, why are they sat in a crash zone, as seen they are on the receiving end putting both themselves, riders and the organisers at risk? Can you answer me that?

What if it was me that crashed into you and wrecked your expensive camera, or injured you and you couldn't work for a while? If you asked me for $$$ i'd tell you that you were a clown for sitting there.

Now what if your equipment damaged my bike or me? Would you pay my medical bills as I should of landed on that soft grass and not your camera? Answer me that?

Bottom line is, organisers need to manage media and spectators better and the media need to insert their brain sometimes. Let's not have any serious injuries or deaths.

We all know Enduro is running the gauntlet, lack or marshals, lack of tape. Mark my words, the time bomb is ticking and when it explodes, someone will be up for the high jump, probably the organiser when someone dies. But as you say let them be, you got your pic so your happy.

I'll keep pushing for better safety standards for riders, spectators and media. #buyalongerlense #safetyfirst #captainsafety
  • + 1
 @si-paton: agreed. This was foolish.
  • + 10
 @si-paton: Lets all listen to the guy who couldn't put together an enduro series that people actually wanted to race and didn't listen to rider feedback!
  • + 3
 I guess it's easier to herd sheep huh.... why should people take accountability for their choices and learn how to weight in the risks involved? Nah... let's just make sure trails are made out of cotton candy and are manicured to a pumptrack like exprience. And as for media, lock them in cages so they can't move around too much, they obviously can't dicern as professionals whats the spot to be/ not be in... And for now, let's just not allow spectators on course, definetly safer...
  • + 1
 Clearly people need to work on their bunny hops.
  • + 124
 The NZ enduro is a three day backcountry blind enduro racing adventure. It operates on mostly Dept. of Conservation land under an incredibly stringent Health and Safety Plan. We dont take health and safety lightly. There are three of NZ’s top ER Doctors and surgeons moving with the riders at all times. There is also a doctor at every stage finish or startline communicating with starters finishes and on track marshals. There is a race briefing every day with a detailed stage briefing explaining possible stage hazards and obstacles. Any obstacle that can’t be rolled safely are clearly marked and identified with signage and tape. Gap jumps or blind doubles are taped out.

Our original day three (Wakamarina Heli Drop) was cancelled due to unsafe flying conditions and thus no emergency flight evacuation options. We are lucky enough to be able to use Justin Leov’s Jentree MTB as our bad weather option for our final day as previously identified and planned.

Event village and race briefing was held right at the river crossing which is a regular feature of the XC loop and used in XC races here. Riders had the opportunity to ride the crossing and inspect the river, it’s depth and it’s bottom contours. It was at the bottom of our shortest stage of the whole race and was clearly visible from the start line. Riders were able to watch and work out what techniques worked and what didn’t. They also need to have working brakes on their bikes before they start and are free to decide when to use them.

The NZ enduro is one of the toughest enduro races on the planet held on some of the most technical natural tracks made even more difficult by the wet and slippery conditions racers faced on the first two days. Day three was a welcomed fun day of racing on much more mellower trails.
We congratulate all our racers for making it through such a tough week of riding and racing. Also thanks to our team of top World Cup and EWS photographers and filters for their spectacular coverage of the event.
  • + 7
 Word
  • + 34
 I don't think people would be nearly as chapped about it if your Instagram didn't have a video relishing in about one eighth of stage finishers having violent crashes on this feature.
  • + 13
 If riders were aware...or over-aware, if the briefing was on site at the crossing and they got practice and viewing...and still chose to race this stage with that finish and there's no news of an actual racer in the event lodging a complaint (or lawsuit), I guess we're kinda done here.

Seems Friday Fails is good but only because it's people disorganizing themselves.
  • - 13
flag Yaan (Mar 11, 2019 at 17:36) (Below Threshold)
 You use words like tough and technical, racers expect that. What we are talking about here is stupidity and shit course layout and don't pretend otherwise.
  • + 3
 I would take all your word if the river was 100 meter away of the finish line but not just in the next shore. It is like crossing a bridge with 50% chance to break in any moment under your wheels. It is just my opinion,but looking a bunch of very talented riders crashing that way it is not fun.
  • + 2
 Choice event!!!
  • + 53
 As one of the event doctors, I’m pleased to report that no-one was hurt crossing this creek. Whilst it was spectacular, by this point in the weekend all the riders (and volunteers and organisers and medics) had negotiated countless other significant features with potential consequence of failure. These risks were marked or mitigated as far as possible but could not be eliminated completely and the racers handled them well. As mentioned elsewhere, all riders attended a daily briefing with the identified risks outlined, and all were able to inspect the creek beforehand. The entire field was able to see the full (short) stage from pretty much anywhere on the property and make their own decisions regarding speed/approach etc. The outrun was an almost flat grassy bank, softened by the water dragged onto it. Spectators were close enough to be excited but in reality, riders lost most of their momentum in the water. Instead of commenting from afar on some short #clickbait video, perhaps appreciate the ability and responsibility of the highly skilled racers to make their own decisions. There were over 120 racers but only the most spectacular few have achieved PB fame on the crash reel!
This was a fantastic end to an amazing but very hard weekend for most and everyone left happy and wet (except Peaty and Dimitri).
  • + 60
 One has to marvel at most of the negative comments coming from those in overly litigious countries (land of the free, anyone?). Jesus, these very same people might look at our socialised healthcare system and call it "nanny state". I'm proud to live in a country where we can go ride our bikes (freely), make an informed choice about what level of dumb shit we want to do on them, and if it goes bad, our accident compensation system sees to it that we are put back together at minimal cost. Ka pai, New Zealand!
  • + 1
 @Smgrummitt: As I mentioned, seems like we're done here. Great job with on scene comments.
  • + 29
 I'm one of those who had a fairly spectacular creek crossing. No dramas with the organisers, briefings etc, and after a weekend of racing rowdy trails where the consequences of getting things wrong were arguably much worse on countless other trail features, this creek crossing as the final obstacle for the event was actually fun. And also in the spirit of the event.
We all had a look at it, but it became clear very quickly with the clock on and after the first riders had a go that it wasn't going to be that easy - not really due to the width of the creek, but more to do with the momentum sucking depth! As one of the first down that stage, I got to see a few different approaches from the top of the hill - both slow and fast. Rightly or wrongly I chose a manualling warp 10, as my risk vs reward said if it didn't quite go to plan, I was simply going to get wetter.
That choice was all on me, just like every other decision I made during the weekend on countless other trail features.
When one of the young guys (Bradey Stone) attempted a deliberate hop/pop and made it stick, every rider who was still to start saw that, and that became the go-to technique. Peaty demonstrating its effectiveness best, his experience (and choice) riding that stage with locked suspension to maximise pop.
Would I make the same decision again? Sure would, plenty of speed was required but I would be using every bit of extension I could generate to pop that sucker and clear it.
  • + 6
 Churr as, just a bunch of whinging from overseas
  • + 1
 Fuckin rights. Keep it wild.
  • + 1
 @browner: right...came here to see Steve Peat comments not this crap...NZ is awesome...Cheers! To many f*cking whiners in todays world, what's happening.
  • + 76
 Steve Peat coming through like a true OG!
  • + 5
 its called experience! the old dog knows some tricks
  • + 8
 did he cross the tape though? DQ?
(know I'm getting downvoted for insulting the great man - it's only a joke!)
  • + 12
 Bunny hop the river! Can nobody under forty bunny hop a river anymore?
  • + 62
 Dear Americans, Brits, and Canadians. Read the comments from the race organisers, the medics, and the racers themselves. Dry your tears. Check your sacks for any signs of life. Then have a think about why Kiwis always have so much fun.
  • + 1
 Too many whiners in todays world...wtf is going on. NZ is the one place I will visit in my lifetime, just hope the wife lets me bike while there. And Peaty smashed that shit! Cheers
  • + 1
 can you guys have fun beating the shit outta the guys who choked this kid out...never have I wanted to kick ass so badly...hate bullies, one of them coulda held that kid back!

slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/03/eggboy-fraser-anning-smash-egg-australian-senator-mosque-attack.html?fbclid=IwAR0k4KWRd3g8eXEjsHd01T6V5EpVioOyUtI_kCBESQDE4NPW4UNF_sRSEvY
  • + 1
 after note...kid looks like it barely bothered him...tough bloke...but still
  • + 55
 This is pretty poor idea IMO. I raced an enduro in the past with a similar water crossing at the finish. This is manufactured for spectators. I felt bad for the people that crashed - especially those who were injured.
  • + 53
 Ok...so, I raced the event just as I have done for the previous 4 years. Health and safety is paramount here and every substantial risk outside of the mountain biking norms are made very clear to everyone racing. We all had a chance to check out what we were riding into and make our OWN judgment call on it. 95% of the racers made it through completely fine, including myself. Some people commenting on this feature clearly have zero knowledge of what and how the NZ Enduro operates. It is a raw natural backcountry based race that comes with risk and I can honestly say that every year Sven and Anka have managed and informed us of that risk perfecting. Come and ride Nydia in the wet and just chill out ????
  • + 19
 It's like they ride only groomed flow trail and call it gnarly... If a pebble exists, it's a black diamond run according to IMBA trail builders, so, go figure....

Wonder what they would all say if they knew the creek crossing gets dug out in Rotorua for events like the single speed world champs, and single speed nationals, and other events in 'vegas just so there is that chance of a splash down... we all know it's there, and 95% of us stay dry...even though there is a wheel grabbing bombhole lurking 10cm below the surface...
  • + 33
 "Let's see how many peoples season we can ruin on the literal last 10ft of a race"
  • + 4
 And this is probably the safest part of the whole event too . . . . . !
  • + 25
 WOW ive never heard such a bunch of winy little babies in my whole life. Oh boo hoo they are irresponsible making that dangerous. One guy actually said "it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt!" WOW ok mom ill make sure not to run in the hallways either lest i might fall and hit my head. You guys who commented this was too dangerouns should check your sack to see if there is anything in there!

Also multiple comments from race doctors and organizers stating what should be obvious that of curse riders all had a chance to check the water and all chose to go for it, way to go guys! would have loved to see some of the p**sies who commented here slow down at the waters edge dip their foot in then slowly cross making sure not to get their panties wet. that would be fun to ride/watch! losers
  • + 1
 Goddamn right! You better listen to yo momma boyh! Wink
  • + 5
 Way too many in PB only ride flow/jump trails that are groomed on the daily these days. I'm not much for jumping gaps either but it's always your choice if you want to go for it.
  • + 1
 @FurryCrew: exactly...could always get off the bike
  • + 27
 Reading the comments is like....Where did all the fun go in mountain biking?????
  • + 21
 I'm glad to see the comments section reflect my sentiments that this river crossing is a stupid idea. If there was a jump to allow riders to clear this obstacle, that might have been pretty awesome, but this is just setting somebody up for an injury.
  • + 26
 F*cking nonsense
  • + 25
 Nice hop @stevepeat!
  • + 1
 smashed that
  • + 19
 Maybe the dumbest idea for a finish I've seen. Cant imagine having a good time coming into the finish only to be tossed OTB 10 feet from the line because you can't see whats in the water. Would be tough to even hop it at the bottom after being exhausted from doing a race run.
  • + 1
 Peaty seems to think otherwise...
  • + 19
 WOW, so much Butthurt! All the riders got to view and even walk the crossing themselves before the race, the previous 2 days of racing saw far more difficult and dangerous obstacles and situations but nobody had a wah. Ask anybody who was there... Racer, Spectator, Volunteer, Medic... This was potentially the BEST way to end this race. It was a party and we all got stuck in. Grow up you bunch of whingers, If you can't manage a bit of moisture go back to your couches.
  • + 7
 It's not about the moisture but rather about its style of delivery.
  • + 4
 she'll be right mate
  • + 16
 OMG dudes are you serious! I did not hear anyone complain about this finish line feature that was actually taking part in this freaking amazing race. Instead it was a bloody awesome time with mates, everyone had a good laugh, in fact we laughed our butts off. It was truly an awesome way to finish off this tough race. No one had to hit this feature blind as it was right at the event set up. Of course you could have done a track walk if you'd liked to get your feet wet twice...
  • + 16
 Guys, listen up!! This was a super fun way to finish this race. EVERYONE that was at this race saw this water hole before heading up to this stage and was aware of the "risk" involved. As with every obstacle on a trail you need to adapt your speed to your skills. It was just a big party at the finish line and everyone was having a good time!

Thanks Sven & Anka for the amazing race!
  • + 14
 I don’t understand why everyone is so upset ?! I think that if the “feature” was a concern for racers, it would’ve been omitted from the course before the race. Everyone was willing to ride this section so what’s all the fuss?
  • + 14
 American here asking all the other butthurt english reading folk a question. Would you moan and complain this much about a cyclocross course? If so sell me your bike. Go buy a pair of khaki chinos and a set of golf clubs and leave the sport. Go be "safe" on a country club.
  • + 13
 All these people not from NZ just don’t get the way we operate down here ????
  • + 14
 Pretty much.....look at all the butt hurt americans just waiting to sue someone LOL.
  • + 13
 Great laughs for a Monday morning. Thanks PB.
  • + 2
 You mean it's not Friday already?
  • + 9
 These guys just bombed through the Nydia IN THE WET! That river crossing might have been the safest part of the course if you've seen been through that track.
  • + 7
 If any rider cleans a section and you crash, it's not the obstacles or courses fault. Nobody want anyone to get unnecessarily hurt. Injuries and accidents happen. A river crossing, is something you likely would encounter on a trail ride, make sense to have that in competition. Enduro of all competitions, should test all aspects of trails, to see who is best.
  • + 1
 Yeah. I too think that it's pretty cool that such a technical feature is in a race like that, if the riders are well informed about it of course. Nobody forces nobody to just send it and break bones.
  • + 0
 This isn't an Enduro technical section, it's a Jack Ass skit. I'm with folks who would not want to ride that, nor see my buddy get hurt for a cheap thrill.
  • - 4
flag stefanfresh (Mar 11, 2019 at 10:57) (Below Threshold)
 totally right mate! Cant argue more.
  • - 10
flag gnarnaimo (Mar 11, 2019 at 14:11) (Below Threshold)
 A trail with a river going through it with no bridge or culvert is a piss poor trail, period.
  • + 2
 @gnarnaimo: don't come to New Zealand... we have a lot of piss poor trails here
  • + 10
 Would have made a lot more sense if there was a kicker... pretty obviously omission, right?
  • + 5
 Funny. Didn't expect some of the world's best riders having a crack at gapping a water crossing was going to cause such missery and concern in the comments. Better just have a big pile of pillows at the end next year... Safety first...
  • + 5
 How the hack are all of you taking the fun out of it?!?! Has one of you ever competed in an enduro race?? Next time please all the roots out of the stage in case it could rain... Mygod please never travel to NZ, those guys know how to do it an have fun!
  • + 8
 Man there is some butthurt in this thread lighten up snowflakes.
  • + 7
 I would've tried it. Everyone here knew what it was and tried it. I think it's fantastic.
  • + 4
 Gone are the times of all-black metal trashers riding their pre-modern freeride bikes who showed sympathy only after some real fracture had happened or hospital curement was required. MTB all-mountain community has since then become a group of colourfully dressed wannabies STRAVAting and instagramming their super-performance. Just don't demand of them some basic riding skills. Because with their slack and long trucks, they have enough cockpit room to survive in and don't need basic skills anymore.
  • + 2
 Best comment of the bunch. Our sport has changed so much in 10 years. Real trail riding involves creek crossings. Learn to bunnyhop.
  • + 9
 Ah, Peat. Such a GOAT!
  • + 3
 Jezus krist - do you whiny arse jibbers even ride mountain bikes!!! - i came on to this article thinking we would all love this and rejoice in our collective love of MTB and the fun, even during events, that this sport delivers. You lot are an embarrassment, and proof that comment sections really should be avoided ...
  • + 5
 Jeez, after reading the comments I'm glad i live in NZ, for the record I rode it at 3/4 pace and it was a piece of piss. Cheers Sven and Anka for a wicked weekend ????
  • + 2
 I'm super curious about the "group think" that flooded this comment section. On a site where users frequently complain about the "dumbing down" of trails and tend to prefer riders who ride a little loose over riders with a more calculated approach I'm not sure what happened here. How is riding across a creek stupid? From the same sport that gave us riding on 2 inch planks suspended over rocky terrain, urban DH and other bits of fun insanity. It was a feature in a race that riders were given full opportunity for informed consent about, chose to race, and chose how to navigate safely (or unsafely). Seems like a fun way to mix it up. It more had me thinking how best to do it. Looks like the bunny hop was the way to go but I guarantee it was not as easy as most weekend warriors on here suggest- especially after reports that Peaty locked suspension for the stage just to get the pop needed. Sounds like everyone's bunny hop at full speed whilst pressing off of a variable creek bank skills on here are perhaps more practiced than mine... or perhaps their armchair quarterbacking is more adept...
  • + 2
 Wow! Had to pop by and check out all the brouhaha. Reads like a lot of namby-pambies out there need to get off the flow trails more often and acknowledge that running a race like this is probably beyond their conception in terms of the logistical efforts made to manage risk whilst keeping an event spicy.
  • + 2
 I wonder if all the health and safety freaks like to watch Redbull rampage ? I thought so.
Get some perspective, with this kind of attitude to risk Everest would remain unclimbed and we’d all still wonder what was on the moon !!
  • + 4
 CHEESE! Cheese is on the moon!?!?!?
  • + 2
 To be fair, things were better when we didn't know what was on the moon.
  • + 2
 @handynzl: Wensleydale?
  • + 4
 this is gold, hahah its the best part about racing and riding, if you don't like it hang up your bikes and buy some roller blades..
  • + 6
 That is ridiculous. Jesus, stupidity like that makes me mad
  • + 2
 Wow, lots of moaning in the comments section - even after the events organiser, medic and event rider all said it was good. I'd be interested to see the ages of those complaining. Perhaps we are losing the ability to risk assess or realise that it is up to the individual to take the responsibility to do so.
  • + 1
 Why would they not just put a small kicker before it a call it a day/race. Literally not that big of a gap. Just looks too downward slanting to bunny hop off it well enough. Unless you're Peaty.. hahha.

Race folk always seem scared of jumps or is it just me??
  • + 1
 First things first, big up to @Thisispeaty for making that into a river gap. Glad you made it across mate!

My two cents: putting a river crossing between a racer and a timing gate — plus a big crowd with photogs gathered at the end — and expecting most of the the racers not to gun it? Yes, we’re adults capable of making our own decisions, but between all of us here, everyone knows how this would all pan out. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt!
  • + 2
 yeah. nice. I suggest for the next race some crocodiles in that river, a ring of fire at the finish line and some sharp stakes after some jumps. Go to hell, chicks, mountain bikes its for crazy daredevils.
  • + 3
 Should your helmet come off your skull without striking anything? The equivalent of s little headbanging knocks it off that easily?
  • + 4
 @Ron-C hashtag loose straps are cool with the in kids...

If guys like Rogatkin are seen NOT doing up their lids, then what chance some other punk? Even in WC XC you see riders with loose straps - its dumb. Plain dumb.
  • + 4
 If your helmet falls off during a crash, it wasn't secured properly in the first place Blank Stare
  • + 5
 Coming soon from nzenduro........hidden pits with spikes in them.
  • + 0
 Lmao, accurate!
  • + 2
 Its blind and under water. Most of the time you can see the trail ahead and ride accordingly. Seems like poor choice to not force them to slow right down for that. All you need is a tight chicane.
  • + 1
 Absolutely idiotic to my mind. Although we don't know how many people safely made it through from just watching the crashes and Peaty. Additional safety concern for the guy who had his helmet come half off.
  • + 3
 Special shoutout to the guy who's helmet just came right off. #keepingitlooseiscool
  • + 1
 If your unprepared for the rigours of mountain biking please take up knitting. As for the type of people that set up in known danger zones waiting for people to get mauled, karma will get you.
  • + 0
 Amazing how guys moan about a river crossing, reminds me of the infamous bombholes of early xc days. How fast, hard, reckless... you hit an obstacle is up to you the rider. Peaty coming from the UK has hopped many a stream, learning after his first few wipeouts trying to ride through them. Pro's are just riders like us, you ride, you sometimes wideout, you hopefully learn and try not to wipeout next time. If you an old dog like me and Peaty, you normally let the young un's go test the water first.
  • + 2
 One dude, wearing an open face, had his helmet slide back off his head during his fall. Let's all remember to keep those chin straps tight enough to prevent this!
  • + 2
 Like those freaking TV-Shows from Japan. Its dangerous and nearly impossible, but very entertaining.
  • + 1
 ups, nearly = almost (sorry, for my bad english)
  • + 1
 Watching 90's Japanese Game-Shows are the best part of the Internet.
  • - 1
 I don't know what kind of briefing they gave to the riders before this stage... did they even warn them that there would be a deep river to be crossed at the end of the stage and the potential dangers of not slowing down before crossing it? Going full speed into deep water like this can eject you from your bike and make you fly to the moon!

As an amateur racer myself, I find this to be irresponsible from the race organisers... This is outright searching for trouble. You don't put such a dangerous, treacherous feature at the end of a sprint, no matter the sport. Spectator enjoyment is not worth having people injured. I'm glad and hopeful that some stupidity like this is not imitated by other adventure-race organizations, like AndesPacifico, TransCascadia, etc.

Racers COUNT on race organisers to put together a safe course.
  • + 5
 Race organizers count on racers to know the limit of their skill, a feature one rider doesn't think twice about riding might be far beyond the skills of another rider. Unless all we race is blue flow trails as a racer you have to accept that if in doubt, slow down... super simple stuff
  • + 1
 @rabatt: Agreed. I share you opinion stating that a very important skill to have for racers is to be able to use their own judgement when facing obstacles, based on their skillset. I personally make sure to ride safe and within my limits. However, this does not exempt race organisers from putting together a safe course.

There's a bit of a dependence between the racers and the race organisers in the sense that each one count on the other in order to have safe and fun event. Organisers count on racers to respect their skillset, and racers count on organisers to put together a safe course.

Some people may have their judgement slightly altered by the group of hecklers on the other side of the river saying something like "ride it, ride it, ride it" Smile . They also put the photographers there, and some people just don't want to "look bad" on photos. I find that the location of this obstacle was problematic in general, being so close to the finish line. You never know. Some people may not be as diligent as you and me in respecting their skillset and may end up hurting themselves.

I participated to a blind enduro race before where, on a stage, there was a problematic tree going across the trail at head's height. They could not cut it down due to the area being a protected forest. Passing this obstable required to do a bit of a limbo and putting a feet down. During the pre-race briefing, the organisers told us exactly where the obstacle was and it was flagged accordingly. They also made sure not to put a group of hecklers there !!! No photographers there either Smile . That was responsible and safe.

When I see one's helmet get removed from their head as they get ejected from their bike and fly face first into the ground... if I was an organiser I would tell myself that something got messed up somewhere. Especially when other people are crashing too. There's a problem with the feature in play.

As an alternate solution, I would suggest to put the finish line maybe a dozen meters before the river, taking that element out of the race. Riders wanting to go for a swim could just roll safely to the river after the finish line (and they can even take their bike with them if they want). This way, you take away none of the fun, you make sure everyone is safe and this is a real happy ending!

Cheers Wink
  • - 1
 Make Pinkbike great again! Pinkbike has been ruined in the past few years by the cross country riders and weight weenies! They take away reviewers from reviewing real bikes that people actually want to ride and reduce the amount of content about enduro and downhill! Without them the front page of Pinkbike wouldn't need to be wasted on reviews and videos of cross country bikes, super light carbon wheels and anything not related to enduro or downhill! The comments section wouldn't be filled with people complaining about people having fun hucking and jibbing and otherwise doing stupid shit for the sake of doing stupid shit! We need to make a new Pinkbike for people who actually ride/race downhill and enduro (not keyboard warriors who say they do) and make the people who ride/race trail, downcountry and cross country pay for/run it!




P.S.
If you downvote you prove the need for a new Pinkbike more, and out yourself as a non-endurobro, freerider or downhiller.
  • - 1
 Interesting how the race organizers and doctors emphasize how safe things were at the race yet fail to address some glaring safety issues from the video. Even if one accepts that it was a good choice to set the course so that a high speed section leads into a river, it seems clear that the crowd control was poor. In fact it appears that as spectators recognized the potential for crashes they crowded into the area and got very close to the track which resulted in a number of near collisions and some collisions with spectators. This suggests something was wrong and should have been changed. However, even though this was at the end of the race and likely organizers and doctors were around, it appears none of them thought at the very least to move people back. Doesn’t seem like a real emphasis on safety. Fortunately no one was hurt, but the race organizers and doctors that have posted are missing the point, the risk could have been decreased by taking a few simple steps. Clearly there are many potentially dangerous sections on a race course, however people don’t enter races to challenge themselves with high speed water crossings. I wonder if there was a single feature or section of the race that resulted in this many high speed crashes, near misses and collisions with spectators? While no one got hurt, in this instance that was in spite of your actions rather than because of them. It’s okay to say you know what we didn’t realize this would be a problem and we’ve learned from that mistake, instead of denying the obvious.
  • + 1
 The entirety of the second day would have been a crash fest, both up and down the hill, that trail is hard enough to stay upright on when you are cruising in the dry, there's quite a few sections that I'm pretty sure would have had a lower success rate then this stream crossing, just no one was there with a camera.
  • + 1
 Excellent response from NZ Enduro, shows that we all need to find out the facts before go ballistic!
  • - 2
 I don't understand, why it is the fault of the organizers? Is anybody telling them to race through the water? It is their own decision. Its a race without training, you have to be cinfident and knowing what you are able to ride. If you're not sure, you can push your bike. Its a risk in every stage! Its a risk in even starting there.

If you are not able to know what you are able to do or if there is too much risk, you possibly should not race.

I dont see that their is a fault of the organizers.
  • + 2
 That shit was stupid for riders. Not good for a race Frown
  • + 1
 Damn Eek literally half of the riders could have broke their necks. They should have had a jump made to get over it
  • + 1
 Everyone sees Peaty smash that and then comes to make negative comments...go for a ride, damn!
  • + 2
 I woulda worn my water wings and been fine... It's called race prep.
  • + 1
 Dave Cullinan would have jumped it, and dodged any chair lifts at the same time.
  • + 2
 Sir Steve making other people look like mere mortals! #stillbossingit
  • + 2
 loose helmets , always helpful
  • + 0
 LIGHTEN UP YOU STUPID EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN SNOWFLAKES! This is New Zealand. Soz for caps but grow up puh-leaaaaasse
  • + 1
 Hehe dh King S Peat show enduro girls how to send ????????
  • + 0
 Man...that is painful to watch. Stupid, stupid, stuuuuupid track design for sure. Hope no one got seriously hurt there.
  • - 1
 if Peaty knew to lock his shock other riders could have been similarly prepared. But yeh, a shit way to ruin your season at the first event.
  • + 3
 One of the last events of our season...
  • + 2
 Danny would have made it
  • + 1
 pick a creek crossing and be a dick about it..
  • + 1
 Friday ?
  • + 0
 It’s amazing how much NZ looks like California in the summer
  • - 1
 Comment section shows that in general enduro is for pussies Razz

*I have no real arguments for my statement.
  • - 1
 Since when did the Pinkbike comment section become filled with the Safety Police?
  • - 3
 "Hey, check out how poorly we designed this feature! Neat! Be sure to come ride here!"
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