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Brooke Thompson: A Diary Entry

An entry by Brooke Thompson

Growing up in rural Rotorua, life was more about messing about on the farm, riding motorbikes and finding random things to occupy our time. It wasn’t until I was around the age of 15 that I was shown the trails in the Whakarewarea forest...

• August 19th 2020

Entry by Brooke Thompson 

Growing up in rural Rotorua, life was more about messing about on the farm, riding motorbikes and finding random things to occupy our time. It wasn’t until I was around the age of 15 that I was shown the trails in the Whakarewarea forest. I was timid but always gave it a go. Venturing off to university in Hamilton I became an avid triathlete (realizing I didn’t want to be looking at a black line at the bottom of a swimming pool 8 hours a week) and scarcely came home to ride my GT force 1.0. Once I finished Uni I wasn’t keen to get into the ‘real world’ straight away. So I moved to Wanaka to do a ski patrol course, rack up my student loan some more, decided to upgrade my bike and keep myself busy. It was then that I really started to ride properly I guess. Sticky Forest being the only trail center in little old Wanaka, I was away. Only thing was every jump was a gap jump. So I was forced to properly get my wheels off the ground. It was a scary process but slowly got there in the end.

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"I’d always been the one who was too scared to ride with anyone else more skilled than myself because I didn’t want to hold anyone up. Classic girl move!"


From there, summer rolled around and got the call up from Mike Robertson (who at the time was running Skyline MTB park in Rotorua). I moved back up to Rotorua and got my first paid patrol position. Being the only girl in a group of boys, I was thrown in the deep end real quick. I’d say I was falling off my bike at least 3-7 times a day. I was not treated like a girl and that’s exactly how I wanted it to be. I learnt so much in that summer for 2017-18 (not that long ago, I know! ). I was bruised and battered but man I learnt so much that summer. Little did I know back then that I was about to have an endless summer of bikes for the next 2 years.

For the time I rode overseas and fell in love with the bike essentially. The one thing that really got me though was hitting jumps. A real bittersweet thing. With that comes injury for sure.

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"Injury for me this has been the hard part. Not necessarily the physical side but the mental block you get with your riding. How it knocks your confidence."

With being a first response medic by day, it really scares me as the more head knocks you have the worse off you are in the long run. So it’s definitely taken me a bit to get back to 100% with my riding after these big crashes. But I’m sure that’s the same for most people.


"As a whole what motivates me on two wheels is that feeling of trying something for the first time and achieving it. And the people you meet along on the journey. Oh my goodness the people..."


I could go on and on about the people I’ve met. Not much else can make you feel that way. Well snow skiing, but that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

I’ve been very lucky to attend to last 8 Crankworx stops around the world. This event has been a huge motivation for my riding and seeing the levels that these ladies are taking this sport is unreal. 

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And being able to ride some of the best jump trails in Whistler made me fall in love with being in the air. That place hands down would have to be my favorite riding spot in terms of progression.

Bikes kind of were just something to keep me occupied while I was up to something else. Then before I knew it, it was consuming majority of my time. I then just wanted to progress, to get better. I see features that the boys are hitting or the top female riders are and I think to myself well if they can do it, why the heck can’t I get to the point too? I guess it just depends on how motivated you are. So I guess that’s where my story will continue. But I want that stoke to carry on. Now I’m living life back in Wanaka, surrounded by very like-minded people. I’m sure the stoke will continue to grow along with my experiences and riding. Now bring on a winter of skiing! My other love that has been a bit neglected the last few years.

 


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