“Over the years, we've become known as your post ride spot for a beer.”
Atlas is a pocket-sized bar in Queenstown that’s long been known as the place to sip a beer after mountain biking all day. Euan Patterson, barman for Atlas, has watched this beautiful relationship between beer and bikes evolve over the last eight years. “They give to us, through coming here. So, we give back through this event.” On 14th December, Atlas Beer bar hosts their annual Season of Shred fundraiser. It’s a big jump jam with live music, food and beer at Wynyard Park, Fernhill and all proceeds going towards the Queenstown Mountain Biking Club (QMBC).
Years before, Euan never really thought much about where the money goes but in 2018 while riding a new track an epiphany hit him “I was like 'oh it actually goes towards making trails’.”
The QMBC is mostly made up of volunteers who do ‘digdays’. They work with the Department of Conservation, local council and landowners to maintain and build new tracks for the whole industry to enjoy. “There's a new trail–McNealy Knarly–that was built up at Fernhill and it's a really easy, flowy jump track. A lot of the money that we gave last year went towards building that!”
Mountain biking is a quintessential summer activity for much of the Southern Lakes, but it is the community as much as the dirt that keeps riders here. Even Euan moved from Edinburgh to Queenstown especially for it. He instantly noticed a massive difference in biking culture here than from his time in Whistler, Canada; “They don't care how good you are or what bike you have...it is very much a welcoming community which is another reason why I want to make SOS right.”
Words Lauren Prebble