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February 2022

It's downhill all the way.

The thrills and spills of downhill mountain biking with Kelly Wood.

For some people, weekends are a time to unwind, do some housework, walk the dog, tend to the garden. But there’s a growing community of enthusiasts for whom spare time means hurtling down a mountain, overcoming treacherous obstacles and perilous angles.

For Kelly Wood, a 52 year old building company owner in Christchurch, downhill mountain biking answered his call for a new way to stay competitive after a run of bad luck on the rugby field.

Injuries derailed Wood’s favourite sport. He was an avid rugby league player for many years, but after a bad accident during a game he found himself unable to play.

“It was a full break and it dislocated. Pretty nasty. I was able to recover and play for a few years, but then after another operation, I was pretty much forced out because I wasn’t able to run.”

The ankle is still a major issue to this day.

“It’s almost as bad as a fused ankle. It doesn’t have much movement and it gets sore.”

He was left with few options. He couldn’t run, couldn’t compete in the sport he enjoyed the most and needed to find another outlet to keep-up his fitness.

Enter downhill mountain biking.

“I very much enjoy mountain biking. I’ve been biking for about fifteen years. Over the last decade quite consistently.”

Downhill mountain biking is a self-explanatory sport. Riders start at the top of a mountain and then ride a trail to the bottom, sounds easy. But the combination of sheer vertical drops and unforgiving tracks with obstacles, both natural and man-made requires a high degree of skill and precision.

It’s a dangerous sport with a high chance of injury, falls and accidents are common but for Wood, the rewards are worth the risk.

“For me, I enjoy the downhill side, I enjoy it for fitness. The main part I like about it is the challenge the downhill gives you. You’re riding pretty steep trails, with obstacles, jumps and so on.”

“I’m a middle aged mountain biker, doing the type of riding that younger riders would predominantly be doing.”

He’s your definition of a weekend warrior. He enjoys his sport, takes it seriously and does it as much as he can. Wood is in his fifties, but he relishes the challenges that mountain biking has to offer regardless of his age.

“I’m a middle aged mountain biker, doing the type of riding that younger riders would predominantly be doing.”

For him, there’s nothing like it.

“I just feel good about life after a ride. Feel good and healthy.”

For fitness, Wood does ride uphill as well as down, at least for his first run or two. But luckily, the Christchurch Adventure Park has a chairlift to get rider and bike back up to the top of the trail to pack-in the runs.

“I drive to the Park, and would generally ride up the hill before doing a set of chair runs. I try to go about twice a week. Depending on how much time I have, I can do anywhere between a couple and seven or eight runs on the chairlift.”

He says that Christchurch is pretty lucky to have the Adventure Park setup on the doorstep.

“We’re pretty spoilt here for downhill options, especially with the chairlift. With recent Covid events it's meant that we haven't been able to travel as much.”

With his interest and time spent in the sport growing, Wood also upgraded his bike.

“It’s not the highest quality, but it's up there. You need good gear to do the type of riding I do.”

It's downhill all the way.

The thrills and spills of downhill mountain biking with
Kelly Wood.

For some, weekends are a time to unwind. Do some housework, walk the dog, tend to the garden. But there’s a growing community of enthusiasts for whom spare time means hurtling down a mountain, overcoming treacherous obstacles and perilous angles.

For Kelly Wood, a 52 year old building company owner in Christchurch, downhill mountain biking answered his call for a new way to stay competitive after a run of bad luck on the rugby field.

Injuries derailed Wood’s favourite sport. He was an avid rugby league player for many years, but after a bad accident during a game he found himself unable to play.


“It was a full break and it dislocated. Pretty nasty. I was able to recover and play for a few years, but then after another operation, I was pretty much forced out because I wasn’t able to run.”

The ankle is still a major issue to this day.

“It’s almost as bad as a fused ankle. It doesn’t have much movement and it gets sore.”

He was left with few options. He couldn’t run, couldn’t compete in the sport he enjoyed the most and needed to find another outlet to keep-up his fitness.

Enter - downhill mountain biking.

“I very much enjoy mountain biking. I’ve been biking for about fifteen years. Over the last decade quite consistently.”

Downhill mountain biking is a self-explanatory sport. Riders start at the top of a mountain and then ride a trail to the bottom, sounds easy. But the combination of sheer vertical drops and unforgiving tracks with obstacles, both natural and man-made requires a high degree of skill and precision.

It’s a dangerous sport with a high chance of injury, falls and accidents are common but for Wood, the rewards are worth the risk.

“For me, I enjoy the downhill side, I enjoy it for fitness. The main part I like about it is the challenge the downhill gives you. You’re riding pretty steep trails, with obstacles, jumps and so on.”

I’m a middle aged mountain biker, doing the type of riding that younger riders would predominantly be doing.”

He’s your definition of a weekend warrior. He enjoys his sport, takes it seriously and does it as much as he can. Wood is in his fifties, but he relishes the challenges that mountain biking has to offer regardless of his.

“I’m a middle aged mountain biker, doing the type of riding that younger riders would predominantly be doing.”

For him, there’s nothing like it.

“I just feel good about life after a ride. Feel good and healthy.”

For fitness, Wood does ride uphill as well as down, at least for his first run or two. But luckily, the Christchurch Adventure Park has a chairlift to get rider and bike back up to the top of the trail to pack-in the runs.

“I drive to the Park, and would generally ride up the hill before doing a set of chair runs. I try to go about twice a week. Depending on how much time I have, I can do anywhere between a couple and seven or eight runs on the chairlift.”

He says that Christchurch is pretty lucky to have the Adventure Park setup on the doorstep.

“We’re pretty spoilt here for downhill options, especially with the chairlift. With recent Covid events it's meant that we haven't been able to travel as much.”

With his interest and time spent in the sport growing, Wood also upgraded his bike.

“It’s not the highest quality, but it's up there. You need good gear to do the type of riding I do.”

Getting good gear is a massive factor for longevity in the sport. Making sure that your bike will withstand the elements of downhill racing, with good suspension and brakes can be the difference between a fun ride and a big fall.

“Originally my equipment was quite standard and only suitable for riding the flatter trails, but as I got into downhill my bike and protection equipment had to change."

“I have an enduro bike. It’s not a full downhill because I do like to do the uphill too. But the bike has beefed up suspension to handle the downhill.”

A good bike can also be helpful to avoid common injuries. If you’re too hunched over when riding, or the bike is too small or big for you, it can lead to pains, strains and recurring issues.

Wood also spends time lifting weights. When he left rugby league, he found that weight training helped with conditioning and to keep his body in shape. Also, as an ex-tradesman turned desk worker, he finds that he needs to keep-up his fitness now that he's less active in his job.  

“It’s just to keep strength. Nothing too serious, just some stuff at home. I just do it as often as I can muster up the energy. It helps with my riding to do the strength work.”

Strength training is a major component for injury proofing your body. Having a strong foundation can be the difference between niggling aches and pains and developing your body so it's optimised for your sport. Building the lower back, the hips and the core will insure the rider against back and knee pain.

I love Myovolt. I use it pre- workout, post-workout and
I find for general recovery it
really helps.”

Getting the most out of your sport should also involve being pro-active about recovery. Wood is an avid user of Myovolt, and sings it’s praises.

“I love Myovolt. I’ve had one for a few years. I use it quite regularly. Not every day, but most days. I use it pre-workout, post-workout and I find for general recovery it really helps.”

Wood has the Myovolt Back and the Myovolt Leg products. He says they’re ideal for hammering out those small injuries that can pop up.

“I actually had a situation over the holidays. I had a bad niggle in my calves and it was quite annoying. Myovolt really made a difference, it reduced the downtime, when you feel like you can't do anything.”

Myovolt uses focal vibration therapy, massaging the muscles with a specific range of vibration frequencies. It’s research backed to increase blood flow, increase recovery and mobility, and reduce DOMS (delayed on-set muscle soreness).

Wood loves Myovolt’s hands-free design.

“It’s really easy to use once you get used to it. I just throw it on while I’m having a cup of coffee or some breakfast. Just add it into your morning routine before you get stuck into your day and go from there.”

He also uses it for his ankle.

“Having something that’s able to move around and work in that area is just great. All the tendons and muscles around it are so tight, and the Myovolt is great at easing that. It definitely makes a big difference for me.”

If you’re a weekend warrior, a sports enthusiast, or someone who is just getting into a new sport, feel the difference that Myovolt can make to your own performance and recovery journey.

Getting good gear is a massive factor for longevity in the sport. Making sure that your bike will withstand the elements of downhill racing, with good suspension and brakes can be the difference between a fun ride and a big fall.

“Originally my equipment was quite standard and only suitable for riding the flatter trails, but as I got into downhill my bike and protection equipment had to change."

“I have an enduro bike. It’s not a full downhill because I do like to do the uphill too. But the bike has beefed up suspension to handle the downhill.”

A good bike can also be helpful to avoid common injuries. If you’re too hunched over when riding, or the bike is too small or big for you, it can lead to pains, strains and recurring issues.

Wood also spends time lifting weights. When he left rugby league, he found that weight training helped with conditioning and to keep his body in shape. Also, as an ex-tradesman turned desk worker, he finds that he needs to keep-up his fitness now that he's less active in his job.  

“It’s just to keep strength. Nothing too serious, just some stuff at home. I just do it as often as I can muster up the energy. It helps with my riding to do the strength work.”

Strength training is a major component for injury proofing your body. Having a strong foundation can be the difference between niggling aches and pains and developing your body so it's optimised for your sport. Building the lower back, the hips and the core will insure the rider against back and knee pain.

“I love Myovolt. I use it pre workout, post workout and I find for general recovery it really helps.”

Getting the most out of your sport should also involve being pro-active about recovery. Wood is an avid user of Myovolt, and sings it’s praises.

“I love Myovolt. I’ve had one for a few years. I use it quite regularly. Not every day, but most days. I use it pre-workout, post-workout and I find for general recovery it really helps.”

Wood has the Myovolt Back and the Myovolt Leg products. He says they’re ideal for hammering out those small injuries that can pop up.

“I actually had a situation over the holidays. I had a bad niggle in my calves and it was quite annoying. Myovolt really made a difference, it reduced the downtime, when you feel like you can't do anything.”

Myovolt uses focal vibration therapy, massaging the muscles with a specific range of vibration frequencies. It’s research backed to increase blood flow, increase recovery and mobility, and reduce DOMS (delayed on-set muscle soreness).

Wood loves Myovolt’s hands-free design.

“It’s really easy to use once you get used to it. I just throw it on while I’m having a cup of coffee or some breakfast. Just add it into your morning routine before you get stuck into your day and go from there.”

He also uses it for his ankle.

“Having something that’s able to move around and work in that area is just great. All the tendons and muscles around it are so tight, and the Myovolt is great at easing that. It definitely makes a big difference for me.”

If you’re a weekend warrior, a sports enthusiast, or someone who is just getting into a new sport, feel the difference that Myovolt can make to your own performance and recovery journey.