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QTMAGAZINE SPRING 2015 QT.CO.NZ
The vast alpine playground surrounding Queenstown is
an endurance athlete's dream and back in 1995 outdoor
adventurers John and Judy Knight were looking for any excuse
to move to the resort.
John was an internationally ranked ironman and triathlon
champion at the time as well as having degrees in chemistry
and engineering and a PhD in physical chemistry. The couple
had spent many holidays training for endurance races in the
Wakatipu and staying at John's family bach and loved the area.
So it was that they snapped up the chance to open a specialist
outdoor sports store in the resort.
"We needed a reason to actually live in Queenstown so the
business was born, nurtured and grown into what you see
" says John. "It was pretty simple.
Together with close friend Craig Wanty, a former partner in
Dunedin's R&R Sports, they launched Outside Sports in The
Queenstown Mall in 1995. The store quickly expanded into
larger Shotover Street premises, developing into a prominent
business with stores also at Queenstown Airport, Wanaka, Te
Anau and online.
John knows the outdoors business well. Ranked sixth in the
World Ironman Series in 1991, he was also New Zealand
Ironman Champion in 1991 and European Alpine Ironman
Champion in 1992.
He has competed in and won numerous adventure races
during his lengthy sporting career, twice winning the renowned
Southern Traverse with his teammates.
A director of the Gibbston Valley Bike Centre he is also behind
the popular, purpose-built Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort in Gibbston
Valley and is a shareholder in Climbing Queenstown and
Southland's Around the Mountains Cycle Trail.
INSPIRED BY LOVE
OF THE OUTDOORS
BY SUE FEA
It's all about the bike for Outside Sports brand ambassador Tony Moore. He's been racing
mountain bikes ever since the very early days of the sport in the mid1980s and has represented
New Zealand at two world championships and countless national events.
Tony holds national championship titles in downhill and cross country disciplines and has
also won the National Single Speed Championships. Renowned for his film work, coaching,
product development and event commentating he is committed to fostering young riders.
"I'm just big time into bikes. It's too much fun not to spread it around.
Tony's effervescent enthusiasm for the world of biking makes him the perfect brand ambassador
for Outside Sports. He was also the company's ski demo co-ordinator during the 2015 season.
"Outside Sports has always supported me to be a bike bum,
" he jokes. "Family and bikes are
the most important thing to me. I'm on bikes and infecting others as often as I can. Outside
Sports stocks the models I believe in and you can always walk through the door and find
Tony says the staff are all very experienced bikers and passionate about bikes. "I enjoy being
part of the bike family in store, acting as a sounding board and offering advice. Outside Sports
is an important part of the local bike community, nurturing, building and supporting it. The
company was there long before the bike boom which is what gives John Knight and his team
so much credibility.
The biking boom has had the wheels spinning
at Queenstown's leading specialist sports store
Queenstown store manager Neil Proctor says
growth in all aspects of biking has been enormous
helped by the investment of millions of dollars into
first-class trails around the district.
"It's great that the Government and local people
are getting behind these biking trails,
" says Neil.
"There's masses of people biking all over the
Wakatipu Basin and we're seeing everybody from
little kids to people in their 60s and 70s hiring bikes
at our year-round Outside Sports Ride Centre at the
base of the Skyline gondola.
Outside Sports also has an easily-accessed bike
rental section at the rear of its new Shotover Street
store, with plenty of car parking.
Specialized which is a top-of-the-line biking
brand is exclusive to Outside Sports stores in
Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau.
"This American brand is one of the premier
bike brands in the world,
" says Neil. "We've got
something to suit everyone, whether it's their first
time on the Queenstown trails or they choose to
do the downhill trails in the Queenstown Bike Park
which is accessed by gondola. There are so many
other options including Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort
in Gibbston Valley or the Cardrona Ski Area where
they're opening the chairlift for mountain bikers in
TOP LEFT: OUTSIDE
SPORTS RIDE CENTRE
MIDDLE: JIM HAWKRIDGE
BOTTOM LEFT: STEVE
GURNEY AND JOHN
KNIGHT. BOTTOM RIGHT:
OUTSIDE SPORTS STORE
MANAGER NEIL PROCTOR
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