It's all it takes, a need, a weird answer and a biro

The LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN is one of my other little side projects, or obsessions. It’s my idea of what a race should be for 99% of riders. There’s several guiding philosophies to it, “FUN IS ALWAYS FIRST PLACE” and “CHEATERS CHEAT THEMSELVES”. There’s a whole nuther webber over here that will document it all.

One of the first entries turned out to be a little brief history of the LoG. click the blue READ MORE toggle or click here or whatever…

Welcome to the LoG webber. All things start small. Infact that reminds me of a good line a good friend <a href=””>Brett Frew</a> once said, “you gotta start small before you go big.” Well we certainly started small. It was the AGM of the <a href=””>Queenstown MTB club</a> in November 2008 when a certain Graeme Cooper (remember that name as this story evolves you will see there is a beautiful synchronicity to everything) spoke up and asked why the club didn’t put on events. The already swamped club had no time or resources for doing so and they made this clear. That sparked a light in a few heads. A brighter light in one head in particular. The day after that meeting the first race was announced by Seb Kemp. It was due to take place two weeks later on the 9th December 2008 on Graeme Coopers birthday (see synchronicity or grand scheme). It was to take place on the excellent and under appreciated Skyline trails. The name of the race was the Das Uber D which alludes to the fact that this race was going to be a little different. The format was a super-D. A format which can level the playing field between XC and DH riders. It also introduced the (I think) revolutionary self timing system. This meant the entry fees and stress to Seb could be kept low, but mostly it meant that if it was to be self-timed then riders had to test their own integrity and honesty (“CHEATER CHEAT THEMSELVES”) in order to keep the ideal alive… However, a fool proof scheme was invented to back this up. Instead of rewarding the ‘fastest’ riders, everyone was rewarded. First place meant nothing in the grand scheme. Everybody self judged their own ‘race’ upon the FUN that had doing so. This is something that can’t be objectively measured or compared. It’s something that only the individual can judge. There’s no losers. “FUN IS ALWAYS FIRST PLACE”. The DAS UBER D finished in the Revolver Bar and riders had to race up the steps with their bikes into the bar and down a beer before their race was ended. No one threw up on the bar that race amazingly. After the success of the first one. It was decided that maybe they could be more regular. A slap dash attempt was made at coming up with a calender of events, but usually it meant Seb coming up with the format and details a few days ahead of the date, or in some cases the day of, or in one case at the start line of the race. After a summer of events many friendships were cemented and many more new ones created. That was the barometer of success. However, the barometer also pointed to ‘changeable’. Seb didn’t return the following summer because of a date with the bottom of many many bottles of tequila. Just as the LoG races looked like they would become just a flash in the pan, Graeme Coopers birthday notification sprang up on Sebs Facebook news page. A moment of clarity. He was the chosen one. Throughout all the original LoGs he was the chap was embodying the principles most whole heartedly. An obvious choice that was so oblivious to Seb at first. A hastily compiled message was sent of to Graeme begging for him to take the reigns. Luckily he said yes, because the LoG would of being put to rest, maybe forever. In 2009/10 he has taken hold of the LoG and continues to embody all the founding principles. Then a day after the global announcement that Graeme was to become the new organiser, Callum Jelly came forward requesting to take the principle of the LoG and share them with the folks on the Sunshine Coast, BC. Half a world away from the small hand drawn start and those simple ideals have spread. The LoG is Seb Kemps proudest achievement, but without the help of everyone from right back into the humble beginnings to the big bright future it would of come to nothing and meant even less. Thank you to everyone that has ever helped, to anyone who has ever donated time or goods to the LoG, and to everyone who has come along to the LoG and embodied the ideals. The future is bright…now if only we can make some bloody money off it and sell it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s