Crafting The Mackenzie Frenzie
Only a few years ago Laura Craft’s Dad introduced her to Mountain Biking.
“Once we started doing it with Dad I just loved it so much. Being in the outdoors and the thrill of racing on those tracks is the best part.”
Laura started competing in Cross Country events about two years ago, and then started with Enduro rides.
“The Enduro is more downhill and then you ride back to the top and do different stages. It’s fun but at the weekend I did my first downhill comp.”
That ‘comp’ just happened to be 2017 Oceania Continental MTB Championships, bringing riders from the Pacific Islands and New Zealand to Toowoomba for some of the best tracks in Jubilee Park.
‘Mackenzie Frenzie’ was one of the first legal Down Hill tracks to be built on crown land in Queensland and is one of the fastest and most popular downhill tracks. The track holds two 25 foot jumps, a ‘gnarly’ rock garden followed by what’s known as Jared’s booter, named after successful rider, Jared Graves. It’s one of the fastest sections on the track. Laura Craft took out first place.
“It took me 3 minutes 59 seconds.” Laura laughs as I gasp.
“The trails are really steep and Mum and Dad won’t let me ride tracks I don’t know. So lucky for me this was a track I know really well.”
Downhill riding is a very calculated risk though, one that is met with skill and a gutsy rider.
“I wasn’t scared because I knew what was on that track. I was alive with the thrill of it. You get to the bottom and you finally take a breath and go ‘Yes!! I survived!’”
Laura also competed in the Cross Country race before the Downhill Race, and took out 3rd place.
“It’s nothing like the Downhill. It was really hot and it’s a challenge, but I really enjoy the accomplishment of completing a Cross Country course.”
In each race there were no more than 6 girls.
“There’s heaps of boys competing - it’s not really a girl’s sport. But there’s a lot more girls coming into it now, which is really exciting. I want to prove it’s not just a boy’s sport.”
Laura believes the risks and challenges are important for girls, not just boys. In fact, she says, she’s even convinced her Mum to have a go.
“We go out and ride as a family now. We even got mum into it and we think she’s enjoying it.”
Next on the racing agenda is a chance to sit back and watch some other professionals.
“We’re going to Enduro World Series in Tasmania at Easter. I’m really looking forward to watching the riders there.”