Most of us have given rock climbing a go at some stage, usually on a school trip or at a local indoor wall. It’s an easy and fun thing to do with a few friends and probably for most of us this will be our only experience of rock climbing. There is of course other types of climbing. There is bouldering, top roping, lead climbing, and free soloing. The latter apparently comes with a high likelihood of death should you fall since there are no ropes or safety measures … hmm – maybe not for me. Anyway whether you just want to have some fun on one of the indoor walls, or start climbing outdoors, here are some library resources to help build up some skills and find places to climb in Wellington.
Rock Climbing: A Practical Guide to Essential Skills, by Malcolm Creasey
Classic Rock Climbing in New Zealand, by Mark Sedon
Wellington Rock, by Kristen Foley
And some external sites;
The thing I really like about alternative sports is that when any sport starts to become a bit too mainstream someone dreams up something new. When adrenalin junkies got bored with bungy jumping and skydiving they came up with base jumping, which stepped things up to a whole new level.
Free-running is an especially interesting development because although it’s a physical activity it is not considered a sport. Free-running developed out of Parkour which originated in France in the 1990s. The idea of Parkour is the aim of moving from one point to another as effeciently and quickly as possible with the abilities of the human body. Both are considered to be more of a physical or performance art. Where the two movements differ is that Parkour is all about efficiency of movement whereas free-running is about absolute freedom and expression of movement.
The development of free-running is a move towards the mainstream – there is even a world championship run by Urban Freeflow next month in London. This is in conflict with the principles of the art so it will be interesting how it handles this development like many alternative sports before it. Some groups are performing in movies like Bond and The Bourne Ultimatum. There was even a challenge on Top Gear where free-runners raced a car to the centre of a city. Anyway there is no point talking about an activity that is all about movement, so here is a clip from Wellington – where free-running has quite a following (the back of the central library is popular) – after the jump, and for much, much more, check out this page.
Kiwis are more creative than most when it comes to ways to have fun outdoors. We are especially well known for thrill-seeking activities such as bungy jumping or the Fly-by-Wire. More recently various multi-sport events are growing in New Zealand. Well-established events such as Triathlon and Duathlon are being transformed by taking the format but completely changing the nature of the diciplines. One example of this is Triplecross, which involves a trail run, mountain bike, and moto x leg instead of the traditional run, cycle, and swim format.
The great thing about multi-sports is that there are endless options and variations to suit most interests. Like the idea of triathlon but you’re not keen on swimming? Try duathlon, or replace it with a kayak leg. Or maybe you like both but don’t want to run or cycle on the streets; no problem, just go for a trail running and mountain biking version like Xterra.
The New Zealand Endurance Sport website has events and clubs for adventure racing, cycling, mountain biking, multisport, orienteering, running, and triathlon. So have a look and give something a go - in the meantime here are some library resources to help get you started. These are all from the adult collection so the magazines have a 50c charge.
Everyone who enjoys so called ‘alternative’ sports should be grateful to skaters like Tony Hawk. He began the process of turning what people previously viewed as a pass-time hobby into fully professional sports with his amazing skills. The first Summer X-Games was in 1995 and since then has exploded in popularity and diversity with Moto X becoming a feature and a Winter X-Games first taking place in 1997. The X-Games have been a catalyst for a change of perception for alternative sports so now you should be able to get out on your board without old folks shaking sticks at you.
We certainly think so which is why we have plenty of resources you can make use of at the library.
Thrasher: The Radical Skateboard Book - YA 796.21
Skateboarding is Not a Crime: 50 Years of Street Culture - YA 796.22
Skateboarding: New Levels, Tips and Tricks for Serious Riders - YA 796.21
Wellington is one of the best places for mountain biking in the country. I started last November after getting sick of dodging cars on the road; a few months earlier my brother-in-law failed to avoid an 18-wheel truck and was lucky to survive it. So I bought a friend’s old bike and went out to Makara Peak and instantly caught the mtb bug. I’ve since upgraded to a full suspension bike and ridden mtb parks all over the North Island. Whether you’re tempted to give it a go or are already a diehard mtbiker here are some resources you can find at the library. (You could also check out the NZ Mountain Biking site and Vorb.)
There are several resources for you to take advantage of at the library. You can find books and magazines on maintenance, improving your riding, and where to ride. The best guide for where to ride in New Zealand is the Kennett Brothers. It outlines all the best riding in Wellington and they have played a huge role in the development of mtb in Wellington so they know what they are talking about. You can find Spoke, New Zealand Mountain Biker, and Australian Mountain Biking Magazines. On DVD there is Zinn and the art of mountain bike maintenance and Klunkerz: A film about mountain bikes. These are both in the adult documentary section so cost $4 and the magazines 50c each to borrow.
There is a cycling and mtb map that can be found at the library information desk. The map is a guide of places to ride in Wellington city that range from beginners’ and family rides to the most advanced single track in town. The best thing about it is that it shows some of the myriad of ridable tracks that are probably just outside your door. Also available at the library is a brochure on the free tours of Makara Peak Mtb park. This is aimed at beginners, families and those new to town, but is open to everyone.
So maybe your 2007 rugby demons are beginning to be exorcised? With recent results everyone should be feeling better about our national game. The Super 14 title is back in New Zealand and the U-20s have won the World Cup. The NZ Maori team are undefeated in the Pacific Nations Cup so far and the All Blacks have won three in a row and looked better each game. Even if the prospect of the Tri-Nations is a bit daunting it still feels good to thrash two different English teams in the same weekend.
Keep up with all our teams and world rugby in general through the All Blacks website.