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Adam Robertson, of Behind Bars Bike Tours, reckons many Kiwis have lost the knack to muster up good old-fashioned, un-plugged fun and late last year he and a mate launched a business to bring it back.
The initial idea, shared with co-owner Blake McPhee, was to market the tours to enduro-type international motocross riders.
"New Zealand offers some of the best riding in the world.
"Covid put a pretty quick stop to that, but it has actually turned out for the better."
What quickly became apparent was the desire for Kiwis to get out into the hills and enjoy a laid-back, fun weekend with good mates.
"With [Covid-19 Alert] Level 2 crowd limits at 100 the normal motocross competitions were cancelled. The tours have answered a need for people who still want to get out and go riding."
Exclusive access to private farmland was the key catalyst for the duo to take the plunge and turn their passion into a business.
"I grew up in Waitahuna
and Lawrence. A couple of
my good mates are farming
there and spent a good chunk
of lockdown making tracks
on their properties."
They have also got access to farmland in the Catlins and Central Otago.
"What we have found is that farmers are more than happy to share their properties with other people so long as there’s someone there they know and trust to keep things right."
Every weekend is pretty well booked up, taking groups of 10 or fewer on one or two-day motocross adventures.
"They can choose to stay in a hut out in the middle of nowhere with no power or they can go higher-end and stay at a lodge.
"If they choose the hut, all the food is served up by me and my trusty frypan," Mr
While a passion for motocross brings his clients together, it has become about much more than just motocross.
"It’s friendships and quality time.
"It's about getting away from devices and phones and stripping it right back to what makes people tick. The old days are now, if we choose to still embrace it," he said.
While adult riding tours had been their main focus, the duo offered a motocross camp in Lawrence for children aged 10 to 14 in the coming school holidays.
"It’s not going to just be about motocross. There will be eeling and fishing and just good fun that we all probably took for granted when we were kids.
"The Lawrence Gymkhana Club has built a multi-function venue with toilets and showers at the rodeo grounds, and with everything so close, it’s a perfect spot for the camp to be run from."
While there's no plans to give up his day job in tractor sales any time soon, Mr Robertson said he feels "super lucky" to be pursuing his passion and showcasing just how unique New Zealand’s own backyard is.
"Hopefully one day it might be a full-time job. That would be amazing," he said.