He likes Kilmeaden Cheddar and almond slices and is fast on a bike…it’s Greg Callaghan!
Greg Callaghan. Photo: Dermott Sweeney
Name? Greg Callaghan.
Age? 21 years young.
Favourite cheese? Kilmeaden Cheddar.
Tell me a joke? The Irish economy.
What’s your secret talent? I can ride a bike with only one eye, although I don’t really have a choice in that as only one works. Sure the other one is only a spare anyway.
Tea or coffee? Coffee in the mornings and flat out on the tea for the rest of the day.
Ah, sunshine, I remember that! Photo: Gee Milner
When was the last time you scared yourself? I had a pretty wild moment recently on the road bike travelling at a fair old click, overshot a fast corner and had to initiate the “steer with the rear” technique to slide to safety. Was nearly the end of me.
I arrived in Auckland Friday for a 10 hour lay-over before heading to Queenstown. I took that opportunity to work on my “tan” and ended up falling asleep in the sun. With my Canadian winter skin I got real burnt, perfect way to start the trip(: when I arrived in Queenstown airport I was greeted by my mum, sister and aunt, who were really happy to see me and it was nice to catch up with my family.
I took my bike to local shop, Vertigo Bikes and got it built up, it was the first time seeing the Sight fully built to spec with all the team parts, it looks totally rip-able. The next day I spent coaching a women’s clinic up on the SkyLine gondola for Vertigo Bikes the ladies loved it and it was a good way to break in the new rig. Sunday I rode a wicked new trail called Gold Digger built by Tom Hay who’s known for his amazing trails, followed by a quick canyon adventure(cliff jumps, natural rock watersides and waterfall jumps) Monday I rode up coronet peak to a trail called Rude rock also built by Tom Hay, one of the funnest days so far, met up with Hopkins and a wicked shredder chick called Arnold, Kelly McGarry hurt his neck at farm jam so he shuttled us up a few times and we rode that trail well into the afternoon, so much fun! then we went out to a place called Little Thailand-a cliff jumping spot, did a 15 metre jump into the freezing waters of lake Wakatipu, nice way to cool off after getting even more sunburnt, so far the trip has been absolutely amazing and there’s definitely a tone more of adventures to be had.
Sorry for the quiet patch on the blog everyone, I’ve been busy with exams, training and riding so there hasn’t been much free time. Training has stepped up again for me, this is kind of like the final push until the start of the season and it certainly isn’t easy!
I have been out the past three weekends getting used to my new Norco Aurum and it just keeps getting better and better! The local uplifts have been getting cancelled due to snow and ice so Ruairidh and I packed up the trusty Transit, put on our warm gear and headed down to Hamsterley for some quick uplifts. The service is great down there, not to mention the tracks! They are only about 2 minutes long but they are certainly fast, flowing and pretty testing in some areas which was good to properly test out the new bike. Craig Hunter, the man behind all the succes of Hamsterley is a great guy and I’m sure I’m not the only rider out there who is so greatful for all his hard work on the trails and putting together a great uplift service, thanks very much Craig!
The sun decided to make a venture out from the behind the clouds last weekend so once again Ruairidh and I headed out on the DH bikes and aimed for Innerleithen this time. Unfortunately we did have to do a lot of pushing up but once you get going riding is addictive so it was no problem at all, just a healthy workout! Every time I go to Inners I like to go and find some of the proper original tracks from back in the 90′s when I was just a little baby, those tracks are always the best, I never seem to get bored of them!
I put together a little video from the riding with some action on the pitbike at the beginning! Don’t forget to turn up the quality on the video if you have a slow internet connection like me!
First race of 2013 is this weekend so expect to see a Race Report on the site next week some time and possibly a video!
Last weekend I ended up driving to the Norco Head quarters in Vancouver, to pick up the bikes for my upcoming trip to NewZealand. I was super excited to meet everyone, and see the whole operation at Norco. It was really nice to get such a warm welcome, Jonathan (the Team Manager) gave me the massive tour of the HQ and introduced me to all the big dawgs.
We then moved on to the warehouse where my Aurum was waiting. I got to swing my leg over it and ride it around in my cowboy boots, feels good so far. I also had a product knowledge session on the Aurum. What a neat bike; they really thought of everything! Hopefully I can get out on it for real before heading to NZ, I’m going to have to ride it down the ski hill or something because I live in Revelstoke and it is a bit snowy right now.
Also got to see my Sight, it’s going to be an amazing training/adventuring tool. It’s matte black so it looks pretty swanky too.
After all the bike oggling we went upstairs to the in-house photography studio where we did a super-fun photo shoot, I was on a sweet old BMX to start then they put me on the Aurum, after a healthy amount of goofing off in front of the cameras, it was time for me to cram my bikes into my truck and say farewell.
Took the new steed out today and absolutely loved it! I didn’t realize it but that was the first time I had ridden a DH bike since I snapped by Collar Bone way back in August!! It was certainly worth the wait though. I only headed down to my local tracks for a few hours with my best riding pal Ruairidh McRitchie for some nice wet and snowy runs.
It took a while to get used to actually being on a Downhill bike and with it being in snowy conditions it wasn’t ideal but once I got going it was addictive; the bike just seemed to work with me. Not to sound like I’m plugging too much but the first thing I noticed was how smooth the ride was, the bike stuck to the ground extremely well! Once I get the bike on some predictable ground and on to a more testing track then I’ll be able to try out some adjustments and see which works best for me but until then I’m really happy with everything!
Our base for the day.
The Norco Aurum after a few runs.
I’m feeling good on this bike and I’m really keen to get it on some proper tracks and do some testing on it.
I’m super excited to be riding on a new team this year, Dirt Norco is a well established team with great riders and Im sure I will learn a lot of good things.
During the winter I live in Revelstoke BC Canada and there’s 10 meters of snow in the winter so my training is taken off the bike and into the gym and onto my skis as much as I can. The snows been flying in Revelstoke, more than usual for December. bought myself a wicked touring set up and I’ve cut my work down to 40hours a week so I can have three days of skiing per week. The back country has been fairly dangerous with avalanche conditions lately so Ive been going to Revelstoke Mtn Resort to get my skiing in, which also has some great slack country access off the sub-peak, great exercise.
I work for an Industrial electrical company and at the moment we’re sub-contracted out to the local sawmill, Downie Timber, we do all the major projects in the mill. during the work week I get a good routine of going to the gym and yoga at Balu yoga and massage who kindly sponsored me for the winter months. I’ve also been going to Pilates and physiotherapy at Red Cedar who also kindly sponsored me while I train in Revelstoke. the physio has helped me tremendously for my reoccurring knee injury, and I’m felling really good about the months of training ahead of me.
DIRT NORCO RACE TEAM ANNOUNCES DIVERSIFIED 2013 ROSTER
VANCOUVER, B.C., January 7, 2013 – Norco Bicycles partnered with Ben Reid and Dan Stanbridge of the Dirt Norco Race Team in 2010 and for 2013 the team is expanding to include three additional riders. Casey Brown, George Gannicott and Greg Callaghan will join existing team members Ben Reid and Dan Stanbridge to complete the newly diversified team.
Looking forward to the coming year’s racing, Ben Reid states, “I think 2013 is going to be the most exciting year yet for team Dirt Norco. It has always been our goal to use the team as a platform to help out new talent and we are pleased to announce our new teammates joining Dan Stanbridge and me for 2013. All of these riders have impressed us by their skills and achievements on different occasions during the 2012 season and we are delighted to bring them on board.”
Casey Brown is the first woman to join the Dirt Norco Race Team after a fantastic 2012 season where she won the Canadian National Championships, took 4th place at the Hafjell, Norway World Cup and finished 7th at the 2013 World Championships. Casey exclaims, “I am super stoked to be on a new team this year! Dirt Norco is well established and has awesome riders who I’m sure I’ll learn a ton of good things from. Right now I’m working hard and getting prepared for the next few months of training. I have some big plans for 2013 and am really excited to be with Norco!”
George Gannicott also joins the Dirt Norco Race team in his final year as a Junior. George comments, “I am really excited about joining Dirt Norco for 2013! It is a great opportunity to be part of the team and be with experienced riders like Ben and Dan. I’m keen to prove myself in 2013 and signing with the team will help me loads!”
In a shift of direction, the Dirt Norco Race Team has signed its first Enduro rider to the roster in the form of Greg Callaghan. Greg will represent the team on the new Enduro World Series in Europe and North America. Greg states, “Having looked up to Ben as the top Irish rider since I started mountain biking, it’s awesome to now be on the same team as him and super cool to see him passing on the love to another Irish rider by bringing me on board. I’m really looking forward to racing on the Norco bikes and flying the Dirt Norco flag next season.”
The addition of these three new riders allows the Dirt Norco Race Team to be better represented on the global race scene and diversifies the team across numerous categories. Norco’s PR Marketing Manager Pete Stace-Smith comments, “We are very excited about the additional riders on the Dirt Norco Race Team. The additional feedback on the Aurum platform will help continued development of our DH program and the addition of Greg will help establish Norco’s presence on the Enduro World Series and development of our all mountain platform. Best of luck to the whole team in 2013!”
With the Xmas and new year holiday this week and some very wet weather in Wales, me and my girlfriend went to Mexico to catch some sun this holiday. We had a great time snorkeling with the locals…. i.e. the turtles and dolphins and some pretty sketchy looking creatures like a sting ray. It was amazing, you put your head under the water and it was like watching ’Finding Nemo’ in real life. I was feeling quite chilled out about the whole thing until mid week when we went sailing in a catamaran along the coast….. One of the Mexican guys who had a fishing rod out the back of the boat got a bite, he started to real in in a big fish. It was pretty heavy so took ages to pull towards the boat. However all of a sudden as we expected the fish to come flapping towards us, the line went slack and a deep red blood stain floated to the surface shortly followed by a the head of a massive fish that had been bitten clean in half by a shark.
I was a little less adventurous after that…
All in all a great time and some much needed rest.
Touching down at Manchester airport boxing day morning after an Xmas of 30 degrees plus was a bit of a shock. We were greeted with horizontal driving rain and ice cold wind as we exited the plane (in board shorts and flip-flops…. not a wise move). Nevertheless I had missed my bikes and was keen to get out in the hills. A group of us went riding downhill in the mud at some local tracks the next day and had a great time. The local tracks were like an ice rink but riding really well. I actually love riding in the wet and sliding all over the place…. It is just the bits in-between that I don’t like, such as getting changed by the side of the road in a storm, or rushing to the local electrical store to buy a new filter for the washing machine because all the mud annihilated the old one and I have no cloths left…… that sort of thing….
There was a great group of local young guns out riding which made all the difference and we had a top day on the bikes. Now I can’t end without saying a big thanks to @jeffparfitt66, the dad of Joe, an up and coming young lad who lives locally, Jeff spent the whole day as he does on many a weekend, shuttling the the whole group of us to the top of the hill. Legend.
Apologies for the rubbish photos…. in a battle between the weather and my iPhone, the weather defiantly won…!
All in all a good Xmas with lots of people off work and school to ride with. Just off to clean the mountain of muddy kit I have accumulated in the yard……
With the introduction of Norco’s athlete Blog, I would love to make my first post from this weekend something epic…… Heli drop on a bike perhaps…… cliff diving off the cost of south wales…. you know, your average day in the life of an extreme sports athlete…….
However if the truth be told, I spent most of this weekend in bed with MAN flu (note I write MAN in capitals to make it sound more legit!). I did make it out from between the sheets to brave the frantic bustle of Cardiff in the weeks leading up to Christmas for a spot of Xmas shopping. And to be fair I managed to tick off a good 50% of my Xmas shopping duties but eventually the hustling bustling Christmas cheer proved to much for me and I retired back to the house to rest up so I can get rid of this flipping cold (MAN flu in case you were wondering!).
As I write this, I realise I am being a bit pessimistic (probably just the MAN flu talking) because I also jumped on the train to the bright lights of London this week to see Nitro Circus. So cool you should check the show out if they perform near you.
Dirt Norco team rider Ben Reid punishes one of the of the best downhill tracks in France at the small resort of Oz-En-Oisans. A feature article from this trip will pop up soon in an issue of Dirt Magazine (Issue #131) but until you see a copy in the flesh sit back and watch this cracking edit form Gee Milner.