DVD Review: Trail Notes

The not-so-minor details


Trail Notes






Relaxed, cohesive story. Real people that we can actually relate to.


Limited trail coverage. A little sleepy if you're accustomed to the mad action of most mountain bike DVDs.

Forget ultra-slow motion and macro magnification. In an industry obsessed with sluggish, 1080p frame-by-frame shots, Trail Notes ventures boldly where no film has gone since the 90s – back to basics. [private]

Shot predominantly in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest, Trail Notes slips free of the current trends of mountain bike film-making to tell the stories of individuals who have had a major influence on the direction of riding in New Zealand, like Gary Sullivan and Vanessa Quinn.

Trail Notes also takes a look at the evolution of trail networks in Whakarewarewa, and in particular the constant turnover of singletrack, necessary to keep the area viable as a commercial forest. Rather than bemoaning the death of favourite loops, the film’s personalities regard the turnover as an opportunity to cultivate and improve their local Mecca and keep it new.

Despite the refreshingly normal pace of the film, we couldn’t help feeling that in some spots it was a bit sleepy; Trail Notes is a movie best enjoyed on a lazy Sunday with a few cool ales.

Available on iTunes and bike shops via Garage Entertainment. [/private]

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