Kiwi slopestyle rider Macfarlane off to USA
After 10 dislocated shoulders, most would ponder whether flinging themselves into the air on a bike is really worth it.
For Invercargill's Conor Macfarlane, he loves every bit of searching for more air and that perfect trick and has no thoughts of quietening down on the bike – even if it comes with some nasty injuries.
He's a self-confessed adrenaline junkie who gets his kicks out of pushing the limits. In the coming weeks he will head to the United States to take on some of the world's best in his field.
Macfarlane is a slopestyle mountainbiker which, in short, is people on mountainbikes trying to produce the biggest air and the best stunts possible.
It will be the 21-year-old Otago University student's second stint competing in the Claymore Challenge and then the Colorado slope style at the Colorado Free Ride Festival.
Both events are part of the Free Ride World Tour.
It didn't start all that well for Macfarlane last year at the Claymore Challenge when he yet again dislocated his shoulder.
However, he recovered well enough to compete in Colorado and pick up a 15th-place finish against some of the best slopestyle mountain-bikers in the world.
Macfarlane balks when you ask him how the training is getting on leading into his stint overseas – he doesn't like the word training.
"I don't really call it training. It's just going out and having fun on my bike and trying to learn new tricks," he said.
"A lot of the pros you see in articles, stuff they call training – I've never really seen it as training. I know what real training is from back in my [cross-country] days."
So how about the 10 dislocated shoulders?
"The more you do it the more you know how to handle it, boss people around and tell them what to do to get it back in," he said.
"I get surgery not long after I get back actually.
"It's a new sort of surgery so it should sort it [the dislocated shoulders] out."
Macfarlane is a member of the Southland Mountainbike Club which, along with the Invercargill Licensing Trust, has helped with his shot at taking part in the Free Ride World Tour events.
He also picked up a bonus earlier this year when he finished second in a high-quality field at the Teva Slopestyle event in Queenstown, banking $2000 for his efforts.
- © Fairfax NZ News