Journal: What Tom is Up To

Wheelworks Ambassador: Tom Cappleman

Hi! I'm Tom Cappleman, a Wellingtonian of 8 years who's stoked on bikes! My favourite place to ride in Welly is Matairangi/Mt Victoria; the trials are full of character, technical but fast, with line choice that encourages creative riding. Literally in the middle of the city, it's pretty easy to forget you're riding in the capital of New Zealand. If you're visiting, make sure you connect with a local rider to unlock how to make the most of these short punchy runs, I'd recommend finishing on a Hippy's/V/A before rolling down to Oriental Bay for a swim and a beer.

I look back and remember the lens I saw Wellington through when I arrived in town back in 2014. It had just been coined ‘the coolest little capital in the world’ and I bought into it. I’d spent the previous three years traveling the world, something about Wellington excited me. Wellington wasn’t perfect but it had a huge amount of potential. It had bars, cafes, street art and music that felt authentic. It had young people that were pushing and driving the culture forward. This is all what makes Wellington great, it’s also what makes Melbourne, Berlin, London, Budapest, Belgrade and cities all over the world great. When I arrived in Wellington I saw a place where I could have it all, I saw the hills, the ocean and the greenspace. A place where arts, culture and an outdoor lifestyle could co-exist with topography that can’t be replicated. The balance you can find in Wellington is unique and for me that’s cool.

6 months ago I made a big change and started a new role at Trails Wellington as Operations Manager. I’d spent the previous three years running WORD in Wellington and the three before that selling and fixing bikes at Capital Cycles. 
My new role at Trails Wellington lined up perfectly with becoming a New Zealand resident. I'm proud to call Wellington home and feel unbelievably grateful that I can stick around here for the foreseeable future. Trails Wellington exists to unify the mountain bike community, whilst advocating for and funding trail development in Wellington. My work at Trails Wellington feels meaningful. I’m meeting a lot of inspiring Wellingtonians and exploring a whole new side to the industry that surrounds bikes. The amount of volunteer work that the mountain bike community has put into developing trails and ecological restoration is astronomical, so many amazing individuals and groups doing incredible things for people and the environment. Trails Wellington works with these communities in partnership to support & accelerate development alongside them. I’m proud of what we have achieved so far; Pōhatu and Park Bench are the latest in a growing portfolio of projects. It's sooo cool to see the subsequent stoke in the community. 

We’ll continue this investment and hopefully help build a Wellington that’s better for all mountain bikers. We’re advocating for increased spend on trail maintenance and development for all users and want to see a commitment to embrace mountain biking as a driver for improved environmental, economic, and community well being. Trails Wellington has a vision of Wellington becoming the best bike capital in the world, I’m stoked to help make it happen.

I've been riding Wheelworks wheels for the best part of 4 years on an array of different bikes. The latest pair are Version 3 FLITE Carbon in mullet format, perfect for my little nuggetty Yeti Sb140, a big change after a long stint settled in 27.5 on an Sb165. For me what sets these wheels apart from the rest is the service that Wheelworks provides. As a rider that is chasing adventure rather than seconds I can appreciate the feel of the wheels, however it isn't as important as the peace of mind on a big mission or after I've pushed my luck a little too far. It's fair to say I can be a little rough on my equipment, it's not the size of the sends, it's more the backcountry inside lines or ploughing of blind terrain that isn't made for bikes. More regularly than I'd like, the devil possesses me and I make terrible decisions that are supported by the knowledge that my wheels are bombproof with a great warranty and spoke replacement policy. When things have inevitably not gone my way I'm always blown away with the willingness to fix my wheels, for free?!?!? If you're in the market for high-end wheels it feels like a no brainer. Buy local and you'll be likely back on your bike the same week after a bad decision if you manage to stay in one piece.

Catch you on the trails! 
Thomas Cappleman