Over the next few weeks we'll be posting interviews with all of our staff, starting with Joel Anderson. Joel is the face of Bike Otago - he's both the head mechanic and the shop manager, and is usually the first person you'll see when you come into the shop.
You've got a pretty big following in Dunedin - how long have you been a bike mechanic?
I've been working as a bike mechanic since 2010, first working for the original Bike Otago under Greg Leov's sturdy moustache - when Greg retired and Kashi took over I became the shop manager too.
What do you enjoy about it?
Working in an industry that I have a passion for, primarily. Every job is different and I like getting to know our customers, some of whom have become good friends and riding buddies. I like Bike Otago's independence - we can do things our own way.
You say it's an industry you've got passion for, so what got you into riding?
I've always ridden bikes since I was a kid, but when I was about fourteen one of my mates from highschool got me into mountain biking.
So you've been riding a long time and your friends know you as being pretty accident-prone - what's the worst crash you've had?
Haha, on road or off road? On road, riding to school I slipped on ice, knocked out three teeth and broke two bones in my hand. That wasn't much fun. For off-road, I went over the bars on The OC track and ragdolled all the way down - I invented a move called 'the scorpion' because my legs went backwards over my head.
What are you riding at the moment?
I've got a Yeti SB66 set up with an RC4 coil shock and Fox 36's for general trail use. The 66 is awesome downhill and Signal Hill is my favourite local riding area. I've also got one of the prototype Switchback carbon cross bikes, which also doubles as a commuter.
And what's your next bike going to be?
I'm hoping for an SB5C as a birthday present from the boss!
Good luck! Other than riding, what else do you do for fun?
Eat! Tinker with electronics... and go hunting.