Friday, 5 October 2018

Rotorua Bike Festival

Matt Scoles National Downhill  Credit: Alan Ofsoski
Redwoods Coast Credit: Alan Ofsoski
The 1st Rotorua Bike Festival occurred on 8th – 17th February 2013. During the 10 day festival, over 3000 people participated in the 24 festival events. The festival was to be “a celebration of all things cycling, a mix of fun and frivolity – and serious competition”.
Events included Bike polo, Bicycle
Sam Gaze . Credit: Alan Ofsoski - Fotoengine
 Speedway, BMX championship, the Redwoods Coast and the Skyline Sprint Warrior. The first weekend hosted the Bike NZ and MTBNZ Mountain Bike National championships. The final weekend featured the 2W Gravity Enduro.














The 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival ran from 14th-23rd February 2014. Events on the opening weekend included the addition of Bike the Lake, with the option of doing one or two laps around the lake. The Sprint Warrior, downhill mountain biking at Skyline Skyrides, proved popular with riders and spectators alike, as did the Inner City criterium,
Credit: Mike Vincent
racing in downtown Rotorua.  With over 30 events, and riders ranging in age from 2 – 72, the Bike Festival included the general community, getting people out on their bikes.












The 3rd Rotorua Bike Festival, kicked off on the 13 February 2015 with the encouragement to Go-by-Bike to work or school, and then in the evening the opportunity to Ride the Runway at Rotorua Airport! Over 850 people took advantage of the chance to bike on the Rotorua Airport runway, which was followed by time trial/sprint races. Bike the Lake was back, along with BMX championships, National MB championships, the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro and the Redwood Coast among others. A gentler Valentine’s Day twilight ride also featured. This year the Sprint Warrior was missing as preparations were under way for Cranxworks the next month


February 12th, 2016 saw the return of the 4th Bike Festival. Once again there were many favourites from previous festivals such as Bike the Lake, the Runway project (1300 people participated), Tykes on Bikes and Frocks on bikes, along with the usual serious events. Some new events were included such as the Mountain Biker’s Ball, Bike Photo workshops, the Big Bike Film Night  and the Dipper Dash (a girls only fun event). The festival  numbers had doubled since the 1st festival with approximately 6,000 participants.








Conor Mahuika Big Air



The 5th Rotorua Bike Festival, 10th-19th February 2017 once again “included events for all types of bikes and biking enthusiasts”. And the participant figures of 6,500 shows how many of those enthusiasts there are! This year the Runway Project was moved to late afternoon, as a twilight event and included add-ons such as Bike Sheep Dog Trails, Elite Eliminator Race, Open Speed Sprint and a Kids Obstacle race, all accompanied by live music, food, DJs and lots of fun. Instead of the Bike the Lake, there was a Tour of the Valleys road race. Frocks on Bikes were back along with the Big Bike Film night. A Frock n Roll Fashion Show, Ride and Reflect meditative events and an outdoor overnight adventure, Stars, Spokes and Tent Poles, all added to the diversity of the bike festival.





 This year, 2018, the 6th Rotorua Bike Festival is back, but moving to October, running from Friday 19th October to Sunday 28th October. The festival will kick off with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Village Green. The homepage of the Rotorua Bike Festival invites all to “Join us to celebrate the start of Summer with 10 days of festivities, wheels and fun in NZ's very own year-round biking mecca. Once again, there are old favourites and new additions. And running throughout the festival is the free Pedal Powered Scavenger Hunt. The programme of 34 events with dates, venues, descriptions and any costs are clearly laid out. There’s something for everyone including lots of spectator opportunities too. Roll on October!

With thanks to the Rotorua Bike Festival website for the above info and images.

This blog post was written by Trish.






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