The 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival, February 2014 - events for everyone...
From Road to BMX to Mountain and most things in between.
The 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival in February will have a full range of events to appeal to cyclists of all shapes, sizes and ages and all at the height of summer in New Zealand.
The National Mountain Bike Championships will headline the opening weekend with 2014 titles on the line. Cross-country is on Saturday, February 15 and the Downhill on Sunday.
BMX Rotorua will host a twilight meeting on the Saturday and road riders will get a chance to circumnavigate Lake Rotorua in the summer edition of Bike the Lake on Sunday.
The Festival launches on Friday, February 14 with Go by Bike in the morning and the Redwoods Coast in the evening. The Coast was a very popular event at the first Festival with a gold coin donation to enter. No pedaling is allowed. Riders start at the top of a steep section of tar seal just inside the Whakarewarewa Forest and coast as far as they can. This year the fastest speed recorded was a shade under 70 kilometres per hour. The costumes were colourful and riders and spectators enjoyed an entertaining evening bathed in summer sunshine, surrounded by magnificent, giant sequoia.
The second weekend of the Festival features three events that were also very successful in 2013.
The Skyline Sprint Warrior is a downhill mountain bike race on Mount Ngongotaha on Friday, February 21, with practise day on Thursday. This is the only gondola accessible trail in the North Island and riders in the first Warrior - including two times World Downhill Champion, Emmeline Ragot from France - loved the format and the course.
On Saturday the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro returns to the world-renowned mountain bike trails of the Whakarewarewa Forest. Enduro is a new and rapidly growing format round the world. With timed multi-stage racing, it is like car rallying on bikes. Entries to the 2W are already open and are selling fast.
Wrapping up the festival on Sunday February 23, the Inner City Criterium brings bike racing right into the heart of the central city, with action just an arm’s length from cafes and restaurants.
“It’s great having all the high-profile events as part of the festival,” says programme coordinator, Kim McVicker. “However, we’ve also got a whole bunch of other events during the week so everyone can get out and enjoy riding their bikes.”
It’s a long list.
“Yes, deep breath,” Kim continues, with a laugh. “XRace Rotorua, Family Fun Ride, Bike Polo, Frocks on Bike (and Boats), Bike Speedway, Tykes on Trikes (for the littlies), Ladies Mountain bike Shuttle night, OGO downhill, The Shweeb World Championships and MTB Adventure Quest - which is like orienteering on bikes and great for families.”
There’s also a fun event that has an unusual name and supports a very serious cause.
Yeah Boi Sick Race will be on Tuesday February 18. The race name is a favourite saying of one of New Zealand’s best-ever downhill mountain bikers, James Dodds, who died in 2012. All proceeds from the event go to a Memorial Fund set up in his name.
“The first Yeah Boi Sick, just before Christmas last year, was fantastic,” says event organiser, Jo Price. “We celebrated Dodzy in a way he would have approved - with a race and a lot of laughs.”
With the New Zealand downhill racing community and some of the top international riders in town for the National Championships, there’ll be a big turn out for Yeah Boi Sick Race 2.
The full Festival programme is on the website and there are daily updates on www.facebook.com/RotoruaBikeFestival
Top X Factor Stars to Shine at Rotorua’s GLO Festival
Two of New Zealand’s top X Factor stars, winner Jackie Thomas and runner up Whenua Patuwai will be helping visitors and locals in Rotorua celebrate the coming New Year.
The duo will perform as part of Party in the Park, a family-based New Year’s Eve celebration at Rotorua’s Village Green.
Jackie will perform an extensive set with a backing band in the second half of the show, including her #1 hit single, It’s Worth It. The 22 year-old singer captured the hearts of New Zealanders during the first season of X Factor, with her self-titled album reaching gold status soon after its release.
Patuwai will also perform some of the well-known hits that he took to the X Factor stage, including his debut single Something Special.
Rotorua District Council’s Major Events Coordinator, Kylie Lang, says she is thrilled to have these two top acts perform as part of the festival.
“After having Titanium last year, we wanted to build on this in 2013. We think that both Jackie and Whenua are a great fit with GLO and we are excited to have such high profile stars in Rotorua celebrating the event.
“Both artists will be joined by a number of talented performers including Whakatane’s Cameron Rota, who also auditioned for X Factor and was placed in a new boy-band group, ‘TYP: The Young Project’. The group made it to the Top 14 of the competition.
“The Party in the Park event will start at 6pm and finish with an earlier fireworks display at 9pm, allowing children and their families to be a part of the New Year’s festivities. This will be followed up with an exciting fireworks display at midnight.”
Ms Lang says the main point of difference with Rotorua’s GLO Festival is that the New Year celebrations are held over several days, not just on New Years Eve.
“Rotorua is a vibrant family-friendly destination, so there are a number of different events and opportunities to celebrate the festive season.”
Other GLO events include the First Big Brunch on New Year’s Day, where families are invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the free live music at the Village Green together. This is followed by the final event, the Summer Fiesta at the Rotorua Night Market on January 2.
“Rotorua is becoming nationally-renowned for its night market, and its special event themed markets are particularly popular. The Summer Fiesta will continue that trend.”
GLO Festival is organised by Events and Venues Community and Major Events Group. Their role is to attract, deliver and support top-quality events which can be experienced by locals and visitors alike.
Rotorua GLO Festival, in association with the Rotorua Daily Post, is proudly supported by the Rotorua District Council, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, the Radio Network, The Southern Trust and First Sovereign. Full details of the festival events can be found at www.rotoruaglofestival.co.nz
The 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival, February 2014 - 6 months to go...
With Spring just around the corner, there are just six months to go till the 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival. The first festival in February was a big success, with well-attended events and 10 days of superb, Summer weather.
The festival will be bigger, better and brighter and key events are already signed up for 2014.
On the first weekend, New Zealand's elite cross-country and downhill racers will compete for 2013 titles at the Mountain Bike National Championships, in Rotorua's world-renowned trail network in the Whakarewarewa Forest. Cross country will be on Saturday February 15. It's a Commonwealth Games year so this will be of extra significance.
Then, on Sunday February 16, the downhillers will be on show on the dramatic and challenging Taniwha course. Mountain Bike NZ has confirmed that the Nationals will be based in Rotorua till 2016, as part of the festival.
The second weekend will feature two of the big success stories of the first festival.
The Sprint Warrior will return to Skyline Skyrides on the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha on Friday February 21. This attracted some big names in 2013, including international downhill racers, like Emmeline Ragot and Loic Bruni from France, and local stars, Sam Blenkinsop and Wyn Masters.
The next day, the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro will be raced in the Whakarewarewa Forest. This multi-stage event is widely considered the future of mountain bike racing with the first Enduro World Series in Europe and the USA attracting big fields.
In between these headliners will be a full array of cycling events - from full on racing to family fun rides. And a little bit of eccentricity.
Launching the festival on the evening of Friday February 14, will be the second running of The Redwoods Coast. No pedaling, just momentum and who rolls furthest, wins. The location is on the tarsealed Nursery Hill road at the northern trailhead of the mountain bike network. This all may sound straightforward, but the fastest time recorded at this years Coast was just under 70kph.
"One of the best results of the first festival was almost universally positive feedback about individual events," say Martin Croft from Rotorua Events & Venues. "Even so, all the organisers are fine-tuning and improving their events."
For a second year the Festival will be supported by the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and the Rotorua District Council.
Rotorua hosts thousands of cycling visitors every year from all round New Zealand and overseas. The sport is an increasingly significant part of the city's health - economically and physically.
Successful events like the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships, the 2010 Singlespeed Mountain Bike Worlds and, now, the festival have all reinforced Rotorua's reputation as a world class cycling destination.
With Air New Zealand direct flights to and from Sydney the city also gets lots of Australians coming over for a long weekend to ride.
There were big groups from Australia in Rotorua for the first Festival and some are already booked to return next year.
For regular updates on the 2nd Rotorua Bike Festival like the facebook page: www.facebook.com/RotoruaBikeFestival