October 19-28, 2018

Almost here...

There’s under a week to go till launch day. 
The forecast is fine and the Rotorua Bike Festival is ready to roll with 10 days of events that celebrate all things on two wheels.
The Festival opens on Friday February 13 with two events for everyone.
Sport Bay of Plenty’s invitation to Go by Bike to school, work or play is in the morning. And there is a unique opportunity to ride the Rotorua Airport in the evening. Open to all-comers this will be followed by the spectacular Flying Kilo straight-line time trial for licensed riders. This will be live-streamed on the Festival website, thanks to local companies, Fever Pitch Visuals and bluedog media.
“Last year we had a total of over 4000 entries across the 30 events,” said Festival event coordinator, Martin Croft “Some events haven’t returned, but other great new ones will bring in similar numbers, if not more.”
Bike the Lake is one event that is returning.
In the second weekend, it is a chance to circumnavigate Lake Rotorua. Entries are already the same as 2014 and will exceed 600 by race day on Sunday February 22. Another event, the 2W Gravity Enduro, is almost sold out. Also running in the second weekend, it is a preview of the first round of the Enduro World Series in March and will feature current world champion, Tracy Moseley from the UK.
“That’s the great thing about our Festival, it’s all about community and participation…it’s really inclusive,” said David Crowley, from the Rotorua Bike Festival Charitable Trust. “You can rub shoulders with world class superstars or go for a fun ride with the family…sometimes both at the same time. It’s all about getting everyone on bikes.” 
One of those superstars is Julian Dean, New Zealand’s most celebrated road rider. He still travels in his work as coach and rider mentor for Australian Pro Tour team, Orica/GreenEdge, but can spend more time at home in Rotorua now he’s retired from competition.
All Festival events are free to spectate at and many are free or gold coin only to enter.

Bike
 Top Kiwi, Downhiller, Matt Walker, pins it at Bike Speedway. (Alick Saunders).
The National Mountain Bike Championships are in the first weekend.
They will feature dramatic action in the cross-country on the world-renowned Whakarewarewa Forest trails on Saturday followed by the downhill on a brand-new course at Skyline Rotorua on Sunday. This will be a dress rehearsal for Crankworx Rotorua in late March. “Over the first two festivals a lot of top riders hung out in town after the Nationals and raced in things like Bike Speedway and the Redwoods Coast,” said Croft. “This year there are also brand-new events like Park Ride, up and down the central city car park, and the 16” Dual Slalom World Champs at the new Dodzy Skills Park. All fun and very entertaining.”
The Festival is of real benefit to the local economy following in the tyre treads of other successful mountain bike events in the past.
“It really started with the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials in 2006,” said Croft. 
This continued with the more eccentric and very colourful Singlespeed World Championships in late 2010. “There were 1000 entries including over 400 international riders from 29 countries and an estimated economic benefit of more than 2 million dollars,” Croft added.These events also drew worldwide media attention and the Festival has followed that trend. “The interest is very high,” Croft continued. “Last week the Festival Facebook page exceeded 10,000 likes with over 2600 in Australia - and one in Turkey. We’re not sure if it’s the first biking page in New Zealand to reach the 10K milestone, but there can’t be many.”
The Festival page will have regular updates, photos and video. 
“Our fantastic team are polishing their lens’ and charging their batteries,” added Croft. “It’s 10 long hot days and they will be knackered by the last Sunday. They’ll need a soothing beverage at the end of festival party at the Pig and Whistle…but they all love it, really.”
Pink Bike will have exclusive video coverage of the 10 days, thanks to EIVO media.