Successful first Festival 2013...
Media release: February 28
The 1st Rotorua Bike Festival 2013 – a big success...
Glorious weather and thousands of happy bikers of all sorts.
The 1st Rotorua Bike Festival is over and planning is underway for a bigger, brighter event in 2014.
The 10 day festival, from February 8-17, featured a full range of biking activity, opening with Bike Polo and the Shweeb World Championships and closing with the drama and excitement of downhill racing at the New Zealand Mountain Bike National Championships and a brand new event, the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro.
"it wasn't about one particular style of cycling," says Martin Croft from Rotorua Events & Venues. "It was about almost all styles - from road rides, to fun rides for the kids, quirky events like The Redwoods Coast, and Bicycle Speedway to really serious competition at BMX Rotorua and the Mountain Bike National Championships.
We said it'd be a celebration of cycling - and it was."
The spirit of the week was summed up when some of the worlds best downhill racers turned up at BMX Rotorua one evening as work progressed on the venue for the Rotovegas Jumps Jam on the final weekend.
"We thought they were here to ride it," says Chris Newson from BMX Rotorua. "Instead they picked up shovels and helped us groom the jumps."
Among the group were top Kiwi pros, Sam Blenkinsop and Wyn Masters.
"The next night Sam and Wyn turned up and made the A final of the Bicycle Speedway," continues Newson, with a laugh. "Good guys."
Blenkinsop and Masters also lined up for the Skyline Sprint Warrior on the Friday of the festival. They were joined by Downhill World Champions, Emmeline Ragot and Loic Bruni of France.
"They were all racing at the National Downhill Champs in the weekend," says Sprint Warrior organiser, Tak Mutu. "They just entered our race for a bit of fun."
The final weekend was packed with events - the More FM Bike Expo, Skyline Sprint Warrior, Mountain Bike National Championships cross country and downhill, a big meet at BMX Rotorua followed by the Rotovegas Jumps Jam and the 2W Gravity Enduro.
"There were around 1500 entrants on the last weekend, alone," says Martin Croft. "Over the week we estimate around 3000 people participated in the 24 festival events."
It doesn't stop there.
"Event organisers and the festival team were all discussing ways to fine-tune things in 2014," Croft continues. "Sometimes before their event even finished."
There was good news for the Festival before it started.
Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and the Rotorua District Council backed the first Festival and will continue to do so in 2014.
"This was great to hear and allows the team to really focus on next year, straight after the success of year one," adds Croft. "We can keep the momentum going and the potential for the festival really is unlimited."