February 10-19, 2017

Two months to go!

The 2016 Rotorua Bike Festival poster image - thanks to Graeme Murray
(for the 4th year). Camera Assistant: James Alexander.

2 months (and a bit) to go, 10 days, 10,000 wheels, Summer sun, serious fun...


• Six New Events • Favourite Events Back 
The programme is finalised with six brand new events and successful favourites from past festivals all on the menu.
The 2015 Festival attracted around 5000 entrants over 10 days, under glorious Summer skies.
The team is anticipating similar numbers in 2016 for the 4th annual Rotorua Bike Festival.

Those new events?
• The MTBiker’s Ball – Bow Ties and Bike Shorts – will be a chance for riders to party till midnight in one of Rotorua’s iconic buildings, The Blue Baths. The event is a fund-raiser for the James Dodds Memorial Fund.
Pioneering downhiller, skills coach, trails and bike builder, Dodzy died in 2012. The Fund has raised substantial sums since then to build and maintain the Dodzy Skills Park on the northern edge of the Whakarewarewa trail network.

Dodzy would’ve loved another one of the new events.
• The Triple D – Descend Downhill Dash is a short course thrash down the Old Exit Trail, a local favourite. This will include a dog category.
“Fido will be pleased,” says event organiser, Dave Hamilton, from Descend Rotorua, with his trademark grin.

• One of the Festival photographers, Mead Norton, will run another new event, a workshop on taking better action photographs, using the Triple D as a subject.

• Also new to the programme is Orienteering Bay of Plenty’s MTB Rogaine, race one of their Summer series and suitable for solo riders or teams.

• A women’s-only event, the Dipper Dash, will debut in 2016. It will be run on one of the original Whakarewarewa Forest trails, by the newest bike club in town, Revolve Rotorua.

• Cycling Rotorua is the city’s road club. However, the Hill Climb Challenge they are running is open to all bikes.
It’ll be a test of strength and stamina up Mountain Road on the slopes of Ngongotaha.

• The final new event on the programme is by far the longest. The World Endurance Mountain Bike Organisation (WEMBO) 24 Hour Solo World Championships will close the Festival on Saturday and Sunday, February 21 and 22.
The Nduro24 2-5 person teams event will run alongside WEMBO - same village, different course.
2015 WEMBO 24 Hour Solo World Champion, Sonya Looney (Photo: Colin Meagher)
Some of the top endurance athletes in the world will take on WEMBO, including 6 times 24 Hour Solo World Champion, Jason English and 3 times 24 Hour Solo Singlespeed World Champ, Brett 'Jeebus' Bellchambers, both from Australia. They've visited Rotorua before and loved it.
For current Open Women's WEMBO champ, the effervescent Sonya Looney, from the USA, it'll be a first visit. She spoke to our print partner, the Rotorua Daily Post, last week.
Ride the Runway (photo: Alick Saunders).
A new event in 2015, the Runway Project, was a runaway success.
Over 820 people (all ages, sizes, genders and skills levels) taking the once-a-year chance to ride the Rotorua Airport.
It is back in 2016 and organiser Jason Cameron will be announcing and exciting line-up of new local and national partners in the next week or so.
Stay tuned. 

Also back in 2016: the Redwoods Coast, Giant 2W Gravity Enduro, Rotorua BMX National Qualifier Meet, MTB Adventure Quest, Bike Speedway, The Big Bike Film Night, the 16” Dual Slalom ‘World Championships’, MTB Beginner’s Ride, Bike the Lake, Frocks on Bikes and Sport Bay of Plenty Go-by-bike, Family Fun Ride and Tykes on Trikes.
And returning to the festival line-up, after a one-year break, is the very popular Skyline Sprint Warrior, the first event to sell out in 2014.
Everyone’s welcome with all events open to the public to enter and some are free of charge or gold coin donation, only.
Spectating? That’s free, too.

Five events are already open to enter:
MTBiker's Ball, Giant 2W Gravity Enduro, The Big Bike Film Night, Rotorua Bike the Lake and WEMBO.
Head on over to our website for all the details and online entry.