October 25 - November 3 2019!
October 25 - November 3 2019!

Mike for Bike


Tuesday February 10 (NZST)


Julian Dean - swapping his bike for a mike


Julian Dean is swapping his bike for a microphone at a unique event that will launch the 3rd Rotorua Bike Festival this Friday.

One of New Zealand’s most celebrated cyclists will commentate on the Flying Kilo, part of

the Runway Project.

The Project will open the Rotorua Airport runway to anyone on any bike.
There will also be a 4 kilometre scratch race up and down the runway. Prizes include a return trip to Sydney.

“Then, it’ll be time for the main event of the night,” said Runway Project organiser, Jason Cameron. “The Flying Kilo will feature elite men and women athletes in a classic straight-line sprint with glory and money at stake.”


Julian Dean, Redwoods, Rotorua (Alick Saunders).


Dean, a veteran of Tours de France, the other two grand tours, the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta Espana, Olympics and World Championships, is home in Rotorua on a break from working as a coach and rider mentor for Australian Pro Tour team, Orica/GreenEdge.

He’s happy to be able to take part in the festival for the first time.

“I love the biking culture that exists here,” said Dean. “It’s something that’s been created by the city’s unique people.”


The Festival team are excited about how the event will be covered.

The flying kilometre challenge will be live on a big screen at the finish line.

Simon Hunt from local outside broadcast and video production company, Fever Pitch Visuals, will produce the coverage. He will also be editing a highlights package for the web, including drone footage shot by Rotorua Daily Post photographer, Stephen Parker.

“When Graeme Simpson from the Festival rang me and said he had an idea, I was in, immediately,” said Hunt. “Covering the Flying Kilo will be a challenging experience and it’s a perfect opportunity to show off what we can do right here in Rotorua.”


Simpson is media coordinator for the Festival. 

For him the production is a perfect example of what makes the annual 10-day Festival tick.

“Like so many people in Rotorua, Simon’s a mountain biker and didn’t need any convincing to help out even though there was no real budget,” he said. “The success and growth of mountain biking in Rotorua, over the last quarter century, is really based on the hard work of individuals and small businesses like his generously offering their time and talents.”

Simpson will help produce the coverage.

“Simon is really doing all the heavy lifting and will deserve a very big round of applause,” he continued. “It’s been a while since I pulled my live, multi-camera cap on, so hopefully it’s like riding a bike.”


There will be free parking and entertainment from 6PM with access to the runway once the last flight lands around 7.30PM.

“It’s not just the riders that only get onto the runway then, but also the event team and TV crew,” said Cameron, adding with a wry grin. ”It's going to be busy.”