Rotorua Bike Festival back for 2019 with variety of events

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Ten days of festivities, wheels and the community spirit are rolling around quickly.

This year’s Rotorua Bike Festival is being held from October 24 to November 3 at various locations around the city.

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With 28 events on offer, apart from the opening ceremony, there is bound to be something for everyone, regardless of whether you are a beginner rider or more experienced.

Rotorua Bike Festival organiser Belinda Farmer says the festival’s events include the popular young and local movie night in the secret spot, art culture, social ride, and a huge international race.

She says there are a number of new events in this year’s programme – Skyline Bike the Luge, Cyways Diwali Night Ride, Eagle Unchained, Whānau Fun on Bikes, Cannon Bagel Run and Te Manawa Trick Comp.

Meanwhile, crowd favourites back for 2019 include Emerson’s Whaka 100, Giant 2W Series, Ride the Runway and Adventure Quest.

Ride the Runway during last year's Rotorua Bike Festival. Photo / File
Ride the Runway during last year’s Rotorua Bike Festival. Photo / File

The festival will begin with a free opening ceremony on October 24 at Te Manawa, which will be alongside the Rotorua Night Markets with plenty of food.

Belinda says the opening ceremony will also include a kapa haka performance followed by the Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Band, roaming stilt walkers and a Circus in a Flash unicyclist.

“I’m looking forward to seeing people on bikes having fun within our community, and seeing people achieve their personal goals.”

Jonathan Dodd is co-organiser with Bryn Parry and Skyline on one of the new events – Skyline Ride the Luge.

Dodd says Skyline wanted to be more involved in the Bike Festival and both he and Parry had run events in the festival before and were looking for something different to do.

“We just love how it blends two things Rotorua is so famous for, which is of course the luge and cycling.”

He says the event does not require any great skill or strength and anyone on a bike is welcome to take part.

“We think it’s got that magic x-factor.”

Jonathan Dodd gives a sneak peak of riding on the luge tracks. Photo / Robbie Dalziel
Jonathan Dodd gives a sneak peak of riding on the luge tracks. Photo / Robbie Dalziel

People will be able to bike up the intermediate track and down the scenic one, with these two tracks lit up.

It will finish with a post event of awards and nibbles in the Hidden Forest Venue.

Dodd says it will be great fun and will give people bragging rights to say they have been able to bike on the luge track.

It will also be fun to watch and any profits are going to the Rotorua Trails Trust, he says.

They are looking forward to providing a lot of fun, getting more people on their bikes and getting more people discovering what it’s like at Skyline, Dodd says.

There is a limited number of tickets, so people are encouraged to bag their spot by pre-registering through the link on the Skyline Ride the Luge Facebook page.

It is a $10 entry and it gets people a free beer or soft drink, he says. (Ages 10 and over.)

“The objectives of the Rotorua Bike Festival go much further than cycling, it’s about strengthening the local community though everything that cycling brings.

He encourages everyone to check where he guarantees everyone will find something of interest to them – from actual cycling events to watch or participate in through to other diverse activities such as an outdoor movie night, business breakfast, a Diwali event, circus fun and a photography workshop.

Skyline Rotorua mountain bike and zipline manager Josh Morris says with Skyline’s MTB Park, biking goes hand-in-hand with Skyline.

“What’s more iconic than the luge and mountain biking in Rotorua? It’s a way to put two-and-two together.”

He says this event will be an awesome way to start off the festival.

“It’s a great way to give back and give people the opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done before.

“I think it’s [Rotorua Bike Festival] awesome. I’m a mountain biker myself and Rotorua is very much a mountain biking town.”

For more information on events and the full programme go to


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