Gear up for bike festival

Fun time for all as popular city event returns next month

Shauni James





Get those helmets ready and tyres pumped up — the Rotorua Bike Festival is returning next month with an exciting lineup of community rides and bikerelated fun for all. Festival director Alia Branson says with the festival having been postponed from its planned October dates, they have focused on developing core activities that can go ahead at any level in the Government’s current Covid Protection Framework. This year’s festival will include something for the skilled riders, lots of community rides, self-directed challenges, entertainment and initiatives to help people enter the world of cycling. The Rotorua Bike Festival is an annual on the Rotorua events calendar with a focus to celebrate cycling and connecting with the broader community. It will run from February 17 to 20. A new event this year is a recycled bike collection and distribution to help get more locals on to bikes. Further details of this event will be released in the coming weeks. “While we are unable to deliver all the previously planned events, the lineup will include some of the classics based all around the city,” says Alia. Events are delivered from a range of organisations and businesses. One of these businesses for 2022 is Skyline Rotorua. Bike park manager Joshua Morris says on February 17 the bike park will be open for families to ride at a small cost, and then a movie will be played under the trees that will be free for all to view. The movie will be A Biker’s Ballad. He says this will be Skyline Rotorua’s fourth time holding an event for the bike festival, but the first time they’ve held an outdoor movie one. “To me, Rotorua is the biking mecca of New Zealand, if not the world, so of course we have to have a bike festival. “It gives those not so able an opportunity to get involved, as the festival’s got things for beginners. “Overall, it’s great for our community that’s already so biking focused,” he said. Rotorua Bike Festival Trust chairman Philip Macalister says it is exciting to be bringing the festival back following earlier postponements due to Covid-19. “Rotorua is a fantastic city for biking with brilliant amenities including the Whaka forest for mountain biking, our world-class BMX track and growing cycling infrastructure. “The festival’s goals are to celebrate all forms of cycling and to encourage more locals to get on two wheels.”