The best Christmas present ever.
That’s how Australian mountain biker, Mitchell Ho, described winning return airfares for two to Rotorua for the Bike Festival in February.
The competition was organised by Rotorua International Airport with Australia’s Flow Mountain Bike, and Flowmountainbike.com
“I’d been watching Flow Mountain Bike’s Top 10 Rotorua Trails videos the last couple of months,” says the 30 year old from Rockdale in New South Wales. “I kept thinking ‘man, all these trails look awesome’, but it’ll be a while until I can get over there to ride them…maybe one day.”
So, of course, he entered the competition.
“Fast forward to today and I‘d just watched the final video when I got the call from New Zealand saying I’d won.” he continues.
It’s good timing, as he’d just bought a new mountain bike for his recent birthday.
“I got into mountain biking when I was around 14, but eventually stopped to focus on bike trials,” he adds. “I bought a cross country bike in 2011 and it was great to get back on track (pun intended). Being able to flow (also intended) on single track is a great contrast to trials riding. And it’s excellent cross-training.”
Mitchell has visited Rotorua twice before. In 2006 he joined large numbers of Australian fans to watch the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships. He returned in 2009 for the UCI Trials World Cup, final round.
“But I’ve never ridden your trails before,” he says with a chuckle. ”From what I’ve seen of the top 10 trails videos, I’m really looking to checking out all 130 kilometres of them.”
The trip is for two and Mitchell’s fiancée, Jess, will join him.
“She hasn’t done a lot of mountain biking before, but she’s super keen,” he says. “And, I’ve no doubt that after visiting Rotorua, she’ll love it.”
The couple will enjoy the full Rotorua experience worth $5000 dollars. This includes accommodation at the Millennium Hotel, a Thrifty Rental car, a tour of the trails with Mountain Bike Rotorua, rafting at Okere Falls and kayaking on Lake Rotoiti with MultiDay Adventures, the OGO and Skyline, clothing by NZO Active, pampering at the Polynesian Spa and hospitality from the Pig & Whistle and Capers Epicurean.
“When the idea of the comp was suggested all these great local companies immediately put up their hands to help,” says Graeme Simpson, from the Rotorua Bike Festival team. “No surprise, it’s the Rotorua way.”