Our third day in mountain bike paradise began with another trip to the Redwoods, this time with a guided ride from the team at
Mountain Bike Rotorua, to make sure we didn’t miss any tasty bits. With a belly full of Roto loam, it was back out to Skyline, to join the frothing masses for the Dual Speed and Style finals, before the big wigs sent it sideways under lights in the Whip-Off Champs. Yiew! We joined back up with Mountain Bike Rotorua today for a guided MTB ride in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa forest. Hire bikes galore, get ’em dirty. Our rad ride guide Wade, apart from chosing trails to ride based on what style of riding we wanted to tackle, also gave some really interesting insight into the commercial logging forest that has been adapted into such a huge MTB destination in NZ. This place just goes to show mountain bikers and commercial logging can co-exist. A friend from the States joined us today, riding through some prime climate and perfect light. It was hard to keep the camera in the bag. Wade, our guide, leading the way down. Our photographer / media squid Do-Mini-Chook sending it with a full camera pack. One of the best parts of Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forrest is the diversity of trails, which is something we were reminded of today. There is such a huge range of routes to take, weaving in and out of the 80+ trails through the forest, with options for the most gnarly pros, all the way through to beginners and little shredders. It was awesome to see so many kids out there today! Perfect loam chutes walled by green. The little pockets of light that shine through the Redwood’s canopy make for some amazing looking gems of nature. Wade our guide shredding down the trail network he has enjoyed riding for over 15 years. He’s been ripping around this place since the very first track in the Redwoods, ‘Old BMX Track’. Being on a guided ride is a great way to have a perfect day on the bike, without stressing over trail maps and worrying if you’ll make it back to homebase. Alongside this, it’s great to be shown lesser known spots that you might not hear abut, like this winding grade 3 trail that follows a natural cold water creek, that rises out of the ground chrystal clear and flows through the forest. The upside of this particualr trail is a super chilly & refreshing drink top up and maybe even a quick dip if it’s really hot. A traditional carving, created by a wrong-doer completing community service, a great initiative to put people who have done minor wrongs to good use, creating new trails for the community to enjoy. Yet another great spot to stop and take in the beautiful surrounds Did we mention the cool light on interesting artifacts, EVERYWHERE?!?! Our American vistor officially approves of the Redwoods as well as our guided ride with Mountain Bike Rotorua. From the trails, we headed trackside, to the perfect berms and booters of the Dual Speed and Style. This event is a funny beast – the name says it all – pretty much a head to race, with bonuses for tricks. That makes it just as awesome to watch as you’d expect. Barry Nobles head to head with Kiwi rider Joe Simpson, who advanced to the next round over the American rider. Crowds flood the gnarly, dusty flat corners that lead into the final feature Nothing better then heading to Crankworx on a Friday night in Rotorua for the Mons Royale Dual Speed & Style. R-Dog bringing the style points. Kaos Seagrave seemed like an easy winner in a lot of eyes, but ended up his Dual Speed & Style campaign in the 1/8 final. Martin Soderstrom. So much style! Busting some rad 360 tables over the heads of the crowds and Lake Rotorua. Races were won and lost in this technical flat turn component of the course. Crowds weren’t just huddled down the finish straight, but spread all the way up the hill to the start gates The local crowds favourite came super close to the top step, but unfortunately due to a fall in the first run of the finals, he wasn’t able to make up the time. However, he was still pretty stoked with 2nd and gave the crowd something to cheer about! Martin Soderstrom 1st, Joe Simpson 2nd, smiles all round. Joe Simpson. Thanking the home crowd and having a blast!
Soak it up boy!
What a day for Joe Simpson! With Speed and Style in the bag, the crowds massed around the whopping Whip Off booter. Adrian Loron spending some time with fans before joining in on the Whip Offs. The groms are out in force. Stoked! The scene is set for some big, nasty whips. Straight from his win on the Dual Speed & Style, Soderstrom pulled out some incredible whips alongside a plethora of riding steez. No shuttles for the whip off! Riders scramble back up to the drop in to get as many whips in as possible, as the Whip Off is a jam format competition. Media swamp the MASSIVE Whip Off jump. To be honest, the wooden drop to gain the right amount of speed looks just as gnarly as the actual whip jump!
Friday done right, whipping into the weekend with your mates! Dave McMillan looked unreal all night with his super lazy, steezy whips. Some familiar faces on this year’s Whip Off podium, alongside some new additions including Kiwi female shredder Vinny Armstrong. The usual culprits took out the top spot in an event they excel in. Casey Brown and Ryan Howard do it again. Rain poked its head in the door, but left immediately after being so intimidated by the phat whips being thrown down. Dave McMillan x Kaos Seagrave. Bloody brilliant!