Mick and Chris’s legs, arms, fingers, toes, eyelids and smiling muscles were growing understandably weary on the final of five solid days shooting in the Rotorua Redwoods.
What did Ride Rotorua serve up for the Flow guys on the final day? Two fresh pair of legs in the form of one particular energetic skills coach with a downhill and BMX racing background, and another fresh legged local downhill and marathon racer with a super fast set of wheels.
We met Lisa Horlor from MTB Skills for a rip down the brand new Challenge Track, and Mike Metz from Bike Culture for a mega hair raising run on the classic; Hot X Buns.
Could there be a faster way down Challenge Track, other than following Lisa ‘turbo’ Horlor? When this track opened only a few months prior to us arriving, there were queues up the top just to get down, and for very good reason! This track has been built with such incredible skill to milk out so much speed, flow and fun from the open landscape.
Tabletops, step-up jumps, tall berms, and super fast corners that link from left to right without the need of any braking make Challenge a great new addition to the forest. Chapeau to the trail builders!
Anyone could ride this track, from beginners to world class racers, it’s safe enough to build up to taking the jumps bigger and clearing the tabletops and lifting the speeds each attempt.
Lisa was selected and trained hard for the BMX Olympics, but an injury forced her out of the games after three years of solid preparation. Now she combines her chatty vibrance and bike skills to good use as the owner and operator of MTB Skills, we highly recommend looking them up if you need a boost of confidence when in Rotorua.
After another fine brew and one last delectable white chocolate, caramel and raspberry slice from Mountain Bike Rotorua (the cafe, bike hire, information centre, workshop and general hangout at the trail head) we found ourselves high in the forest for the last time, at the trail head of Hot X Buns. With a good dose of elevation to play with, this track does not mess around and takes the fastest way to the bottom.
It takes a lot of attention and skill to rip down Hot X Buns, and it’s a must visit trail for the rider who would like to test their enduro racing prowess against a local.
We were led blindly into mega fast straights with rapidly changing surfaces and ball-tearingly rapid lines on the edge of safety and reason. Mike knew the track like the back of his hand, so we put our faith and trust in those hands and we bombed through sections of forest at warp speed behind him.
An Air New Zealand plane awaits Chris, Mick, Damian and Pat as we drag our feet all the way back to Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane to our too-familiar home trails.
We have so many people to thank for making this trip happen and the new friendships will last forever. We would like to especially thank Gregg and Susan for looking after us and letting the grubby Flow team stay at their amazing cottage and loft at Lake Okareka We highly recommend you choose to stay there when you visit and ride Rotorua.
We rode Rotorua’s top ten trails, as nominated by locals, with locals. What a seriously amazing experience, and we are so damn excited for the web videos to begin rolling out one at a time.
So, get ready for some mouth watering visuals! In the meantime, catch up on the whole trip right here:
Day 1 – Flow Has Landed
Day 2 – The Shredding Begins
Day 3 – Brings Rain in The Forest
Day 4 – How Can Life Here Be So Good?
Day 5 – The Fastest Way To Be Shown Up By a 16 Year Old
Day 6 – Old School Trails and New School Generations