Take it easy on 43km of trails in the Bay

By Victoria White

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After the success of last year's Central Hawke's Bay ride, the Little Easy can be a 12km warm-up on Good Friday before Saturday's longer ride.
After the success of last year's Central Hawke's Bay ride, the Little Easy can be a 12km warm-up on Good Friday before Saturday's longer ride.

In its fourth year, the Big Easy is bringing more entertainment and enjoyment to riders of the 43km course around Hawke's Bay's trails.

Tourism Hawke's Bay manager Annie Dundas said the ride was "brilliantly laid-back" and riders were encouraged to take all day to complete the route, enjoying the tasty Hawke's Bay distractions along the way.

This year's ride will feature a lot more entertainment, with a number of buskers and two live entertainers - impersonators of Elvis Presley and Austin Powers - en route.

Ms Dundas said: "If we put cool stuff out there people will stop and enjoy an icecream or some food."

The entertainment will not stop after the ride, with a finale party and concert at Black Barn Vineyard in the evening.

As well as a scenic ride, the day will be benefiting more than just cyclists.

With a third of participants coming from out-of-town, the region will be enjoying an economic boost, as will restaurants along the trail who have up to a 40 per cent increase in customers on the day.

"We want to see visitors coming in and enjoying Hawke's Bay over Easter weekend," she said. "The more [visitors] we get, the better."

Cyclists who warm up on Good Friday with the 12km loop along the Central Hawke's Bay Rotary River Pathway for Little Easy will also be helping to raise money for a swing bridge to link both sides of the Tukituki Trail.

Ms Dundas said the number of participants for both events would depend on the weather, but she was hoping for a good weekend.

Metservice meteorologist Claire Flynn said the beginning of the week would be mostly sunny, but a low approaching the country could bring cloud and scattered rain later in the week.

Good Friday was expected to be cloudy, with occasional showers and winds turning southerly with a high of 25C.

While the low could change the forecast, Ms Flynn said Saturday, the day of the Big Easy, would be fairly cloudy with showers gradually clearing and fine breaks increasing, with southerlies and a high of 21C.

- Tickets for the Big Easy are $30 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under; for the Little Easy tickets are $15 for adults or $10 for kids on Eventfinda. Find more information at thebigeasy.co.nz

- Hawkes Bay Today

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