At ladies night, cycling is just the icing on the cake

There's a lot more to Wednesday ladies night in the Whakarewarewa Forest than riding bikes.

During the first Rotorua Bike Festival about 65 ladies made their way into the forest arriving to a surprise feast made up of some Pizza Library pizzas and a bike-themed baking competition.

Southstar Adventures shuttle manager Kim McVicker started Wednesday ladies nights a year ago and said she wanted to make the Bike Festival event one to remember.

"I started up these nights to encourage ladies to get out riding together in a comfortable environment and to get them involved in a Bike Festival event which isn't competitive riding," she said.

She said even two-time world women's downhill champion Emmeline Ragot from France joined in the fun, along with the other ladies of all abilities and ages ranging from 15 to 60.

Baking competition entries included bike pedal biscuits, gingerbread mountainbikes, Southstar Shuttle bus cakes, a forest made of icing and a mountain bike crash cake, all created by talented riders on the night who were in the running for the prize of a $260 shuttle pass for 60 rides.

The winner of the baking competition was Rachael Lynskey who made a chocolate cake shuttle bike trailer and second place went to Lucie Slava with a forest cake iced with pine trees.

Miss McVicker said she has noticed much more confidence in those taking part, with ladies willing to try new tracks.

She said most weekly ladies nights get between 20 and 30 people with about 12 regular locals and many from Tauranga and Taupo, as well as a mix of Australians and Europeans.

The Southstar Adventures shuttle goes from Hill Rd to the top of Tawa, where a range of grade 3 and 5 options begin, such as National Downhill.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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