Redwoods looking for treble

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Time is running out to vote for Rotorua's Redwood Forest as the country's best off-road or adventure ride location in New Zealand.

Rotorua's Whakarewarewa Forest - popularly known as The Redwoods - has taken out the country's favourite place to ride for two years running and is now looking to take out the treble with some local help in the next 24 hours.

The competition to find New Zealand's most popular places for biking is run by Bike Wise New Zealand. It calls for Kiwis to nominate their favourite spots around the country - including national cycleways, off-road mountain bike tracks and daily commute paths.

The Redwoods is one of five locations in the off-road or adventure ride category.

Almost 2000 nominations were received during January and the top 20 finalists have been found. There are four categories and one place will be crowned overall title of New Zealand's favourite place to cycle'.

Voting closes tomorrow night.

On March 2, once the votes are tallied, Bike Wise will announce the winner.

Rotorua Lakes Council Sport & Recreation Strategy portfolio leader, councillor Charles Sturt, said the Whakarewarewa Forest was home to one of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country.

"The Redwoods area is very popular throughout the year. With over 140km of trails there is something for riders of all abilities - from beginners and young families to experts looking for thrills and spills."

Destination Rotorua Marketing general manager Oscar Nathan said Rotorua had become the mountain biking Mecca of New Zealand.

"We've got single-track trails that have been voted as some of the best in the world. You only have to see the number of people heading into the Redwoods every weekend to see how much of a driver for visitors the trail network here is.

"Our research tells us that Kiwis are drawn by natural attractions and activities like our lakes, forests, geothermal pools and mountain bike trails. So it's good to see that word is getting out there about the fantastic mountain biking we have in Rotorua."

To vote, visit www.bikewise.co.nz.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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