It's the official start of winter next week. As long as there are mainly crisp clear days for the next four months, I'm okay with that.

It also means the Nduro Events Winter MTB series is just around the corner. I actually entered the first series back in ... whenever? 2002?

Wandered round the first two races, then found a happier niche helping Nduro founder Dean Watson running the events.

Years passed and Dean moved to Ireland. Rawiri Bhana took over Nduro, then in 2014 Tim and Belinda Farmer bought the company.


Incidentally, they are one of two couples that run MTB events in Rotorua.

Neil and Kat Gellatly are the event organisers behind the very successful Giant 2W Gravity Enduro Series and Whai Ora Spirited Women - All Women's Adventure Races.

Tim and Belinda have built the Winter Series into a real powerhouse. And it's a perfect lead into the really big one, the Nduro Whaka 100 on Labour Weekend in October.

A few weeks later they'll race direct the Singlespeed World Champs on November 18.

This will be another busy Nduro year.

Race one is on July 2 based at the Waipa MTB car park. The second race is on August 6, over the hill at Long Mile Rd. The finale is on September 10 back at Waipa.

There's a range of course distances that suit a wide band of mountain bikers - from novices to elites. Find out more and enter online (go on!):
The series is proudly presented by Cyclezone on Fenton St.

This week's photo is Garth Weinberg, 2010 Singlespeed World Champion. He'll be hammering it at the Winter Series and in November. Thanks to photographer, Ezra Newrick.

Winter also means night racing organised by Paul McDowell for the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club. Wednesdays from 6.30pm at the Waipa car park - social, short lap, cross country racing.

The course changes every four weeks and uses a handpicked selection of the finest cross country trails in the forest. The first week is a social lap to learn the course, the next two weeks are timed races and the 4th week is a handicapped race with the fastest riders starting at the back of the pack.

These will run till September 24. It's $2 to enter with a complimentary sausage sizzle at the finish line.

Last week's Rotorua Trails Trust working bee on Tahi was a great success. About 20 good folk dug, back-filled and raked, then enjoyed lunch, courtesy of the Mountain Bike Rotorua Cafe.

If you ever want to know what the mountain bike community is all about then get along to the weekly bees. There is one tomorrow at the Dodzy Skills Park at the end of Long Mile Rd. Tools will be provided or bring your own favourite.

There's nothing quite like riding trails you've worked on.

Can't make it? Then join the trust to help keep the work rolling:

Exciting news. Well, for me, anyway. Rotorua is privileged to have some talented bike builders and designers. I'm privileged to own a beautiful bespoke Jeffson I helped build in 2014 and a revolutionary Zerode Taniwha.

Completing the Holy Trinity soon, though only on loan, will be one of Graeme Pearson's remarkable new bikes. Stay tuned.