Ride Rotorua, a mountain bike website run by volunteers, has hit a notable milestone.

Set up in 2007 by local volunteer enthusiasts, the site's Facebook page has reached 20,000 likes from all over New Zealand and the world.

"We were a bit late to social media," says Ride Rotorua's Gregg Brown.

"We only set up the page early in April so to reach this number of likes in just over 6 months is both a real win and a bit of a surprise. We're hoping people will jump on the page and help us crack the 30K mark."


The website www.riderotorua.com debuted in 2007.

The original team was Brown (from the Pig and Whistle, long term president of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club and one of the driving forces behind the Trails Trust), Nduro Events founder, Dean Watson, and Gaz Sullivan from Nzo dirtwear (and another past Mountain Bike Club and current Singlespeed Society president).

They were all involved in the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials Championships. So was I and it was great to join Ride Rotorua late in 2007.

"The UCI world champs were a very big deal and all of us felt it was important to keep the
momentum from the success of that rolling," says Sullivan.

"The idea was to list all the individual trails in the Whakarewarewa Forest with information about grade, length. There are a lot more of them, now, and sometimes it's hard to keep up…If anyone has updates or improvements, they should let us know at info@riderotorua.com."

Another objective was to build a community of mountain bikers from anywhere and everywhere.

"We recently got an email from one of our Facebook friends in Indonesia on behalf of a big group wanting to visit and asking for more information," he adds. "Like the rest of the world, Asia is experiencing a big growth in the sport."

While volunteers run Ride Rotorua, its development and growth relies on the support of local businesses and suppliers.


"We have an awesome group of partners right across the Rotorua business spectrum and a lot of them have been with us from year one," Brown says.

"Every dollar goes back into promoting mountain biking and our city as a destination with places to stay, eat, shop and play."

Ride Rotorua has benefited from the generosity of a group of local photographers.

"Social media is fuelled by this sort of eye-popping imagery," says Sullivan. "We're also lucky to have the support of Graeme Murray who's documented MTB in Rotorua for over 20 years and we're looking forward to unveiling a new series of videos from him soon."

The Ride Rotorua site also had a refresh and a free trail map, designed by Sullivan, was added.

It's available both online and as a download: riderotorua.com/trail-maps

You can join mountain bikers from around the world at facebook.com/RideRotorua