Rotorua Bike Festival's programme for 2018 has just been released and features 32 events over 10 days.

Festival director Megan Dimozantos said this was a record number of events for the festival, now in its sixth year, and the number of new events was a highlight for her.

"Almost half of our events this year are new to the programme, giving people a chance to try something different and keeping the annual celebration fresh.

"We also have the return of a couple of crowd favourites, Ride the Runway and the 2W Gravity Enduro".


She said there would also be a significant art presence, which was still in the works but exciting.

Dimozantos said there were two main things they wanted to achieve this year - to be more inclusive and create more of a festival vibe.

"We want to draw it all together and make it feel like a festival for the full 10 days."

The Bike Speedway is an exciting event for both participants and spectators. Photo / Supplied
The Bike Speedway is an exciting event for both participants and spectators. Photo / Supplied

The opening evening would be significant, she said.

"I'm looking forward to the whole thing because I think it will be quite a step up and I think the opening evening will set a tone for the rest of the festival."

New events include the addition of the Whaka 100, Spin Speed Dating, and the Carpark Eliminator, a two-person eliminator race from the bottom of the Pukuatua St multi-level carpark to the top. This would be an exciting event for riders and spectators alike, Dimozantos said.

Bike polo players from throughout New Zealand will descend on Rotorua to play some demonstration games and teach spectators how to master the art of playing polo while being mounted on fixed-gear bikes.

Central Kids Rotorua East Kindergarten will bring to Rotorua a version of Palmerston North's children's event iBike4Kids.


The festival will also include a series of cultural heritage rides organised by Te Papa Tākaro O Te Arawa.

Chief executive Paora Te Hurihanganui said the inclusion of an event that acknowledged the significance of the area to local whānau was a positive step.

"I think it's important for our community and visitors to experience the unique beauty our city and natural environment has to offer.

"From a rich history, diverse present and dynamic future Te Papa Tākaro o Te Arawa's involvement in this year's festival is to access sites of significance to tell story, celebrate the past and honour a positive and collective Reorua future."

Local farmers Tony and Jo Carr have offered their 370ha Omania Farm to host an event - Dash to the Caldera - in conjunction with Mohawk E-bike Tours.

"Our family has had years of enjoyment and support within the mountain biking community so were keen to give back when the opportunity to host an event was offered.

"It's a good haul to the top of the caldera making it an ideal event for e-bikes which are a growing trend, though all bikes welcome.

"All proceeds from the event will be donated to Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust which assists farmers with mental health."

Rotorua Bike Festival Trust chairman Jonathan Dodd was pleased with the festival's focus on inclusiveness this year.

"It is important that we offer a wide range of events that appeal to an audience beyond our usual biking market.

"We are looking forward to seeing the city come alive with families, our older community, schools and local cultural groups enjoying the festival."

• The Rotorua Bike Festival starts at Labour Weekend, running from October 19 to 28. The programme can be viewed at Updates on Facebook.