On Easter Saturday, more than 2000 riders are expected to saddle up for annual Big Easy cycle ride on the Hawke's Bay Trails.

Now in its fourth year, The Big Easy is a 43km leisure ride on the flat, mainly off-road Hawke's Bay Trails with riders encouraged to take as long as they can, stopping at the many attractions and hospitality stops along the way.

Registered riders will receive a wrist band that gives them access to hot deals on offer from participating outlets. Riders can also expect plenty of "pop up" surprises along the way including a serenade from Elvis Presley, treats from the Easter Bunny and motivational beats from Cook Island Drummers. The Big Easy will depart Church Road Winery at 10am and finish at Black Barn Vineyards. A concert will wrap up the day, starring local crowd favourites Ian Munro and Naked Gun.

There will be a Family Start from Farndon Park in Clive so families with smaller children can still enjoy the day without too much of a challenge.


There will be plenty of family entertainment to get the fun under way, including music, face painting and games. A joint venture between Hawke's Bay Tourism, Napier City Council, Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council, The Big Easy is another one of Hawke's Bays great events for locals and visitors. Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said: "We are so excited to have The Big Easy reach its fourth year. Every year it gets bigger and better with people raving about how much they've enjoyed it and this year will be no exception."

Returning this year is The Little Easy on Good Friday in Central Hawke's Bay. Billed as a "warm up ride", The Little Easy is a gentle 12km loop along the Central Hawke's Bay Rotary Pathways. Starting at Russell Park, Waipukurau, riders will head off along the northern side of the Tukituki Bridge and follow the signposted loop back to Russell Park where the day will end with entertainment and refreshments.

Trudy Hales, CHB tourism co-ordinator, said she was delighted to have this popular event extend into Central Hawke's Bay.

Tickets for The Big and Little Easy are on sale now at www.thebigeasy.co.nz. Adult entry is $30 for Big Easy with children 12 and under $10.

Tickets include a Big Easy T-shirt, entry to the concert and access to the special deals and discounts on the Big Easy route. Tickets for the Little Easy are $15 for adults and $10 for kids and include a Little Easy T-shirt.