Half of the events at the upcoming Rotorua Bike Festival have a woman in the driving seat, steering what organisers hope will be more mums, daughters and sisters choosing two wheels for socialising and exercise.

While Belinda Farmer will be gunning for a podium spot at the WEMBO World Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Championships - one of the events she and husband Tim are running through their company Nduro - the chance to be a part of the festival is more than about showcasing their events.

Their daughter Ella was 3 months old when they won the WEMBO bid for 2016. She's now 18 months old and Mrs Farmer is juggling bike riding with her own training.

"I feel proud that she'll be able to look back and be happy that I did this. Hopefully she'll get into mountain biking herself. Riding the 24 hours is a big goal but I'm really excited. I've done the hard work."


Nduro is behind three of the events this year. As well as WEMBO there's the Redwoods Coast on February 12 and the Bike Speedway at the Government Gardens on February 15.

"It's about women having a go but there also seems to be more women being competitive."

The Dipper Dash is for any type of mountain biker, from the experienced through to absolute beginner. The premise is to ride as many laps of Dipper as possible in an hour and is organised by Revolve Rotorua.

"One of the founding principles was to try to encourage as many women as possible to get into mountain biking, to be fun and social as well," said Dipper Dash organiser Laura Stuart.

"A lot of women think it will be hardcore, that they won't be fit enough or have the skills. Dipper Dash is about having fun. At Revolve we just want to encourage more women to give it a go."

Paula Alexander is organising the MTB Beginner's Ride on Sunday, February 14 and is one of the team behind the Mountain Bikers' Ball, which is the night before at The Blue Baths.

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She said the more women involved behind the scenes the more appealing it would be to others.

Tickets to the ball can be bought at www.bluebaths.co.nz.