There is a whole range of bike-related activities in our region for you to enjoy.
Ride a bike (obviously), buy a bike (from a really remarkable range of shops across the Bay of Plenty), hire a bike, have a bike built (customised to your very own inside leg measurement by Jeff Anderson), own an innovative bike designed in Rotorua (Zerode) be guided, shuttle learns some riding skills…the list goes on and on.
One thing that flies a little bit under the radar is Peak Safety's Mountain Bike First Aid courses.
The founders of Peak Safety, Mark "Budgie" Woods and Henry Worsp, are two super guys really dedicated to making all of us safer.
They manage this at major events, on ski fields and film shoots with a laid back approach that is a marvellous thing to observe.
Case in point: at the National Downhill Championships in 2015, I caught a hanger. A kid crashed out on the big gap jump at the end of the fearsome Taniwha Trail. He pretty much embraced a tree. I was closest spectator and stabilised his head until Budgie (who'd been managing some serious carnage all afternoon) arrived like the cavalry.
My heart was racing, my hands were shaking, but he stepped in with a reassuring professionalism that comes from years of experience.
Why did I know what to do, in spite of the panic and adrenaline? I'd done one of Peak Safety's courses. I've used that knowledge a few times, including for myself after a crash or two. Invaluable? You bet.
The team at Peak Safety also provide professional medical services to the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club Forest First Response unit on weekends and school holidays. And, as an aside, Budgie just happened to be on duty on Waitangi Day, this year, when I had my one and only prang where I needed to be hauled out of the forest.
"We're stoked to see so many young people out riding in the forest, making the most of this incredible resource," he says.
"As all mountain bikers know, there is always a chance that someone will crash and need emergency attention. We believe that with a bit of training our young riders can reduce their likelihood of injury and, if someone does get hurt, respond in a calm and structured manner." On Wednesday December 19, the Peak Safety team will be running a 'Stay Safe in the Forest' course for young riders aged 10-15.
"The course is free and aims to empower our rangatahi with the skills and knowledge to make sure their mountain bike adventures are epic in every way," says Worsp.
"They'll be taught accident prevention, outdoor first aid, accident site management, how to get help and pre-ride preparation including what gear to carry."
The crew will need to bring bikes, helmets and snacks as the course will involve scenarios on bike trails and they'll be out and about for a large part of the day.
Spaces are limited, registration is through the Peak Safety website, www.peaksafety.co.nz
When: 10am-3pm, Wednesday December 19.
Where: Meet at Peak Safety Training Room, Scion Innovation Park (either come in through Scion or ride past Dodzy's Skill Park from Long Mile Rd).
What to bring: Bike, helmet, protective riding gear, drink bottle, and sunscreen.
A barbecue lunch will be supplied.