An upgraded e-bike is hitting the tracks to help Rotorua Mountain Bike Club first responders at Whakarewarewa Forest.

The first response team helps those hurt while in the forest and uses the e-bike to reach them.

The new e-bike, valued at $7300, was donated by Giant, replacing a bike given to the team a few years ago.

Budgie Woods, Peak Safety director and one of the first responders, said a busy day could have about six callouts, varying in seriousness.

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"A lot of shoulder injuries ... a few knocks to the head, a few spine injuries but without long-term damage."

Giant New Zealand country manager Jason Foster said the e-bike was a complete redesign of the previous model.

The improved frame and geometry of the 32km/h bike meant trickier spots could be reached and the recovery process sped up.

"The old bike was a previous generation but now these guys have more confidence to go down much steeper, more technical trails to get to someone in a remote location."

The First Response Unit aligns with one of the club's goals to be more inclusive for everyone.

Mike Robertson (front) with the new e-bike, along with (from left) Jason Foster, Erin Eggleston, Budgie Woods and Barbara Jenks. Photo / Stephen Parker
Mike Robertson (front) with the new e-bike, along with (from left) Jason Foster, Erin Eggleston, Budgie Woods and Barbara Jenks. Photo / Stephen Parker

Rotorua Mountain Bike Club secretary Barbara Jenks had been a part of the first response initiative from the beginning and was ecstatic with how much it had progressed.

Jenks said having the first responders gave people confidence to mountain bike.

"Quite a few families are happy for kids to ride in the forest knowing that the first response is there.

"It's fantastic. It'll be here forever."

Half of the funding for the responders comes from ACC with the other half from various sponsors and donations from the public.

"But the upgraded bike was a donation," Jenks said.

The responders are alerted to an incident when called on 0800 WHAKA 1.

The response unit also promotes prevention of accidents and encourages people to talk to them.

What started with aims to maintain the reputation of the Whakarewarewa Forest's world-class trail reputation, the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club has broadened to be more rider-focused.

Accident prevention
• Be aware - weather conditions can change
• Scope features first
• Check your bike before you ride
• Slow down - take it easy
• Manage your fatigue - get fitter and eat and drink
• Ride within your limits
• Update your skills