Year 5 of New Zealand's premiere bike festival starts on Monday at the Dual Slalom course in the wattles next to Tarawera Rd with training and the Kidsworx Dual Slalom Challenge.

Getting the groms involved is a huge part of the Crankworx experience and was very successful at past festivals.

The Dual Slalom is an opportunity to watch world-class athletes show their skills – and it's free for spectators.

Training and qualification is all day Tuesday with the main event from 5-7pm. Ride your bike there, catch all the racing and then pedal home.


On Wednesday the action moves to Skyline. It's mainly a training day for the Rotorua Downhill (presented by The Professionals), Maxxis Slopestyle in memory of McGazza and Mons Royale Speed & Style.

The day culminates with the Rotorua Air DH presented by Bosch from 3.30-5pm.

It's a good day to get a feel for what's coming up and check out the event village.

And for Rotorua locals with ID it's free. And so is Thursday when training for a variety of events continues.

In the evening it's full-noise rock and roll with the finals of Speed & Style from 5 to 7pm followed by one of the events I always diary in – the Official Oceania Whip-off Championships presented by Spank from 7.30 to 9pm. Or 8.30 to 10pm in Samoa, where I'm working on the XVI Pacific Games -

I'll be watching Speed & Style online via the live webcast and waiting for Facebook and Instagram to fill up with hundreds of crowd-sourced photos of the Whip-off like the last couple of years.

The drama of the Whip-off seems to be enhanced under lights with a big, noisy crowd to cheer the riders on. You really should get up the hill for this and Speed and Style –

If you're like me and away from home, the live webcasts and social media will be your constant friend through the week.


As well as Speed and Style, the Rotorua Downhill will go live at 3pm on Friday with the Rockshox Pump Track Challenge at 7.30pm that evening.

Also live on the internet (and probably the event I'll miss being at the venue for most) is the Slopestyle final from 3-6pm on Saturday.

Do not miss this in the flesh if you are in town. It's an event that is dramatic, hair-raising, gravity-defying - and a tribute to the late, great Kelly McGarry.

There's more at Skyline through the weekend. And on Sunday, there's action in the Whakarewarewa Forest at the Giant Toa Enduro presented by Camelbak. This is round one of the Enduro World Series with pre-qualified riders getting a chance to stamp an early mark on the year-long, worldwide race to the championship.

Those who haven't pre-qualified are eligible to enter the EWS100 featuring the same trails and stages as the pros, with slightly relaxed rules but all the same challenges:

It's a week of superb spectacle, an opportunity to celebrate the sport we all love.

And those celebrations really kick into high gear this weekend with the Altherm Window Systems Mountain Bike National Championships. The Rotorua Mountain Bike Club is organising the cross-country and Descend Rotorua, the downhill.

The full schedule: