It's a dozen years since a group of local mountain bike enthusiasts launched Ride Rotorua.

The not-for-profit website's philosophy is straightforward – to provide information on individual trails in the Whakarewarewa Bike Park and some of the other resources available in town.

Bike shops and hire, shuttles, guiding and skills, where to eat, where to sleep, where to relax and some of the other adventure destinations to get your adrenaline kick. (

The time was right with the success of the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials Championships the previous year and a new trail building boom on the horizon. A lot has happened since.


However, it's the scope of this extensive network of new trails that is the truest measure of success.

Our bike park was rewarded with International Mountain Bicycling Association Gold status in 2015.

Trails were overseen by Rotorua Mountain Bike Club. Over the last quarter century volunteers from the club have given up thousands of hours of their own time to "bring the exhilaration of mountain biking to as many people as possible and to continue to make Rotorua a must-ride destination for mountain bikers from around the country and the world." Join at .

More recently, the responsibility for the trails has shifted to the Rotorua Trails Trust, another group of fine volunteers.

The trust expands the remit to include walking, running and horse trails. To help them with the work, you can join and donate to the Trust:

They also run regular working bees - the dates and times are listed on the trust's Facebook page.

There's not a lot more satisfying than working on a trail then riding it later that day. If you are a first timer, no worries, the team who run the bees are all experienced trail builders. Earn your turns and learn from some highly skilled people.

The Mountain Bike Club's focus has shifted to rider development and events including the Giant 2W Gravity Enduro series.

And the First Emergency Response Unit is a result of hard work by the club committee to raise funds and get the equipment and trained people in place, when things go badly wrong on the trails.

Until early last year, I'd always managed to ride out after a prang. A moment of inattention on Be Rude Not To and I was unable to weight up my right leg.

I was never happier to see the cheerful smile of Budgie Woods from the Unit and Peak Safety than that day. The Unit is another very good reason to join the Club.

The 2009 UCI Bike Trials World Cup – Final Round also featured in the last twelve years with some super talent taking over Rangiuru Street outside the Ibis.

Women riders are well catered for with Revolve Rotorua and Mud Maidens as well as Ladies Shuttle Nights through summer.

Crankworx and the Rotorua Bike Festival have established themselves firmly on the calendar. Together with XTERRA, events from the Nduro portfolio and, every so often, the Rotorua Singlespeed Society, that calendar is full, covering the bases from entry level riders to the weekend warriors to the elites to people in tutus.

Here's to the next dozen years.