The Rotorua Bike Festival has kicked off with a ton of action and excitement for everyone over the long weekend.

With 14 events already completed, organiser Belinda Farmer says people to need to get involved before they miss out.

"We are halfway through the festival and it is so great to see images of people out riding their bikes, smiling and having fun."

Farmer said the 10-days festival opened with a "real festival vibe" with a face painter, stilt walker and unicyclist.

"With 1400 riders from 16 different nations from across the world, Emerson's Whaka 100 was definitely the stand out event for the weekend."

People were able to take in the sights and sounds of Rotorua with the Arts by Bike Tour. Photo / Troy Baker
People were able to take in the sights and sounds of Rotorua with the Arts by Bike Tour. Photo / Troy Baker

Queenstown ride Kate Fluker won the gruelling 100km race through the Whakarewarewa Forest in 6h 16m 10s and Oamaru rider Tim Rush was the first male home in 5h 16m 9s.

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With ten days of festivities, wheels and community spirit rolling through quickly, Farmer said the next popular event will be Ride the Runway on Sunday.

The event is a once-a-year opportunity to enjoy the smooth, free-wheeling tarmac of the Rotorua Airport runway and celebrate the joy of cycling.

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Now in its seventh year, the Rotorua Bike Festival has aimed to make this iteration bigger and better by having a team working under the festival director.

Rotorua Bike Festival Trust chairman Jonathan Dodd said the trust's ambitious plans for the community-centric event were good challenges to have.

"The trustees believe in order to realise the potential of the Rotorua Bike Festival, management must move from a single festival director role to a team-based format."

The guided tour of the city stopped at all the iconic art sculptures around the city. Photo / Troy Baker
The guided tour of the city stopped at all the iconic art sculptures around the city. Photo / Troy Baker

In 2018 the festival topped 11,000 participants across 33 events as well as an action-packed opening ceremony on the Village Green and an event hub in Te Manawa featuring two artists in residence and a number of cycling-related activities.

Dodd was co-organiser with Bryn Parry and Skyline on one of the new events - Skyline Ride the Luge.

Dodd said Skyline wanted to be more involved in the Bike Festival and both he and Parry had run events in the festival before and were looking for something different to do.

"We just love how it blends two things Rotorua is so famous for, which is, of course, the luge and cycling."

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- For more information on events and the full programme go to rotoruabikefestival.com