I’m Rob Pitkethley from the Rotorua Lakes
Council. I’m the sport, recreation and environment manager and I’m involved in
all the forest development projects as part of the Rotorua Lakes Council team.
We’re creating the Cycle Trail Great Ride basically around the forest so it’s
part of the whole forest development project which included Hub 2 and also
the Long Mile Road work but we’re linking it all together with this Great
Ride that’s going to circumnavigate the forests. We’ve got 160
kilometres of fantastic trails in the forest here that all produce excellent
mountain biking qualities. This trail is going to take us around the whole forest
so it’s going to link all the key points as we go so people will be able to drop
off some of the advanced tracks and then move around the forest. It’s going to
tell some great cultural stories and fantastic views around here, there’s some
geothermal features at the start of the forest. This trail is going to be really
suitable for beginner riders who want to get introduced to the forest
and learn how to ride on the trail, so it’s going to be a nice easy Grade 2
trail so it’ll be a great ride for everyone to get into mountain biking.
It’s involved a lot of work with the Central North Island Iwi Holdings,
there’s mana whenua which is Ngāti Whakaue and Tūhourangi and of course it’s funded by the Provincial Growth Fund, so great support from MBIE in terms of resourcing this. And in terms of the
build itself we’ve been working with the Rotorua Trails Trust who have been doing
a lot of upgrades to the existing trails we’re going to use as part of the loop, and
we’ve also been working with other trail builders including a New Zealand Cycle
Trails master trail builder so there’s been a very collaborative
approach to building this ride. Rotorua is a world-renowned mountain biking destination and this is going to be a great trail for people to really
experience what it’s got to offer.