On 31 January-15 February 2015 a re-vamped Bikefest Nelson will bring a thrilling mix of biking events for adventurous through to leisure riders. There will be some tried and true events along with some exciting new concepts! Riding a bike in Nelson Tasman has never been better. Will you take a helicopter to a wild peak and ride down, or take a more gentle approach and treat your taste buds on The Great Taste Trail?
Previously known as the Konica Minolta Nelson Cycle Festival, Bikefest Nelson will showcase the best bike riding in Nelson Tasman. Event co-ordinator Belinda Crisp says that “given there are so many cycling opportunities in the region, the festival will be held over two weeks, at a time when the region traditionally experiences the best weather for riding a bike.”
Bikefest Nelson is working on some new events such as “Carnivelo” which will be an evening event at Trafalgar Park. It will include novelty fun events on the velodromeand a Bike Expo, showcasing the best the Nelson Tasman region has to offer in cycling.
Another new event that is being developed is Bike Art. This will be an event to engage two iconic elements of Nelson Tasman – bikes and art. Bike Art will be displayed throughout the festival, with winners being announced at Carnivelo.
Tony Thomas from Sport Tasman and member of the Nelson Cycle Festival Trust says,“the Trust is excited about the changes being made to the festival and the events being developed. We hope that Bikefest Nelson will reflect and showcase the incredible biking opportunities in the region and help secure Nelson Tasman’s image as a biking destination.”
Some of the main confirmed cycling events to look forward to include:
· 31 Jan – 2 Feb – Top Gun Mountain Bike Event. NZ Mountain Bike Round Two. Includes downhill, cross-country and Super D racing as top NZ mountain bikers compete for points in the national series. The final day of this event includes a Mountain Bike Family Day at Andrew’s Field, plus there will be Wheel Woman Mountain Bike Skill Courses.
· 31 Jan – Tasman Wheelers Race – top road racing as riderscompete for places in teams for the South Island Benchmark Elite Series.
· 6 Feb – Lake to Sea – Road race from the iconic Lake Rotoiti in St Arnaud, to Rabbit Island, by the sea. A great way to spend Waitangi Day! Also at Rabbit Island, there will be Mountain Bike Orienteering.
· 6 Feb – Heli-Biking Nelson Limited Ben Nevis Heli-Bike – some of the best ‘outback’ mountain biking in NZ - not for the faint hearted!
· 6 Feb – Diamonds in the Rough – Women’s mountain bike camps. “Women have the chance to ride with and learn from the raddest female riders around the country.”
· 7 Feb – Tasman Wheelers Race – more top road racing on Tasman’s scenic back roads.
· 8 Feb – XBikes Tahuna – A BMX open day. Come and try BMX riding and/or watch the best in action.
· 11 Feb – Go By Bike Day – a national day to celebrate riding your bike. Look out for a new format this year.
· 12 Feb – Urban Cross Country – the only event that allows you to race your mountain bike in school grounds.
· 13 Feb – “CARNIVELO” – the heart of the festival which will be held at Trafalgar Park from 5-9pm. .
· 14 Feb – Santa Cruz Coppermine – add this iconic mountain bike race to your must do list!
· 15 Feb – Avantiplus Richmond Ride to Brightwater Wine and Food Festival – this is the perfect way to truly enjoy the Great Taste Trail – by riding to a wine and food festival!
· 15 Feb – KaiteriteriFamily Fun Day – “beach and bike…paradise”. What more can be said for this great family day out.
During the two weeks of Bikefest, there are lots of other biking opportunities including:
· Tasman Wheelers’ Tuesday Blasts – Road riding
· Nelson Mountain Bike Club guided rides on the 3rd, 5th and 10th Feb for beginners, intermediate and advanced. Perfect if you are from out of town and want someone to show you the local trails.
· Village Cycle Bunch Rides on Wednesdays – competition and recreational road rides.
· Nelson MTB Chicks ride on Wednesday 11th Feb
· Village Cycles Coffee Rides on Thursdays, 9.30am for leisurely road rides.
· There are two bike maintenance evenings being held. One is being held by Cyclelogical and one by Avanti RichmondPlus.
· There will also be Mountain Bike Nelson shuttles available for mountain bike adventures on the Wakamarina, Barron Flat, Rameka-Canaan and Nydia tracks.
Dates and events are subject to change, while new events are still in the process of being finalised.