New Zealand’s myriad cycle paths are attractive at any time of year, but as summer turns to autumn, there are a plethora of organised cycling events to tempt you to don your cycle helmet and padded shorts and hit the road. Here’s our New Zealand Cycling events coming up over the next month.
New Zealand Cycling Events in Autumn
Forrest GrapeRide, Marlborough
When? 28 March
Why? Beginning at the Forrest Estate Winery, this scenic circuit traverses vineyards and affords riders spectacular views of Marlborough Sound and its beautiful beaches. There are three courses: a 42km taster, the 101km main event and a 202km route to give serious riders a workout. But given this is wine-making country, the event also sees a hundred female riders channel their inner Lucille Ball and participate in the 100 Virgin Grape Crush. Riders are selected at random, and are put to work squishing three tonnes of pinot noir grapes destined for the bottle.
When? 25-29 March
Why? Crankworx is the biggest mountain biking festival in the world and it descends on Rotorua at the end of the month. Riders compete in a comprehensive programme of events spanning five days, covering all the Crankworx categories including Speed and Style, Slopestyle, Enduro and Downhill. The championships will launch from the Skyline Rotorua Gravity Park and other rides will showcase some of the area’s best scenery, such as the Whakarewarewa Forest and Mount Ngongotaha overlooking Lake Rotorua.
Contact Epic, the Ultimate Mountain Bike Challenge, Wanaka
When? 18 April
Why? Contact Epic is a 125km ride that circumnavigates Lake Hawea, on New Zealand’s scenic South Island. This challenging race passes through beautiful Hunter Valley and the Dingle Burn farming stations rising and falling over a rocky and undulating track. This is no gentle Sunday afternoon cycle ride in the park, it’s a testing endurance race to thrill the adventurous and get the adrenaline pumping.
Tour of New Zealand 2015
When? 11-19 April
Why? The 2015 race will be the third Tour to take place. An eight-day amateur event, participants can choose to ride north across South Island to Wellington, or approach the capital from the opposite direction, traversing North Island. All riders should expect to cover around 100km a day, converging on the grounds of Parliament on the eighth day to celebrate making it to the finish line. Generally speaking, most riders finish up each day about lunchtime, leaving the afternoons free to explore their surroundings at each night’s pit stop and thus making this the perfect way to spend a week’s holiday.
If the above-mentioned tours are too adventurous for you, there are plenty of other bike tours in New Zealand that you can try.