The hottest new destination in Southern Hemisphere riding, the Queenstown Bike Park is celebrating success as its first full season draws to a close with kudos from international biking stars and rides expected to reach the 100,000 mark within the next week. The lucky biker to take the 100,000th ride will win a month’s supply of One Square Meal bars, courtesy of the park’s main sponsor.
The Bike Park, which opened in September, is due to close for the season at the end of April and is being touted as the best off-season training destination in the world, having attracted a wealth of international and World Cup mountain bike stars.
Offering spectacular scenery and the only gondola-accessed mountain bike runs in the Southern Hemisphere, the Bike Park features over 30 kilometres of purpose built tracks from fast bermed and groomed trails to off-camber goat tracks, rock gardens and natural singletrack. A range of world class cross-country and freestyle riding is also available in the area.
John Pentecost, American-based international sales manager for bike brand Yeti, is a big fan, with advice to “sell all your non-essential organs and use the money to fund an off season in Queenstown”. World Cup racers Brook MacDonald (New Zealand) and Markus Pekkoll (Austria) of the Mondraker race team took advantage of the new facility to base themselves in Queenstown for the season, riding daily in the Bike Park in preparation for joining the international race circuit in the Northern Hemisphere.
World Cup Team Morewood was also spotted chasing the endless summer with a two week stint in Queenstown. And Nathan Rennie – ex World Champion Downhill racer from Australia – started a bike coaching camp in Queenstown which attracted riders from throughout New Zealand and Australia. Bikers from around the world are buzzing about the Bike Park providing riders with a taste of riding available.
The Skyline gondola provides sweat-free access to the Queenstown Bike Park, and Skyline Queenstown is delighted with how the season has turned out. So much so that General Manager Lyndon Thomas has already committed to another full season of gondola access for 2012/13.
The 2011/12 season will close on Sunday 29 April, with a free BBQ, free One Square Meals and a final downhill ‘Mega Train’ leaving from the top of the gondola at 5pm.