Itinerary builder

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    Dave Donaldson is a pillar of the mountain bike community in Rotorua. He wears many hats, but his mountain bike helmet is by far his favourite. He is the Deputy Mayor of Rotorua, a past Master’s World Championship competitor, an instrumental character in bringing large-scale MTB events to New Zealand and a dedicated rider. Dave is involved in mountain biking from policy, governance and events right through to track design and building. We sent former World DH Champion, Scarlett Hagen, out to chat with this inspiring man. 
  • A rider takes in the view from Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua, New Zealand. Photo: Chester Boyes
    With a hint of summer in the air, it’s the perfect time to start planning your escape from the city and heading out for a ride that's within easy reach of the city. What better excuse do you need to see new places, explore destinations steeped in history and get fit while you’re at it? 
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    It was the passion of the Motu Trails Trust that has led the development of the carefully built shelters on the Motu Trail in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. 
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    It was the passion of the community for mountain biking and the quality of the trails that convinced Crankworx general manager Darren Kinnaird to bring his beloved festival to Rotorua, New Zealand. 
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    If a picture is worth 1000 words then Graeme Murray’s body of work is worth millions. If you’re a fan of mountain biking there is a very good chance you’ve seen one of his photographs. He’s been documenting the sport and some very important events in Rotorua and New Zealand for 20 years. Mountain bike writer Graeme Simpson grabs a coffee with the talented lensman. 
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    It is the quintessential dream of any adventure-curious traveller. To ride the length of a country. When choosing which country, it would be hard to look past one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world: New Zealand. 
  • A rider takes a break and rehydrates on the Waihora section of the Great Lake Trail, Taupo. Photo: DGLT
    The lake district of Taupo has gained top honours as New Zealand’s best place to visit in a consumer poll led by Experience Oz+NZ. Taupo pipped second-placed qualifier Fiordland, while the stunning Bay of Islands came in third place. 
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    The thermal wonderland of the Central North Island is rich in early Maori history, wartime establishments and heroic tales. For the history lover, these three trails will add to your insight and knowledge of New Zealand’s short, but vibrant history. Be in the moment as you ride along cycle trails originally built by soldiers, travel through volcanic landscapes and become familiar with more than 800 years of Maori practices. 
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    During February 2016, 200 mountain bike riders will leave Cape Reinga at the very tip of New Zealand and undertake a 3000km journey as they make their way to Bluff at the very southern tip of the South Island for the inaugural Tour Aotearoa. The riders will follow a route carefully chosen by the Kennett Brothers – pioneers in this type of endurance distance event. “The route covers many iconic sites of natural beauty and cultural importance,” explains Jonathan. Scarlett Hagen spoke to Jonathan Kennett to get the inside scoop on how the ride will work and what could be expected as riders tap into the Great Rides of the New Zealand Cycle Trail. 
  • Trek World Racing's Justin Leov rides Kataore Trail in the Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua, New Zealand. Photo: Derek Morrison
    They make you laugh out loud, sweat, maybe spill blood and still hoot with joy. You do them with your mates and find new friends along the journey. Once in a while you might even make a monumental fool of yourself. You don’t mind – these are the mountain bike experiences that will be embedded in your cortex, forever. Here are just some curated by writer Graeme Simpson ...