Free family bike ride

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Queenstown Park Station will open for another free public bike ride this Sunday.

Owners of the station, the Porter families, bought the 1826ha of land at the foothills of the Remarkables back in 2014 and this is the third year they’ve invited the public to ride its trails.

Alastair Porter says last year more than 1000 people came along to spend the day pedalling.

That’s more than double the first year’s numbers.

“We’re delighted that it’s a family day and there are not many things that people can do in Queenstown that are free, especially as a family,” he says.

There are three different ride options spanning 13.5km, 18km and 27km.

Riders can start any time between 9.30am and 11am at Boyd Road, off Kingston Rd, near The Remarkables skifield turn-off.

The 13.5km riders will finish at Chard Farm in Gibbston while the longer rides loop back to Boyd Rd. The trails are open until 4pm.

The ride is part of the national Aotearoa Bike Challenge.

Porter says the biggest hill has been taken out this year and the trail now follows closer to the Kawarau River.

All three rides pass a midway beach at 9km, where a handful of food trucks and stalls will be providing tucker for hungry bikers who don’t bring their own.

Riders should expect a few ups and down along the tracks but both an 85-year-old and a five-year-old have completed the rides.

Co-sponsor Remarkables Park Limited had to fork out about $15,000 to get resource consent for the event.

Queenstown Trails Trust will help out on the day and bikers can make a gold coin donation to the trust if they wish to.

Riders can also hire electric mountain bikes from ChargeAbout Queenstown – this has to be arranged with the company before the event and bikes are to be picked up and returned to its shop at the Hilton Jetty.

The $50 hire fee (usually $119) will be donated to the Red Cross – Tonga Appeal.

All riders can register online at www.recreationalride.cre8ive.co.nz

NOTE: The paper version incorrectly called ChargeAbout Queenstown ‘Charge Up Queenstown’ and it stated electric mountain bikes would be available at the beginning of the ride – actually they must be booked in advance.