Heli of a ride and thank gravity it’s all downhill

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Queenstown bike junkie Greg McIntyre will have his head in the clouds this weekend.

Pictured here on the Pisa Range, McIntyre’s day job of guiding mountain bike tours takes him to extreme places.

On Saturday he’s running a heli-bike challenge on the Dunstan mountains – and at 1700 metres above sea level, it’s one of the biggest descents opened up to local riders.

“There are ungroomed trails from top to bottom,” says McIntyre, whose Fat Tyre bike tours business is
organising the event.

“The Dunstan mountains are probably one of the best – it’s an amazing riding area.”

Starting at Northburn Station in Cromwell, choppers take competitors to the top of Mount Dunstan where they race down sheep and goat tracks to a finish line through a vineyard.

The event isn’t just appealing for downhill nuts – those keen to get a “really cheap” helicopter ride to bike down the trails can also join in without the pressure of racing, McIntyre says.

“The entry fee [of $199] is half the price of a normal helicopter ride.” 

McIntyre hopes for 80-120 entrants on Saturday – but they must pre-register.