By PHILIP CHANDLER
A stunning mountain bike trail on Queenstown’s Coronet Peak, funded by tech entrepreneur Rod Drury, officially opens today.
Named ‘Hot Rod’ after Queenstown Mountain Bike Club’s new white knight, it runs from halfway down Coronet Peak, where Rude Rock finishes, about three kilometres down to Malaghans Road.
Club president Chris Conway says Rude Rock, starting at the base of
Coronet Peak skifield, is a ‘‘pretty historic trail’’ people fly around the world to ride.
‘‘It always been a bit of a thing where people go, ‘oh gee, imagine if it went all the way to the valley floor’, and now, with some funding from Rod, we’ve been able to make it happen.’’
Riders can also start their descent from the top of the skifield if conditions allow, Conway says.
‘‘We think it’s probably going to be the longest flow trail in the southern
hemisphere, when you connect all the way from the top of Coronet Peak all the way to the valley floor.
‘‘You’ll have about 1200 vertical metres, which will be pretty rad.’’
Mountain Scene revealed in September Drury — co-founder of online accounting software company Xero — is stumping up three years of funding for the club after being impressed by Queenstown’s world-class mountain biking scene.
His funding’s also going into trail maintenance and employing a club administrator.
Concerning Hot Rod, Drury says the collab between the club, Queenstown Trails Trust and ‘‘world-class’’ trail builder Elevate Trail Building ‘‘has created an iconic destination track’’.
‘‘I’ve just done a few laps and it’s a must-do — this will be a big asset for
‘‘Biking is taking off globally, and with all the projects coming together, like the upgraded 7 Mile, the new Wynyard, Glendhu and now Hot Rod, Queenstown biking is complementing skiing perfectly.’’
Hot Rod will be officially opened about 11.30am today.