The inaugural Queenstown Bike Festival’s about to kick into high gear.

Running from today till January 29, the festival features about 30 events, designed to encourage riders of all ages and abilities to get involved.

Queenstown Mountain Bike Club’s Emmerson Wilken says the organisers want to make it as accessible as possible, and bring as many disciplines together as they can, while giving kids a chance to ride alongsside their heroes, including Red Bull athletes and world cup competitors.

Wilken’s particularly pumped for next Wednesday’s competitive slopestyle event at the Wynyard Bike Park — it’ll include the first-ever female Bronze Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) event in New Zealand and, at the moment, the only sanctioned FMB Bronze event, planned here for the year.

Thrills: Mountain biker David McMillan shreddint it at a past McGazzaFest, which is being absorbed into the Queenstown Bike Festival

The event’s also absorbing the McGazzaFest, which will be held between next Friday and Sunday.

Scuppered by Covid last year, Wilken says that gave them the chance to make this year’s event even better, with plans to grow it further.

‘‘We’ve been dreaming it up for years … there’s so much passion been put into it, it really takes a whole village.’’

For the full schedule, see

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