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Wrapped: BG’s 2023.24 Season

HOW is it already time to write another season wrap-up?! We feel like just yesterday we were drafting our 2022.23 season recap. This year has flown by faster than Sam Todd on Mid Baywatch.

Alas, even though we’re clearly in denial, it’s time to lock up the park gates for the winter. So, let’s take a walk down memory lane and reflect on the epic season that was.

But, remember that it’s not over yet! We’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeves for the last two weeks of May – so read through to end of this blog for more details.

 

SEPTEMBER 15: OPENING DAY

The start to the season was something of an emotional rollercoaster. We were stoked to beat last year’s opening day by two weeks, but our excitement was quickly mared by the heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred less than a week later in the Otago region. Thanks to hard work of your trail crew (and some heavy machinery), we were able to get back on feet mere weeks later and it was (mostly) smooth-sailing weather-wise from there!

OCTOBER 21: UPPER MOUNTAIN AND THE *NEW* VELO CAFE ARE OPEN!

Now, it feels like Velo Cafe & Beer Garden have always been part of the Bike Glendhu family, but you might remember that we only acquired the business at the start of this season! On October 21, we opened the Upper Mountain for the season and also transitioned from partial service at Velo Cafe to full-service, welcoming our epic Hospitality Manager India, and her team of rockstars to join the Bike Glendhu Ops team.

 

OCTOBER 28-29: STRAVA RACE SERIES RETURNS

Enter the renaissance of Strava racing, with the return of our Strava Race Series, presented by b.effect brewing co. and (new this year) JRA Bicycle Co.! A race series that uses Strava for timing, the event happens over the whole weekend, giving riders plenty of times to top the leaderboard. Then, on Sunday evening, we all head to b.social for awards and post-race social. Thanks to the guys at JRA, we also had a “Lucky Dip” prize this year, so that everyone who raced had a chance to win some pretty sick prizes! We held race weekends in October and November as well, then gave away a season pass at the end of it all – how good!

 

NOVEMBER 4: PUBLIC PLANTING DAY

Our Public Planting Days are really special here at Bike Glendhu as we continue to work towards our Planting Promise of putting 30,000 native trees in the ground by 2030. We had yet another full turnout in November, with people of all ages keen to put some plants in the ground. Once again, our green-minded mates at b.effect brewing co. came out for the planting party, providing beverages and tunes for everyone getting their hands dirty. In the end, another 550 plants found new homes next to Switch It Up above Jack’s Spot.

 

NOVEMBER 18-19: ROCKY MOUNTAIN WOMEN’S RIDE CAMP

This year, Bike Glendhu expanded our women’s ride offering by playing host to the Rocky Mountain Women’s Ride Camp on November 18-19. Led by local legend Bri Lobb (who is a Bike Glendhu ambassador, as well as Rocky Mountain rider), the camp welcomed 18 women out for the weekend to learn new flow & tech skills, as well as meet female riding mates.

The turnout was so strong for this event (we even had a waitlist!), that we hosted another camp in February, with four coaches and 24 women.

 

NOVEMBER 22: WOMEN’S RIDE WEDNESDAY RETURNS

Arguably our most popular event, Women’s Ride Wednesday returned on November 22 with sponsors Mons Royale and (new this year) Racers Edge Wanaka! Plus, we had something a little extra special for this season’s kick-off: our artist collab Women’s Ride Wednesday tee, featuring design by Ella Dulson of Kick Push Design, on Icon merino tees from Mons Royale. Proceeds from the t-shirt sales went to WORD to help develop their female MTB programs, as well as Bike Glendhu’s Planting Promise.

We had four Women’s Ride Wednesdays before the Christmas break, where we had over 100 women join each evening for group rides and apres socials, during which we even gave away a few of the limited edition collab tees and $400 Mons Royale kits!

We took a break over the holidays and then hit the ground running again for another eight Wednesdays from January 17-March 6.

 

FEBRUARY 1: CANYON BREWING TAP TAKEOVER

With the acquisition of Velo Cafe & Beer Garden, we were really looking forward to hosting most hospitality-centric events. So when we partnered with Canyon Brewing to host our first tap takeover, we couldn’t have been more stoked.

 

FEBRUARY 15: PRETTY SWEET THURSDAY RETURNS

Pretty Sweet Thursday presented by Pretty Sweet Lighting was so successful last year, that we decided to bring them up a few weeks in the calendar this year, kicking off in mid-February instead of March to make the most of the daylight.

Once again, we saw riders stoked to come out for a Thursday night party every week, enjoying food & drink specials, the odd food truck and even lucky dip DJs.

 

FEBRUARY 28: WOMEN’S MINI-ENDURO

We’re always trying to increase women’s participation in our annual signature event, the POC Glenduro. Therefore, on February 28, we held a 2-stage women’s “mini-enduro” to help women dip their toes in the enduro waters and hopefully inspire a few to enter the POC Glenduro.

 

MARCH 3: MIDPOINT JUMP JAM

2022’s inaugural Midpoint Jump Jam was a wild success and we were excited to do it all again on March 3, ahead of Crankworx Rotorua. Everything was planned out perfectly; the jumps were in mint condition, we had a ton of amateur and pro riders keen to throw down and the afterparty at Base was sure to be bangin’, with a DJ set to play and Velo food & drink specials tee’d up.

Of course, this is the Southern Alps, so Mother Nature threw us a curveball with some high winds on Jam day. Even though this made jumping challenging, the riders were good sports and managed to huck a few tricks before we pulled pin for safety reasons.

MARCH 9: POC GLENDURO

The MTB events calendar in New Zealand was jam-packed this year and we went from Midpoint Jump Jam right into the POC Glenduro on March 9. Arguably our best POC Glenduro ever, the race went off without a hitch (ne’er timing or otherwise). The vibes were high, the weather was stunning and the beers at the finish were cold. What more could you ask for?!

MAY: NIGHT RIDING

After a crazy busy April with Easter, school holidays and ANZAC Day, things are beginning to settle down a a little at the park. That said, we’re still keeping shoulder season interesting on Thursday nights with our night riding experience. From 5-8pm, riders can grab a night riding pass for just $25, as well as hire bike lights for $20! With Velo Cafe serving up delicious mulled wine and BBQ burgers for the post-ride warm-up, this is one of the coolest Autumn riding experiences.

Well, that’s nearly  a wrap on the 2023.24 season. We’ve got one big event we’re still pushing for and that’s our Season Ender Bender on June 1st (with a back-up weather date of June 2nd). Even though it’s getting colder every day, we’re working hard to stay open as long as we can and make it to King’s Birthday weekend for our scheduled close. So dust off your party shirt for one last hoon! We’ll supply the DJ, mulled wine and BBQ burgers!

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