From Enduro Races, Gravel Rides and 1200m descents, to Slopestyle, Whip Off, and the infamous Dream Jump Jam, it’s been an epic start to 2023 for the Queenstown riding community.
10 days, 30 events, and old-school after-parties brought hundreds of riders, families and spectators to Queenstown. Held from 20-29th of January, Queenstown Bike Festival offered riders of all abilities (and ages) the chance to take part in a range of events and disciplines; from Freeride, to Enduro, Downhill and Trail Riding. There were also coaching workshops, clinics, and progression sessions run by local coaches and athletes.
Returning after several years’ break, and with all proceeds from the Festival going to Queenstown Mountain Bike Club, the past 10 days have provided a chance for riders and the wider community to come together and celebrate mountain biking.
With both local and international riders from countries including Canada, Australia, the U.K, USA, and Europe showing off their skills, photography screenings, parties, barbecues, and nights out, there was also plenty for spectators to watch and get involved with.
One of the highlights of this year’s Festival was the Mons Royale Slopestyle. Sanctioned as the first-ever female FMB event in New Zealand, and the first event on the 2023 FMB international calendar, it was an awesome day for New Zealand mountain biking. Huge tricks, combos, and some big bails made for an epic event. Taking out the male podium; Billy Meaclem (NZ), Conor Macfarlane (NZ) and Mike Ross (AU) and the female podium; Robin Goomes (NZ), Harriet Burbidge-Smith (AU), and Kirsten Van Horne (CA).
2023 also saw Queenstown Bike Festival lead into McGazza Fest. McGazza Fest is a weekend in memory of Kelly McGarry, a New Zealand Freerider known his fearless riding style, passion for mountain biking, and his larger-than-life personality. Bringing together riders from around the world, who knew McGazza or know the impact he had on the sport, the idea of McGazza Fest is to live the weekend how he would live each day, action-packed and high energy, in all of Kelly’s favourite riding spots.
This year was no different, with the McGazza Mega Train, a Chainless Race, Mulch Coaching Sessions, the McGazza Memorial Ride and Gorge Road Sessions, there was something for everyone to get involved in; from the youngest rider to the most seasoned mountain biker.
On and off the bike, McGazza had a huge influence on the mountain biking community, and Saturday night celebrated this is style. Kicking off with the legendary McGazza Dream Jam, where there were double flips, huge tricks, hundreds of spectators, McGazza’s favourite tunes and a huge train to honour him, it also finished in true McGazza style, with parties (and mosh-pits) going well into the night.
The Kelly McGarry Foundation also announced its intention to donate $20,000 of fundraising to mountain bike clubs across New Zealand, allowing riders of all ages and abilities to progress and develop their skills.
Check out some of our favourite Queenstown Bike Festival and McGazza Fest images here and the Queenstown Bike Festival Instagram here.
Mons Royale are stoked to be supporting the 2023 Queenstown Bike Festival and McGazza Fest, it’s been an epic 10 days!