The crew visit Queenstown’s newest trails as Sven’s trip to the mecca of NZ biking comes to an end.
While there are lots of downhill and freeride tracks on offer in Queenstown, it is trail riding that seems to be developing fastest right now. There are some new 'must do' trails.
Rude Rock is a favourite. This was completed last year. Above that is the Coronet Peak, which has two options: the old DH/enduro track and, in that same area, the Skippers Canyon and Zoots.
Linking the top of Coronet to Rude Rock to Skippers is now possible. Well, almost; the final missing link – a trail from the end of Rude Rock to Skippers – is only a 100m or less from being finished.
This gives you a massive drop of 100 percent ripping singletrack with dips, bumps, jumps, berms and high-speed, grin-inducing fun. Another new trail in that area is the Coronet to Arrowtown ride. Put that on your bucket list, after you've put some fresh brake pads on.
We got up early and headed with a big crew up Coronet Peak. We caught the first stage of the local enduro race that is held there every year. Trek's Justin Leov, pictured here, came second to Wyn Masters in the pros.
Cam Cole on his last ride for the Yeti team before he signed up with Commencal Riding Addiction.
Lina Skoglund from Sweden, who was visiting with her Kiwi husband Steve, was happy to be out of the snow and darkness. She's railing a turn on Coronet Peak en route to the Arrowtown junction.
Queenstown legends Pete McGnarly and Tony 'T-Man' Moore thread the gully on the amazing Arrowtown track.
Steeps like this...
...lead to smoking rotors like this.
We weren't satisfied with our day's work, so since we had to collect some cars up by the road near Coronet Peak, some of us dropped into Rude Rock for our second shuttle of the day.
Rude Rock is all about speed, flow and leaning on your bike. I don't think anyone could have done a better job flagging and sculpting this trail. It complements the natural topography beautifully. This is how tracks are meant to be built.
Here's looking at our next descent. We had permission to check out the not-quite-so-completed Skippers connector trail, so we dropped down this beautiful canyon into another piece of stellar singletrack.
Looking up at the Skippers connector trail towards the end of Rude Rock, Knut Løkås gets some air.
Looking down the same trail in the direction of Skippers Canyon, which still lies far, far below. You can pretty much do this high speed, 100 percent chainless if you wanted to, as there is near 10km singletrack available.
It can be hard to take a moment and unwind in Queenstown when you only have three days here, as there is just too much to do. Fergburger fish and chips beside the chilly lake is hard to beat when you've got a moment to yourself.
For those of you not into shuttling or wanting a shorter ride, the 'Seven Mile' network of trails just outside of Queenstown offers many fun loops and scenic singletrack peppered with small jumps and obstacles right on the lakefront. A good place to spin your legs or link to a longer ride on Gold Digger.
With only a few more hours of light left, it was time to end the trip much like it started: by meeting up with Kelly McGarry – this time up at the Wynyard dream track. Here, he drops into Wynyard from the shuttle road.
Kelly does a suicide no hander on a massive dream track line.
Kelly once again, this time on the infamous 'Road Gap' step down. More like a freeway gap!
If the riding doesn't get your adrenaline pumping, there is lots more to do in Queenstown. Bungy, jet boating and canyoning are the tourist favourites.
A sweet sunset for the drive home. Next stop: Rotorua...