Third-generation cycling shop owner Bryce Shapley’s knowledge and passion for biking is unparalleled in the field. He agreed to give us his tips for cycling enthusiasts aiming to visit Rotorua:
Q: What inspired your passion for biking?
A: My dad inspired me, I started cycling when I was 12. I took to racing, absolutely loved it! Then I started road racing. As an extra challenge, I moved to track and mountain, competing in multiple events.
Q: Why should a cycling enthusiast choose Rotorua?
A: Great question! There is such a broad scope, Rotorua suits many types of riding. There are family friendly tracks for mum and dad with kids. There are tracks with a higher level of difficulty for those looking to compete. If you just want to have fun with your mates, there are shuttles provided that pick you up from your accommodation and bring you back at the end of the trail. The road cycling is top notch, as well. Also, if say you are are tired couple, looking for a scenic path or low difficulty forest train,there’s something for you. Let’s not forget the jumps tracks for the young either!
Q: What are your favourite tracks/ places in and around Rotorua?
A: I have two young daughters and I love riding with them. I hope to inspire them to live cycling as much as I do. The younger daughter’s favourite track is called Challenge Roadside, whereas the older daughter is keen on a slightly higher difficulty track called Eagle Vs Shark. Kids love it!
Q: What are the 3 most important things someone should carry when out mountain biking?
A: You can never be too prepared when you’re mountain biking, riding through forests, with some way to go by foot back to Rotorua. From experience, I would suggest a cell phone to call for help should you need it, a spare tube and pump for your tyres, and a multi tool for little fixes while you’re on the road.
Q: Final question, do you have one tip for beginner riders?
A: Have fun learning! It can feel like a steep learning curve, you might get frustrated, but you should just enjoy the process!