Sacred Rides, the company that helped pioneer serious singletrack mountain bike adventures in 13 remote and exotic destinations around the world, is taking adventurous fat tire enthusiasts on an incredible journey this November through April to the exotic realms of Middle Earth (a.k.a. New Zealand).
“New Zealand is one of those iconic, bucket list destinations. With spectacular mountains, beautiful fiords, amazing trails and a heli-bike experience, this trip has ‘epic adventure’ written all over it,” says Mike Brcic, Sacred Rides founder and owner. “The trip will appeal most to experienced mountain bikers who like long, beautiful cross-country trails and a heaping dose of jaw-dropping adventure with their mountain biking.” Suggested skill levels are 7 out of a possible 9 and fitness levels 4/5.
The 12-day Misty Mountain Hop tour price is $3,495 CAD per person double, with departures on Dec. 10, 2013, Jan. 7 and Feb. 4, 2014. Included are 11 nights accommodation in local lodgings that evoke Kiwi charm, breakfasts, lunches, snacks (including coolers full of ice-cold brews and beverages at the end of each day’s ride) and four dinners, heli-biking and boat cruising, all transportation including airport pickup and two experienced guides.
The accommodation on one night is a charming back country hut perched 4,250 feet high in the Victoria mountain range. Another night is spent at a High Country Station, in a converted Sheep Shearing Cottage, with views to die for. On another night, it’s an ocean-side eco-lodge accessible only by water taxi. See:
Not for the faint of heart, this trip engages “all the most amazing trails you want to ride around the world — in one place,” notes Ben Laffan, lead guide, adding that a ride highlight is heli-biking on Kirwan’s Track, a little-known local favorite.
The tour that begins and ends in Christchurch encompasses Queenstown, known as “the adventure capital of the world”; the wine growing region of Marlborough, with stops enroute for tastings; Queen Charlotte Track and native New Zealand fern forests; Motueka on Tasman Bay; the epic Rameka Track, Nelson; and a spin on an 1880’s singletrack to a ghost town and on to Reefton, a West Coast mining town where helicopters transport riders to the top of Kirwans Track in the Victoria Range. From here there’s a 3,500-foot descent through assorted biozones leading eventually to Lake Tekapo and on to Mt. Cook in the heavily glaciated Southern Alps. The destination is the Lindis Pass to the lakeside town of Wanaka and up to the Cardona Valley leading to Queenstown. The best ride is saved for last, up Coronet Peak to the newly-built Rude Rock trail, a fast-paced, laughter-inducing run.
Image courtesy Sacred Rides