Cyclorama returns for second year
Cyclorama will return for its second year this Labour weekend in historic Arrowtown. There’s eight special trail rides to choose from, with something for everyone, and a lovely Festival Village set up for all to enjoy.
The festival was started by Dave Gibson, who is excited to see the festival going ahead once again. Gibson’s background is in film and TV – he worked as a producer in Wellington before moving down to Queenstown around five years ago. He’s now semi-retired and thought Cyclorama was a great opportunity to do something interesting and get to meet and interact with members of the community.
“I wouldn’t call myself a deeply experience biker, I fell into it a little bit,” Gibson says. “I moved down here, and the first thing you want to do is go biking, so I did a bit of biking and found some of the hills a wee bit much, so I got an e-bike. So, I’m not a serious mountain biker, I’m more of a trail kind of person – a few farm tracks here and there, but mostly trail and road.
“It’s also a bit of a transport thing. We live just a little bit out of Arrowtown, and quite often rather than take the car into town, we’ll just hop on the bike and ride up the hill. I use the bike to head around places and go out to dinner – it’s a little bit safer than biking in Wellington.”
The event also includes three brand new rides for 2023, including the Night Rider, which features stargazing in a Gibbston vineyard. There’s also a Meet the Artists, featuring Arrowtown’s most talented sculptors, and anyone wanting a challenge will be able to head off on the Coronet Caper, accompanied by the best guides in town to explore Coronet Bike Park’s downhill offerings.
“I read a story about a guy named Brian Boyle, who had moved here from Australia and was living in Gibbston. He had a background as a fairly experienced astronomer and had a huge telescope in his backyard. I thought wow, that’s pretty interesting – I met him and realised that he was a good communicator, a little bit of fun, and we just came up with this idea of having a night ride," Gibson says.
"So you’d ride out to Gibbston at dusk, and hang out with him and see the telescope. He’s also managed to set up a camera on the telescope, which then runs on WiFi back to the living room, and you can all sit around the table that has a big TV and control the telescope from there.”
Last year’s festival was fortunate to have fabulous weather and had about 300 riders involved. The Festival Village is the main hub for the event and offers coffee and food trucks, live music by Scottish acoustic guitarist, Robert Glen, and Queenstown Funk Orchestra, retailers, and a course built for e-bikes. The area will be open to all, not just competitors, and Gibson really encourages everyone to stop by and check out the area.
“I think the word festival is quite important for this event – it’s not competitive. People can go on curated rides, like Pedalling Pinot, Tour de Gourmet, and The Hop Trail. There are some rides you can do on those two days, but we also have this Festival Village idea of just a whole bunch of tents by retailers. We have a live musical afternoon, and this year we’ve got a pop-up Fork & Tap, which I think will be really nice.
“People don’t have to go on the rides, they can just turn up at the village and there’s various bike activities going on there – we have a whole lot of ramps that Mitre 10 made for us last year, that the kids can come down and ride off. I think the festival will be a lot bigger this year – a bit of a destination for people to pop in, hang about and have a beer.”
Cyclorama E-Bike Festival will take place on 21 and 22 October. All rides start and finish at the Festival Village that will be set up at Butler’s Green in Arrowtown. For more information and to book in a ride, head to cyclorama.co.nz