While I'm out in New Zealand to race it's been an amazing opportunity to see the local riding scene and trails on offer.
There's an incredible network of trails, mostly all put in by the Rotorua MTB club. They've clearly worked hard to develop the trails and with an apparent 150km on offer there is no shortage.
Trails here largely seem to use the as dug material. It's volcanic origin appears to pack down nicely and form an incredible surface to ride on. It might be a little wild when wet though.
There's a variation of hand dug and machine built trails which make for a fun mixture of trails.
It's a tourist hot spot, it's vibrant and there's a bustling scene of companies offering tours, guiding and an economy benefiting from cycling in the area. There's more than 3 bike shops in one area of town for instance. The place must be doing well. Between Skyline and the Red Wood trails you can spend days here exploring. The locals are also super friendly and keen to show you their playground.
I'll definitely be taking some inspiration back to Aberdeen from this trip. Scotland doesn't have anything comparable to Rotorua and has some serious catching up to do. While there's plenty of secret trails in Scotland the official routes are a few years behind what New Zealand has. Let's change that!