By Gary Caffell
Wairarapa BMX enthusiasts are on a high.
They are eagerly awaiting what can be labelled a world-class display from some of the country’s top riders as part of the Huri Huri Bike Festival later this month.
FreestyleLifestyle BMX will be displaying their skills in Martinborough and Kahutara on Tuesday, January 24 with members performing a series of high level stunts, including backflips, 360 spins and superman combinations over a portable ramp.
The group are widely regarded as New Zealand’s premier BMX display team and have appeared at major events such as Big Boys Toys, D1NZ drifting, NZ Tattoo and Art Festival and Wheels for Cure Kids.
Spearheading their line-up are the country’s number one female rider, Ellie Chew, winner of the New Zealand Dirt Series, Paul Langlands, the third placegetter in that series, Hugh Wotherspoon and Jono Hopping, renowned as one of the country’s top “street riders”.
Langlands, who is the team owner, says his team is excited about performing in Wairarapa for the first time.
“We’re really keen to get down to the Wairarapa as we haven’t been there before to show off our tricks.
“The kind of riding we do will be new to most people down there and we hope to give them a thrill so they go home excited about what they’ve seen.”
Following the displays there will be a chance to meet the riders, grab autographs and selfies and pick up some great giveaways at the same time.
Huri Huri director Catherine Rossiter-Stead is thrilled to be able to present such a high-profile event as part of the week-long festival.
She said it was a “real privilege” to have FreestyleLifetyle involved and predicts their performance will be one of the highlights of the entire programme.
She said the Martinborough display would get underway about midday and would be open to everyone while later in the day the team will visit Kahutara School where they will teach young riders some basic tricks as part of Huri Huri’s Kids Holiday Programme.
Places there will be strictly limited with intending participants aged between 8 and 16 having to register online in advance.
The Huri Huri Bike Festival takes place between January 21 and 27 and is being run in association with the New Zealand Cycle Classic featuring some of the world’s premier road cyclists.
The festival features a range of cycling events such as the Pedal for Parkinsons road challenge on Admiral Hill, Town to Tide multipsort race and a rare opportunity to explore Castlepoint by mountain bike in support of the Peter Laing Trust.