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Bringing the sport of mountain biking to everyone


What is Share the Ride with Whanau?


In 2013, Mountain Bike Rotorua owner Takurua Mutu and his partner Jayne Hendrikse took her low decile, intermediate school class out mountain biking in the Whakarewarewa Forest, 5 minutes from the Rotorua city centre. It was a revealing moment for the couple when one of the students asked if they were in Taupo. One of the world’s most popular bike parks, just a few minutes from their homes and the students didn’t even know it existed let alone having experienced it. That year, in partnership with co-owners Tuhua Mutu and Janine Kavanagh, the first iteration of what would become the Share the Ride programs was born.


Share the Ride with Whanau takes families from the community who don’t have the means to buy new bikes and teaches riding skills, basic bike maintenance, provides familiarity of the forest services and trails and on successful completion of the 10 session program, brand new bikes and helmets for the programme participants.

Share the Ride with Whanau has been delivered successfully annually since 2015 to more than 50 families and over 100 bikes distributed to deserving members of the community.

Getting families active, outdoors and working together is key to healthy lifestyles and Share the Ride with Whanau is a proactive program to foster a change in whanau culture. Making the sport of mountain biking more accessible by breaking down barriers of cost, awareness and knowledge are key factors to increasing the participation and future successes in the sport both recreationally and competitively.

Our program fulfils a role that is mostly unoccupied in Aotearoa, New Zealand, which is increasing the participation in mountain biking from a true grassroots level.

Thanks to our friends at Giant Bikes NZ, Share the Ride with Whanau is back on for 2024. If you know a whanau who might not have the means to get out riding, but are awesome members of our community and can commit to the programme, then fill in the form and click submit. We’ll be choosing up to 30 people to be a part of this awesome kaupapa.


Here is a quick checklist for you to consider before making a nomination:

  • The programme will require whanau nominees to take part in 10 sessions, including after school and weekends so participants must be committed to the programme.

  • At least one of the nominees MUST be a parent or caregiver and MUST participate in the programme.

  • We encourage nominating multiple family members.

  • Participants will need to be able to transport themselves to and from the Mountain Bike Rotorua Waipa Shop for each session.

  • The story behind the nomination will play a key role in the success of the submission.

  • Nominations close COB 8th March 2024.


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