Queenstown is a hugely popular destination for mountain bikers, so this week we’d thought we’d get the lowdown from someone who knows the local scene well. 2010 Olympic freestyle skier Mitchey Greig grew up in Queenstown, and after many years of chasing the snow is now loving life on her mountain bike. Mitchey and her family run popular accommodation spot Pinewood Lodge, which is just a two-minute ride from the Queenstown Bike Park.
When did you start riding and why?
When I retired from competitive skiing I suddenly had a lot of time…and after 18 straight winters I felt it was finally time for a summer. I quickly discovered biking and the world-class riding we have in Queenstown and found it was a great way to get out and blow off some steam. The riding just keeps getting better, thanks to the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club charging on and creating more and more sweet trails.
What type of riding do you enjoy the most?
I love all types: cross country missions, downhilling at the bike park and a sneaky bit of road riding in between. As long as I’m outside, it’s a great day : )
Globally, the word is out about Queenstown mountain biking. How would you rate the riding compared to Whistler?
I would say we are right up there. A few years back, the Atherton family (the fastest family on two wheels) said it one of the best places they’ve ever ridden. And you definitely can’t beat the scenery – I still can’t get enough of it and I see it everyday. Our bike park may not be as big (as Whistler), but it definitely packs a punch.
What’s your favourite Queenstown ride or trail?
My favorite ride is being dropped off at the car park at Coronet Peak (the local ski area) for a 45-minute grind to the top of the mountain on the Enduro track. At the top you get to turn around and ride the epic trail back down to the base building. From there you join onto another track called Cock Rock, where you pound down flowy, fast singletrack switchbacks. And that’s not all..at the bottom of that you meet up with the Zoot track which is a very poppy, narrow singletrack that takes you to the bottom of the mountain. There’s a lot of downhill and it’s definitely worth a look. I’m also pretty excited about trying the New Skippers link track being built up there as we speak.
Tell us about your most memorable moment on a bike?
My most memorable moment on a bike was riding with a great crew of mates down the Whole Enchilada in MOAB Utah, which hands down, is the most awesome four hours of pure downhill. It definitely opened my eyes to how mountain biking and great company can get you addicted to living… you just can’t beat it.
Next week…Mitchey spills the beans on working with her entire family at Pinewood Lodge.
Inspired to ride in Queenstown? We offer a number of South Island MTB tours, which take in the region’s most exhilarating terrain. Click here to view our selection >>