The Inside Track on Queenstown Mountain Biking…Part 2

We’re back with former Olympic skier Mitchey Greig to find out more about the Queenstown MTB scene. This week, she’s sharing stories from Pinewood Lodge, the accommodation spot she runs with her whole family.

Queenstown Mountain Biking
The Hub at Pinewood Lodge.

How long has Pinewood Lodge been operating?
My brother, sister and I all grew up at Pinewood. My parents have owned it for 25 years now, and the whole family is in there running the place on a day to day basis.

Why should mountain bikers stay with you?
We definitely go out of our way to make sure we look after the mountain bikers. Our location is about 100m away from the Skyline Bike Park – we have a special track built directly to it! We’re central to town, can always help a stranger plan their next epic day’s riding in Queenstown, and can even supply them with a bike if they don’t have one.

We know peoples’ bikes are like their children and worth a small fortune, so we have a 50-bike lockable storage unit, to keep them safe and clean. We can also throw the odd tool in there if you have some basic mechanical issues.

Not only that, we are made up of 28 houses, able to accommodate two to 24 people, so you can rent out a whole house and block yourself off from the rest of the world, or you can get amongst it and share with a bunch of other like-minded people. The option is yours. We’ve got everything from basic dorm beds through to ensuite rooms.

MTB Queenstown
Heading back to the Lodge after a blast on the bike.

What’s it like working in a family-run business?
It has its moments, but on the whole it’s an awesome environment. If we want to make something happen we don’t need to go very far to ask for permission. And, in general we’re all on the same wavelength and just want our guests to have a great stay. We’re all passionate about what we do : )

What’s the funniest request you’ve received from a guest?
It was quite funny when a guest somehow managed to lock himself out of his room when he went for a shower. His mad dash to reception to ask for another key was entertaining…don’t ask why he didn’t have a towel.

Favourite spot to hang out in Queenstown after a hard day biking?
I think everyone knows the mountain biking bar in Queenstown is Atlas. It’s the only bar you will walk into and be greeted by a healthy rack of great-looking bikes outside and people covered in dirt inside with big grins on their faces. You also can’t go past a swim in the lake on a hot summer’s day after a great ride : )

Thanks to Mitchey for letting us in on her secrets. Queenstown is an awesome spot for biking….if you haven’t made it there yet, put it on your bucket list. And if you need a great place to stay while in town, you really can’t beat Pinewood Lodge. It’s located just two minutes from the Skyline Bike Park and offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets.

Photos: Riley Bathurst.

The Inside Track on Queenstown Mountain Biking…with Mitchey Greig

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.

Mitchey Greig MTB Queenstown
Mitchey in action in Queenstown.

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 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 >>