EAGLE vs SHARK
GRADE: 3 LENGTH: 3KM
BUILT: The original trail was funded in a brand new way for Rotorua: Half the cost was covered by South Star Adventures. They’re a Rotorua-based company, run by Jeff Carter. They’ve built trails in our own backyard – and all over the world.
The other half was raised through crowd funding, organised by the Mountain Bike Club. Fifteen thousand dollars was contributed in just over a month. The amounts of these varied, but every single dollar counted, with $10 ‘buying’ a metre of trail.
After extensive clear-felling in autumn 2018, the Trails Trust has reinstated the part of EvS that was affected.
GETTING THERE: There is no easy way to ride to the Eagle vs Shark trailhead. It’s all climbing. However, there is an alternative. Jeff doesn’t only run a trail building company. Since 2007, he’s also run a shuttle business. The pickup point is the corner of Hill and Pipeline Roads and the buses and trailers take riders to the top of Tawa Road. And to a whole smorgasbord of the very best trails the Whakarewarewa network has to offer, now including Eagle vs Shark.
TRAIL DESCRIPTION: Eagle vs Shark, named after a movie by top Kiwi writers, directors and performers, Jermaine Clements (Flight of the Conchords) and Taika Waititi (Boy).
Eagle vs Shark is a beauty. Fast and flowing, 99% downhill, it feels a little like a combination of Corners trail with a hint of Split Enz and lots of smooth, rollable jumps. It all adds up to what becomes a favourite for many riders in no time flat.
Also a high spot for accidents - please take it easy the first time down. You can really motor if you want to.
The trail starts at the shuttle drop off point towards the top of Tawa Road, one of the highest points in the forest. It winds down a steep slope, facing north with a couple of traverses across the face of the hill.
Eventually it pops into the open for a few straights and corners before flattening out through the trees again.
GETTING OUT: Exits at the Forest Hub 2 carpark and forest entrance.