Casey Brown rides Wanaka: Bike Glendhu

Casey Brown is one of the world’s foremost female mountain bikers. So naturally, she had to ride Bike Glendhu, Wanaka’s newest pedal-powered riding area.

Images by Callum Wood. Adapted from a story originally published in NZ Mountain Biker.

Casey Brown is a Canadian national mountain biking champion. She’s won Queen of Crankworx, she’s the first woman to complete Dream Track in Queenstown and now she’s got her sights set on being the first woman to ride Redbull Rampage. So - being that she’s also part Kiwi - we thought; who better to test out the riding in Wanaka?

In this three-part blog series, (try to) follow Casey as she tears up the trails in Wanaka. On her first day here, she rode the high-alpine at Cardrona Bike Park. Now, she’s gone down to the rode to sample the dirt at Bike Glendhu.  

Sunrise sessions

For the purposes of this shoot, Casey was up at the early hour of 4:30am to head up Bike Glendhu for some epic sunrise shots. Bike Glendhu is home to some iconic views overlooking Wanaka and the best way to see these is to head right to the top of the Falcon’s Nest.

Sunrise at Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New Zealand

Bike Glendhu is the brainchild of John McRae (whose family has owned the farmland on which the park sits for three generations) and John Wilson (a Wanaka local and bike enthusiast). Mainly pedal-powered (but with shuttling options coming this Summer), Bike Glendhu is a trail rider’s dream, with an eclectic mix of intuitive flow trails and tech that makes use of incredible natural features like schist rock rolls, roots and stumps.

Mountain bikers ride a berm at Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New ZealandFemale mountain biker at Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New ZealandView of Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New Zealand

Trail eats

In addition to an in-park mechanic and retail shop, Bike Glendhu is also home to Velo Café. Being plant-based, Casey loved the vast selection of plant-based and natural food that Velo had to offer – the perfect fuel for a day on the bikes. A local favourite – the veggie Thai curry pie, a must-try before you hop back onto the saddle for an afternoon of riding.

Food from Velo Cafe at Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New ZealandVelo Cafe at Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New Zealand

 

Afternoon tech

When the sun was high in the afternoon, Casey headed to back up the mountain to the mid-mountain landing called Stags Point. In the afternoon, the sun bakes the black tech trails off the back of the park to tacky perfection, so for those more advanced riders, it’s well-worth the journey into the trees to try ‘Methane Train’ before working your way up to its older brother, the aptly named ‘Dark Matter’.

Mountain bikers ride tech at Bike Glendhu in WanakaRockrolls at Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New Zealand

Après-bike beer

No day of riding is complete without a well-earned beer. For that, Casey headed to B.Social, the newest brewery in town, serving up B.Effect craft beers, ciders and even kombucha. And with a tasty selection of pub guilty pleasure favourites, riders can satisfy that post-shred hunger.

B. Effect Brewery patio at sunset in Wanaka, New ZealandFood at B. Effect Brewery in Wanaka, New Zealand

This is Bike Glendhu

Beautiful views, natural features and lots of pedalling – this is the essence of mountain biking. And with new trails launching this Summer, Bike Glendhu is only going to get even more epic.

Casey Brown jumping at Bike Glendhu in Wanaka, New Zealand

After Bike Glendhu, Casey took an off-day and headed out to the Siberia Valley to explore. Check out that adventure.