Friday, October 3

We must be doing something right...

For a small Park with big ambitions, feedback from visitors and regulars helps and encourages us towards making it even better.
From the start, we set out to create a family-friendly mountain biking environment. That meant first establishing a circuit of easy-grade trails, before extending into a range of intermediate and advanced-grade tracks. Every year, we plan our projects based on what we feel will add to the overall Park experience, both for beginner riders and those looking for more of a challenge.

The support we get from local businesses through sponsorship goes a long way towards funding much of this work.
Together with on-going support from the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board, advertising, map sales and collections from our donation box, we're able to avoid the user-fees that are increasingly appearing elsewhere around the country.

But building tracks, especially on Kaiteriteri's steep, gully-riven slopes, is an expensive undertaking. It's hard on machinery and, when we hit rock, it gets even harder. Progress can slow from 40-50m a day to 2m a day and that can make a mess of even the best budgeting!

So when individuals and businesses approach us saying they'd like to show their appreciation for what we're doing with a substantial donation, it can sometimes mean the difference between keeping at it or suspending operations.

Andrew Taylor is one such individual. Based in Wellington, he and his wife, Pip, have a bolt hole in Little Kaiteriteri and, with their daughter, love getting into the Park on their bikes when in residence. Like many others, they know they're unlikely to make it to a working bee so decided to make a $10,000 donation to the Park. Yes, that's $10,000!
Shortly after Andrew's approach, Bruce Miller of Motueka's New World supermarket, also got in touch. New World already sponsor Remedy and provide the Sunday morning treats for our working bee volunteers. But Bruce, a regular Park user, wanted to also show his personal appreciation with a $2000 donation!

Such shows of support not only give those of us on the committee a huge lift in encouragement that we're creating something that is truly of value in the community - in very practical terms, it means our digger track-building can go on when our budget is otherwise exhausted.
At the moment, the track that is gobbling up most of our funds is... unsurprisingly, Jaws. So, when we eventually emerge from the torturous terrain that has tested us on so many levels and open up the whole length of this track for business, we hope Andrew and Bruce and their families get a special buzz out of riding it!

Another project soon to get lift-off is this enhancement to our Skills Arena.

Marty Clark & Bruce Nelson designed it for us some time back and we've been itching to get started ever since.
Local builder Roger Kenning worked up our timber needs and offered to oversee its construction once we had materials in place.

Step forward Brent Steinmetz of Prime Pine Ltd, the Little Sydney Valley-based sawmill. Another Park fan who laments not being able to make it to working bees,  Brent priced up our order and then knocked $1000 off the price as his way of making a contribution.
It has now been treated and delivered to site so look out on our Facebook page for the shortly upcoming notification of the day when we'll assemble and turn this design into a reality!



Coming up, we have the official opening of the Great Taste Trail's coastal section on October 11.

The final leg of this route brings riders into the Park and onto Easy Rider.

Since the opening of the cycle underpass as part of the Turners Bluff road realignment, we're already seeing greatly increased numbers of riders using Easy Rider. 

Feedback from many is that they're loving the completely different environment and we can imagine that the shade of the forest will be especially welcomed on a hot day.
Not to mention the ice-cream or (ginger)beer when you emerge onto the beach :)

It promises to be a fun day so, if you haven't got round to it yet, oil your chain and get you and your bike to Motueka for the 9.00am start...

The following day, we're playing host to a Duathlon.
This is being run - or is that run/biked? - by the Nelson Tri Club to see how popular the Park might be as a venue for future events.

If you think that this is something you'd like to give a crack, you can turn up on the morning and sign on.

As you can see, there are lots of options to cater for first-timers up to seasoned veterans in almost any combination you want to throw together.

And the best bit is, you get to run the tracks without meeting any bikers coming the other way!


Remember to 'Like' our Facebook page (linked in the sidebar) to keep abreast of what's happening in the Park, including news of the Nelson mum and children who did a 3 day cycle-tour to Kaiteriteri, who our track inspector is and where you can stand underneath 500 yr old rimu...

Guy Trainor

Thursday, September 4

Give us a break!

It's been a while since a Park update. Not that we haven't been busy, it's just that a few projects have taken - and continue to take - a little longer than expected.

Top of that list is the continuation of Jaws.
We opened the first 1km traverse in March and I blogged about the magnitude of that achievement in an earlier post. At the time, the effort that went into constructing that track far surpassed anything else we'd done at Kaiteriteri.
Surely, we were past the worst...

We resumed construction at the end of May and, as before, began with a relatively easy run. Slopes weren't too steep, the clay/granite blend was perfect, the rain stayed away. Not only were Karl & Sam, back to hot-seating Mouse the digger, churning out the metres, they were carving out some mega swoops and small jumps. It was like Jaws on steroids.

It couldn't last. Just as it's no longer so easy to sneak up on innocents at Martha's Vineyard, it seems it's not possible to carve out sneaky metres at Kaiteriteri without drawing the attention of the track's namesake.

He was back - and his teeth were as as sharp as ever!

We were the innocents as we rounded a gentle spur and progressed into an ever-steepening gully. The absence of mature trees ahead alerted us to the possibility that topsoil was thin. If it wasn't for the amount of birdsong we might just have heard the distant thrumming of a tuba...

Suddenly we were in it - the most solid wall of granite bedrock we have encountered to date!

The most frustrating thing about the bedrock is that it's never visible on the surface. You don't know if it's going to continue for just one or two metres or extend for several.
We began by scratching away with the digger attachments until we saw the toll it was taking on the teeth.  At that point, we borrowed a rock breaker and generator.

In the trade, these are called demolition hammers. When you're a 70kg ectomorph trying to form a working relationship with a 30kg rock hammer, the only thing that's guaranteed to get demolished is yourself. After a week of hammering away at vertical rock, my back muscles spat the dummy. This was a relationship that had no future...

To the rescue came Andrew Spittal. Andrew is a foundation sponsor of the Park - someone who, in our start-up years, invested hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars helping to get the Park on the map.
Although he's now busy building trails elsewhere in the region, he generously loaned us a hydraulic breaker from his construction company.

We got an adaptor made for it to fit Mouse and we were back in business!

It's still slow going. Granite doesn't easily fracture and the deeper we go, the harder it gets.

Occasionally we get lucky and manage to extract a boulder but, usually, it's a matter of painstakingly chipping away.
(You can check out the video below to get an idea of what our days are currently consisting of...)

We know that we'll eventually emerge from this particular gully and be off swooping our way downhill again. That we're behind schedule goes without saying but, rest assured, we won't let this big fish get the better of us.

We've worn down so many teeth that surely he must be getting a bit gummy, as well, by now..?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Park, we've had more success...

Over the last two winters, our volunteers have religiously been turning up on Sunday mornings for our working bees. Their project has been to extend the Skullduggery singletrack and, boy, has this captured their imagination!
Huge credit must go to our committee members, who have led the charge, but they've been more than ably supported by a dedicated pool of regulars. Many of these, especially the younger ones, are now developing a good sense how to build sustainable singletrack. These are the people who will be creating the fun & flowing trails of the future and I, for one, look forward to rocking up to ride them!

This new track currently exits just above the pump shed and only needs one or two more Sunday sessions before being officially 'signed-off'. Meanwhile, Sam & I have seized the opportunity of some rockbreaker repairs to make a start on a connection  between a mid-point on this track and Swish.

The purpose of this traversing track is to give people more circuit options and to take some pressure off the more steeply-descending lower half. Those who find the preceding sections of Skullduggery about at the maximum of their comfort zone will probably want to take the Swish option.
Plus, you'll get to take in this view towards Motueka from the seat near the end...


From here, you look down onto the lower stretches of Easy Rider, which finishes with some swooping switchbacks before exiting the Park (if this is where you want to come out).

It also forms the entrance into the Park of the Tasman Great Taste Trail.
People can now ride the Trail from Nelson to Kaiteriteri and we wanted them to feel they were entering something special when they arrived at this point.

For some, it will be their first venture into a "mountain bike park".
We're hoping they'll feel truly welcomed and enjoy the experience so much they'll feel encouraged to come back and explore more of the track network.

The gateway 'cog' was built for us by our Gold sponsor, Andy Lowe of Image Creators. We think it's pretty impressive but you could say that we're biased.
Why not come along to the official opening of the Motueka-Kaiteriteri section of the Trail on October 11 and see for yourself..?


True to predictions, we're now starting to see an increase in rat kills in our Park traps.
Rod Markham and John McKenzie will shortly be installing more traps, concentrating them in those areas where most kills are recorded.
Anyone keen to sponsor a trap or occasionally walk a trapline can email us at info@kaiteriterimtbpark.org.nz

And, finally, a little rock breaking to lull you to sleep...
Guy Trainor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPARRq9XMZA
video


Wednesday, May 21

Kaiteriteri's pumping!

Bringing Mouse, our digger, down from the upper part of the Park for a service, gave us an opportunity to carry out a long-awaited upgrade.

Our pump track has had a lot of use over recent years.

The berms and rollers had all mellowed to a level where it was getting harder and harder to pump out a lap without pedalling.

Still popular with young ones, it no longer provided the same challenge for more experienced riders, as when first opened.

The nearby road realignment of the Riwaka-Kaiteriteri Rd meant we were able to source some good quality fill and this was helpfully dumped adjacent to the site.

Karl Thompson, who built our pump track, originally designed a circuit that could accommodate additional features within the outside circuit. Now was the time to incorporate them, alongside vamping up the berms with that extra soil.
With Karl on Mouse and Sam Knowles constructing retaining walls, raking & compacting, the upgrade was completed within three days.
It now offers several directional options and some wicked berms that encourage you to maintain speed. It's still perfectly safe for beginners and little 'uns - but now, also, is a lot more fun for everyone else.

Here, Karl pumps out a couple of demo laps...


Obviously, it's still fairly fresh so please avoid riding it when wet or soft. 

Feedback on the first stage of JAWS has been overwhelmingly positive. It was a tough build and we're pretty proud of what we managed to achieve in challenging terrain. It's been getting a lot of use, despite the advanced-grade section of Velocity it currently connects to being a little out of some comfort zones.
We aim to commence the second stage of JAWS shortly. The friendlier gradients of the lower slopes will allow us to have some fun with this descending track before it exits at the Corkscrew hub.
With a kind winter, we hope to have the whole track open by Summer.

Rod Markham, who heads up our Predator Trapping programme, recently reported:
"Between January and March we caught 7 stoats, most of them near the Big Airs/Skullduggery junction. Since then the traps have been empty. We have been changing the trap positions but so far they remain empty. There has been no sign of rats at any of the traps, we are using a dried rabbit bait for stoats and have been adding peanut butter as a rat lure. We are about to try other baits including real and artificial eggs. 
Bird life in this area of the park seems pretty healthy at the moment in particular we are seeing large numbers of fantails through Skullduggery."

Apparently, it is normal for there to be a drop-off in stoat kills at this time of year. What is particularly encouraging is the lack of rat kills, as this is their most active time. We will continue to extend the trapping lines into new areas and hope for similar success. We remain grateful to those individuals who have donated to this programme, allowing us to direct Park funds into track building and maintenance.

Sunday, June 22, will once again see the mountain biking hordes descending upon Tent City in Bethany Park for the Kaiteriteri Mid-Winter 6Hr Breakout.
Last year, we had 200 teams, totalling nearly 500 riders. This year will probably exceed that so, as we're approaching capacity for the event, it wouldn't pay to delay getting your entry in for too long. Cut off date is June 15.   
      
Last year saw Brian Grant ride off with the top costume prize with his inspired Major Tom. This is the category that really reflects the spirit of the event so we can expect some fairly creative outfits this year.

And for those who like the dark side, don't forget that you can join us for a Saturday Night Ride. Just turn up at the Beached Whale Bar/Cafe @ 6pm for a cruisey circuit of our favourite tracks.

After the ride, we'll retire to the Bar for beer'n'pizza and live coverage of the ABs playing England :-)

To encourage those coming from a distance, Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp is offering a special deal for all 6Hr entrants: a 20% discount on all cabin and tent sites.
Ph. (03) 527 8010 for bookings.

A lot of work has already been put into this year's circuit, making it less susceptible to cutting up should the track be damp, on the day (tho' heavy rain will force a postponement). If you've been wondering what it would be like to enter a multi-hour, mid-winter, mountain biking, team event - this is your chance!









Sunday, March 23

JAWS comes to Kaiteriteri!


He's been a long time coming but JAWS has finally arrived at Kaiteriteri.

He's fought us all the way, throwing up more challenges in 1 km of track than all of the others combined. Every time we celebrated the benching of an especially difficult piece of terrain, we were granted only a brief reprieve before facing our next hurdle.
The construction of this track challenged us in ways we hadn't encountered before. Even Mouse, our brave little digger, suffered some fractures that required extensive welding before being thrust back into the fray.
Blasting, rockhammers, enormous pines, slips - right up to the final few meters when we disturbed a cluster of three wasp nests and a bumblebee hive, building this track was a massive undertaking. It deserved a big name...

It starts innocently enough.

Having just climbed 3kms of Corkscrew, we figured people would appreciate a gentle, catch-your-breath, introduction to our latest Intermediate-grade addition to the network.

Sidecast spill creates the impression of a wide thoroughfare, disguising the steep slopes you're in fact traversing.
This will quickly revegetate and create a green corridor that lures you in.


There are also some big views to distract you.

You can climb some steps at this point to our tree stump lookout.

We haven't figured out what the felled pine, with its 'tentacle' branches, most resembles yet.
Is it a praying mantis..? A weta? A squid?

Whatever it is, this fallen monster dominates the open slopes of this length of track.


The view to the East is equally impressive, taking in the sweep of Tasman Bay, Nelson and the Richmond Ranges in the distance.

As is typical at Kaiteriteri, traversing the slopes means crossing numerous spurs.

Much as we try to open them up and shave back the inside bank, they remain 'blind corners'.

Therefore, because we want people to enjoy the flow of JAWS, we've made it ONE WAY.


The Pool of Reflection.

We spent many hours and days at this spot, wondering if we were ever going to progress.

I posted earlier about the trials we had with an adjacent spring we 'untapped', causing several cubic meters of grey, silty hillside to slump.

It seemed that every time we tried to move on, more soil and surface vegetation would slip down, forcing us to backtrack to clear the mess and try to create a new bench.
A brand new shovel is buried near here, left by an equally buried culvert.

So pause for a moment when you pass this spot and reflect on the hours it can sometimes take to create a few meters of track.

You may even spot the koura we relocated here...

What followed the slip was one of those periods when the more ominous aspects of JAWS slipped away and lulled us into a sense of relaxation.

The slope eased off. The soil reverted to the granite/clay mix that is such a pleasure to sculpt track from.

A nice blend of beech and kanuka forest provided welcome shade and birdsong.

Karl Thompson and Sam Knowles were hot-seating Mouse and I was working hard to stay in front.

We even found scope to throw in a split line and some swoops that were of our choosing, not the terrain's. We were having fun!

I guess we should have realised that JAWS wasn't finished with us yet...

No sooner had Karl departed for his pre-booked 'paternity leave' than we hit rock - big time!
A thin layer of vegetation sat on top of granite bedrock on steep slopes.

Much of this has already been chronicled in the Kaiteriteri Rocks!
photo album on our facebook page.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show showed the work in progress - here is part of the finished article. It's a thing of beauty, really, and may, in time, comes to resemble the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.



We hope you notice when you fly past.

You may choose to stop anyway, if only to refill your water bottle from the stream.

We've put a pipe in to save you the 5m scramble up some wet rocks to a small waterfall, 'though if the funnel has been dislodged, you may wish to do that anyway.

The water is delicious and, on a hot Kaiteri' day this makes a perfect spot to cool down, eat that banana and... smile.

As it happened, Karl returned from his 'paternity leave', several weeks later, the day after Sam cleared the last of the rocky section. If I hadn't met the new baby boy myself, I could almost have been suspicious that the whole "pregnancy" had been a fabrication ;-)

To our relief, the final 200m run went fairly uneventfully (bar those wasp nests), no doubt evidence that JAWS was as exhausted by the battle as we were.

This first stage - of what will eventually be a 3 kms long, descending track to the Corkscrew hub - exits onto Velocity just below the steep, rutty Expert (Black Diamond) section, remnants of an old firebreak. From this point Velocity is graded Advanced but confident riders will enjoy a loop that swoops them down to the Skullduggery/Big Airs hub.

The track builders are taking a month's break now but will be resuming our tussle with JAWS after Easter. Even though his teeth are a little more worn now than when we started, we don't think for a moment he's given up.


Thursday, January 2

It ain't easy...

For those of you curious to know how progress on our latest digger-bench project is going, the answer is SLOW!
We expected the steepness of the terrain to make for some tough going, with batters frequently exceeding 2m.
The number of exceptionally-large, prone pines was new. Obviously felled well before the former forest was converted into a mountain bike park, these fallen monsters have proven a challenge in places - especially on the steep slopes.

Still, at the end of each day, we were able to look back on several more metres of newly-formed track.
Then we encountered a wall of granite. Scratching away with the digger bucket was achieving little other than wearing down teeth. The only option was to blast it.

Enter Andrew Smith of Independent Blasting & Abseil Access.

This first exercise in blasting may have alarmed a few Kaiteriteri residents but it did succeed in clearing a sufficient path for Mouse to move forward.

A few metres on, we encountered a boulder.

These are rare on the surface of the MTB Park slopes and, when discovered, we try to make a feature of them or, at the least, to leave them trackside for riders to marvel at.

That wasn't really an option, here. It was massive and the way it hung over the intended line meant it wasn't safe to try to sneak under it. It had to go.

What we could see was big enough but how much of the boulder was buried underground was impossible to tell.

Also, it was formed of much harder, white granite, rather than the softer, yellow rock more typical of 'Separation Point Granite'.
This called for a more powerful drill. Despite being on holiday, Mark Townsend, Motueka DOC Conservation Services Manager, came to our rescue by lending us theirs.


It wasn't easy work.

First, Andrew used a pneumatic rock hammer, generously loaned by Ching Contracting, to create a starting hole for the drill bit.

Then he had to rig up a harness for himself while Karl used the digger bucket to take some of the weight of the heavy drill.

Add in temps in the high 20s and the sweat was flowing freely!

The holes had to be drilled to a depth of approx. 1.2m before the charges could be inserted. Then, we retreated to a safe distance, wound up the warning siren before, 60secs later... KABOOM!!!


I'm not sure how accurate the reports were that some locals thought that a local water taxi company's fuel depot had exploded but the boom did echo around the hills for a few seconds.

A significant chunk of the boulder still remained, however, so Andrew's work wasn't finished yet...

It's hard yakka manhandling the drill, especially on a steep slope, and made me appreciate the efforts of those currently constructing the Old Ghost Road mountain bike trail.

Even more so, the achievements of those mining pioneers carving their pack tracks into the hinterlands of rugged mountain ranges.
Picks, shovels and dynamite forged a network of benched trails that are now helping to turn NZ into a MTB Mecca.


Meanwhile, back at the rockface, enough rock had been removed for Karl to manoeuvre Mouse a few more metres along the track.

More boulders... but of a size able to be nudged over the edge, crashing their way into the gully below.

But this 20m stretch of hillside wasn't done with us yet.

Stripping the vegetative cover and thin topsoil away uncovered a bank of wet, grey, silty sub-soil.


The more we excavated, the more slumped down to re-cover the track. Somewhere in there, a spring had been 'uncorked'...

Water seeped freely from the bank, quickly turning previously dry soil to a porridge-like consistency.
It seemed as quickly as we cleared it, more slipped down, leaving the matted surface vegetation - held together by suplejack roots - increasingly undercut.

Eventually, we succeeded in creating enough of a sump to install a drain and got back on to the business of benching track.

Walking back out that afternoon, we discovered another major slump, this time bringing down, along with a jungle of vines and tree fern, another massive boulder!

Re-enter, Andrew...

More blasting, more excavating... and we're wondering how much more time this section is going to consume.

Work recommences on Monday and an inspection this weekend will most likely reveal that more of the hillside has slumped over the track.

Still, like the pioneers of old, we'll get there and, chances are, when you eventually get to ride this bit of track, you'll whizz by oblivious to the efforts that went into building it.



Although, if you stop to pause and reflect by the small pool we've created at a stream crossing just beyond it, you may be lucky enough to spot a koura.

The native freshwater crayfish pictured was found living in the damp soil underneath one of the boulders we removed.
Unfortunately, its tail was missing but it did manage to crawl away when we relocated it to the pool.

How many generations of this species it took for this individual to make it quite so far up Kaiteriteri's slopes is anybody's guess.

Unless, s/he came via the underground spring system, of course, in which case they may be on their way down...



Alongside the regular Summer visitors from Christchurch, there's been a great mix of others using the trails this season- some of whom have appeared on our Facebook page.
More people from the North Island have heard about the MTB Park and, when combined with the other natural attractions of the region, have found it well worth the ferry crossing.
The local bike hire operators have also enabled many overseas visitors to get out and explore the tracks, all finding something to suit their level of skill and fitness.

Some, like Erica Hartwick, enjoy returning to ride their favourite tracks.

She took special delight in installing her own unique contribution to The Corkscrew Tree over xmas.

Next time you wander into a second-hand shop for a bit of time-filling browsing, why not see if there's an interesting corkscrew that could become your own 'signature' at this well-photographed landmark.

We are always grateful to those of you that leave something in the donation box following your visit.
Not only do we accept it as your way of saying "Thanks!" - it makes a very real contribution to Park development.
As the track network has expanded, so, too, have maintenance requirements and the tools necessary to carry it out, so every dollar is well invested.

Occasionally, appreciative Park users want to contribute more significantly to our work. Several people have made substantial donations directly to us and these we acknowledge with a letter, tax invoice and, new this year, a 'Thank You" poster. We also mention them under our Supporters link in the menu bar.
Amounts over the years have varied from $50 to $1000 but all are received with the same awareness that you get a lot of enjoyment from the Park and we get a lot of pleasure from knowing that. Alongside our many track sponsors, you're helping to create a Park of which we can all be proud.

And finally, despite all those kgs you've put on over xmas, remember you can always shed weight by buying carbon components...

Monday, November 25

Spring Update

When you rely on a rainy day in Tasman to write a Park blog, sometimes it can be a long time between posts!
Of course, if you abscond to Turkey for five weeks of biking (where it didn't rain, either), then the gap gets even longer. But you can argue singletrack research is an important part of developing an MTB Park and, well... someone's gotta do it.

You won't find much funner riding than amongst the rock formations around Goreme in Central Turkey's Cappadocia region.


Whether it's threading your way between 'fairy chimneys', following ancient waterways through the arches & tunnels of mini-canyons or sweeping along trails that have been trod for centuries, you are continually confronted by the uniqueness of this incredible environment.

Just how to replicate it at Kaiteriteri is the challenge!

When building new trail, we're always on the lookout for anything that can be used a bit more imaginatively - something that you look forward to encountering along the way.

That 'feature' that gives you warm fuzzies every time you ride or pass it.

Sometimes the surveyed trail naturally offers it up, sometimes you need to get a bit creative.
Those constructing our two current track projects are always on the lookout for such opportunities. While our Park volunteers are hand-benching a connection between Skullduggery and Easy Rider, further up the hill, Mouse the digger is forging a new route that descends from Corkscrew.
Sometimes these 'features' take a little bit more work to bring to life but, taking the Turkey time-span, the rewards can be enjoyed for generations!

One project that has been recently completed is the conversion of the Grade 3 Easy Rider to the Grade 2 cycle trail. ER is soon to be inaugurated as part of the Tasman Great Taste Trail, scheduled for opening in time for Summer. The winter storms and general wetness meant we had to suspend work on the upgrade several times but, in the end, probably for the overall benefit of the track.
Hopefully, we've seen the last of the slips for 2013 and the installed drainage will better cope with future weather bombs. They seem to be increasingly a sign of the times, however, and Park users will have to become used to occasional track closures.

Those working on the ER upgrade were frustrated by the small minority of people, both on foot and on bikes, who repeatedly ignored the closure tape & notices at both entrances. Often the digger was sending debris onto lower track traverses, posing a very real safety risk. Less dangerous, but equally frustrating, were those that rode over freshly-groomed trail leaving pronounced tyre ruts that then had to be re-groomed.
Their thoughtlessness put themselves at risk and/or added delays to the project.

This has become a mounting area of concern for those of us managing the Park and, after much thought, we've recently decided to take more serious measures to encourage compliance.
'Tape breachers' found on closed tracks will be given an official warning, with a second breach leading to a Park Trespass notice.
A trail camera has also been purchased to ensure out-of-hours trespassers will not go unnoticed.
A track may be closed for a number of different reasons. A tree may be down or a slip may have taken out part of an existing track, making it unpassable, or it might be for general maintenance.
A track under construction may include unsecured hazards and also involve issues of security. Whatever the reason, we want everyone to understand that Closed means CLOSED.

With this mind, please note that Revelation and Lower Velocity will be closed from December 4-7 while tree-felling operations are carried out. It would be a mistake to assume that, if you cannot hear a chainsaw, it is safe to enter these tracks until work is completed!
Notices will be posted at entrances and on Facebook but your help in spreading the word would be appreciated :)


On a more positive note, our Ladies Bike Night rides have started!

Run by committee members Andrea Livingston and Emma Bawtree, they provide a fun and cruisey way to share a bit of Friday eve biking with other, er.. ladies.
"Nothing pretentious, nothing difficult, nothing to stop you!" is their catchcry.

With a couple already under their belts, interest is growing - and not just because of the opportunity to share some nibbles afterwards at the Beached Whale.

If this sounds like you, meet at the Pump Track @ 6pm "ready to roll" (cancellations via FB).


Our sponsors play a big part in funding Park development, alongside showing their support for all involved.

In turn, we like to show our appreciation of them. We asked Gold Sponsor Andy Lowe of Image Creators to make us up a signboard showcasing our many sponsors and this is now installed.

We're just in the process of reviewing many of our two-year track sponsorships and are delighted that so many of our sponsors wish to renew.

We even have two more sponsors waiting for new tracks to be completed!

This level of support from local businesses is hugely encouraging for those of us who donate so much time to the Park.

We get a buzz from it and we hope each of our sponsors gets an equal one when riding 'their' track.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for an upcoming chance to win a prize related to our Sponsors Board ;)


The latest update from Rod Markham on the predator-trapping front informs that a trapping ring involving Big Airs, Skullduggery, Bay View, Remedy, Shady Lady and Revelation has been agreed for the first stage.
This requires 42 traps @ approx. $50 ea. Donations from several individuals have already enabled the purchase of 10 traps and ITM Motueka are donating the timber to house them.
Anyone in a position to help with the construction of these simple boxes can contact Rod at: rod.m@clear.net.nz. The sooner we have 'em, the sooner they get installed and start reducing predator numbers in the Park :)

Our annual More FM Family Adventure Ride was, again, a popular Nelson CycleFest event. On a perfect day, over 100 children and their parents biked their way round our Easy circuit, stopping to shoot 'predators' with a paintball gun, extract a marble from a chilly, muddy, bathtub and sprint up Ziggy to collect a reward-token. And then there was the Pump Track Shoot Out - has the pump track ever had so many riders on it..?


Oliver Weber was there with his camera (and children) and put a great selection of photos up on our facebook page...


The race began with several rotations on the spot before a sprint up the driveway to the awaiting bikes.




The Pump Track Shoot Out was managed by Coppins Cycles and every kid wanted a go (and probably a few dads).

The competition was pretty intense with plenty of spectators expressing their admiration and offering critiques of individuals' 'pumping' skills...







We'll probably start the Fun Day with this, next year, so that it serves as a warm-up and ensures that no early-leavers miss out on the prize-giving afterwards.

And, hopefully, we'll have had a chance to sharpen some of the berms by then, making it even faster!





Of course, it wasn't all about the bike...

Sunday, August 11

What a good idea!

Sometime back we received an email from a regular Park user wondering if there was more we could do to encourage birdlife.
We posted it on our facebook page and it seemed many of our Park friends approved.


Now, our committee already works pretty hard in managing the Park so we did the obvious thing - we asked this individual if he would like to come on board and follow through on his suggestion!


We're happy to say that Rod Markham agreed to being co-opted and, with fellow committee member and DOC Biodiversity Ranger, Ross Maley, set about contacting local groups already active in promoting birdlife in the region.
As Rod recently reported, "The initial phase involved contacting DOC, Tasman District Council, some Park neighbours and other groups running trapping programmes. The project has support from the key organisations,  particularly DOC and the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board, and there has been encouragement from all other groups."

They are currently investigating how best to establish a baseline count of bird species and numbers, determining which tracks to use for a 'trapping ring', what type of predator trap to use and how to fund their purchase.
From Rod's report, "This initial circuit is just over 4km requiring 42 stoat/rat traps at the normal 100m spacing. Around $5000 will be required to set this up. Once this ring is in place we can add some traverse lines and rat traps, then, further down the track (sic), extend the trapping further out into the Park."

We see a real opportunity for Park neighbours and supporters to be involved in this project, either by funding traps or, once established, helping to monitor trap lines. We have already received some donations towards traps and welcome more!
If you would like to contribute you can either write a cheque to Kaiteriteri MTB Park, enclosing a note referencing Park Birdlife, and post to 136 Thorp St. Motueka 7120.
Alternatively, you can direct debit to the Park account 031354-0291348-00, referencing the same.
If you would like to specifically sponsor a predator trap @ $100, please reference Predator Trap and include the sponsor name.
Meanwhile, you can follow updates via our facebook page.

There's been a bit of signage going up around the Park lately: track marker posts, No Exits, etc.
You may notice this one - both a request and a riding tip :)
 
We find that skidding usually happens when people approach a corner too fast, then grab their rear brake.
Unfortunately, skidding breaks up the surface soil and, when it happens repeatedly, ruts soon begin to appear. And where there's a rut - water will find it!
Especially on Kaiteriteri's erosive granite soils, deep ruts can develop quickly, making a section of track unrideable.

If skidding is part of your normal riding style, there are options...

You can take a skills workshop that teaches you how to brake effectively without skidding;
You can disable the rear brake to gain more confidence in the front (a good technique for beginners);
You can ride elsewhere.

Those of you who are already skilled riders who can descend steep tracks without your rear wheel locked up will enjoy the revamped Velocity. Most of the major ruts have been removed and we will be monitoring this track over the next 12 months to see how well it holds up. If it passes muster, we'll consider similar remedial work on Flamin' Nora  and Rockface.

Another track that is getting a makeover is Easy Rider. We took the digger through here earlier this year but had to suspend work once it became too wet.
We've just recommenced work and are in the process of going over the whole of ER once again, fine-tuning the drainage and removing the slips that have occurred in the meantime.

It's important that those sections we've just groomed get a chance to settle before people ride them. You'll know which ones they are because they'll have tape across them and, usually, a notice explaining why.
Riding them before they are ready creates ruts which means the whole grooming process must be repeated (you also might meet us working on the track and you really, really, don't want to do that!).

You may feel we're being a bit precious for a mtb track but the Grade 2 standard for Easy Rider, as part of the regional cycleway, is that the surface must be smooth for funding to be released. So, as always, thanks for your cooperation and help spread the word :-)

Finally, I took my bike to Utah last month. Shouldn't have left it out in the sun...