Thursday, November 26

Countdown to the Opening...

Sunday, December 6, is looming ever closer amid a last flurry of activity!

Roadside signs are going up, the gateway entrance will be finished this w/e and the supporting posts for our kiosk by the Pump Track installed. Peter Laufkotter of Signcraft has completed the artwork for the gateway and very impressive it is too. Next week he'll be working on the map & information board which will be unveiled on the day. All the timber for these structures has been donated by Waimea Sawmilling.

Also unveiled on the day will be a pou carved from totara which, with the planting of a miro, will signify the birth of the Park and acknowledge local iwi's long association with Kaiteriteri.

The Opening ceremonies will commence at 10.30 a.m. Principal among our speakers are Neil Clifton, DOC Nelson Marlborough Conservator, Peter King, Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board Chairman, and Tasman Mayor, Richard Kempthorne, who will also perform the cutting of the ribbon.

Following a final karakia, Mayor Kempthorne & Guy Trainor will lead off a mass ride of the 5 kms benched circuit and that will be followed shortly after by a mass walk of a shorter circuit, led by DOC Motueka Area Manager, Martin Rodd.

By midday, everyone should be regathering back at the Trailer Park. There'll be some demos on the Pump Track before others are invited to try their skills - or just have a play. Spot prizes will encourage the cautious to give it a crack and no doubt there'll be plenty of admiring on-lookers to cheer them on.

There will also be a "Mystery Time Trial" of Salivater & Half-Pipe where riders can try to match our mystery rider's time (who will be revealed on the day). Closest time wins a $50 Shoreline Cafe voucher but the runners-up won't miss out...

One of the things that less-experienced bikers often struggle with is riding switchbacks - and at Kaiteriteri we have a lot of them ('course, for experienced riders, that's one of the best parts!). We've decided to put on a Women-Only Bike Skills Workshop that will focus on riding switchback which we're sure will be very popular. Jane Rose, Nelson Mountain Bike Club xc racing veteran, will lead this limited-numbers session.

Several Nelson & Tasman bike shops will be there with their tents & toys so it will be an ideal time to try out a new season model. They're all putting up spot prizes and, for one lucky primary school-age rider, Coppins Outdoors are putting up a new bike.

Meanwhile, the music will be rocking, the sausies will be sizzling, the coffee will be percolating and the bouncy castle will be... bouncing.
Plus, we've got your xmas prezzies sorted for this year with our array of caps all freshly printed with our stunning logo!

We hope that you're going to be able to join us in celebrating the achievement of getting our mountain bike park up & running in less than 12 months. And to think, we're only just starting....

Sunday, November 22

Pump Track Progress

Ten of us turned up on Sunday to continue preparations for our December 6 Opening. Ching Contracting donated us a pair of swanky signs to help you find your way to the Park on the day or for whenever you're planning your visit.
Our crew of Patrick Ryan, Carl Thomas, Gary Drummond, Mike Kirkwood, Ross Savile, Martin Rodd, Jay Nelson, Rod Markham & Guy Trainor (camera), joined later by Ross Maley & Michael Noble, quickly dispersed to different tasks. One group went off to help finish the new piece of techie single-track that has been surveyed & largely built by Jay, Josh, Sam & Michael. It's called Remedy, as in Rescue Remedy, apparently a good cure for w/e morning hangovers, and provides a sobering link between Tank & Glade Runner.

Another group erected the framework for our entrance off Martin Farm Rd. in readiness for our gateway sign.

Meanwhile, Mike Kirkwood was happy to toil away by himself on the Pump Track.

Despite recently selling his tofu-making business, handbuilding the carbon-fibre frame for his full suspension mountain bike (see pics on Vorb), doing the post-school childminding duties and spending the last few weeks gib-stopping his new house, Mike has also poured himself into grooming up the Pump Track.

Fine tuning is still going on but that hasn't stopped lots of riders trying it out, with several managing multiple circuits without pedalling. Various tables & ramps provide different options on how to attack it and the high-sided berms, while demanding some commitment, enable speed to be maintained where you need it most.

Speed going into the 'staircase' pumps on the right helps you climb to the elevated end of the track. The right height & distance apart of these pumps is critical for the rider to maintain momentum. Mike has shovelled a lot of dirt getting these right but still welcomes feedback!

There's no doubt the Pump Track will be a hub for many bikers visiting Kaiteriteri this summer. Plans to build a Skills Area beside it will only add to the attraction. We're accumulating the materials - all we need is the time!
All the focus now is on getting ready for our Official Opening.

But that's the next blog...

Monday, November 16

The Big Pine Climb Time

A small band of expert riders know Velocity as a very steep & rutted descent from the top ridge before it eases off onto a wide and fast firebreak.
The point at which the transition happens is marked by a large pine. It's a good place to wait to see if your companions and their bikes are still a going concern.

What not so many people are aware of is that it's possible to ride from the bottom of Velocity up to this point.
"Why would you bother??", you could reasonably ask but there are weekend warriors who live for this type of challenge.
Masochists is another name for them.

So this is for them. The Big Pine Climb Time is a time trial from the bottom track marker post to the pine tree. You and your bike have to be in contact with the trunk before you stop the watch (hanging your bike is optional).

I did consider independent verification but we're mountain bikers, not roadies...

Unfortunately, I didn't conceive this brilliant idea until I was at the tree so don't have a time. I was also handicapped by carrying the camera. Michael Brewer does have a time, however, so has thrown down the gauntlet:
12 mins.33 secs.!

On the way back down, take the right fork, ease up where you see the Slow! sign and drop carefully onto Revelation. It's fun singletrack, you wont meet any masochisits and you get to finish on Revelation's switchbacks.

Post your time here or on Vorb (or email me) and we'll set up a Roll of Honour in the side pane.

Tuesday, November 3

Not only but also...

Great progress at the Park this week. Not only did we have Jamie Nicoll knocking up a couple of bridges on Tuesday but we also had nine staff members from the BNZ office in Nelson come out on Wednesday to do their bit to help get us ready for our December 6 Opening.

Jamie put skills learnt working for DOC in Westland to good use for our bridges. Here, he sets out the bearers for one at the very bottom of Flamin' Nora, replacing the dodgy couple of planks that had demanded extra commitment after a long & challenging descent from the top ridge.

While, here, he surveys finished work on another replaced bridge on Shady Lady, for which ITM, Motueka provided timber. A former NZ MTB XC team member, mountain biking remains a big part of Jamie's life. In a few days time he's off to Mexico to take up a contract with a kiwi trail building outfit instructing others in the mysterious arts of outslope and reverse gradients. Then, maybe, the same thing in Portugal? Chile?

I feel for him - it's hard life....

But back in the corporate world, it's not all suits & silk blouses either. BNZ staffers (from R) Dion, David , Jennifer, Sue, David, Kate, Craig & Tim donned their Closed for Good t-shirts and donated a day's labour as part of the bank's nation-wide initiative to encourage community involvement. Aspiring bank-teller Michael Brewer tried to blend in but his bike attire gave him away as a committed 'Kaiteriteri Trackie'. A great day's effort saw the whole 5 kms benched circuit get a good tidy up and it's now looking in perfect condition for a summer full of riding!

Meanwhile, down on the beach, the first of the visitors are beginning to arrive...