Sunday, December 26

Here's our MTB Park map for 2011.

New tracks from last summer are Ziggy, Skullduggery, Swish and Easy Rider. We've also groomed Big Airs (ex-Velocity) with some sweet water bars for those that like getting a little - or a lot - of air on their way down.

Also new is a totally revamped pump track. Whether its kids pedalling like fury over the humps or fully-kitted warriors pumping out several warm-up laps before hitting the trails, it's certainly getting a lot of use!

Park maps are available at several outlets around Motueka, bike shops in Nelson and at the Beach Camp Office. They include track descriptions to help you plan your ride, as well as important information about how to access the top ridgeline tracks.

You can also find them to download on our Map link above. Also on the Map page you can find a Google Map where we will be recording progress on our planned 2011 tracks.

The Easy Rider road link isn't actually completed yet but, as it's top of our list for 2011, we've included it on the map. Watch this space...

It was a relief today to be able to escape the bustle of the beach and head into the forest for a circuit that took in all of my favourite tracks. The refreshing coolness of the glades was a welcome contrast to the heat 'outside', although the thought of finishing with a swim always seems to surface when riding up Tank for the third time.

And, of course, no ride is complete without the Mountain Biker's Special coffee & cake at The Shoreline Cafe afterwards...

Monday, December 6

It's not just the riding...

Too often while riding a trail we can get fixated on getting to the end of it as fast as possible. Whether it's your post-work wind-down or an all-day epic, sometimes it's not a bad idea to stop and take some time to just soak up the surroundings.

We have some pretty unique bush & birdlife around NZ and Kaiteriteri's no exception. In the Park we like to encourage users - whether they're on bike or foot - to take a break on the trail and relax. After all, it's usually why they've come to Kaiteriteri in the first place!

Our Swamp Monster Lookout was our first installation. This seat was donated by nearby Kimi Ora Resort and is perfectly placed to spot anything that might arise out of the marshland ferns & grasses it overlooks. It's also a good spot to catch a breather before tackling the climb up to the next spur.

Recently added is this garden seat, donated by a local resident. Sally Ogilvie loves walking the tracks and knew exactly where she wanted it to go: halfway down the switchbacks on Swish.
This is predominantly beech forest and, as Sally had already noted, the birdlife is abundant. If you can bear to interrupt your 'swish' through the switches next time, this is the spot to stop.

Martin Lucas is another local who regularly walks the tracks. Through his company, North West Pest Management, he also sponsors our work by carrying out extensive weed-spraying & strimming in the Park. If you ever wonder why bracken and other regenerating foliage aren't flopping over the tracks, that's due to Martin (and his son Tim when he's home for the holidays).
The benching of Swish & Easy Rider have opened up a part of the Park that wasn't previously getting a lot of bike traffic. Many spots offer superb views over Tapu Bay and Martin identified one on Bay View that cried out for a seat. He & Tim installed it over the weekend - if you're not in too much of hurry you might spot it next time you're passing.

Sunday, November 7

Breakout of Skullduggery!

Yep, after several months of weekly working bees through our wettest winter ever, we finally achieved the breakout of our latest trail, Skullduggery!

Working half-way up the steep-sided flanks of the Kaiteriteri ridge, this wholly hand-benched track has been a mission. Encountering slabs of granite rock, thick, entwined ropes of beech tree roots, pine trees and boggy gullies, every metre has been hard won.

Along the way we've had some dramas which, for those of us who worked on it, added to the sense of relief & accomplishment. In the process, many of our Park volunteers have learnt alot about track-building - not least the great feeling of camaraderie that develops amongst the w/bee regulars. While I can admire someone's riding skills, I reserve my respect for those that willingly devote hours of their time to building tracks for others to enjoy.

The crew above represent just a few of those that have contributed to Skullduggery but were the ones who were able to respond to the call last Sunday. Striking a Gandalf pose on the left is Michael Brewer, who surveyed the route, while forming a hobbit-like crew to the right is, from the front, Bryan Cohen, Steve Newport, Michael Fenwick, Ash, Murray Puklowski, Ian Marshall, Paul Herrick, Carl Thomas & Craig Skillicorn.

Skullduggery forms an integral part of our Intermediate track network that starts with Ziggy and will eventually intersect with Bay View at the junction with Rock'n'Roll. For now, it terminates at Flamin' Nora, an expert-grade descending track. While good intermediate-level riders will enjoy sections of FN's beech-forested spur, we recommend you walk the steeper bits if you find yourself out of your skill-zone.

Alternatively, you can turn around and anjoy Skullduggery 'in reverse', perhaps trying the lower, advanced-grade, section of Velocity back at the start.

Work will continue on Skullduggery for some weeks yet as we widen the track's narrower sections and generally improve the flow. A 6m bridge will also be constructed over the Flamin' Nora stream.

So, for the time being, the working bee emails will continue to be a welcome arrival in your Inbox until Sunday, Dec. 5 when we'll all pause to celebrate our year's achievements with a Volunteers & families Barbeque on the Beach.
We'll remind you nearer the time but get it into your diary now - you've earned it!

Thursday, October 28

Gr8 switchbacks

Swooping down our latest track Swish last week, I counted 8 switchbacks.

Later, winding up another of our recently completed tracks, Ziggy, I counted another 8 switches.

This began to ring bells, so I headed over to Sidewinder - yep, 8 switchbacks, again!

There was only one thing for it - I had to finish on Half-Pipe...

Eight switchbacks later I emerged from the forest by the Park entrance!

Now, as I'm not the slightest bit superstitious, I'll leave you to make of that what you will...

Switchbacks are a pretty unavoidable feature of biking at Kaiteriteri. For some, they represent the scariest thing about getting into mountain biking, for others, they offer the perfect opportunity to hone riding skills.

In the Park, we endeavour to make them smooth, wide and well-bermed. This enables riders to flow through the corner without any hard braking, preserving the track surface.

The better riders can rail the berm with only minimal loss of speed.

We learnt alot from our earliest efforts and are now pretty pleased with how we can turn them out. Andrew's switchbacks coming down through the easy-grade Revelation are as smooth to climb up as they are to swoop down.
Karl, seen here shaping one up on Ziggy, has (so far) had his finest moment on the intermediate-grade Swish, which rides more like a luge than a traditional mtb track.

Mastering switchbacks (up or down) brings out some of the biggest smiles on mountain bikers. The confidence many gain at Kaiteriteri mean they can tackle some of the steeper tracks on offer around Nelson.
Who knows after that? Maybe the Wakamarina's 800m, 2.5kms descent of twisting, fern-bordered singletrack? Does it get any better than that...?

Friday, October 22

Going loopy

Just in time for Labour Weekend, we announce the opening of a new loop circuit!

Our latest track Swish branches off Bay View and sweeps you down through several switchbacks before merging with Easy Rider. While the swtiches are wide & well-bermed, the gradient puts it into the intermediate category - but if you're riding Bay View that wont be a problem anyway!

This gentle beech forest spur is a haven for birdlife so if you're not in a hurry, pause for a moment to listen to the bellbirds & tuis.

The approx. 1km of Easy Rider will take you right back to Salivater, crossing Tapu & Bay View on the way.

There are some superb views out over Tapu Bay if you can tear your eyes away from the undulating, easy-grade track.

Another loop option on this circuit is to head down the advanced-grade Tapu, pop out onto the road, pedal round to the Bay View exit, and link back up to Easy Rider.

Until we print our 2011 maps, you can follow our progress via the GoogleMap under our Maps link.

Future plans are to extend Easy Rider further south and create an entry/exit point on the Riwaka-Kaiteriteri Rd.

Steve Newport took some video with his helmet cam at our recent event. You can check it out on our park tv or on YouTube under Kaiteriteri MTB Park Challenge.

Wednesday, October 20

More pics from Saturday...

And they're off!

A thrown chain at the start of the second lap ruined Scott Barr's (160) chances of joining these other eventual place-getters.

The steep climb up the driveway did a good job of spreading the field.

From there, they were mostly on their own - unless they were a mum or dad!

Congratulations to all who took part.

It was an awesome day.

Huge thanks to Oliver Weber for the great photos.

Saturday, October 16

The XX Generation

The huge increase in the numbers of women entering mtb & multi-sport events was also reflected at our inaugural event on Saturday, the Tineli Kaiteriteri Beach MTB Park Challenge, where the femmes took out 1st, 3rd & 5th slots in the premier 3-lap race section.

Eloise Fry led from start to finish, holding off a strong challenge from Andrew Scott in 2nd place. Tiffany Farnsworth somehow managed to smile her way around the course and still finish 3rd, while Pete Anglesey showed his racing days are far from over with a good 4th. Kirsty Moran deserves a mention for both her very respectable 5th place as well as being our first Park 'trail pixie' home.

But the day wasn't just about those that manage to look good in lycra. We billed it as a fun-filled family event and it was fantastic to see so many children lined up at the start, most accompanied by parents who 'mentored' them through the winding track circuit. Some of these dads, having successfully got their children around one lap, then sprinted off to do another lap or two at race-pace.

Conditions were perfect, with hard & fast tracks and lightly overcast skies. The mixture of digger-benched trail, fire-breaks and narrow single-track provided a good cross-country challenge that tested the fitness of all.

Competitor comment of the day came from ex-Vegas resident & race winner, Eloise, in describing our tracks "as good as Rotorua!"

More FM kept the music pumping and the bbq smoking throughout the day while Tineli Performance Bikewear, Stoke Cycle Centre & Woollaston Estates Winery made sure lots of punters went home with some prize booty.

This first Konica Minolta-sponsored Nelson CycleFest has been a huge success over the 10 days it has been running in the region (big kudos to organiser Mike Watson) and is sure to grow.
We on the Park committee learnt alot about running an event and hope to ensure a much bigger local input next time. Plus, we'll have a whole bunch of new track to include!

All photos courtesy of Oliver Weber of

Monday, October 11

Getting them before they get you

The big pines that were brought down by strong winds in August, temporarily closing two tracks, served as timely reminders of the old proverb, "a stitch in time saves nine".

One tree came down in the head of a gully and, while passable after a bit of pruning, completely demolished a nicely cambered boardwalk built by boys from Motueka High School.
Another fell across a track and it took us four days to clear the trunk and create a bypass of the rootball. The time and expense of this operation was a good indicator to us of the value of a little preventative action!

Enter Bob Roborgh & Matiu Noakes of Tree Care. They've been working their way along the main Park circuit felling those pines that could potentially close tracks in the event of a big blow. This includes 'leaners' and many that are immediately trackside, capable of taking the entire width of track with them if they go.

One class of particularly dangerous pines are those mighty monsters scattered throughout the Reserve with tentacle-like branches extending several metres out from the trunk. While these trees may look majestic, a more discerning look often reveals huge branches that have snapped off and remain hanging on lower ones. These 'hangers' are capable of dropping at any time and you wouldn't want to be riding underneath when it happens.

The only solution is to fell the tree. The advantage of using skilled arborists is that they can dictate the direction of the fall. A good scarf cut and, if necessary, the placement of a couple of wedges, and BOOM - down she goes just where you want it. The tree that Bob has scarfed here made a particularly large BOOM as it largely disappeared into the marsh grasses of Swamp Monster.
There are a few good reasons behind the naming of this track and the tendril-like branches that now rise out of the swamp only add to the mystique.

It's always a shame to see a mighty tree brought to ground but the increased exposure to sunlight is only going to encourage the regeneration of the indigenous species underneath. So while it may appear as though there is a bit of tree carnage at the moment, give it a year and the fallen trunks will be submerged by flourishing ferns and emergent kanuka, mahoe, beech & pungas. Hopefully even the few rimu dotted around the Reserve will get a fair crack!

There are, however, a lot of pines and short of logging the entire 185ha. forest, we can never predict what is going to come down next. Each year we'll deal to those we consider high-risk - to riders & track - as part of our job of managing the Park.
That said, it's still important for everyone to be aware of the dangers of entering the forest during strong winds. The saturated soils this winter upped the risk factor significantly and, on the whole, we consider we got away lightly.
But having spent a few days in the Park with Bob & Matiu, watching them glance anxiously upwards whenever the wind started rocking the treetops, I for one will be a bit more careful about when I choose to go for a ride.

Wednesday, September 29

Tineli Kaiteriteri Beach MTB Challenge

On Saturday, 16 October, the MTB Park is hosting its first mountain bike event.
Sponsored by Tineli Performance Bikewear, Stoke Cycle Centre & Konica Minolta, the event is part of an inaugural 10 day long Konica Minolta Nelson Cycle Festival.

The emphasis is on participation, mostly using the Park's Easy circuit but also diverting onto some of Kimi Ora's narrower, bike-friendly, walking tracks. Also included is some new track yet to be officially opened!

All levels of mountain biker are catered for, even if some younger or less-experienced riders may prefer to dismount for the odd corner. Depending on your level of fitness, you can opt to do one, two or three circuits.
There'll be lots of spot prizes, followed by a free More FM barbeque on the beach afterwards.
For added novelty, there's also the option of catching a lift back to Nelson on Wilson's new Vista launch for just $45.

The event will start at 11.30am.

Entry fee is $10 for U14s, others $20 or a Family Package of $40 for 2 adults & 2 chn.
All riders who register online at will receive a bag, a drink bottle and a wrist band that identifies them as a registered rider.

Proceeds from this event will go towards more track development at Kaiteriteri so what better way to show your support than by joining in a day of mtb fun!

Wednesday, September 8

Bogs and logs

You may recall a couple of posts back (The Good News & the Bad) that we had a large pine come down on Glade Runner, leaving its massive rootball lodged uneasily just above the track.

Bob Roborgh & Matu of Tree Care came in and successfully separated the trunk but the now upside-down rootball was too heavy to shift from its new home in the middle of the track.

In the process of using a digger as part of the operation, a fair bit of the track got chewed up - revealing a very boggy sump that nearly snared the digger. It certainly explained why this short section of track had never properly firmed up.

The rootball was cut back enough for the track to be re-opened for the w/e but the bog required a bit more sorting out. So, early this week, Karl Thompson & I headed in.

We began by felling some nearby pines and cutting them up to make a 'corduroy' bridge.

This enabled Karl to walk his digger over to where some good granite soil was available.

We then put down some filter cloth and overlaid it with the quarried soil.

Once spread and compacted, Karl set about removing the excavated sludge to improve the drainage.

A bit of a rake and, Viola!, we're back in business - with a better track surface than before we started.

Which just goes to show there's always a silver lining when things go bad...

Sunday, September 5

Young guns to the fore..

For the first time in our working bee history, those 'trackies' under 20 outnumbered, over 30's last Sunday morning.

We veterans see this generation of track-builders as the ones to take over the mantle as some of us gradually wear ourselves out. Not that any of us are thinking of retiring soon but it is encouraging to find young guys not only acknowledging the hard work that goes into creating trail but being prepared to front up at the coalface.

Here, Dougie, Doug, Thomas (from Upper Moutere), Mike & Reuben (from Mapua) pause for a snap.

This section of the Intermediate-grade singletrack we are benching counts as some of the gnarliest terrain in the Park. It's steep, laced with fallen, semi-rotten, pines, thick with sub-story vegetation and riven with gullies. We've even hit clumps of granite that require patient chipping away at.
What's been created in the process, though, along with the camaraderie that comes with toiling alongside fellow trackies Sunday after Sunday, is a superb, flowing singletrack that will add a whole new dimension to biking in the Park.

While many hands may not necessarily make this work any lighter, they will certainly help us achieve our objective of having the Intermediate circuit ready for the Summer. Our volunteers come from as far afield as Nelson & Richmond and represent a community of mountain bikers who not only appreciate what's being created at Kaiteriteri but are prepared to donate some of their Sunday mornings to help make it happen. We have great plans for the expansion of our track network - our only limitation is the manpower.

So, if you've been thinking about maybe putting in a w/bee or two, come along and join us. They're every Sunday morning from 9.00-12.00 and we post details on our website calendar. Instead of feeling like a MTB Park 'consumer', you'll feel great about contributing and enjoy your riding so much more!
And don't forget to put your bike on the back for a ride afterwards :-)

This week's treat was supplied by Mick Zeewoldt: "Paul & Gorse on Flamin' Nora" and can be viewed on our Park TV.

Sunday, August 15

The good news... and the bad

First, the good: after a series of rainy Sundays, blue skies brought out our regulars for another intensive session of hand-benching. This narrow single-track is steadily advancing towards its rendevous with Flamin' Nora through some pretty gnarly terrain. An incident involving a dead pine trunk and a volunteer's foot provided some momentary inspiration for a possible track name (Footloose? Toe Jam?) but this field is still wide open. If you have a name you would like to suggest to the committee, get it in quick.
It's great to see the number of fathers who combine Sunday morning childcare with trackwork. The "Kaiteriteri Creche" seem to enjoy their get-togethers as much as the dads, especially when there's a trip to the playground or beach thrown in afterwards.
I took the opportunity to sample the Mountain Biker's Special down at the Shoreline Cafe after the working bee. My flat white and carrot cake hit the spot and, at just $5, is pretty good value!

Another track awaiting a name is our newly digger-benched start to our Intermediate circuit. Karl has made an excellent job of this and the several switchbacks are going to be as much fun to ride down as up. All we need is a run of fine weather to allow the track to dry enough for grooming.

Which brings me to the bad news. Saturated soils and recent strong winds have brought down a number of trees. With the number of mature pines in the Reserve and the steepness of the terrain, we accept that this is going to be a periodic occurrence and can only hope that no-one's biking underneath when it happens. Fortunately, the treefalls claimed no victims but they did inflict some damage to the track network.
On Swamp Monster, the cambered bridge in one of the swampy gullies is now buried under several large pines. This was built for us by boys from Motueka High School and made a nice feature. We have succeeded in clearing a bypass but we await professional advice to see whether the bridge is salvageable.
Also pending an expert eye is another large pine which came down on Glade Runner. Its massive root-ball is lodged just above the track while the body of the tree is resting on the gully floor. As a temporary measure, we have cleared a route underneath the trunk but don't recommend stopping for a snack.
The committee relies on Park users to alert us to track obstructions, as happened last weekend, and we endeavour to clear them as soon as possible. But, at the end of the day, we're just volunteers so bear with us if your ride is impeded.

Getting back to the good news, the Chings digger is making great progress on Easy Rider. We are now well past the intersection with Tapu and, despite some steep terrain and a feast of gullies, forging ahead. This track will be a favourite for its superb views out to Tapu Bay.

Thursday, July 29

Mountain Biker's Special

As if the kilometres of trail, all-weather track and stunning scenery weren't enough reasons to throw your bikes on the car and head for Kaiteriteri, we've just come up with another one!

The Shoreline Cafe is now offering a Mountain Biker's Special of just $5.00 for a coffee'n'cake! So if it's a shot of caffeine you need before tackling the trails or the need to replace a few calories afterwards, this is the place to go.
You can choose to sit inside or out, depending on how socially-acceptable you feel after your ride, but make sure you ask for the Special as it won't be advertised. And yes, you can swap out the coffee for a different hot drink if you're beginning to feel twitchy or the kids want their hot chocolates...

Some more great news is that this week we welcomed Karl Thompson and his digger onto the team. Karl's been busy helping to build mtb tracks up on Canaan Downs throughout a pretty chilly winter so is happy to be down to sea-level again - and doing what he loves doing most!
We're currently creating an elevating track parallel to the last steep section of Velocity that exits by Bethany. This will come as some relief to those of you who have granny-ringed your way up in order to do the lower Velocity loop.

Here, Karl is shaping up one of the several switchbacks that help us get up onto a spur. While the track, being digger-benched, is just over a metre wide, the gradients employed put it into our Intermediate category. So if you want to ride up it, you'll still need a bit of fitness.
But you can always reward yourself at The Shoreline

And in one final bit of news, we've recently had some bumper stickers printed. So if you'd like to show your support or just help spread the word, send a request to and we'll pop a couple in the post for you.
Alternatively, when you're next at the Park, drop into the Beach Camp Office and ask for one.

Wednesday, July 7

Kaiteriteri Groupies

Kaiteriteri is holding good to its promise to provide all-year round riding. Even after heavy rain the trails have remained firm with only one or two spots on the whole network so far needing remedial work.

'Course, it's always better to ride when dry & sunny and fortunately this is the default winter setting around here. The weekends have seen an increasing number of local riders attracted to Kaiteriteri and last Saturday the Park was humming..

Our Nelson-based mapmeister, Steve Newport, has been operating a little, informal, email-out for the benefit of his biking buddies for a while now, each w/e suggesting a different destination - unless, of course, someone has a better suggestion of their own. Initially it circulated among a chosen few but now, as more & more people asked to be included, it's grown to the point where Steve has felt the need to tack on a disclaimer to the effect that he is not, in fact, running a Club!

So when Steve suggested a trip out to Kaiteriteri, it was no surprise to see a group of 12 Nelson riders waiting by the mapboard at the designated time. While a few were already pretty familiar with the network, for most it was an introduction to new trail - something that's almost guaranteed to get people buzzing.

Coming down Rock'n'Roll was a blast, where Dave Bonnett managed to hold his smile while reaching warp speed. Dave moved to Nelson from Boulder, Colorado, and reckons he's arrived in mtb heaven where the regional support for the sport, esp. at municipal level, far exceeds that back in his home state.

The loop that took in Tank, Tapu, lower Bay View, the recently-completed section of Easy Rider and finished on Half-Pipe was a perfect way to conclude a great afternoon's riding. Although the four girls in the party who concluded their day with a bottle of sav. blanc at the nearby Shoreline Cafe would call that statement premature...

They certainly weren't the only girls in the Park that day. Andrea Livingston & seven other local women were out practising their bike-handling skills in advance of the 2010 Spring Challenge ( This is a very popular all-women adventure race being held this year in the Motueka area in September, when 600 entrants plus support crews will descend on the town. A little while back Andrea had the idea of asking Emma Bawtree, a skilled mtb guide, if she would be interested in holding some coaching workshops for local women wanting to take part in the event. With Emma agreeing, the uptake was instant and she now has several beginner & intermediate workshops on the go. If you're local and would like to be included, contact her here:

Enjoying a lap of the Park after our Sunday morning working bee, a couple of us came across another group of 6-7 women, this time from Nelson (and possibly also in training for the Spring Challenge). As always, the appreciation of the effort that goes into developing the Park was unanimous and we welcomed their offer of bringing some cake along for the workers at one of our future w/bees!

Tuesday, June 22

A Good Keen Man #1

The first in an occasional series of profiles of some of our volunteers.

Last Sunday, when the rain was hammering on our roofs, most of us would have been happily content to pull the covers up & snuggle a little deeper into our beds. Still, a number of people phoned or texted in to see if the working bee was going ahead, reflecting the commitment we've come to expect from our Kaiteriteri workforce.
The working bee cancelled, I decided to deliver a load of timber for our Skills Area anyway. No sooner do I arrive there than Craig Skillicorn pulls up. I wasn't surprised...

A couple of weeks back, on a non-scheduled w/bee Sunday, Craig had spent most of the day digging drainage channels in steady rain. "That's when you see where they're needed!", he points out. This enthusiasm for maintaining our trails has been typical of Craig throughout the year, whether in the heat of summer or the wet of winter. With his spade and mist-proof anorak he sets off in search of those places where run-off has the potential to scour out ruts in the highly-erosive granite soils of Kaiteriteri. He's almost single-handedly responsible for Velocity still being rideable.

But that's not the beginning & end of Craig's contribution to the Park. As a member of our management committee, he came up with the ideas for track sponsorship and a tear-off padmap that carried advertising. Both initiatives have been highly successful and generated valuable revenue, enabling us so far to purchase a chainsaw, additional tools and the above timber. No doubt Craig's experience as owner/manager of Richmond Retravision has honed his marketing skills but he was an ideas man way before that, while still running the Motueka-based Retravision shop.

When he was living locally he created the original Marble Mountain Classic MTB event, which is fondly remembered by many local bikers. He was the organiser and chief sponsor of prizes for its charitable cause during the several years he ran it (that event is now under different management with an extended course that allows for a Kaiteriteri start/finish).

Craig's been riding Kaiteriteri for as long as anyone I know so it was natural he wanted to be part of it the moment he heard about the plans for a MTB Park. He's had his share of spills over the years - the last requiring heli-evacuation and a few days in Nelson ICU - but he keeps bouncing back with more enthusiasm than ever.
So I knew it was a waste of time trying to persuade Craig to go home. His Kaiteriteri-based parents were happy to have the grandchildren for the day and he was busting to get going. It was the least I could do to lend him a decent raincoat...

Wednesday, June 9

My, how you've grown!

You know how it is when you haven't seen your young niece/nephew for a few months and then you're amazed at how much they've grown in the meantime..?
Kaiteriteri's like that. I go away for a five week cycle tour in the Alps and come back to heaps of track!

The section of Easy Rider that Andrew Spittal had just finished benching at the end of April has been all groomed up and now makes for a great loop. The recommended circuit is to head up Tank to the water tank, hang a left and swoop down Bay View to the bottom of the wide section (just before it forks & exits).
Swing left onto the new Easy Rider track (trail markers up soon) and enjoy the flow of this wide-benched track all the way back to its intersection with Salivater. It's a sweet bit of track and, if typical of what we hope will follow, Easy Rider is destined to become a favourite of many.

So then I had to head off to the other end of the Park and check out progress on the new single-track I'd heard about. This has been surveyed by Michael Brewer & Carl Thomas and has been the focus of some well-attended working bees in recent weeks.
Great work in steep terrain. Shades of Shady Lady so those of you who like narrow, winding single-track through native bush will be in your element.
It's already well along the path towards creating a linking track between Velocity & Flamin' Nora - all part of our planned Intermediate-level circuit that will traverse the Park.

Like many other parts of the country, there have been a few very heavy dumps of rain at Kaiteriteri in the last week or two. The good news is that the tracks all remain totally rideable (tho' the new section of Easy Rider is still a bit soft).
It was good to hear the whoops of joy from a couple of bikers swishing down Remedy when I was granny-ringing my way up Tank!

Check out the website calendar for notice of upcoming working bees.

Thursday, April 22

For Expert Riders Only!

One of our committee had the idea of adding a screen-printed design to our MTB Park t-shirt.
The EXPERT sign is what we put at the top of each of the three tracks that all drop pretty steeply off the top ridge.

Each track has its own character and we all tend to have our own personal favourites. It happens that the innovative committee member's favourite is Velocity. He spent many long, hot hours over the Summer improving the drainage, hacking back gorse and generally improving the line. He also rode it a lot.

Unfortunately, in the week after he presented his screen-printing idea, he rode it again. He's now recovering from a punctured lung, six broken ribs and a fractured clavicle. On the plus side, he's now thinking of upgrading to a fully.

I share my friend's misfortune not to embarass him (he already feels that), but to emphasise that these three tracks aren't to be taken lightly. They've claimed a no. of victims over the Summer and while Ride Today, Heal Tomorrow is a cool mtb motto, the reality can sometimes be a little more painful.

His partner generously agreed to model the prototype t-shirt. Note that this is our Mens tee. They'll soon be available for $25.00 ($4 p&p). Email or hit one of the team up if you're interested.
Not wanting to leave our many female Park visitors out, we could consider an extra order with our fitted women's tees - but perhaps Shady Lady is more appealing...?

Tuesday, April 20


Yep, we're back into the swing of things at Kaiteriteri. Andrew's been busy on Easy Rider with the Chings digger and by the middle of next week we should have close to another 800m of benched track to play on.

While 800m represents quite a gain, given how hard-fought our metres are on the steep hills behind the beach, it's only the beginnings of what will become our longest track so far. Not only will Easy Rider add approx. 4 kms of the sort of flowing, undulating track that has been attracting bikers from near & far, it will also mean some new loops can be built into the circuits of the more adventurous.

The good feelings I posted earlier about this trail are being confirmed as we weave in & out of gullies, carve our way through punga groves, and traverse across lightly-wooded fern-filled slopes.
For someone who has bush-bashed the surveyed route, seeing it transformed into benched track is a rewarding & addictive experience. With Andrew bucket-smoothing each day's work as we go, it's tempting to grab the bike and start laying tread.

Before that happens, tho', we need to get in there with our rakes, spades & grubbers to finish off the grooming. This is one job where many hands really do make light work and it provides the perfect opportunity for all those who have been enjoying riding the tracks over the Summer to give something back. The sooner the grooming is done, the sooner you can add it to your riding options!

Our working bees are happening every second week this year. If you haven't been before, we meet on Sunday mornings at 9.00 and work through to midday, always stopping for a mid-morning for a snack'n'chat. You can join our mailing list to find out where to meet and what tools to bring or check our website's calendar.
Many friendships have been made through the working bees but best of all is that good feeling that comes from knowing you've made a contribution to developing our Mountain Bike Park. Those bits of track you work on become extra special when you take your mates biking there.

See ya Sunday!

Wednesday, March 3


By now you'll be pretty used to the idea that when things happen at Kaiteriteri, they happen fast.
Last week Andrew Spittal phoned to say he had three days free with the Chings digger. Not one to waste an opportunity to bench some more track, in we went!

We concentrated on a short section of newly-surveyed track that switches off the top end of Salivater and connects with the Telecom tower site near the road saddle. This track represents the start of Easy Rider, which will eventually extend right to the southern end of the Park.
In the meantime, it's possible to add in a little loop by using Short Cut. It won't get groomed properly until our first working bee on March 14 (not March 7 as previously posted) but there's nothing to stop you using it now. Within hours of exiting the track with the digger, it had tyre tracks on it.

As the benching of this track had gone so smoothly, compared to the usual dramas we encounter at Kaiteriteri, we had time to look at the Sidewinder switchbacks. These were initially scheduled for April but as the digger was already there and Andrew was keen, we decided to go for it.
The steepness of Sidewinder's slope meant many of these switches were difficult to create through lack of enough soil to properly berm the low side. Understandably, many novice riders get a little freaked by staring over a drop when they're half-way round a turn. The level platform of some of the switches also led to some riders skidding their way through them - something we try to discourage at Kaiteriteri.
Anyway, Andrew managed to find enough soil by scratching round to build lower berms on all the switches. Trying to shape steep corners without a tilt bucket isn't easy but we're really pleased with the results. The switchbacks still require controlled braking skills going down but hopefully the fear of diappearing over an edge has been reduced. Going up is still a grunt but they definitely flow better.

As expected, the granite soil of the tracks at the MTB Park have now compacted like concrete. Breaking up the surface of the corners has created very loose, cloddy soil that, until we get some rain, will take some time to re-compact. Until then, riders will have to take a little care to avoid their front wheel washing out. Everyone who came by while we were working, however, seemed pretty pleased with what we were doing and, as usual, gave us the big thumbs up!

With a bit of time to spare, we started benching Easy Rider heading south from the Telecom tower. Michael & I felt good about how the surveying of this track has gone (so far) and I have a similar feeling about the benching of it. Part-funded by the Tasman District Council, it will considerably extend our easy trail network. All I'm waiting for is Andrew to free up some more days!