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.