Monday, February 21

Park Update

First off: a reminder that February 26 & 27 is KBAR weekend!

The Kaiteriteri Beach Adventure Race, of which the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board is a major sponsor, utilises the stunning coastline for a return paddle to Split Apple Rock, a bush & estuary run and, of course, most of the Park's track network for the mountain bike leg.

This means the MTB Park is going to be closed to the general public on Saturday 9.00-12.00 & 2.00-5.00 and Sunday 9.00-11.00 & 1.00-4.00.
If you're planning on being at Kaiteriteri this w/e - and feel inspired by the presence of the country's top multi-sporters - then midday or late afternoon is your chance to hit the trails.

The half-way point in the Park's Easy-grade network is on a spur just above Kimi Ora Spa Resort. Owner Dietmar Glaser has been a helpful & enthusiastic supporter of the Park from its inception. He's acquired a fleet of mountain bikes for hire and offers Mountain Bike Specials for the guests.

No doubt he has often witnessed bikers emerging from the climb up Swamp Monster gasping for a breath & a drink before descending Glade Runner.
Typical of Dietmar is this response...

He's also cleared some trees and installed a seat so you can now enjoy a view down over Kaiteriteri without needing to ascend the top ridge!

At this major track hub, you will also find one of these.

We've installed a couple more of these "You are here" maps at other significant track junctions to help people new to the Park to reorientate themselves.

Of course, they're no substitute for the maps that are available from the Kaiteriteri Beach Camp Office and other accommodation providers but we hope they help...

We're also pretty excited to announce that we've opened up the Easy Rider connection to the Riwaka-Kaiteriteri Rd.
This has been on-again/off-again project over several months so Andrew in particular will be relieved to complete the final grooming of the track and catch up on other business!

I've lost count of the no. of wasp nests he's removed on the bracken-covered slopes - quite a few of which have made their feelings known in the way they know best - and the numerous slips & gullies set a new Kaiteriteri benchmark for 'gnarly terrain'. Still, the tougher the goals, the greater the sense of satisfaction that follows attaining them...

I've posted before about some of the stunning views over Tasman Bay that are available from various points along Easy Rider. Sometimes you really need to stop to appreciate these so Andrew has created a couple of 'viewing platforms' where you can do so without blocking the track.

First to put treadmarks on the freshly-groomed trail were Nigel Cottom (L) & Zac Hayward (R) together with their 6 yr. old children Emma & Jai, respectively. That's their home town Nelson on the other side of the Bay.

It's always great to see dads introducing their kids to the fun of mountain biking and it was obvious Jai & Emma were relishing exploring the track on their new bikes.
'Course, the promise of seeing the digger in action just ahead spurred them on a little more!

Easy Rider, funded by the Tasman District Council, is intended to provide a safe & easier alternative for bikers riding out from Motueka & Riwaka to get onto the Park's trail network or to Kaiteriteri than by using the steep, narrow & winding road.
And it rides even better on the way back home!

Thursday, February 10

MTB Park Closure!

Yep, we're excited to announce that on February 26 & 27, most of the Park's trail network is going to be temporarily closed to the public while we host the 2011 NZ Multisport Championships!

The inaugural KBAR event is being organised by Tasman's champion multisporter Nathan Faevae, who won the right to direct the championships from 2011-2013.
If anyone knows how to run an adventure race that is both challenging and fun, it is Nathan. His success with local events Spring Challenge, Tour de Tasman, 4050 Tour & Source to Sea is set to ensure that KBAR will become a regional & national highlight in the country's sporting calendar.

Having a ready-made mountain bike park 'on the doorstep' was no doubt a big factor in Kaiteriteri being chosen, alongside the superb climate, beaches & calm seas for which it is already such a popular destination. While you won't have the freedom to ride your favourite circuit as usual this particular weekend, that's no reason not to come anyway.

KBAR's website provides all the information you need (tho' not on Opera) to choose a category that suits your level of skill & fitness, including individual, pairs & team options. While the country's elite multisporters are going to be out in force, as with all of Nathan's events, the emphasis is on participation so kids and first-timers are catered for as well.

With product expos & entertainment, the place will be pumping, especially when the pro-elites line up @ 1.00pm on Sunday 27 to compete for the national title. I suggest you get there early!

These guys have already chosen their spot...

Sunday, February 6

Where did that come from...?

In previous posts I've written about how difficult the hand-benching of Skullduggery was. Alongside the steep terrain, tree roots & granite rock, a significant stream crossing presented a major hurdle.
A brief scramble down & up did provide an opportunity to refill the water bottle but it also interrupted the flow of the track. Despite the logistical challenge, we decided a bridge was needed.

Andy Ward designed the 5.5m bridge to DOC standards and Waimea Wood of Nelson donated all of the timber requirements.
Talleys delivered it FOC to the Park where Andy set about cutting it to length.

Graham Milne, groundsman at the nearby Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp, used their tractor to drag & carry two loads of timber up Big Airs to the junction with Skullduggery.

From here there was only one way to transport the timber along the 700m of narrow singletrack to the stream - by shoulder!
The bulk of this was done one evening over several trips by Bill Hollick, Tony Baldwin, Michael Brewer, Caillin Morris-Trainor (pictured), Gary Drummond & Ross Maley.

Andy then took time out from xmas celebrations to oversee construction of the bridge, assisted here by Ross & Caillin (pictured) and Oliver Weber.
Over two days of digging, sawing, nailing, drilling, bolting & stapling later, it was finished.

It's still possible to climb down to the stream to refill that water bottle but it is also a picturesque spot to pause and wait for companions - the native wood pigeons seem to think so too.

Or you may prefer to maintain your flow on the way to the junction with Flamin' Nora like 'home-for-the-holidays' Zoe Morris-Trainor...

and Andy Gray & Pete Allison from Nelson, enjoying the relative coolness of riding in the forest on one of Kaiteriteri's hottest days!

Gold sponsors Waimea Wood continue to meet our timber needs in a variety of ways, from bridge materials to track marker posts to planned Skills Area constructions. That support complements the many hours dedicated volunteers put into developing & maintaining the Park, making it a truly community-based asset.

Wednesday, February 2

Pump Track Mark 2

Those of you visited the Park last summer will remember our first attempt at a pump track. While a hit with a few very-skilled riders, most found it too challenging and avoided it.
It also suffered from serious ponding after each rainfall.

Given how many hours went into this project, it was a big step by the committee to bite the bullet and undertake to start again.

Using funds received from track sponsorship & Park donations, Karl Thompson was asked to design & build a new one. Drawing from Pump Track Nation and his experience of constructing one in his backyard, Karl came up with a simple design that would cater for a wide range of riding ability.

After we arranged for the site to be levelled, Karl moved in and started building & shaping the berms & rollers.

Particular attention was paid to ensuring there were no hollows and that all water would flow easily to the outside edges.

It was finished just in time for the holiday season and was an immediate success.
Most popular use is as a warm-up exercise before hitting the trail network. Pump Track novices, who begin by pedalling their way round, are soon getting the hang of using their weight on the bike to maintain momentum.

While others, like Will Hand from Christchurch, can muster all the speed they need, hitting the tops of the berms and making it look easy!

It's been great to see the number of children developing their biking skills on the track, like Quinne Weber from nearby Stephens Bay.

One family I met staying at Kaiteriteri Beach Camp had to bring their two young children three times a day to keep them happy!

From the obvious amount of use it's had, and the positive feedback from mountain bikers like Paul Hay from Wellington, it's clear the new Pump Track has been a great success.

We hope to be able to extend the track and add in a few more challenges for next summer, along with development of our Skills Area.

It's your donations that are helping to build the Park - we hope you like what you are finding each time you visit...

Coming up, the 2011 NZ Multisport Championships at Kaiteriteri, Feb. 26 & 27.
Categories from elite to recreational.

More info @