As rain once again lashes our region, indoor activities take precedence over outdoor ones - unless you're out sand-bagging your property :-(
The Park has been lucky to avoid the deluges so far and we hope that remains the case. With holiday-makers in full attendance, the tracks are getting a good work-out.
Our newest track, Corkscrew, is proving to be a hit with all who ride it, from relative newbies to seasoned mtb junkies. While the speed in which they go up or down varies, the width of the smiles and expressions of appreciation are identical.
The amount of positive feedback we're getting confirms that, not only are our track building skills getting better with every year, but we're filling a niche that is often over-looked in track design.
Passionate riders like to take their partners, less-experienced friends or fast-developing kids places that are safe but fun & challenging, as well. We promote the Park as a family-friendly mountain biking venue and that's what we aim to deliver.
Our 2012 building programme will begin by creating a bypass of Sidewinder & Swamp Monster, the section many new riders most struggle with. It will be a flowy, undulating trail that generally follows the contours - much like the popular Easy Rider.
It will also offer us some new options when planning race circuits.
Other projects planned are to extend some current tracks, so they begin or terminate at hubs, and add some parallel tracks to allow more one-way riding. Of these, most will be hand-benched during our Sunday morning working bees which will resume in March.
Whether we get time to start another major undertaking, an Intermediate-grade downhill from the top of Corkscrew, remains to be seen. We've left it off the map so you don't start getting excited too soon. But, by now, you should be getting an idea of how quickly things happen around here...
We're in the process of getting our tear-off padmaps finalised and these will be available from the Camp Office, bike shops and several local businesses in the near future.
I've blogged before about how popular the Park is with a growing group of Nelson mountain unicyclists - the munis. Prime muni-mover Marty Richards emailed me recently to say he and friends had been playing on the skinnies.
"Without photos, it never happened", I replied.
Here, Julian Daley munis his way over 'low roller' while Jane Merline, fresh from Wisconsin, makes easy work of 'high riser'.
Marty, at rear, assures me he made it to within the last 2m.
Sorry, Marty, without a photo...