Over recent weeks I've been on the verge of a rant about 'track consumerism' - the attitude where riders expect to be able to use tracks without any sense of giving back. I suspect this is a growing trend, fed by the emergence of so many new mtb parks & trail centres on public land, and certainly not restricted to Kaiteriteri.
We build tracks, encourage people to come and use them, and then moan when we're faced with the burden of track maintenance. You could say, "It's your own fault!"
But focussing on those that don't is a depressing train of thought - far better to focus on those that DO.
We have quite a small pool of mountain bikers to draw from in Tasman, especially within a half-hour commute to Kaiteriteri. What's been amazing is that, since our first gatherings in late 2008, we've kept a core group of people who remain absolutely committed to the venture.
These individuals largely constitute our current committee. You can see who they are via the About Us link on the menu bar but, if you wanted to meet them, our Sunday morning working bees are the best place.
They each have donated hundreds of hours to the Park, be it in track-building, track maintenance or in numerous other committee tasks & functions. It takes a lot to develop and run a MTB Park and without these guys, it would grind to a halt.
But as generous with their personal time as the committee is, even they would burn-out without the contributions from our wider pool of volunteers. So far this year, 30 people have turned up for one of our w/bees. Of these, four have attended 10+ and another seven 4+. But even those who have only managed 2-3 are doing their bit - giving back - and that helps keep the rest of us going.
We're in the process of reviewing our working bee format and hope to have some fresh ideas come out of it. If you have some suggestions, we'd love to hear them. But I suspect the bottom line will remain the same, the future of the Park will depend on how much support it gets from the local mountain biking community.
Website & Facebook
David Konecny is our Go to man for any website upgrades. David set up the original blogspot and has periodically tweaked it into how we want to use it. Recently we thought it was time for a refresh and we hope you agree it's looking better.
You'll see there are now social media buttons at the bottom of each post for you to share via email, twitter or facebook. We've also included a link to our new facebook page in the sidebar. This has been up & running for a couple of weeks now and being well liked! It will be the place to go to for the current news & photos and we hope you'll use it to give us feedback. David's also increased the size of video playback on our park tv, always a good place to visit if you're wanting an idea of what the Park offers.
The Tasman District Council largely funded the construction of this easy-grade track to provide an off-route to Kaiteriteri, bypassing the steep and narrow, winding, coastal road.
It has now been selected to form the final stage in the regional cycleway network, the Tasman Great Taste Trail.
This necessitates a significant, but achievable, upgrade. The result will be a smooth, flowing trail suitable for all ages and offering some of the best views of Tapu Bay in the Park.
Work on our latest, family-friendly, track came to a halt mid-July when Karl's digger broke a coupling (see previous post). Today our "new" digger arrived in Kaiteriteri and we'll be back into action tomorrow!
You'll hear more about our digger in our next blog but, meanwhile, you'll be able to follow our progress on facebook...