PTR: Christchurch Adventure Park
The Christchurch Adventure Park is only 25 minutes from the International Airport and can be seen looking across the city and descending from th Thomson Park Scenic Reserve. Opened in early 2017, the park was ravaged by fires soon afterwards, robbing Christchurch of the chairlift assisted park they had just got a taste of. But Christchurch might just be the most resilient city on the map – and like the rest of the town, the Adventure Park has been rebuilding. It's hard to not be excited rolling into the carpark, looking up you can see the chairlift straight up some pretty steep terrain with Zip lines going back and forth between the two ridgelines the park is built on. There is a dense pine forest leading from the Park grounds up to the left and a stream of riders popping out of the trees, kids on the pump track and beers in the hands of those sitting on the huge timber deck of the Handle Bar and Cafe. The right-hand ridgeline has been cleared after the wildfires that ravaged the park and signs of fresh growth and flowing berms and jump lines snake down in all directions. Large excavators, compacting machines and building teams in high vis draw our attention to new developments in the park and for the upcoming winter series. CAP has an extensive fleet of Giant Reig’s and Glory demo bikes making riders passing through or not wishing to travel with a bike to hire a quality bike that’s kept running mint by the fully fledged bike shop on site. The bike shop stocks all the usual offerings you would expect, wheel builds, tubeless tyre setups and suspension servicing look like popular choices here. Once you have your pass collected and have signed a it's time to hit the 430m vertical climb of the chairlift. From the chairlift riders will have a great vantage point to see “Handle the Jandle”, “Airtearoa” and “Lord of the Possums” directly below and Sections of “Choir Boy” as it snakes parallel to the Dyers Pass Road which follows the ridgeline above the park. From the top of the park heading down the left ridge takes riders to the green and flow trails like “Duncan’s Donuts” and “Lord of the Possums” or black jump lines such as “Double Overhead Cam” These trails are hard packed, well maintained and fast. Take time to scope out the lines before going all out as on the expert lines there are blind drops and jumps and the occasional wind gusts that come up from the valley as these obstacles come up fast and often in quick succession.
Heading right takes riders along some seriously fast sections that traverse parallel to Dyers Pass Road with some rocky features and switchbacks with epic view back across Christchurch. Once reaching Pioneer’s Hub its back into the trees for arguably the best trails in the park. “Loess Rider” is a blue graded trail that can be enjoyed by all levels of rider while “Shredzilla” and “Karma Sutra” showcase the rocky and root covered chutes that we associate with New Zealand. If you want to buzz those shorts on the rear tyre, these trails are for you. When maximum levels of stoke have been attained and you physically can’t hold onto the bars, it is time to head to the Handle Bar and café and use the last remaining strength to down a pint or two. The food available at the Handle Bar is way above average in terms of bar food, with local events and functions being held here the kitchen is well equipped to cater for the simple needs of weary mountain bikers. Posters for upcoming gravity events such as the Winter Gravity Series with Chainless, DH and Enduro meets show that there is an always something cool going down here. As the sun goes down, sit back and relax on the deck and talk of a day to remember.