New bike track of­fers cy­clists a chal­lenge

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By SCOTT MOR­GAN

Moun­tain bike fans have a new chal­lenge to tackle in the heart of South Auck­land.

Auck­land Air­port has in­vested $200,000 in build­ing the 4km Run­way Moun­tain Bike Park, which of­fi­cially opened on Satur­day.

The track is part of a push to in­crease ameni­ties for those who ac­cess the area reg­u­larly, air­port prop­erty man­ager Peter Alexan­der says.

‘‘Twelve thou­sand peo­ple work here al­ready.

‘‘It’s go­ing to grow sig­nif­i­cantly with de­vel­op­ment plans we have.

‘‘It’s about mak­ing this truly a great place to be by build­ing ameni­ties that other places don’t or can’t build. Peo­ple rid­ing bikes be­comes a lunchtime ac­tiv­ity.’’

But the track’s not just for air­port work­ers or tourists – mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are also en­cour­aged to use it.

Mr Alexan­der says the track is part of a wider trans­for­ma­tion of the area known as The Dis­trict.

A new foot­ball field and up­graded en­try and exit point along Ge­orge Bolt Drive are al­most com­plete, while an out­door art gallery is al­ready fin­ished.

The Auck­land Moun­tain Bike Club worked closely with the air­port to de­sign the track.

Club spokesman David Gab­bitas, who also helped de­sign the course, says the track is suit­able for all riders.

‘‘The brief was to make this fam­ily-friendly but also chal­leng­ing.’’

Some changes were made to the course af­ter test­ing was done with club mem­bers and their chil­dren.

‘‘We have lit­tle rock gar­dens but you can also go around them. There are a few jumps but they are ones you can roll over.’’

Crushed rock un­der the track will al­low for all-weather rid­ing, Mr

Gab­bitas says.

Bike chal­lenge: Auck­land Air­port prop­erty man­ager Peter Alexan­der and Auck­land Moun­tain Bike Club mem­ber Dave Gab­bitas at the air­port’s new moun­tain bike track.

On track: Riders check out the new moun­tain bike park set up by Auck­land Air­port, with Abbeville Es­tate in the back­ground.

Ver­sa­tile: Riders take a break on the track which is suit­able for all ages and fit­ness lev­els.

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