Cycle trail success spurs an upgrade
Cashing in on trail popularity
Options for cycling in the Teviot Valley this summer have increased significantly with the news that work is set to start on the Coal Creek Cycleway.
Chairman of the Coal Creek Cycleway Trust Fred Jeffery and others who live on SH8 between Roxburgh and the Lake Roxburgh Village have tried for years to get the idea off the ground but the building of two other trails in the area has been the catalyst to get on and secure the funding to get the project done.
‘‘It makes sense to complete a loop between the dam and Roxburgh and gives visitors and locals a number of options to enhance the trail experience,’’ Jeffery said.
‘‘As people come off the Roxburgh Gorge Trail they will have the option of crossing the dam and riding the Clutha Gold Trail or looping through the Lake Roxburgh Village to the Coal Creek bridge, crossing the highway at a point between The Packhouse and Walnut Cottage which has good visibility both ways, and then travelling the new track to The Big Cherry where it meets with the existing cycle track to Roxburgh.’’
Residents along the road have been very supportive of the new trail as it will provide a safety zone from traffic in the 100kmh area. The work is budgeted to cost $70,000 with funds sourced from Central Lakes Trust, New Zealand and Otago Community Trusts, Alexander McMillan and Ida McDonald Trusts and some private funding. Waihola Excavating’s Ross Menzies, who built the Clutha Gold Trail, is due to start work before the end of August.
‘‘It is very straight forward work with just a few culverts so depending on the weather it should not take long to construct,’’ Jeffery said. The success of the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail in its first season has encouraged the new owners of the Millers Flat Tavern to upgrade.
When Lucy and Mark McConway took over the tavern late last year they already had plans in mind.
‘‘It is just as well we didn’t do it straight away because we have changed the plans so much’’ said Lucy as the couple surveyed almost three weeks of hard work carrying out a major refit of the kitchen and minor changes to other parts of the business.
‘‘We were really lucky to source new chairs from Invercargill. The tables came from a hospitality auction of red zone equipment in Christchurch along with the oven that ended up costing about a third of new price.’’
Discovering a perfectly fitting sink bench unit under the building was a major cost saving, balanced by replacing almost all the plumbing which had been cobbled together over many years. Not living on the premises has allowed the couple to turn the bedrooms into backpackers’ accommodation.
Finding their feet in the new business last season at the same time as the new trail established let them see the possibilities for the future and they look forward to the coming season.
‘‘It is starting already. I have a group of 12 cyclists booked in next week,’’ Lucy said.
Ready to ride: Chairman of the Coal Creek Cycleway Fred Jeffery is not used to cycling, but a new track past his home could change that.
New path: Owners Lucy and Mark McConway are upgrading Millers Flat Tavern.