Cy­cle trail suc­cess spurs an up­grade

Cash­ing in on trail pop­u­lar­ity

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By BARBARA WITHINGTON

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.

Photo: BARBARA WITHINGTON

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.

Photo: BARBARA WITHINGTON

New path: Own­ers Lucy and Mark McCon­way are up­grad­ing Millers Flat Tavern.

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