End of era for BMX riding
The BMX cycling track on Pigeon Mountain that has existed since the early 1980s has been removed, to give land back to local iwi.
BMX NZ executive officer Dion Earnest says there were plans to upgrade the track, but the introduction of the Auckland supercity put a stop to it.
‘‘This change in turn also included the process to return the volcanic cones back to iwi ownership,’’ he says.
Originally based at the foot of Pigeon Mountain, the club was moved to Auckland Council-run Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga a few years ago, which best suits its members.
‘‘After long negotiations, the Lloyd Elsmore Park site was agreed on,’’ Earnest says.
‘‘From there the move was made and the club built a new national-spec facility.’’
The demolition of the Pigeon Mountain track hasn’t left grassroots BMX in danger and there are no serious negative impacts on the sport, he says.
‘‘The move away from the site has given the community, the club and the sport so many more positives.’’
Earnest is thankful for what the Pigeon Mountain track gave to his family and other locals.
‘‘My 11-year-old daughter is now a three-time BMX world champion as a result of starting BMX at the mountain.’’
As the biggest BMX club in New Zealand, a number of national, Oceania and world age- grade champions crafted their skills at the mountain track.
Mountain Raiders president Kevin Jago says the new Lloyd Elsmore Park facilities are great, but he hopes something comes from the Pigeon Mountain site.
‘‘I just hope they do something nice with the area so people can enjoy it again.’’
Scott De Silva, the manager for Tupuna Maunga, a council division responsible for looking after Auckland’s volcanoes, says there are major plans to optimise the space.
The plan is to replicate what used to be onO¯huiarangi Pigeon Mountain, he explains.
‘‘The site is going to take the form of historical terracing, so there will be a number of large terraces.’’
For Earnest, the demolition of the track is a sad time, but he believes the new Lloyd Elsmore Park track lessens the blow.
This was first published by Te Waha Nui, the online publication of AUT’s journalism course, and is republished with permission.
The BMX track at the foot of the Pigeon Mountain volcano is making way for the recreation of traditional terracing.