Old Codgers finally gets a makeover
Work to revitalise the popular Codgers Mountain Bike Park has finally begun, three years after a severe storm ransacked the network.
About $90,000 has been allocated to fund the project, with Nelson Mountain Bike Club (NMTBC) starting work at Jack’s Hub last week.
The Nelson City Council fronted $15,000 toward work on the existing tracks at Codgers and a further $40,000 to build trails to better link existing tracks, suitable for beginner riders.
The club has raised about $45,000 and that figure does not include labour from volunteers who have asked to help.
The initial work on the gradethree trail means the existing zigzag climb that runs from Dun Mountain Trail to Jack’s Hub will be closed and an easier climb built to replace it.
A short, grade-two climb is also being constructed to take riders from Andrew’s Field back to the Dun Mountain Trail near the quarry.
NMTBC committee member Mark Newton said they would ‘‘be celebrating at each step of the way’’. Riders had been looking forward to the rebuild since 2014.
He said it was a ‘‘huge loss’’ to the riding community when the storm ripped through the area damaging the pine forest.
‘‘It was a really key part of the trail network that got destroyed. It was felt pretty heavily by the mountainbike community.’’
The track was closed for about three months in an attempt to salvage and harvest a block of pine and clear debris. Since then, some of the trails have remained closed.
Newton said this week contractors would start moving soil.
He said the sign-off for the council funds showed they were ‘‘positively and constructively’’ working together again.
‘‘I think people have been waiting for this and anticipating it for quite a long time.’’
Newton said the first track should be finished in a ‘‘matter of weeks’’ but the entire project could take between six to 12 months, weather dependent.
He said the plans offered ‘‘more riding opportunities’’ with tracks designed to encourage beginner riders to the sport and attract local, national and international riders to the area.
‘‘It’s not just a tourism thing but also about providing something for locals,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got some really talented people in there building those tracks ... we expect these tracks will get pretty widely used.’’
Easy Trail Services has worked at Wairoa Gorge and helped build the Kaiteriteri trail Big Airs. Fulton Hogan is also helping to build tracks at Codgers.
The Codgers redevelopment is part of the club’s ongoing plans to ‘‘fill out the riding network’’ and cater for different abilities, Newton said.
Nelson mayor Rachel Reese said the council acknowledged the ‘‘passion’’ the NMTBC and its members had shown to create a ‘‘real impetus for mountainbiking in Nelson’’.
She said this year’s draft annual plan had proposed $60,000, in the next financial year, for two new mountain bike tracks to link the Maitai to the Tantragee Saddle.
That includes $20,000 worth of funding for the design-work of a new mountainbike hub in the Maitai Valley.
Reese said the council shared the vision of the club to have the region known nationally and internationally for its sustainablymanaged and easily accessible riding network.
‘‘We will continue to work closely with the club to ensure our beautiful environment can be enjoyed by many.’’
‘‘These projects not only help us to enjoy our environment, but also provide an opportunity to encourage more visitors to our region.’’
After a three-year wait, work has finally begun on revitalising the Codgers Mountain Bike Park.