Old Codgers fi­nally gets a makeover

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - JES­SICA LONG

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.

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