Cycle trail leads to ‘upsurge’ in bicycle sales
A cycle trail being built between Te Anau and Manapouri has resulted in an upsurge in the number of people buying bikes in the area.
Fiordland Trails Trust chairman Stephen Hoskin said there were new bike businesses in Te Anau, and existing outlets had reported increased sales and rentals.
Outside Sports Te Anau manager Woody Wilson said there had been a ‘‘good upsurge’’ in bike sales since the first part of the trail opened.
He believed about 60 per cent of the shop’s sales were to people wanting to ride the trail between Te Anau and Manapouri.
The sales were to young and old people, with more people riding bikes than five years ago, he said.
Hoskin said the trust had 19km of trail completed and its counters showed it was being well used.
During the first three months of monitoring, from February this year, 170 people a day were cycling the first 10km from Te Anau to the bird sanctuary and 27 a day were cycling the most remote section near Queens Reach.
More than 20 people a day were cycling the newest 9km section from Queens Reach to Balloon Loop.
‘‘We have been able to construct the trail at under $40,000 a kilometre,’’ he said.
‘‘We now have our sights set on reaching Manapouri.’’
The construction team had surveyed a route between Manapouri and Supply Bay Rd that could be built entirely outside the Fiordland National Park.
However, $210,000 was needed to do the work, with fundraising money required.
‘‘We should be able to proceed as soon as we have funds in hand. As with our previous fundraising efforts, we will need a combination of local donations and large donors,’’ Hoskin said.
A cyclist said a small portion of the track, between Queens Reach and Rainbow Reach, was closed early last week because of a slip.