Cy­cle trail leads to ‘up­surge’ in bi­cy­cle sales

The Southland Times - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

BARRY HARCOURT 634824418

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