First-time rid­ers find their way


Moun­tain bik­ers took to the open­ing of a net­work of tracks at Tun­nel Gully with gusto on Sun­day.

More than 100 rid­ers, across a range of ages and abil­i­ties, turned out for the launch of a net­work of in­ter­me­di­ate-grade tracks at the Te Marua recre­ation reserve, north of Up­per Hutt.

The trails were built by the NtrailZ group, vol­un­teer track builders [and moun­tain bik­ers] who wanted more places for rid­ers to do what they love most in their own area.

Led by Kevin Blair, NtrailZ started in mid-2015 and built a down­hill track in for­est near Kaitoke af­ter re­ceiv­ing sup­port from the Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil.

Since then, mem­bers have ex­panded their work and, on the back of thou­sands of vol­un­teer hours and reg­u­lar work­ing week­ends, cre­ated the in­ter­linked trails in Tun­nel Gully. ’’We have eight sign-posted and graded trails in place now,’’ Blair said.

He was more than happy with Sun­day’s four-hour open day.

‘‘A good range of rid­ers turned out in­clud­ing a few fam­ily groups with the kids on trainer bikes. We even had one guy go­ing on the tracks on an elec­tric bike.

’’We were lucky enough with the weather. It just got a bit wet at the end, es­pe­cially on one track that fol­lows an old creek path.’’

Eight rid­ers on the day were im­pressed enough to join NtrailZ, an in­cor­po­rated so­ci­ety now with about 50 mem­bers

‘‘They were mostly lo­cals but there was a cou­ple from Makara. We ex­plained to them what we are about as an or­gan­i­sa­tion and I’m sure they’ll be get­ting on the tools with us in the fu­ture.

‘‘So it worked out real good, es­pe­cially as we did no ad­ver­tis­ing around it,’’ Blair said. ’’We had a sausage siz­zle go­ing and there were a few give­aways too, thanks to the re­gional coun­cil.’’

The Kara­poti Clas­sic will race for a 32nd year this Satur­day. The 50-kilo­me­tre Akatarawa Ranges event is be­ing held ear­lier this year in­stead of on its tra­di­tional first week­end in March.

Tun­nel Gully moun­tain bik­ing ac­tion with NtrailZ guide Ian Ma­clach­lan lead­ing the way on one of sev­eral new tri­als; (be­low) NtrailZ mem­bers work on the new tracks.

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