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.