PTR: Christchurch Ad­ven­ture Park

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - WORDS: RYAN WALSCH IM­AGES: TIM BARD­S­LEY-SMITH

The Christchurch Ad­ven­ture Park is only 25 min­utes from the In­ter­na­tional Air­port and can be seen look­ing across the city and de­scend­ing from th Thom­son Park Scenic Re­serve. Opened in early 2017, the park was rav­aged by fires soon af­ter­wards, rob­bing Christchurch of the chair­lift as­sisted park they had just got a taste of. But Christchurch might just be the most re­silient city on the map – and like the rest of the town, the Ad­ven­ture Park has been re­build­ing. It's hard to not be ex­cited rolling into the carpark, look­ing up you can see the chair­lift straight up some pretty steep ter­rain with Zip lines go­ing back and forth be­tween the two ridge­lines the park is built on. There is a dense pine for­est lead­ing from the Park grounds up to the left and a stream of rid­ers pop­ping out of the trees, kids on the pump track and beers in the hands of those sit­ting on the huge tim­ber deck of the Han­dle Bar and Cafe. The right-hand ridge­line has been cleared after the wild­fires that rav­aged the park and signs of fresh growth and flow­ing berms and jump lines snake down in all di­rec­tions. Large ex­ca­va­tors, com­pact­ing ma­chines and build­ing teams in high vis draw our at­ten­tion to new de­vel­op­ments in the park and for the up­com­ing win­ter series. CAP has an ex­ten­sive fleet of Gi­ant Reig’s and Glory demo bikes mak­ing rid­ers pass­ing through or not wish­ing to travel with a bike to hire a qual­ity bike that’s kept run­ning mint by the fully fledged bike shop on site. The bike shop stocks all the usual of­fer­ings you would ex­pect, wheel builds, tube­less tyre set­ups and sus­pen­sion ser­vic­ing look like pop­u­lar choices here. Once you have your pass col­lected and have signed a it's time to hit the 430m ver­ti­cal climb of the chair­lift. From the chair­lift rid­ers will have a great van­tage point to see “Han­dle the Jan­dle”, “Airtearoa” and “Lord of the Pos­sums” di­rectly be­low and Sections of “Choir Boy” as it snakes par­al­lel to the Dy­ers Pass Road which fol­lows the ridge­line above the park. From the top of the park head­ing down the left ridge takes rid­ers to the green and flow trails like “Duncan’s Donuts” and “Lord of the Pos­sums” or black jump lines such as “Dou­ble Over­head Cam” These trails are hard packed, well main­tained and fast. Take time to scope out the lines be­fore go­ing all out as on the ex­pert lines there are blind drops and jumps and the oc­ca­sional wind gusts that come up from the val­ley as these ob­sta­cles come up fast and of­ten in quick suc­ces­sion.

Head­ing right takes rid­ers along some se­ri­ously fast sections that tra­verse par­al­lel to Dy­ers Pass Road with some rocky fea­tures and switch­backs with epic view back across Christchurch. Once reach­ing Pioneer’s Hub its back into the trees for ar­guably the best trails in the park. “Loess Rider” is a blue graded trail that can be en­joyed by all lev­els of rider while “Shredzilla” and “Karma Su­tra” show­case the rocky and root cov­ered chutes that we as­so­ciate with New Zealand. If you want to buzz those shorts on the rear tyre, these trails are for you. When max­i­mum lev­els of stoke have been at­tained and you phys­i­cally can’t hold onto the bars, it is time to head to the Han­dle Bar and café and use the last re­main­ing strength to down a pint or two. The food avail­able at the Han­dle Bar is way above av­er­age in terms of bar food, with lo­cal events and func­tions be­ing held here the kitchen is well equipped to cater for the sim­ple needs of weary moun­tain bik­ers. Posters for up­com­ing grav­ity events such as the Win­ter Grav­ity Series with Chain­less, DH and En­duro meets show that there is an al­ways some­thing cool go­ing down here. As the sun goes down, sit back and re­lax on the deck and talk of a day to re­mem­ber.

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