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MTB Trails Trust Newsletter No. 10 May 14, 2015
Pink and purple lines are completed tracks. Blue lines are tracks under construction.
Silvan Forest Trail Development
The access track up from the carpark has now been completed and is getting well used. At present we have 2 diggers working on new tracks. There have already been two hugely successful school events held on the Silvan Forest trails.
If you are keen to be involved with building Flying Moa, we will have working bees up there on both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th of May. Meet at Nelson Lakes Park Visitor Centre at 9am both days. Bring some lunch, water and if you have one a grubber or McLeod tool We will have some tools available too.
Last week Chris and Alan were up at St Arnaud taking a group of NMIT ranger trainees through a Sustainable Trail Building workshop. Tuesday and Wednesday saw the group putting it all into practice building the Flying Moa track. Just over 1km of track was built in the two days, with probably another 1.5km to go plus some fine tuning of the section just built.
The Trust has also put new directional signs up on Teetotal Flats to help you navigate the growing network there.
This year’s Heaphy expedition on the first day of the season again proved the track up to Perry is the toughest and least fun part of the track, in both directions. We were pleasantly surprised to find a good part of the rocky section from Perry westward toward Gouland had been re-surfaced, complete with substantial water table and water bars.
Early morning in the Aorere Valley
Beach, our American friend, turned back at Gouland Hut with the promise to return one day to complete the trip. It must have been wet earlier in the week as the creeks were up and we reluctantly opted for the two wire bridges. They are a real cow to traverse with a bike especially one with wide bars. The side netting gets caught in the pedals, the top wire is just the right height to prevent holding the bike at a sufficient angle to get over the cross straps in the tread of the bridge, and the towers at the ends cause mayhem too. At least our feet were dry.
You don't want to tangle with this bridge.
Despite the favourable forecast from our friends in Norway, (www.yr.no) it clagged in as we approached Saxton and stayed coolish and damp until we approached Heaphy hut. At MacKay we were bemused by the massive new accommodation but eternally grateful for the superb bike-wash that has replaced the old hut. We were pleasantly surprised to see Petra emerge from a chopper, delivering supplies for guided trips. Earlier in the trip we had been passed by what one woman described as “a testosterone-soaked bunch” of guys who were racing thru to catch the chopper back from Kohaihai.
Much of the track has been re-gravelled or replaced with boardwalk in the wettest sections, but there is still a couple of K’s below MacKay that is yet to receive the treatment. The result of all the work is less mud meaning less bike damage and a quicker journey. I reckon it is about 90 minutes less from end to end than it was 4 years ago.
Following the Heaphy coastline
The coastal section from Heaphy to Kohaihai is for me the best part of the ride. What other track anywhere in the world could compare for wild coastline scenery and no road? The DOC guys are cutting a new section to avoid the sand trek just before Scott’s Beach. It isn’t complete yet so necessitates a longer beach walk than usual there.
After a day’s R&R in Karamea we returned. This time the Norwegians had organised the weather properly and we were treated to clear blue skies and warm sun. This necessitated long rest periods nibbling snacks on hut verandas, but we still made it in good time for “fush and chup”s in Takaka.
An important part of mountain biking is being able to hold you own in a conversation with other riders by showing you understand the lingo. If you don't know how to do a Wang Chung or not sure if you have got Crack Spackled, check it all out here.
We were riding in Hanmer recently but couldn't find an up to date map of the tracks. So...we made one. You can download a copy here.
Logging trucks are using the road along the top of the Richmond Hills between the top of Barnicoat Rd and the fire lookout. The road is closed to recreational users 24 hours a day Monday to Friday. Expected finish date is August 1st. See Current Hancock Harvesting Schedule on our website to keep up to date with harvesting locations.
The Kaiteriteri MTB Park run regular work parties which are a feature of this park and easy to get involved. Work on Jaws II is progressing now the rock gully has been conquered.
The Marlborough MTB Club lists upcoming events on their website. Next recreation ride is at Meadowbank off the Taylors Pass Rd. If you haven't ridden in this country it is worth going along.