Newsletter 12

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MTB Trails Trust Newsletter No. 12 November 2, 2015

Silvan Forest Update

After a bit of a break our trail crew is back on the job in Silvan Forest

and another new track, Spittrock, has been opened. It starts right near the top of Alpha and descends above Hare Down to rejoin Alpha near the road crossing. Andrew and Chris have done a great job and it's really fun to ride.
A rider passes Chris as he adds the finishing touches to Spittrock. 
An alternative high line is on the left

Now it's time for a grunty push towards Christmas, and a new trail that will be more of an adventure style design, linking between the top of Alpha and the Jubilee Gum saddle - this one already has a name, Exodus and you can check out where it sits on the map below. Click HERE for a larger version of the map on our website.

If you ride these trails you should know that any digging or trail modification needs to be run through the MTB Trails Trust. We've got people in there changing trails under their own steam at the moment it seems. This is private land, and managing the trail network to keep it safe, consistent and to grade is an important part of the Trust's responsibilities with the owners. There will be a very good reason things are structured as they are! If you want to help, or know of people who are changing things to satisfy their own take on things, please contact 021 2309120 in the first instance. This info is also clearly spelt out on the mapboard at the forest entrance.

NO DOGS: Sorry, but due to a few uncontrolled dogs killing weka and chooks the owners regret that they have implemented a no dogs policy. Only the owners and personal friends' dogs are now permitted.

Have you tried the St Arnaud tracks yet?
Take the opportunity this weekend to explore some of the new tracks at Teetotal Flat, St Arnaud. Flying Moa track is now open adding another fun track to the network. This Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th, in conjunction with Conservation Week, we will be showing people around the tracks. Starting from the Skating Pond carpark, 1km west of St Arnaud, at 10.30am both Saturday and Sunday we will take groups through Sidewinder and back on Rattler Rim Trail. This is suited to less experienced riders, although there are some rooty sections on Sidewinder, and will take about 2 hours. Then at 2.30pm on those days we will leave from the same place to go up Kaka Track, down Flying Moa Track and back through Rattler Rim. This is a more strenuous intermediate grade ride a little different to what you are probably used to and will take 2-3 hours.
Make sure you take enough water, a spare tube and the usual tools. Some bug repellent might be a good idea too.
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News on a Beebys uphill track
The Trust has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the landowner of the Beebys 4WD road to build a better graded uphill track to make the climb up to the start of Maitland Ridge Track easier. We hope to start work on this in the next few months.
Once this track is in it will open up possibilities of more downhill tracks off Beebys.
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Wish you 
were there? 

Liz & Deborah on Goliath,
Silvan Forest


Liz, Deborah and Faye, Omega, Silvan Forest


Bruce McCallum
Wakamarina Track


Mokihinui Gorge

Old Ghost Road

Guy Trainor

Porcupine Rim, Moab

Liz on the climb to
Perry Saddle

MTB Project

As a result of our Gold Ride Centre accreditation we were introduced to the MTB Project. It is an amazing website we can load our rides on to to give them exposure to a huge international audience. In turn we can link back to MTB Project from our own web pages. We have already loaded on the Heaphy Track, Kill Devil, Maitland Ridge, Fowler Pass, and Wakamarina.

We'd really appreciate it if you would go to these links and give the trails and photos a 5 star rating to push us up into the top ranked trails. Note: Wakamarina is awaiting review and may not be available for a day or two.

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Track report
Wakamarina Track is really dry at the moment. There are the odd trees down but nothing too serious.
Barron Flat is riding well too. Quite a lot of small branches on the track to snap your deraillieur, so be careful.
Canaan tracks are good, but could do with a bit of TLC in places.
The Rameka is dry and riding well. Try out Odyssey if you want a bit more of a challenge than Great Expectations.
The Heaphy was in great condition for the last week of the season and there were a lot of riders out there taking advantage of it and they shared the track with a good number of trampers who had no problem with the bikes.
Maitland Ridge is in mint condition, although someone has been through on a horse which didn't do the track a lot of good.
Flying Moa at Big Bush is now open and we'll have some signs up by next weekend so that you can find it.
Rattler Rim on Teetotal Flats is now open and marked. It should be rideable in nearly all conditions being well drained. There is a section on the north side of the road that we'll be doing with a digger over the summer so there's still a short road section. At the western end the Douglas Hill link is still under construction.
Duck Down has a couple of boggy sections that are unrideable. We will be working on them over the next few weeks to get them in condition.
All the Silvan tracks are in good condition and dry out quickly after rain.

Rob Kay on Barron Flat track recently

Alan Eskrick on the Heaphy Track (photo Guy Trainor)

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Old Ghost Road, northern section

A friend’s 60th birthday gathering at Gentle Annie was an opportunity to check out the northern end of the Old Ghost Road. Labour Day Weekend Saturday was a day out of the box and it didn’t take much persuasion for even the ‘Rail Trail’ bikers to give it a try. A large group set out and enjoyed the spectacular scenery of the lower Mokihinui gorge, turning around after a nice break at the Red Queen Mine site.

On Sunday it was down to yours truly to mount a more serious mission in to Goat Creek Hut. The Old Ghost Road website indicated it to be anything from three and a half to seven hours away so I pressed on a little for a start, taking minimal stops for photos but still enjoying the great scenery.

 I was constantly amazed by the trail builders who had the audacity to tackle this often precipitous country. The track does require the rider to be confident about riding on a rocky surface with a serious drop off in a number of places. There are two sections that have small gates at each end that encourage riders to dismount.

Specimen Point Hut was a bit under two hours ride and I watched as a rafting group prepared and launched on the beach below. They would be in for a fun ride too. The Forks hut was a little further along and would provide a good alternative if the Specimen Point hut was full. It has been renovated relatively recently and is complete with double glazing and insect screens. The change in landscape is remarkable. The flats are extensive, once farmed and once a lake for a while after the 1929 Murchison earthquake.

The track from here is nicely gravelled and runs on river terrace and along Limestone Creek. It is gently undulating and winding all the way to the impressive bridge over the South Branch of the Mokihinui. This has an aluminium gate to stop possums galloping over the bridge to tuck in to the yummy Powelliphanta snails on the other side of the river.

It’s not far from the bridge to Goat Creek hut, an old NZFS 4 bunker that would be welcome in a West Coast downpour. The track this side of the river looks less completed with a number of soft patches. The presence of a tracked barrow indicated to me the possible intention to gravel the track sometime soon. Currently you aren’t encouraged to bike through the next sections of track on to Stern Valley and Ghost Lake so after a nibble on a muesli bar I enjoyed the 3 hour trip back to Seddonville. 

Rob  Kay

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Join up with other riders at St Arnaud

Are you interested in joining other cycling enthusiasts on regular cycling activities from St Arnaud?

Both mountain biking and road cycling plus helping with the local bike trails construction and maintenance
Could be a bunch ride one Saturday and take on the some local MTB trails the next. Could even get into putting teams into events down the track a bit or a weekend away on other trails.
Need to get some post winter bike fitness before getting too serious?
If this sounds like you call John (phone 521 1118) or Phil (phone 521 1151).
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Links to other sites

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.

Keep up to date with Nelson MTB Club events and working bees

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MTB Trails Trust | PO Box 78, Brightwater