Newsletter 11

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MTB Trails Trust Newsletter No. 11 August 12, 2015

 The Trust Scores Gold

It’s been a while since our last newsletter, however it isn’t because nothing has been happening, but more that the Trust has been flat out. As you have probably seen in the media, the MTB Trails Trust has succeeded in having Nelson accredited as a Gold Ride Centre with the International Mountain Bicycling Association. (For more information see IMBA Ride Centres

A great deal of effort by Chris and Rob went into cataloguing all our tracks and ensuring trail signage was up to date before the IMBA assessor rode the trails. 

The Trust was happy to drive this project, but had to go it alone to bring Jason Wells out to New Zealand to do the assessment as no other organisations were willing or able to contribute which is a shame, as this can only be good for the region in the long term. Having said that, both Councils, the Economic Development Agency, Nelson Tasman Tourism, the NZ Recreation Association and AFM (on behalf of Hancocks) could see the benefits of accreditation and were all firmly on board with supporting this initiative in any way they could. 

It was a real team effort to complete the assessment itself too – we had a couple of days of rotten weather, and scheduled the best of our all-weather trails for those days, which resonated well with Jason. He was able to see the best applications of IMBA’s sustainable design principles in action in the worst of conditions! 

We also send huge thanks to all our Trustees who pitched in and made the assessment so successful, and also to Mike Brien and Guy Trainor who were fully on board with the project and who helped with guiding and shuttling. 

IMBA Assessor Jason Wells had this to say about Nelson:

"My experience in Nelson was absolutely amazing. You have an incredible group of people and the Trust is going in the right direction. Please give everyone a big thanks for their hospitality. Most Ride Centre assessments I am trying to find places to give points but in Nelson they were all there. With the motivation of the Trust I cannot wait to come back here with my wife to ride all the new trails that currently do not exist. Once again thank you for the incredible week."

More endorsements of the Trust's work and major sponsors here.

Gaining Gold Ride Centre status has been one of the Trust’s aims as we believe Nelson’s status as a quality international mountainbiking destination will lead to regional benefits, in turn boosting our advocacy efforts. Completing this circle should see better funding support for an area of cycling that is a package in its own right. Too often mountainbiking is wrapped up as a part of the catch all generic ‘cycling’ experience, and treated that way by public funding allocation etc. But mountainbiking is a market all on its own, and deserves to be treated as an entity in its own right. The Trust will keep pushing that message, and as an example of how that should look we have helped Nelson Tasman Tourism change the message on their website info to reflect and highlight the mountainbiking appeal (see here). 

The cost to the Trust was $12,193 for the IMBA assessment. While we covered this through sponsorship and donations, it has taken a big chunk of our available funds away from the ‘here and now’ trail development space. The regional payoff of the IMBA investment will flow downstream we are sure, but meantime we would like to recoup that cost and boost the Trust’s trail development fund again. We encourage you to make a donation here  to achieve that. 

We also congratulate Rotorua on achieving the same Gold Ride Centre status. The Trust and a core group in Rotorua were progressing this independently, and with no knowledge of either’s separate projects! So for both Nelson and Rotorua to achieve Gold, and join Taupo (Silver, 2011) is a massive statement for New Zealand. And here’s we can really put things in context – Rotorua scored 92/100 for their assessment, and we all know how great the riding experience is in Rotorua. Nelson scored 94/100, largely on the back of the fantastic variety of trails we have across the region, as well as the amazing accessibility of those trails. Anyone who has been involved in this space over the years can feel justifiably proud.

Wish you 
were there? 

Marius Lloyd on Jacksons Trail, Moab


Rick Griffin on Tahoe Rim Trail. And hey, it's warm!


Deborah Morris on the Flume Trail, Lake Tahoe


Sarah Griffin on Glass Mountain Trail, Tahoe

 Our work programme for the next year

And on the note of more trails, in the last 16 months the Trust has created over 30km of new purpose built mountainbike trails across the region for all to ride. They are also being used and appreciated by walkers and runners. Most of this has been achieved through the generosity of our Trustees who donate their time and machinery to keep the trails rolling out. If you haven’t been for a ride in Silvan Forest or Teetotal Flat at St Arnaud lately you are missing out on some great riding. 

Since the MTB Trails Trust was formed in April last year 2604 hours have been contributed by volunteers and the value of this, plus in-kind contributions of equipment by our trustees, has totalled $99,992, which equates to $3333 per km of track built. If you enjoy riding these new trails and are keen to see more built, you can help by making a donation to the Trust. and be supporting the long term development and maintenance of a world class trail network.

The Trust’s work programme in the coming year will include: 

Silvan Forest 

Continued expansion of the trail network with up to another 40km of track to be constructed.Work at Silvan is being carried out up to five days a week by Andrew Spittal, Chris Mildon, Gary Donaldson and Rick Griffin. Andrew, Gary and Rick have all bought new diggers, so we can expect to see the dirt fly now. Hope to see a start on a climbing track up to the Kingsland Forest gate in the next week or two (not marked on the map).


Current Silvan Forest network. The blue track top left was completed last Friday. 

Dashed lines are proposed tracks.

Nelson Back Country 

Obtain an easement through Lucy Creek forest block for an exit from Hacket-Starveall-Lee loop. Alan & Liz Eskrick and Bruce McCallum have been up there scoping out a route. 

Survey a practical route from Waterfall Creek to Lucy Creek. 

Flag route from Hacket to Starveall and Starveall into Waterfall Ck. 

Obtain an EIA for the Starveall project. 

Start construction of the Starveall project depending on funding. 

Survey damage to Hacket Track and apply for funding to repair the track. 

Survey possible route around Browning Creek slip. 

St Arnaud

Maintenance work on Maitland Ridge Track rerouting a couple of steep sections

Maintenance on Kaka Track, minor drainage correction and improvement

Improvement of wet sections of Duck Down with installation of Jakmat and a culvert

Possible intermediate traverse to the west down the last steep section of Duck Down 

Completion of Flying Moa Track by October 2015 

Completion of Rattler Rim Track by November 2015 

Survey grade and construct Wots Up DOC, an uphill track beside the Beebys’ 4wd road 

Survey and construct Village Link Track from St Arnaud to the skating pond 

Install new signage on Teetotal tracks 

Possible eastward extension of Village Link to old Black Valley Rd 

Completion of a climbing track at the west end of Big Bush Track

Investigate a route west of Big Bush Track around the ridge to Summit Track 

Completion of the exit from Rocky Horror linking to start of Kaka to avoid the bog 

Investigate a route around the head of Duckpond Stream to access the ridge descending to the village. A lower line than previously surveyed to avoid the boggy areas is envisaged 

Picton and Blenheim 

Completion of the Victoria Park trail network in Picton. While Chris is managing this, Malcolm Edridge is contributing significant in-kind value to this project through free machinery. 

The Trust is also supporting and assisting the Marlborough MTB Club with networking and expansion plans for the Wither Hills Farm Park – progress on this is scheduled for 2015/16.

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 Volunteer Programme

Part of the Trust's strategy is to set up a maintenance programme with volunteers taking responsibility for a trail or section of trail. If you are keen to help or would like to register as a volunteer trail builder please click here and complete the form.

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 Flying Moa progress & coming working bees

Flying Moa Track at Teetotal, St Arnaud has been progressing well, with 2.6km completed and just 500m to go. Currently there is snow on the ground up there so we have been paying more attention to the Rattler Rim track, which is the red line on the map below more or less parallel to the Buller River.

Rob Kay will be working up there on these tracks the next two weekends, so if you feel like swinging a grubber or pushing a wheelbarrow, turn up at the Park HQ at 9am on the Saturday and/or Sunday. If Flying Moa is snow free you can bring your bike and ride up Kaka, then with a bit of carrying, bike out down Flying Moa when you are finished. You'll love it!


Teetotal tracks. Rattler Rim is approximate only and does not now drop below the escarpment.



Bruce hard at work on Flying Moa while the boss was away


Ever safety conscious, Bruce dons a hard hat


Barrow yoga!

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  The mine and earthmoving gear! 

The top part of “Flying Moa” has some sections over webs of tree roots. This would make it a bit difficult to ride so we have to either cut them out or cover them up. Luckily there are piles of clay ready to be used in the form of old rootballs. I borrowed this useful little wheelbarrow from the neighbour. It was ideal for the job. It was small enough to fit across the quad bike’s carrier and light enough to carry on the way across rough country to the track. It has two wheels for stability as well as a very low base to the container. The handle is easy to hold but is so short that you don’t get much leverage; also its wheels are a bit fragile. It’s called a Gardenwise Yard Kart. I would like to get one but I can’t find it on the interweb. If anyone knows where they are available can you let me know please? 

Cheers, Rob 


The result is flowing goodness. 

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 NZ Mountain Film Festival            

Saturday 15 August from 5:30 pmLake Rotoiti Community Centre   

A great selection of the best films from the 13th New Zealand Mountain Film Festival is coming to St Arnaud.  Travel to the farthest reaches of Myanmar and attempt a first ascent of its highest peak; ski and kite 2300 km across Greenland; kayak the treacherous Stikine Gorge; defy gravity with free climber, Alex Honnold; explore Greenland to find a peak known only by an old photograph; ski the back country of Argentina with a man and a dog – and plenty more besides.  

Sit back and enjoy 13 films and over five hours of excitement, beauty, adventure, drama, human achievement and superb film making.     

Tickets go on sale from 4:00 pm at the Community Hall. Get in early to avoid the rush. Eftpos available.          The doors open from 5:00 pm and the first session starts at 5:30 pm          

Adults $20.00. Children (under 15) $10.00. 

There will be two breaks during the evening

Kea Catering will sell refreshments to raise funds for Lake Rotoiti School         

Bring your own cup and get free tea and coffee

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 Conservation Week

Sunday November 1st to Sunday 8th is Conservation Week. In conjunction with this the Trust will be offering guided rides around the Teetotal Flats trail network on some of the weekend days, so keep these dates free if you would like a Tiki tour of the new tracks. We will cater for groups of different abilities. More details closer to the time.

 Trail Updates

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.

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

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