Wairoa mountain bike park is go

It's shred time, bro

It's shred time, bro

A group of mountain bikers about to tackle the track, which is a stone’s throw from the city centre. The park is open to Adventure Wairoa members but it is expected to be opened for public use late February/early March. Pictures supplied
SHREDDING IT: A mountain biker on a fast downhill section of the new Fraser Street mountain bike park in Wairoa.

WAIROA’S much-anticipated Fraser Street mountain bike park is complete.

The track has rapidly taken shape among the pine trees since Rotorua-based track designers and builder Southstar Adventures broke ground in June.

Adventure Wairoa chairman Russell McCracken said he was thrilled.

“I can’t overstate just how big this is for Wairoa,” he said.

“Mountain biking is huge in New Zealand and having this sort of facility a stone’s throw from the town centre is great for the community.”

Adventure Wairoa worked closely with Wairoa District Council and Mr McCracken said it was fantastic to have the support of the council in this project.

Thanks to a grant from the First Light Community Foundation, the first stages of the track were quickly completed.

Further funding made plans and blueprints a reality, and the park was finished on time and on budget.

“So much work has gone into creating this community asset — hours of negotiation, design, paperwork and creative planning,” he said.

Testing and signs

The park was now open to Adventure Wairoa members, with a view to extending access to the public once it had been adequately tested and signage was put in place.

He said the potential for the track was almost limitless.

“It’s likely to become a must-go destination for avid bikers and a boon for the district, which will benefit local businesses, including hospitality and accommodation.

“There are also possibilities for further development at the site as tourists and visitors start to arrive."

Many schools were only a couple of kilometres from the track and there was great potential for students to take advantage of the facility.

Southstar Adventures director and trail designer Jeff Carter, one of New Zealand’s top bike track designers, said Wairoa’s mountain bike park was a big win for the local community.

Carter, who has designed tracks all over the world, travelled to Wairoa to mark out the proposed track.

He said Wairoa’s Fraser Street site was ideal, largely due to local topography but also because of the tree canopy.

“The trees are about 15 years old, which provides good shelter from the sun and stops ground cover and foliage growing too high,” he said.

“The track was particularly easy to mark out because I wasn’t knee-deep in weeds.

“The idea is to maximise the downhill runs from the uphill climbs; you want three or four downhills for each uphill.”

Wairoa’s track stood out in other ways, particularly its proximity to the town centre.

“It’s unusual to have a track within the town limits, which means you don’t need to travel far to get there.

“This makes it convenient for locals and visitors, and perfect for children who want to ride to the park.

“Another bonus of being close is that you don’t have the added expense of building costly infrastructure like carparks.”

WAIROA’S much-anticipated Fraser Street mountain bike park is complete.

The track has rapidly taken shape among the pine trees since Rotorua-based track designers and builder Southstar Adventures broke ground in June.

Adventure Wairoa chairman Russell McCracken said he was thrilled.

“I can’t overstate just how big this is for Wairoa,” he said.

“Mountain biking is huge in New Zealand and having this sort of facility a stone’s throw from the town centre is great for the community.”

Adventure Wairoa worked closely with Wairoa District Council and Mr McCracken said it was fantastic to have the support of the council in this project.

Thanks to a grant from the First Light Community Foundation, the first stages of the track were quickly completed.

Further funding made plans and blueprints a reality, and the park was finished on time and on budget.

“So much work has gone into creating this community asset — hours of negotiation, design, paperwork and creative planning,” he said.

Testing and signs

The park was now open to Adventure Wairoa members, with a view to extending access to the public once it had been adequately tested and signage was put in place.

He said the potential for the track was almost limitless.

“It’s likely to become a must-go destination for avid bikers and a boon for the district, which will benefit local businesses, including hospitality and accommodation.

“There are also possibilities for further development at the site as tourists and visitors start to arrive."

Many schools were only a couple of kilometres from the track and there was great potential for students to take advantage of the facility.

Southstar Adventures director and trail designer Jeff Carter, one of New Zealand’s top bike track designers, said Wairoa’s mountain bike park was a big win for the local community.

Carter, who has designed tracks all over the world, travelled to Wairoa to mark out the proposed track.

He said Wairoa’s Fraser Street site was ideal, largely due to local topography but also because of the tree canopy.

“The trees are about 15 years old, which provides good shelter from the sun and stops ground cover and foliage growing too high,” he said.

“The track was particularly easy to mark out because I wasn’t knee-deep in weeds.

“The idea is to maximise the downhill runs from the uphill climbs; you want three or four downhills for each uphill.”

Wairoa’s track stood out in other ways, particularly its proximity to the town centre.

“It’s unusual to have a track within the town limits, which means you don’t need to travel far to get there.

“This makes it convenient for locals and visitors, and perfect for children who want to ride to the park.

“Another bonus of being close is that you don’t have the added expense of building costly infrastructure like carparks.”

Total funding grants received from the three major benefactors to complete the Fraser Street mountain bike park to this point are $106,000, said Adventure Wairoa’s Russell McCracken.

“We now must secure a final funding amount of $6000 for safety and location signage, bringing the total cost to $112,000, all raised by Adventure Wairoa,” he said.

Adventure Wairoa plans to have the park opened and officially gifted to the Wairoa community in late February/early March.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little described the park as a community asset, and he was excited to see the final few phases of the track come to fruition.

“This is a fantastic tourism opportunity that will allow the community and our visitors to see what our district has to offer and promote an awesome project,” Mr Little said.

Adventure Wairoa had received a generous grant from New Zealand Lotteries, to go along with funding already provided for the project by Firstlight Community foundation and Eastern and Central Community Trust.

“The council supports any facility that benefits the community, particularly ones that promote healthy, outdoor activities.

“This is likely to become a significant drawcard for the district, which will benefit local businesses, including hospitality and accommodation.

“This visionary group deserves everything they get. They lead by example and because of their actions, they have cemented sport in various codes that otherwise could have been lost to Wairoa.”

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Mike Vandeman, California - 11 months ago
Introducing children to mountain biking is criminal. Mountain biking, besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl died during her very first mountain biking lesson! Another became quadriplegic at 13! Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told, mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1) they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand and object to this activity. For 600 examples of serious accidents and deaths caused by mountain biking, see http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm.

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996: http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm

It's dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don't have access to trails closed to bikes. They have exactly the same access as everyone else -- on foot! Why isn't that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking...

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it's not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design which is inherently incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them, but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it's not!). What's good about that?

For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm

Shane - 11 months ago
Go back to California Mike Vandeman

Jon - 10 months ago
Great work Wairoa council and Adventure Wairoa . . . now let's hope GDC (once their multimillion-dollar building upgrade is complete) and other community funders recognise the potential benefits and start to develop something for Gisborne. Tourism, health activities for young people. Well overdue for consideration.

And Mike V? Yeah, not even going to bother with that.

Mat - 5 months ago
Looking forward to coming to have a blast on the new track when I head down from Gizzy. Well done you lot! Any community incentive for improving health and well-being, getting out and doing it, is an absolute gem for the coast and its people.
Also, I wonder if someone can potentially remove the muppetry comment listed below? Idiocy.
Get out n get into it! This stuff makes me proud to live in this land.

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