Huri Huri News
10 March 2016
Trails Wairarapa Trust Chairman Rob Irwin handed over a cheque for $500 to Pirinoa Principal Troy Anderson last Friday. The money is the net proceeds of the Ruamahanga River Mountain Bike Ride from Martinborough to Lake Ferry which took place on Wellington Anniversary Day, 25th January this year.
“Trust member Joe Howells, as the ride champion, organised voluntary help to get the ride ready and run this year, so we have kept the costs down, meaning we are able to make a bigger donation to the School,” explained Mr Irwin. “The Pirinoa farmers have all been fantastic in their support for the idea of a river bank cycle trail, so the Trust decided to adopt Pirinoa School as the charity to support this year.”
Trails Wairarapa Trust’s vision is to have a network of on road and off road cycle trails throughout the Wairarapa. The Trust has been testing the feasibility of having a cycle trail based on the Ruamahanga River and has run an event riding from Martinborough to the sea on the river stopbank for the past two years. “So far we have been encouraged by the support of the farmers and other parties such as Greater Wellington and the District Councils,” said Mr Irwin. “We have also consulted with Ngati Kahungunu and Rangitane Iwi who are supportive of the concept. Overall support and feedback from the riders is favorable so that we are encouraged to continue working on this proposal.”
Pirinoa School Chair Stuart Weatherstone, whose family farm has about 10 kilometres of Ruamahanga riverbank, thinks the cycle trail is a fantastic idea. “This is a great example town and country working together and an example of how we can make our communities more resilient,” acknowledged Mr Waetherstone. “The school is very appreciative of the money and will put it to good use.”
School Principal Troy Anderson said the money would go towards a cycle track around the perimeter of the school grounds. “Although the children don’t bike to school, bikes are kept there for their use, so a new track will be a great asset.”
The ride was part of this year's Huri Huri Bike Festival, and once again proved to be very successful. The cyclists really appreciated being able to buy refreshments at the newly opened Land Girls Café at Pirinoa village and the Lake Ferry Hotel. The general feedback was that some surface development work would benefit the riders and that the Ruamahanga River trail had tremendous potential.
“It is our dream to one day have an off road trail along the Ruamahanga river from Masterton to Lake Ferry which could be one of the NZ Cycle Trail Heartland rides. A short ferry trip would link with the Rimutaka Great Ride.”