Deb Allen Avanti Plus Masterton, former South Wairarapa Rotary President Mary Mason, Angus and Shane Priddle
Huri Huri News
The Wairarapa Regional Mountain Bike Trails Trust (WRMBTT) has released a summary of its assessment on the feasibility of developing new mountain bike trails and experiences in the region.
“The summary concludes that the proposed trails are anticipated to be popular with locals and visitors alike,” explained WRMBTT chairperson Jonathan Hooker. “They will meet an identified need for a wider range of mountain bike trails in Wairarapa, allowing more people to enjoy the areas by bike.
“While we obviously acknowledge there will be upfront costs associated with developing the trails, the assessment anticipates that they will be economically beneficial to the area in the short term and beyond.
“The assessment also suggested the development and management of the trails will be most successful if they’re community-led, and that WRMBTT is well placed to fill this role.
“The main barrier to these trails being developed appears to be the Department of Conservation’s proposed Conservation Management Strategy, which does not currently allow the Remutaka and Holdsworth trails or the Kiriwhakapapa extensions to be developed,” said Hooker.
As part of the assessment, a survey aimed at everyone from long-term Wairarapa residents to riders from out of the region was distributed across several social media platforms. It covered a wide range of questions about the riding opportunities available in Wairarapa, as well as the three proposed new trails: the Remutaka Descent, a Tararua Forest Park Mt Holdsworth Mountain Bike Trails and the Kiriwhakapapa Trail.
“To encourage a wide sample of responses, the comprehensive survey was linked to a competition to win a bike courtesy of Avanti-Plus Masterton, South Wairarapa and Masterton South Rotary clubs,” added Hooker.
Shane Priddle was the lucky recipient, winning a bike for his son Angus. Originally from the Wairarapa, Shane attended Kuranui College before moving to Karori, where he decided to get into cycling. Concerned that the roads in Wellington may not be the safest, Shane took up mountain biking instead.
For Shane, mountain biking offers him a way to release stress, stay fit and have fun. “I like the challenge mountain biking gives me, whether I’m with friends or not. You just get in the moment and nothing beats that adrenalin rush,” he said.
The lack of decent grade three trails has put him off biking in Wairarapa at present, but he believes this new initiative will attract more people like himself to the area. Shane thinks that putting in new trails around Wairarapa is a great opportunity for the region, and he hopes that he and his son will be amongst the first riders to try out the new tracks.
His advice for anyone interested in giving mountain biking a go is to find a group to start with and get decent coaching; but above all have fun. “You meet new people, you get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer. That’s hard to beat.”
You can read the summary of the feasibility assessment at www.facebook.com/WRMBTT.